We see you’re playful on your Instagram, can you give us an intro to the guy behind the music?
I do enjoy being a bit of an idiot on Instagram I can’t lie. When I’m not cooking up beats in the studio, I have two modes - chilling with my dogs being generally wholesome, and going out getting loose making memories, sometimes regrets. Also I do some drawing when I’m not making music. I find it useful having another creative outlet for when my brain's fried from working in the studio. To be honest I’m a bit of an odd bloke, so my therapist tells me.Tell us a bit about your origin story. How did you get into music and achieve your major chart hit?
Once upon a time in Bristol, back in 2012, me and two mates set up a House & Garage YouTube channel called Eton Messy which became successful and saw us flying all over the country playing shows. It was a real exciting time. Then me and my mate Jake started Blonde where we had our first chart success ‘I Loved You’ which peaked at 7 in the UK Chart. It was a whirlwind and we followed up with ‘All Cried Out’ (4 UK Chart) and then ‘Nothing Like This’ (15 UK Chart) with one of my childhood heroes Craig David.
But if you go far enough back to when I was about 11 that’s when I got the music bug. I played Bass in a series of particularly awful metal bands until I eventually found my way to electronic music which I found so inspiring because you didn’t need a band, rehearsal studio, drum kit, guitars etc.. I could now make music start to finish on my own with only my laptop and software. It was a real turning point for me.
You’ve toured all over the world and performed to huge crowds. Which are some of the coolest gigs you’ve done and why?
As my girlfriend constantly assures me bigger isn’t always better, and I think that applies for shows too. Some of the most magical gigs I’ve played have been to 150cap spaces. But having said that the ultimate was playing at Glastonbury. It was a childhood dream of mine to play there so that was a special show for me. For the sake of balance I have plenty of horror stories too - getting booed for blowing the electrics and sound system by plugging in my phone charger at Bestival was fun.You’ve now decided to go solo. What can you tell us about your sound and influences in your new music?
With pleasure. I’m really having fun playing with a handful of genres at the moment. I guess the main influences at the moment for me are early Breaks, UK Garage and Deep House. Finding middle grounds between genres and making tracks that take from all of them. It's quite limiting being tied down to just one sound and I enjoy experimenting whenever inspiration takes hold. There's no particular formula to it, but I think people can recognise it's me by other characteristics that are across all my songs. Like the songwriting and my production style.
You’ve just released Finally Me (listen to it here). It's definitely a hit in The Edit Man London office. What can you tell us about this tune?
So glad you love it! I wrote Finally Me with my good pal Tim Powell one blistering day in his Brighton studio. Tim is singing on the record and is an incredible songwriter and producer. We wanted to write a song about someone coming out the other side of an ordeal and getting their mojo back. It was actually written about two years ago but was sat idly on a hard drive that entire time. I’ve loved this one since the day we wrote it though, so it's amazing to finally be sharing it with everyone.
If you could pick three artists to collaborate with, who would they be and why?
The Chemical Brothers so I could learn their wizardry, AJ Tracey because I think we’d make something seriously tasty together and Chris Lake so I can steal some of his drum samples.Most of 2020 has seen us in Lockdown. How have you adapted to it and has it helped or hindered your creativity when it comes to making music?
It's been a tricky one I’m not going to lie. Most people have been collaborating on Zoom which is good up to a point but it's no substitute for being in the room with a singer.
I would say though that lockdown has had a few benefits too though. A lot more time to work on music as there is no DJing at the moment, but obviously the flip side of that is… no DJing.
Flipping it to fashion. How do you describe your style?
Grungy but with a hint of streetwear. I like loose fits and am almost always wearing my Dr Marten boots, but if not them then my staple is a pair of crisp all white Air Force 1’s. I’m also into skate brands like Palace and do a lot of my clothes shopping at Goodhood and Dover Street Market.
If you were about to play a headline gig what three items would you choose to wear from our site and why?
Supreme Nike Air Force 1 White - This pair massively trumps my current pair of Air Force 1’s. Plus you want something comfy if you’re on your feet throughout the night. Plus I’m 5”11 so the thick sole would make me 6ft. Every little helps.
Supreme x Joel-Peter Witkin Harvest L/S Tee White - Love this print. Would always want to be wearing something eye catching when I DJ and this one's really striking. My wardrobe is about 80% monochrome so this would fit in like a charm.
Supreme Stone Island Painted Camo Crinkle Down Jacket - I need this jacket in my life. To be honest I’d be roasting in this if I wore it to a club but would look cool to rock up in.
This year has been a huge year for Nike with Dunks and Jordan 1s stealing the show. If you take your favourite Dunks and Jordan 1, which ones would you pick?
Dunks all day for me. I like the crisp lines and blue sole on these (*pictured below). The kind of shoe you can wear with loads of outfits.Back to music - do you have any advice for those readers looking to break into the music business?
The most important lessons I learnt over the years are as follows;
Collaboration is not only fun, it's also a great way to learn from your peers and them from you, honest critique from a friend or a peer is invaluable and never stop experimenting.
You’ve got over 10 million worldwide streams so far which is an incredible achievement. You are also hotly being tipped as one of the UKs most in-demand and fast rising acts. What can we expect from you in 2021?
I’ve got some serious weapons waiting to be unleashed in 2021. Also hoping to be touring and DJing again, although that obviously all depends on when clubs are allowed to open again.
Who knows what else the year will bring, if 2020 is anything to go by I’d say it’s pretty hard to predict exactly where the year will take me.