Issue 81

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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7 41 Issue 81 / 2015 DNB We caught up with drum and bass big shot Wilkinson to promote his tour of the UK, and if he can combine the fun and flamboyance of last year with his love of pyrotechnics then his 2016 tour will look a lot like the filming of the latest Star Wars movie So is the next album nearly finished? Yeah, nearly finished, I'm looking forward to getting it finished. Yeah I bet. Has it been hard following up on your smashing debut album Lazers Not Included? Yeah it's been nice though man, with my first album I was rushed, it was difficult. As well as releasing singles continuously to grow your name you have to write an album at the same time, so you're always playing catch up. I feel that this time I have really been able to just sit down, think about what I wanna write and make a proper record, a record that says something about myself and tries to do something new. Everything is constantly changing, especially since I wrote my first album, it was before drum and bass had really taken off. You usually feature the vocals of singers who don't necessarily have a mainstream profile. This is kinda what I wanna do. I mean I've got a few names on this new album that people will be familiar with, but it's through me loving what they do and I always have done, I just love discovering new artists. I prefer artists that come from an underground sound or a different sound y'know? Yeah, you can help give them a platform. It must feel great when you see tracks such as 'Afterglow' blowing up the commercial charts. People aren't buying it for the big names that you feature so what do you think it is? What's the secret? It's always good to be up in the charts because of your own name and also for me it's not necessarily about creating music for the mainstream. It's fortunate enough it crosses over into that radio territory, which helps, it blows everything up. I never write a tune for radio, I write what I like, it has to work in the club, because first and foremost that's what I do. How are the shows going lately? Yeah, it's been really good! I've had a really, really good summer though, I did too many shows basically, it was great you know. I think I overstretched myself. I came back from Australia and I had to cancel a U.S tour, I had just done so many shows, I wasn't sleeping, I had lost weight, I needed to give myself a break which I have, and that has helped me write a lot more of my album in that time. I've had a lot of down time. Every year the crowds get bigger and bigger, it's crazy and I love it. It really inspires me to keep writing. I want people to be singing my new songs back to me. It's a bit of a drug really, It's addictive! So what's your favourite part about touring, is it about bringing the music to the fans? I guess you get to see what the crowd's reaction is to your music. For me it's about testing out new tunes, now I always find that about 80% of the set is my own songs. That's good. It's really good, I play on line-ups with other drum and bass DJs and it's interesting, because a lot of people play other people's tunes. I've always thought that the best thing I could do was to play a whole set of my tunes, all different. I like testing out new tunes to see how they go down with the crowd, sometimes it works, sometimes you may realise maybe that tune doesn't work with the crowd. It's cool. I guess that if you can play your own songs it says something about yourself as a musician, if people enjoy it. Yeah, definitely. It's all about educating people. It's all about drum and bass and I do a lot of gigs where people who may not necessarily be interested in drum and bass turn up and learn about the tempo and how to dance to it. Hopefully they'll be going to other raves and become really into the sound. Was there a moment, a specific moment at a club or a festival over the summer, that you won't forget? There was a few. I took the liveshow to Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium. It was mad to just see the reaction in another country, everyone was signing along to it. I went there with the live band and I DJ a lot. I've DJ'd for the last 4 or 5 years but this live show I've put everything into it, a lot of money has gone into it. More than I've been advised to put into it. If someone says to you that you can have more CO2 cannons, more lights, I'm a sucker for that! I've spent loads of money on it, having to take more gear over, it's a big show now. It's amazing to perform my songs live, a whole set of my own songs, the vocals, I've got an amazing drummer and guitarist. Pukkelpop Festival for me, it was one of the last shows of the summer, it went so well. Me and the band are so tight now, it was so fun, I really enjoyed it. You climbed up the ranks of RAM Records very quickly, how is your relationship with that specific label? Yeah great, obviously Andy from day one has always supported me and you grow. Now I have my own team around me as well who are also really supportive. I've written this album just me, I haven't even sent it to anyone. I just really wanted to make it on my own, do my own thing, the best thing is when you play an album to a record label and it's fresh. They haven't heard it before and you see the energy, the first reaction is the most important one. With this record I want to keep it all locked up to the last minute. I've built a studio in my flat so I can get up in the morning and just work in there and take it to the studio. I'm fortunate enough to have a girlfriend that I've collaborated with, she sings as well, so if I think of a vocal she can sing it. It's nice man, really cool. So who is your drum and bass idol? There's a few, I always used to look up to High Contrast, someone like Sub Focus and Chase and Status. Then there's someone like Culture Shock, his productions are amazing. It's been amazing being able to work with these guys, I'm in the studio with Sub Focus tomorrow. Being able to tour with your heroes, it's amazing, I pinch myself occasionally, I've met all sorts of people. I was at Radio 1 Big Weekend and I met Harry Styles, but I don't really give a shit. I'd much rather meet a really sick producer. It was funny man, I've met celebrities and famous people, but really I like being able to chat with Sub Focus or talk to Will from Chase and Status, just talk about production for an hour, hear all their thoughts on things. I'm very lucky. How do you think the drum and bass scene has changed over the years? Since I started, I came in about 7 years ago, from coming into the scene making songs and sharing them on Myspace it's changed a lot. I used to play on vinyl. Every gig I turned up to the decks weren't working so I switched to CDs. I've seen the technical side change a lot. Especially the sales side, from vinyl selling to iTunes, it changes all the time. The size of the venues and fan base has really changed. You know what? Now the strength is in the artist not in the label. There's nights now where it's all about the artist, it's lovely man, it's lovely being able to put on my own shows, do my own tour, put my own name on the flyer and sell out shows all over the U.K. Yeah that's great! So do you want to do a quick quickfire round? Yeah, let's do it! Legalise cannabis? Yeah, I don't see the problem with that. Heaven or Hell? Heaven! David Cameron or a pig's head? Er, I don't know about that, what am I meant to say? You have to choose one. Err ok, a pig's head. Worst UK city? Errr, that's tough. Best UK city is London! Worst is….. I don't know, I've been to a few. Just don't say Plymouth. Haha yeah, I'm not going to answer that one! Favourite artist of all time? The Prodigy. Did George Bush do 9/11? George Bush? Maybe. Are aliens real? Yes. Favourite historical figure? That's a tough one…. ughh. I can't think of one. What would you be doing if it wasn't for music? Gardening. Your one superhero power? Flight, obviously. Who would play you in a film? Errr… Johnny Depp. What cheers you up? Watching sh...crap TV. Describe your current mindset in 5 words or less. Relaxed, excited, inspired and hungry. What is your life motto? Live slow, die old. " I never write a tune for radio, I write what I like, it has to work in the club, because first and foremost that's what I do "

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