Issue 77

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Page 28 of 59

So how's it going? Tell us a bit about yourself. Good, my name is DJ S.K.T, I'm from North London. I've been DJing and producing since I was about 16. I started DJing locally, making my own vinyl and records years ago, and then built up from there really. How long have you been making music? I've been producing since I was about 13 years old, so just over ten years now. What was it like starting out so young? Did you find it hard to get taken seriously by the industry? Yeah I mean most of the stuff I was doing when I was younger was on my own, so I'd remix records, go to a press plant, get the vinyl pressed up and then take them to the shop myself. I did that for like three or four releases, and then I found a distributor who did it for me. Back then it was a little bit easier because I was able to get my music out there just by pressing it up and putting it in the record shops, that gave me quite a decent following. Then some of the records did quite well, and it gave me a following from quite an early stage to where I am now really. What genre of music inspired you to start playing and making music? I grew up listening to all sorts of music really, my parents listened to everything from like disco, soul, a lot of sixties music and Motown, to reggae, funk, drum and bass. I grew up listening to a lot of garage, rave, jungle, some hip-hop as well, but I just always loved music. I think what I loved the most was anything bass driven and bass heavy, I think that probably shows in my music as well. What has the response been like to your new track 'Take Me Away'? Yeah it's been crazy. We put it out there with not really any expectation. We just released it originally through Defected Records, who are one of the biggest house labels in the world, and we were just hoping for some cool plays and for a few people to support it. Literally everyone just latched onto it so quickly, we started getting like crazy plays from people all over the world, like really massive DJs, Radio 1, and then a lot of the other major labels came in and were interested in picking it up as well, so it's something that everyone's really gone mad for. It's been quite a crazy experience. Can you tell us a bit about the concept for the video? Yeah the video was directed by Mister Whitmore, who's a really, really cool guy. The idea was to play on the kind of "take me away" aspect and to have these characters that were based in different planets but all have something that brings them together, which essentially is the music and the love for music. So that was played out with the different visuals you saw for the different dancers in the different locations. He did an amazing job with the video. What was the idea behind the wolf? I don't know, I've got no idea! I think they just randomly found the wolf and threw it in there. It was Mister Whitmore's idea, maybe it's a personal thing? So who have you got on remix duties for 'Take Me Away'? On the remixes we've got legendary drum and bass producer Andy C, who's remix is really, really cool, and that's been getting a lot of support. I grew up listening to a lot of his music as well so it's really an honour to get him to remix one of my records. We've also got Illyus & Barrientos, who are two really good house production guys, we've also got Franky Rizardo, that's one of my personal favourite remixes as well. I play that out as well sometimes. What's life like being an international DJ whilst also making music? It's cool, a lot of hard work. I'm non-stop really. But I kind of like, and that's almost like the way I've always been. It's challenging and I'm sure it will get even harder but at the moment I'm enjoying it, I haven't got tired of it yet. What was it like officially opening the UK festival diary at We Are FSTVL? I played at We Are FSTVL on the Sunday, which was really good, for the Area 10 stage, MK's stage, and I closed there, which was a really cool experience. I love being able to play out at those big events like the festivals, because they really wanna hear the music and they're really excited to be there, the atmosphere is always really cool. I did the afterparty at 338 as well, that was really good, and rammed for a Sunday morning at like 3am, the vibe was just crazy. Being so diverse in your musical range do you tend to change your style depending on where you are playing? Yeah I love music, I love dance music, whether it's something quite hard and minimal to something that's very musical or soulful with a big vocal, I'll tend to want to play it all depending on where I'm playing. I usually judge it by how the crowd are and how the crowd react, so if I play something that's really bass heavy and they're into that, I'll go on that kind of vibe, whereas if I feel I wanna play a little bit more vocal or a little more stripped back then I will do. It's always kind of dependent on where I'm playing and how I feel as well. Sometimes I'll be quite energetic, sometimes I'll be more laidback. What was the first record you bought? That's a good question. I think it was Frankie Knuckles 'Your Love'. I don't know if it was original or a repress, because the original came out way before I was even DJing in my bedroom, but if it was it's probably worth quite a bit of money now. So what do you bring that's special in your music and when you DJ? I'd say energy and excitement. I'm not afraid to go outside the box as well. A lot of DJs like to play it safe and will play a lot of the same style whereas if I can play something to someone that they haven't heard before, and for them to really like it, whether it's a song or it's a style, then I'm always up for doing that. I think it's important to do that and to be as experimental as possible, just to keep things interesting, otherwise you get bored. Where are you playing this year? We've got quite a lot of festivals coming up, Creamfields, Glastonbury, which is really cool and loads of clubs up and down the UK really. Some really cool events and I'm on some really cool line-ups with some people that I've grown up listening to, which is nice. From your early years you have always worked hard to get your music out by doing a lot of the work yourself. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of the current digital age? I think it's good. I think the problem is you get a lot more content out there, so even if I'm looking for good music and I go to my email, I might have 500 mp3s I've gotta go through, and I might find three or four good tracks, whereas if I went into the record store, the record shop will have done some of that filtering to give me content that's already pretty good. So you kind of have to look harder and dig deeper to find good material, but at the same time it's easier for yourself to create a platform and to get your music out there. It's got pros and cons but it seems to be working, for me anyway. What music have you got that we should check out right now? We've just obviously put out 'Take Me Away' featuring Rae, which is doing really well. I've also got a EP forthcoming on Defected and I've just remixed a new track for them, The New Sins 'Lights Down', and then I'm working on loads of stuff with loads of different artists. I'm kind of taking my time with it, in terms of what I want to put out as a next single, I definitely want to keep the stuff that I put out good and credible, I don't want to start to change what I do. I'm doing a lot of collaborations, and I'm also working with MK on some material as well, so yeah there's loads going on. You're on a desert island and you can take one tune with you, what would it be? It would probably be the David Morales remix of 'Space Cowboy' by Jamiroquai. I don't know what good it would be but yeah it's a good record. What has been your shittiest moment? I don't know. I think in music you have a lot of shit moments, probably more shit moments than good moments. I was meant to be playing at a festival about six months ago and my car broke down on the way, so I ended up not getting there and we got stuck on the motorway for about two hours waiting for The AA to come. That was pretty shit. What's the worst thing you have a reputation for? Probably being too loud, and annoying people, but not in a bad way, in like a fun way. I sometimes like to annoy people just for fun. If you could play a gig anywhere in the world, in any spot at all, where would you like to play? I was watching some footage of Tomorrowland in Brazil and that looked crazy. One of the Tomorrowland gigs would be cool, if you can hook it up. What are you looking forward to in the future? Just enjoying myself really. I think it's quite easy to get very stressed and almost over-focused on what you're doing in music, and I don't wanna go through the next five years being stressed and then looking back on it thinking "oh that was great but I never enjoyed it". I think it's important to really enjoy what you're doing at the time. So last question, what does S.K.T mean? S.K.T is just my initials, so it's like the most boring thing ever. 7 29 Issue 77 / 2015 HOUSE/ tEcHnO DJ S.K.T is a rapidly rising name in house music. His single 'Take Me Away' featuring Rae has taken over the airwaves and festival tents alike, as well as catching the attention of major record labels such as Defected. Fresh from a storming Sunday at We Are FSTVL, the man himself dropped in for a chat about how he's grown from a bedroom DJ to a festival stage closer "I definitely want to keep the stuff that I put out good and credible, I don't want to start to change what I do "

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