N661 is a really dramatic and cinematic track which tells the story of a tragic lifeboat disaster, can you tell us more about the story and the inspiration for the track?
The title ON661 represents the registration of the Mary Stanford. In the small town I am from, In 1928 there was a huge storm and there was a distress call from a boat out in the Channel, the local lifeboat crew responded and with difficulty launched their boat, Mary Stanford, but hadn’t seen the recall signals fired by the distressed boat to call off the rescue. The seas were so rough that the boat capsized after 5 minutes and killed all 17 crew, which was the majority of the male population of the village. This story is very close to all our hearts where I am from and the boat house, which is still there, is a place where I often visit when I am home for reflection and inspiration. I wanted to tribute the people who lost their lives that day, while also celebrating the bravery people like this show everyday to keep us safe. Something we are all reflecting on quite a bit at the moment.
This is your debut release and it strikes a big impact. What are your creative plans for the future in terms of production and DJing?
Thank you. I think for me, my main objective is to create music that moves people and makes them feel something. It doesn’t matter if it’s not what I feel when I made it or when I hear it but as long as it says something to you, I am happy. I apply the exact same principles to DJing and performing, for me it’s about an experience. I enjoy pushing boundaries and creating music influenced by multiple styles and genres. It would be incredible to incorporate live session recordings into my music one day, maybe a symphony orchestra, I love listening to these sorts of things in my spare time.
And a long term goal for me would be to score for film and television, I have a long way to go and a lot to learn but it’s certainly a dream of mine.
When producing tracks like ON661 do you have a specific creative process or any mechanisms that help you creatively tell a story with music?
When I created ON661, it was slightly different to how I usually do things. I normally create some kind of kick and percussion pretty early on but with this track, it started as a sort of modern classical 16 bar loop! At first just chords, then I built melodies around the chords and started to assign instruments to the parts, mainly string instruments. They started to represent parts of the sea, weather and characters in the story I was trying to portray and then it was about arranging these parts in a way that created an emotive journey for me. The kick and drums became the efforts of the crew and the waves hitting the boat, while the sub bass and pads were the angry sea and winds. A plug in that blew me away the day I bought it and I think really helped create the dimensions of this track is Abbey Road Chambers by Waves. It’s a digital reconstruction of their reverb chambers at Abbey Road and it’s a fantastic tool for creating sense of space.
Tell us about your DJing as well. Obviously, everything is on hold for COVID but do you have any aspirations to perform more once this is over?
Yeah definitely. We’ve all had to adapt since covid hit and I was only just getting started really, so the timing sucked. But it’s also been a really good period of time to spend on production and I have had time to really focus on what I want to play and make. But as soon as it’s safe and we’re able I’ll be itching to get back out there and make happy people dance and smile again!
What other artists do you look up to in the music industry?
I am always drawn to artists whose music reflects their passion and artistry. I am a huge fan of Kate Bush, she pours her heart out and some of those melodies and vocal riffs are mind blowing. I also grew up completely obsessed with Dusty Springfield, I guess for the same reasons and with both of these women I admire their originality. A more current artist who I love for all the same reasons is Billie Eilish, she seems humble and not afraid to be herself, which is something I look up to more than anything, she’s also insanely talented!
Musically I really look up to artists like Nora En Pure, Kidnap, CamelPhat, Malaki and Daithi. They are just a few examples of music that has influenced my sound and are sparking creativity for me right now.
Do you also do anything else other than DJing and producing?
I studied music, dance and musical theatre and later had a career working in film and tv, most recently in audio post production before deciding to focus on music entirely. So really it’s always been about music and arts for me, other than my slightly unhealthy obsession with Tottenham Hotspur...
Creating things is all I ever imagined myself doing and I am fully focused on making this my full time career.