Idris Elba Shows Off His Real-Life DJ Skills In This Epic New Netflix Series

by Ani Bundel

Fans of Idris Elba were very disappointed last year when the actor declared he did not consider himself in the running to play James Bond when current lead Daniel Craig retired. But just because no one will be issuing the actor a license to kill and a double-0 number doesn't mean the world will be robbed of his presence on screen. Elba is already back as DCI John Luther over on BBC America for the three-installment Luther Season 5. Plus, he's got a new show coming on Netflix. These Turn Up Charlie photos show a part of Elba American fans might not have known about: his musical side.

While acting is Elba's main hustle and what earned him his OBE from the Queen, he's also a massive fan of music. His hobby is recording R&B as well as DJing at clubs. He works under the moniker DJ Big Driis. (Sometimes known as Big Driis the Londoner.)

In between his acting gigs, he spins tunes in clubs and has worked a few high profile events, including Harry and Meghan's wedding last spring. He's also spinning at Coachella this year, which is a perfect way to both promote his music and this new upcoming Netflix series that arrives in March, where he plays a DJ.


According to Netflix, the synopsis for the show is as follows:

Turn Up Charlie centers on the titular Charlie (Idris Elba), a struggling DJ and eternal bachelor, who is given a final chance at success when he reluctantly becomes a ‘manny’ to his famous best friend's problem-child daughter, Gabby (Frankie Hervey).

According to Variety, Elba's co-stars for the show include Piper Perabo, JJ Feild, Angela Griffin, Guz Khan, Jocelyn Jee Esien, Jade Anouka, Cameron King, and Dustin Demri-Burns.

From the looks of the pictures, Charlie's life DJing isn't nearly as glamorous as Elba's. No royal weddings here, and no Coachella either.


And somehow, I don't think James Bond would be impressed with this dinner jacket.


The great thing about Turn Up Charlie is it will give Elba a high-profile platform to work his comedy chops. The actor is mostly known for action films — he'll be seen in The Fast & The Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw this summer — and dramas like Luther. But he's also got a real skill for comedy as well, as UK fans saw in Sky One's In the Long Run last year, where he played an immigrant from Sierra Leone who moves to London in the mid-1980s. The series was loosely based on Elba's own life, but sadly, it didn't make it to air over to the US.


With Netflix's large platform pushing this new series and the built-in promotional opportunity of playing Coachella added on, chances are Elba fans on both sides of the pond will hear about this series and stream it. Perhaps Charlie can even drop one of Big Driis' tracks while he's about it.

Turn Up Charlie arrives on Netflix with eight episodes on March 15, 2019.