New RAM signing Stealth on his debut album plans and his killer Kmag guest mix…
Where are you from and to what extent would you say this influences your music?
South west London. I’d say this has been a huge influence on me getting into drum & bass in the first place and inspires me to carry on every week. London is still the hotbed of our music, so I’m lucky enough to see / hear inspiring artists on a day to day basis.
When did you first try your hand at DJing and producing?
DJing started first when I was about 13. Having a go on my mate’s older brother’s decks. Got really into it and started playing out at illegal raves when I was 15/16. This spurred me on to take it further – feeling the buzz of playing out to big crowds and seeing people really into it, so production / making my own tracks was the next logical progression from that really. Started making music at around 17 / 18, fell in love with it and never looked back
How would you describe your approach to making music?
Organised chaos. I throw ideas around till something sticks and let the track organically grow and mature till it’s the best it can be. Kinda like wine or cheese, but with buttons…
Which other artists have helped you the most in your career to date?
Calyx has been a good friend and mentor to me over the years and I wouldn’t be making the music I am today without his support and guidance. A true don of the craft.
Who have been your biggest influences?
Dillinja, Photek, Optical, Ed Rush, Liam Howlett, Krust, Andy C, A Guy Called Gerald, Bad Company, Brian Eno, Konflict, Future Cut, Matrix, Calibre, Marcus Intalex, Dom & Roland, Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin, M83, Jonny L, Rob Playford, Goldie, Calyx and TeeBee.
What’s your studio setup like?
Two speakers and a computer. Anyone who thinks you “need” anything more to make decent music is missing the point – it’s in you, not the machines.
Tell us more about your next release…
My next release will be a single on Program. Had it mastered recently, really happy with the finished product. That’s all I should say at the moment. I’m sure the promo will start on that fairly soon so keep an eye out.
Got any other releases / remixes in the pipeline we should look out for?
I’m doing a Haunted Dreams remix with Universal Project. Used to absolutely smash that tune back in the day, so quite an honour to get to give it the update. Hopefully will do it justice!
What else have you been working on in the studio recently?
I’m currently working on completing my first album, so I’m pretty much studio bound 24/7. Again I won’t say much more until the official promotion is up and running, but I’m very excited to get it finished and out there. Maybe even getting a little break from staring at tiny blocks on a screen for a couple weeks too!
Previously you’ve collaborated with Cold Fusion, Stylus and Altair, how does collaborating compare with working on your own?
It’s just nice to have a bit of a laugh and some company in the studio more than anything for me. It’s a pretty lonely existence otherwise. It’s also nice too to have someone bring something to the table that you couldn’t, and to bounce ideas off fresh ears and get instant feedback too of course.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Probably Liam Howlett and Chris Cunningham for the video!
What’s the best tune you’ve made so far?
You haven’t heard it yet…
Are you making any other styles of music apart from drum & bass?
Yeah, last year I made quite a few “other genre” tracks – mostly with Altair. There are a lot of sneaky gems hidden in the archive! This year though the focus has been solely on drum & bass, and working towards an album. Now I’m signed to Ram it’s full steam ahead with that, and making the most of the opportunity!
Tell us a bit more about the mix you are giving away with us…
Bit of old, bit of new. Tried to make it as exciting as possible and give a bit of variation in vibes to keep it interesting. That’s pretty much how I approach DJing in general. This mix represents what I’ve been playing out recently fairly accurately. Hope you like!
What’s the most memorable venue you’ve played at so far?
The most interesting / memorable venues I’ve ever played are all from my teenage years playing at illegal raves. There were some insane parties, from button factories to abattoirs, to country fields to office blocks. One venue I’ll never forget was a party that got thrown in Fulham swimming baths when it closed down for refurbishment. Didn’t get to play as it got shut down early but that was proper mental.
Where else can people see you play in the near future?
Volks, Brighton on May 24, Plan B, Brixton on May 30, Sounds of the Baskerville weekender 6 – 8 June and after that I’ve got Fabric and Nozstock festival too, which I’m really looking forward to as well!
Ever thought about starting your own label?
Yes, one day I would like to have my own imprint, but I don’t do things by halves and I know it takes a huge amount of work to run and compete with other top labels out there. So I doubt I will get to it until I’m well satisfied with the body of music I have put out and can give real time to something else.
Any advice for any aspiring producers / DJs out there?
Just keep putting in the time and dedication. Do your best, don’t ever settle on less.
What tracks, producers and labels are you feeling at the moment?
There’s some killer stuff I’ve heard from Calyx & TeeBee in the pipeline. Always liking what Ulterior Motive put out. Hoping their album will be as good as I imagine it to be! Loving Xtrah’s new single on Headz – No Good / Directive. Both sides are featured on this mix as it goes so check them out!
What’s the best gig you played in the last six months?
Hard to say best… Fabric is always good. Detonate in Nottingham was wicked, really enjoyed playing in Reading a few weeks back and had a mental time in Leeds too when I was up there.
Anything else you want to tell us about?
Have you heard the good word of the one true lord and saviour – flying spaghetti monster? His noodly wisdom knows no bounds. Pray to him and be saved for eternity… may the sauce be with you.