Tragedy as DJ ‘Monkey Paul’ dies after years in music

Tributes have been paid to Portsmouth DJ Paul Keeler
Tributes have been paid to Portsmouth DJ Paul Keeler
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  • DJ raised cash for charity campaigning for clean water access
  • Friends and family pay tribute to 44-year-old
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a DJ who raised thousands of pounds so people across the world can have clean water.

Paul Keeler was known as Monkey Paul and considered one of the leading hip-hop and reggae DJs in the area.

The 44-year-old built his own sound systems and toured festivals and venues in the city raising cash for charity No More Durty Water that raised £10,000 for clean water.

Paul, of Victoria Road North, Southsea, died on Saturday after a short illness.

His sister Emma, 42, of Worthing, said Paul was a wonderful brother and uncle to her children Tilly, five, and Wolfie, three.

She said: ‘He was such a lovely uncle, he always spoilt them to death. He would come round and play for hours.

‘We have been through a lot together, he was my big brother who looked after me. We will miss him very much.’

Paul ran his events using his homemade Durty Sound System – a mobile unit built into a camper van. He had been working on an update in a new van, ready for this summer.

The DJ had muscular dystrophy and underwent a heart transplant in 1998.

He had suffered a blockage meaning he could not eat and that led to an infection.

Doctors induced him into a coma 10 days before he died at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

His father Stan, 73, of Selsey, said: ‘He never let his illness define him.

‘When he had the operation they told him he would have to stay away from smoky clubs. But he had discovered his passion and said he might as well pack up now than give up DJing.

‘He wouldn’t use a wheelchair, he wouldn’t even use a stick. He wouldn’t talk about being unwell and never used it as an excuse.’

Paul was born in Odiham and was brought up in Surrey and Paris, before moving to Portsmouth where he went to the art college. As well as DJing, he was a talented video maker and graphic designer.

Friend Claire Perry, 46, said: ‘He was funny, principled and talented. He had a terrible laugh.

‘No-one who met him would ever forget him.’

She added: ‘It was a life well lived and his friends are already missing him.’

A funeral is being planned and a big celebration of Paul’s life, which will raise money for No More Durty Water, will be held at a later date.