Four Over Four had the chance to ask him a few questions on his early days and some of his inspirations while on his US tour.
Born and raised in the great city of Newcastle, what are your first memories of music?
Growing up there was constantly some sort of music being played in my house. A lot of the time it was Motown and northern soul as that’s what my mam and dad were in to mainly. My sister was a huge fan of bands like The Beatles, Oasis, and The Stone Roses.
However what really caught my ear was the house and techno my brother played on his decks. As soon as I heard that I was transfixed, especially by the more piano led records.
How did that evolve into producing and DJing?
Both my dad and brother were DJs, so I guess that side is in the blood. To be honest my brother was a great DJ; he should have done something with it but I think seeing his friends partying on the other side got to him too much.
Production came from the DJing side for me. I knew that in order to try and reach the goals I had set myself in life I had to start making my own music. Sadly, it took one of my close friends passing away to really give me the push I needed.
What does house music mean to you?
House music literally takes up my entire life. I listen to it every day; probably too much so I am trying to distance myself from it during my downtime. I mainly write that genre when in the studio although I have been writing some hip hop recently. House music takes me on a journey when I listen to it and for me that is the fundamental component of underground dance music.
You recently played in New York with Eric Prydz. What was that like?
It was such an amazing experience, a very surreal one also. Eric is a hero of mine and anyone who knows me knows how much I look up to him and how much of an inspiration he is to me. The music he makes, the focus he has on his career and belief in the sound he creates and plays is everything that I am about. It truly was a honor to share the stage with him at such a brilliant venue.Credit – ALive Coverage
Biggest difference between the UK and US crowd?
I think a lot or people believe there’s a huge difference between the two, I for one don’t. When I have been across [to the United States], I find the Americans are far more educated than you’re lead to believe. The underground scene isn’t as big in America, that’s for sure, but its definitely growing. I really enjoy playing both.
We absolutely LOVE the 8-track LP out on Knee Deep In Sound. When did you first meet Hot Since 82 and how has that relationship evolved?
I first spoke to Daley just after I had made my track “Guffaz.” He started supporting it from the off and basically asked for me to send every track I made, a few of which he also supported.
After a few releases we became closer as friends and text quite a bit just having general catch-ups, etc. He’s such a sound lad, great producer, and DJ, so I was always interested to see how his career was going and I’m so happy to see how well he’s doing.
Once he launched Knee Deep In Sound I set myself a goal of releasing on there. Shortly after, I signed my Let It Go EP across to him.
Not long after I lost my Dad. He was my mentor and best friend and the sadness of it all made me begin to feel I was falling out of love with the music industry. I spoke to Daley about it all and he was super supportive and told me to speak to his manager (Anglo Mangement) about it all. Once this talk occurred Daley then came back and offered me to do the first ever “8-track” and Anglo approached to manage me which really turned how I felt on its head.
Since this I have went on to play quite a few shows for Daley and his Knee Deep In Sound brand and count him as a really good friend.
You just released a new EP on Warung Recordings titled Make-Out. Vocal samples are a big element in your tracks, where do you find them and what’s your approach when incorporating into the production?
I often find rolling vocals and vocal stabs can add a certain energy or emotion to a track. Some people like to use extra drums or whatever, I just enjoy using vocals or something melodic. There’s no real approach to incorporate them, I just write a track and if I feel like it needs a sample then I’l find one to fit.
I get them from all over. Sometimes I can use really generic ones, but I cut them up so much you can never tell. Other times I sit for hours searching for them. It completely depends on what is in my head.
Any closing statements to your fans?
I would just like them all to how truly grateful I am that they enjoy the music I play and make. From the bottom of my heart I thank every single one of them for all the support. It’s them who remind me why I love doing what I do, I would be nothing without them.