It doesn’t feel like long ago that Chords was first pushing his way into the drum & bass scene. His rapid ascent can be attributed to a distinctive style – refreshing to the palettes of Matrix & Futurebound, and subsequently Andy C who swiftly snapped Chords up as an exclusive signing.
Having recently released his second single with the label, we wanted to know a little more about those tracks, life as a RAM artist, and what the rest of this year has in store for him.
Your most recent release came out at the end of April and is a great display of how you are able vary the structure and convey a different mood with your music, especially when you head downtempo with ‘Goodbye Groove’. Have you been happy with the responses you’ve been getting to these tracks?
Yes, it’s been good and positive, some constructive criticism and some great reviews so it has helped me a lot. I’m really keen on trying lots of different styles and genres of music, even though drum & bass is my first love, I think it’s interesting and more of a challenge to delve into other things.
You’ve been with RAM for over a year now. What are the main changes you’ve experienced since signing exclusively to the label?
More gigs and more recognition naturally comes with being on a huge label, but the main thing that has really been good for me is being involved with such a high calibre of other producers. The other artists on RAM help me a lot and knowing I can ask any of them for tips/advice really pushes me forward, and forces me to try to keep up!
Anyone who tuned into your Daily Dose mix for Mistajam will have heard four forthcoming tracks from you. What more can you reveal about ‘No One Is Listening’, ‘Speak Easy’, ‘Poets’, and your remix of 4AM’s ‘Wanted’?
Not much really! We are discussing which ones are to be for my next release, but there are a few other ones that I haven’t played that we are considering as well.
Georgina Upton features on ‘No One Is Listening’, which is the first time vocals have been recorded specifically for one of your tracks. How did the opportunity to work with Georgina come about?
I knew her/knew about her through a group of friends in Bristol, and I’d heard her voice before and thought it was amazing, so I spoke to RAM, asked her about doing a record, she agreed, then we met in a studio in London where we wrote and recorded the record. She’s great to work with, very professional and friendly.
…and how about collaborations with fellow producers?
I’m currently working on a track with Jaguar Skills, and there’s possibly some RAM team ups coming soon…
When creating a track, which part of the process demands most of your time?
Definitely the music and the chords (no pun intended)! Drums take a while and coming up with a bass riff that drives the track is difficult also, but I spend the most time and have the most fun making melodies and intricate harmonies that ride underneath the loud stuff. For my own tracks and style to work I have a motto of that “the track should still be a song/tell a story without the loud stuff”, then once you have something that works in that way, adding the drums and energy on top only makes it better.
A lot of your earlier releases are still sounding fresh. Are there any in particular that creep back into your sets, or do you prefer to give the crowd a representation of your most recent music?
Yes, I pull out Videosoul quite regularly which came out on Matrix’s label, Metro, and In Lightspeed which was released by Skankandbass and Dimensions label, Regal Records. I do try to play the newest stuff, and there’s always guaranteed to be at least two tracks that I will never release or is brand new in my DJ sets, makes going to the show worthwhile and unique!
You’ve kindly recorded a mix for us. What kind of journey will it take us on?
It’s a heavy one but there are a few sections of softer rolling bits which I’m really getting into at the moment with DJing. I hope you enjoy it!
Talking of mixes, what events can we catch you playing at this year?
I’ll be at We Are FSTVL on May 25th on the RAM stage, and I’ll be in Bristol on May 31st playing alongside Commix and Break. I’ll be abroad for the most part then, and later in the year in September I’ll be at Uplands festival.
Which artists do you think are on the rise in the drum & bass scene?
I’m a fan of B Motion, he’s making some amazing music, and a new signing to RAM called Bensley, from Canada. His melodies and leads are amazing and I can’t wait for everyone to hear what he’s got coming!