What inspired you to begin a career in music?
I have been around music all my life, a friend passed away when I was 23 and he had an amazing aura. His life was spent filling others with joy and he didn’t get to fulfill his potential of all his dreams and ambitions and so I thought it was selfish to continue living a life without meaning and purpose. Music being the goal and joy I’d always had.
What differs you and your sound from other upcoming producers in the music industry?
The range of music I can create, I don’t really know any others who can go from sensitive ballads to epic anthems and then to dirty underground club tunes, I also always write the stories to the songs too and create the concepts. I don’t believe in being constraint to one area of music and I want to keep pushing my boundaries through collaborations with a wide range of artists.
Throughout your musical career, have you experienced any ‘wow’ moments? Those moments that you stop to reflect and can’t believe you are where you are?
Quite a few! Most recently there has been a change in that industry peers, including artists I grew up loving have come up to me at events and told me they’re a fan of my music, which is mad as nothing is released properly yet. So that’s very humbling or being able to work with artists I used to dream of. Or signing for my dream label and a dream of many other artists, Polydor. That was a real moment for me.
You have recently worked with artists such as Grades, Sheppard, CamelPhat and Maverick Sabre, how has it been working with them?
Brilliant. They are all so different, so you learn so much when you are in a room them. All so humble and always open to ideas, I’m new and less established yet treated with respect. Maverick actually texted me a few weeks after to check I was ok with an issue, that’s a real gent. George from Sheppard. I describe to him the worst day of my life, we wrote the song on Skype to Australia and then met in Stockholm to make a video. Unfortunately we got horrifically hungover and had to film it on roller coasters but I do love him still. Grades and CamelPhat are both incredible sound pioneers, Grades especially is just a magician.
Your new single ‘Don’t Need Love (With Gracey)’, how did the track and collaboration come about?
I was sitting on the song for about 2 years, waiting to get it perfect with the perfect voice.
Gracey was in a studio somewhere and her friend played it, so she reached out and I was already a fan. ‘Different Things’ being one of my top streamed songs this year! So she came in and we worked on the production and some of the story, and it was perfect!
Who would you like to work with in the future? Is there any more special collaborations coming up anytime soon?
Difficult question, I actually think I’m lucky enough now to be talking with every musician I want to work with. I’m trying to keep it really interesting and not just generic collabs. I’m going to be going to Brazil, Nigeria and a few other places to work on some projects but at home we have some collabs with soul divas, classic rock legends and some more interesting political collabs. So yeah hold tight on this one.. but one I really want to do is work with Foals, but CamelPhat just had them in the studio so perhaps that collab is a while away for me. How can I compete with that!
Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as a musician, when you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?
I have a thing I do, if there’s a bad day I make myself do one thing that my future self will benefit from, so it could be an email to a new artist or brand or go to an event to make a new contact. Start a new song.. just do one positive thing and then that should hopefully build over time to something great, and postive. I also try to do something selfless, whether it’s a charity based project (we have a couple as a team coming in the future) or just check in with a friend or give someone some advice.
In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you have produced? What makes you say that one?
‘Everystep’. It’s a song I wrote originally about coming home to a loved one and how they will be by your side always. Someone close to me has been sick for a long time, so it has become a reminder of them in my life. No matter how bad it has been we are always together and will always have love for each other even if miles apart (the downside of this job being the schedule to see loved ones is very limited).
How do you approach the sensitive task of discussing changes and rearrangements with artists?
I think you just have to be open and direct, find out what is an issue and then try to meet in the middle. If you don’t know the issue, how can you fix it. Don’t be scared to be direct.
What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
You have to be stubborn to the point of delusion, you can never quit. There is the right time for everything, like I said I had this song for 2 years and was told to give up on it many times but because I always believed it would be perfect then it finally was. Patience, strong belief and resilience!
What does the foreseeable future hold for you as a music producer?
Create, collaborate and keep growing. I’m finally in a lucky position where I can be selective on what I want to work on, so its more getting the quality right of the music and I also direct and produce my own videos with my partner (legend) Steve Glashier, so we will be focusing on that.
We are also creating a documentary alongside our charity project so will be really focusing on that as the profile of 220 Kid grows.
‘Don’t Need Love (With Gracey)’ is available now via all major digital platforms.
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