May 29th, 2019
Your bio states that you were born into a family of dancers and record collectors – please discuss.
My dad was a dancer on the London club scene, soul boy through & through and big record collector. Growing up, a normal Saturday night in my house involved my dad stood in the living room, selecting records and retelling stories on famous dance offs! In addition to this, my uncle, Norman Jay MBE gave me so much guidance, direction and support.
First track that took you to another place?
Inner Life – I’m Caught Up. Even until today, this brings up all kinds of emotions. This is and will forever be one of my all-time favourite songs. One of Jocelyn Browns finest moments and of course a nod to Leroy Burgess & Patrick Adams, Pioneers of the disco movement.
A DJ deck/station can look pretty intricate and intimidating – how was it for you learning the trade?
I guess I practiced a lot at home first, then got some more experience in small bars before I stepped into some of the super clubs. To be honest, once you’ve been in one, they’re pretty much all the same. Even if you ignored all of the knobs, faders, spinny things and lights, the goal remains the same; make the people dance!
What was your first or defining DJ gig/moment?
My first…Notting Hill Carnival springs to mind. The family sound system, Good Times was the largest plot at Europe’s largest street festival. For 10 years I worked the bar, then finally I was asked to play from the top of the double decker bus. I was nervous, but played well and never forgot that moment. More recently, I played the Theatre at Hi Ibiza for Glitterbox; 7000 people looking back at you is pretty intimidating, there’s no feeling like it when it all works though!
You’re now a resident for Glitterbox – introduce us to all that sparkles in this!
GB is more than a club night, it’s turned itself into a lifestyle for so many people. “A safe & happy place, leave your cares & worries at the door”. A beautifully diverse and inclusive following. Our DJ’s include legends, new & upcoming talent, alongside the elite of drags, queens, voguers and dancers the world has to offer.
What could we expect from a Glitterbox gig?
True party vibes from start to finish, anthems alongside underground energy. Expect plenty of moments throughout the night! For me, clubbing became quite one dimensional, if it wasn’t deep and underground it wasn’t cool. GB changed that; we can enjoy uplifting songs at peak time in a club environment.
Best location you’ve performed at, and any spot on your wishlist?
Ibiza still carries so much magic, it’s always so special playing out there. I played a gig in Baja California in Mexico earlier this year, at the most unbelievable resort under the stars, I have to say that stands out too! Later this year I’m DJ’ing in a cave in Europe too, so wish me luck!
How has London club culture changed during your time, and where do you see it heading?
Previously there wasn’t space in a club for a DJ who wanted to play ‘songs’, everything was deep, dark and tracky. I travel a lot, everywhere I go I see more and more kids who are thirsty simply for great music. There’s a dope movement of underground DJ’s playing African Disco, it’s so beautiful to see kids lapping this up, music that actually inspires dance and movement.
Festival season is on its way – what’s your best live music memory, and most epic story too?
Hands down, Paul Trouble Anderson at Suncebeat 2017. We sadly lost Trouble earlier this year, he is my favourite DJ of all time and this was the last time I got to see him, in good health, destroying a dance floor. RIP PTA.
Who would be on your dream line-up, even if it’s impossible/fictional?
See above, Paul Trouble Anderson, of course. Derrick Carter is up there, he is most DJ’s favourite DJ! I’d have Frankie Knuckles headlining though, the godfather!
You’ve got a slick style to match your musical mood – how would you sum it up?
Don’t make me blush Read more
May 13th, 2019
Norwegian producers Seeb have worked with the freshest talent, so it was only fair to track them down during a recent London stint. Here’s the friendly grilling on their enviable profession…
What’s a studio session with Seeb like?
We rarely have sessions anymore so it’s difficult to say, but when we do we try to have as much fun as possible. Of course we do work daily in the studio, but not so much in the traditional session. One example could be, we meet around 9 (we’re early birds) and then the other people in the session come an hour or so later. By then we’d have drunk a lot of coffee and been listening to music, trying to figure out the other people we are working with and what kind of music they like. Then a big lunch, and a few hours of going crazy experimenting on some guitar boxes or old vintage synths to come up with a basic but unique vibe or chord structure that we could build a song from. Then we just go from there. Key word is fun and not trying to write a song if it doesn’t come naturally.
What’s your downtime like outside of the studio?
For both of us it’s definitely time with our families, and then the outdoors. As we are lucky to have some great nature around here, we only have to go 15 minutes outside Oslo to find some pristine wilderness. Cycling, hiking, skiing or boat trips.
Expectation VS reality of being a successful DJ?
It is very different from all the generic slo-mo recap videos, pictures of private jets, champagne parties and all that empty nonsense. It’s basically a lot of work. Many young people these days try to become successful in music but the rules are still the same as in the old days. If you have a little bit of talent, you just have to put in the hours to achieve your goals, and a bit of luck goes a long way. If you want to become a proper DJ nothing beats experience and practice. We don’t consider ourselves as DJ´s but more musicians and producers.
It must be the ultimate rush performing sets to festival thousands – moments in life you shy away from though?
Well like going to the dentist – haha! There is a lot in life that can be scary or difficult but when you have kids you are forced to deal with many of these things in a way, and it’s good. It’s all about putting things in perspective, and putting yourself in relation to the bigger things in the Universe and realise that you are here in this life for a mere fraction of time. That makes it a bit easier to deal with the things you fear or are anxious about. It would be a waste of your life worrying about what will happen tomorrow or the next day as it could all end in a split second. There is no time for regrets.
Who would be on your ultimate festival line-up – the more obscure, impossible and fictional the better!
We never go to festivals unless we play there ourselves so that would probably be a bit obscure and not something that would attract a lot of people. But we would love to see Empire of the Sun live, then maybe Tame Impala followed by Florence and the Machine and for the headliner Cocteau Twins would reform and close the whole thing.
What’s new single Free to Go all about?
Don’t really want to explain too much of that as Ingrid Haavik sang and wrote the lyrics and she would have a better explanation than ours. To us anyway it’s about a place of mind, a feeling and it’s something that we tried to illustrate with the anime video we made for it with the talented people over at Eallin. Obviously it’s a relationship related song and a reminder that you shouldn’t take people and love for granted because you never know when they are gone. It’s a very emotional record to us and one we just had to put out.
You’ve worked with some incredible talent. How do these relationships with other artists happen?
They happen a bit at random but sometimes these people get in touch with us through social media or management. It’s quite normal these days to collaborate across musical genres and if you have a great tune that needs a top line or a vocal it’s so easy to get things to happen. In that sense people often work separately in their own spaces even on the same song but we, at least try to hang out and get to know the people we are working on records with as it makes everything so much more exciting and natural. Sometimes we also meet people at festivals and gigs and hang out, some them become friends.
We welcomed you with open arms to our Regent Street flagship – what did you pick out and make of Superdry?
It was a pleasure visiting the flagship store. We love the clothes, they fit our informal and sportive lifestyle well up here in the north. And our kids are all into it as well.
What does the rest of 2019 have in store for Seeb?
A lot of new releases, both remixes and in a few weeks a brand-new single in time for the summer. A few gigs here and there but this summer and fall we will mostly stay in the studio working on an EP we have planned for later this year.
FOLLOW SEEB ON INSTAGRAM HERE!
SEEB’S NEW SINGLE FADE OUT IS OUT THIS WEEK – PRE SAVE HERE!Read more
April 18th, 2019
Ice breaker alert – tell us a joke!
I used to be addicted to the hokey pokey but I turned myself around.
You’ve got an incredible resume, including stints on Broadway – introduce yourself as if your life is the script to a theatre spectacular!
HAZAAAH! Behold Kat Cunning. That’s Kat with a “K” like a human. She can do everything but cook and tell a joke off the cuff. She’s here, she’s queer, she’s hungry for a snack.
Comparisons and complete opposites between London and New York?
Both cities have iconic cabbies.
Your drivers know everything about the city and are always charming.
Your music is a beautiful concoction of sounds – sum it up if you may…
I used to have a blues/rock band and thought I’d never write pop but I had an epiphany when Beyonce’s “Beyonce” came out with the visual album. Not so long before that, I discovered James Blake. I think I realised that pop production can be warm and inventive, and it can elevate the story within the song. For me, it is all about story. If I don’t believe the words, I don’t want to sing them. The songs are also harnessed by my abilities as a singer. I have kind of a weird voice and was always told to keep my day job when I sang. It’s really liberating to write songs for my voice after a lifetime of being told it wasn’t an option and every Disney princess was a belting soprano.
Your shows offer much more than just the music – introduce us to your colourful, theatrical and immersive artistry world!
It’s my personal standard to put on a show instead of a “show and tell.” I don’t really think of my shows as particularly theatrical or outside the realm of any other produced concerts, but I suppose all my experience in immersive theatre and dance has shaped the way I want to relate to my audience. I want to have a real exchange with them, where they feel me intimately, and I try to give them a reason give the same back. I think of performance like film. You have a lense through which you see it. As a performer, I like to control the ability to let people zoom in and see me very vulnerably and zoom out to see the landscape of something they want to step into. I watch Beyoncé, Pink and Justin Timberlake’s hugely produced concerts and see the same design elements that elevate Broadway shows and the same things I’m bringing to my concerts. The only difference is I’m doing it on a dream, and with the help of a community that believes.
Talk to us about your new single Birds – what’s the story?
If you’ve heard it- you probably got the gist it’s not really about birds, but it was really helpful to make the pain that I was experiencing more universal with the metaphor of birds as my safety. I think it speaks to anyone that’s ever felt down, overwhelmed or misunderstood.
What bird is your closest spirit animal and why?
Pterodactyl? I actually don’t have any feelings about real birds. In “Birds” the birds are the villains. Very Hitchcock. I do, however, have a tattoo of one, because (I was 18 once) and the metaphor has always spoken to me. Birds fly and sing and are often caged. I feel strongly that I am meant to fly and use my voice.
You’re an incredible advocate for the LGBTQ community – what does pride mean to you?
Pride is necessary. LGBTQ people deserve the basic rights to thrive or mess up like everyone else. We are real people. Every marginalised person that is challenged doubles down in the face of adversity. You tell me I can’t be by my partner on her death bed, I’m going to shove rainbows in your face and kill you with the kindness and beauty of my community until you cave. Pride is a way of fighting for the basics. I am proud of who I am, and I am proud of the people to stand up beside me in any way they can.
How do you define beauty? Diversity. Ownership of one’s natural qualities, flaws and proclivities.
I’m attracted to body types, skin types and smiles that strike me as different from how we are told to look. Among my favourite beauties are Julia Roberts, Ashley Graham and Issa Rae. Princesses are everywhere.
You’re confident and loud in the best possible way, but what makes you shy?
I get tongue tied around people I respect, am attracted to and even my peers sometimes. I get nervous every time I perform. Being loud is actually my response to being shy a lot of the time.
If your tour rider had no money limits or a grasp on reality, what would it include?
Oysters, popcorn and human minions.
What makes you roll eye the most in life?
Apathy? People who roll their eyes…? My dad told me “never say I don’t care.” I’d rather have someone throw a hair dryer at me than roll their eyes.
You swung by Superdry on Regent Street, and it was lush! What did you pick out, and what’s your style vibe?
OMG I got so many cool things. I’m still rocking the big blush hoodie – I think that’s my favourite. They bodysuits are cute and so comfortable, and I love this bag to death. Keeps me sunny in the winter months.
What can we expect from Kat Cunning for the rest of 2019?
You can expect my DEBUT EP! And to see me as an actor in Trinkets on Netflix and the third/final season of HBO’s The Deuce! Playlist the tunes and connect on Instagram to get updates about an upcoming tour too!Read more
April 15th, 2019
Iyamah is making soulful waves in the music industry, having supported the likes of Mahalia on tour. With festivals begging and sold out shows of her own, truth be told 2019 is already her year. We caught up with the star to talk through her style, philosophy and debut EP…
Why the name Iyamah, and how do you pronounce it?
The name comes from my Nigerian family surname Ayamah. I replaced the A with an I so it’s pronounced “I-yam-ah” which sounds like ‘I am a’. It gives me the freedom to be able to be who I want to be and create who I am as an artist with no restrictions. Not growing up with my father meant I couldn’t learn about my African roots through him, so I found a sense of belonging through music, where I was able to connect to the sounds and instruments that that related to the culture, that drew me closer to my identity.
How did you get into music and what would you be doing if your career took a different route?
I’ve always been a creative kid – I grew up with my mother who worked in fashion when she was in her 20s making clothes, before then becoming a painter. So a lot of my childhood was going to the studio to draw with her. I always struggled to pay attention in school, especially with academic subjects, but I was always really good at anything creative or sporty. I think at one point I thought I was going to be a sprinter! I was a really speedy runner, always chosen for the 80-100 metres.
Who do you look up to, who do you, and what’s your career goals?
I look up to a lot of empowering women. Maybe because I was raised by one, but even when I was a young teen I remember always feeling good after watching Beyoncé’s music videos on YouTube! I just felt great knowing there were other women out there who had the confidence to make an impact and stand up for themselves. We are lucky in this generation to have so many strong and powerful female role models in the public eye.
How would you describe your music?
I say it’s ‘rootsy soul’.
Your debut EP is out, and is titled ‘Truth EP.1’. Tell us some home truths and a few white lies!
Ok I’ve had 5 hamsters, 2 tortoises and 1 cat. I also speak French…
What stories are you sharing on this EP?
I talk about my hometown and where I’m from, my childhood going into adolescence, responsibility and relationships, acceptance of self and identity. It’s a journey really, these songs were written when I was 19-21.
Your recent gig SOLD OUT – congrats! What are your fans like, and what stories/interaction do you have with them?
I always try to reply to my followers, some of the messages I get are so so lovely, and they cheer me up when I read them. We all have down days, so I’m grateful to have supports to lift me up when I’m low! I’d like to start connecting with more fans at my shows and just have a chat. I wouldn’t be doing all these great things if it wasn’t for them.
We love your fashion sense – what makes a good outfit, and what does style mean to you?
Thank you! I think style is another way of expressing myself, just like a tattoo. It adds to your authenticity and makes you unique. People usually remember you by your style and you can tell a lot about someone based on the way they present themselves and the clothes they’re into!
On your first ever visit to Superdry, what did you make of us?
I hadn’t actually been to Superdry in a while as I assumed it was mainly sportswear, however I was so happily surprised as the store had so many cool items that were right up my street!
What did you pick out from the store?
Well as soon as I walked in I saw this green silk dress which I instantly thought is SO ME! I also found this amazing long black dress with writing along the neckline, and a grey dress with rainbow down the side, perfect for summer vibes.
What’s Iyamah’s plans for the rest of 2019?
Festivals, hopefully another tour support and I’m gathering more songs for potentially another EP, but we’ll see how it goes!
April 10th, 2019
Tim Atlas is reaching dizzy heights in 2019, quite literally! The LA singer’s latest single takes him to space, with a trippy take on love and relationships. What’s more, Superdry jumped at the chance to collaborate on this eclectic music video – look out for some inventive reworking of an SD rucksack – who says you can’t style it out on the moon!?
How’s your 2019 been treating you so far?
My 2019 has been pretty great so far. Busy, but a good busy. Lots of writing, lots of scheming, and a bunch of new things.
Your new single is called Dizzy – what’s the story here?
Dizzy started in my living room while I was trying out new sounds for my upcoming record, and I just happened upon this disco-inspired demo so I ran with it. We wrote it about the ups and downs of a relationship, and I think it’s pretty fitting.
Moments/tasks in life that make your head all a dizz?
I think social media makes me feel spinny. You know those moments where you lay on your couch and look at your feed, then an hour later, you realise you’ve gone down the Instagram rabbit hole and you don’t know how you got there? Just dazed and confused!
Another moment – my dog likes to run in circles around me at the park and it definitely gives me the spins.
You included a few Superdry items in the video – bravo! What was the video concept?
So excited to have partnered with Superdry on this video! It starts with a girl breaking up with me, saying she needs “space”. I take it literally and spend the whole video trying to get to outer space. The video switches back and forth from scenes in my head to scenes that are actually happening, and it just gets progressively more and more ridiculous throughout. A silly concept that we had a blast making.
How was it filming this amazing concept?
It’s pretty mind-boggling to witness this ridiculous idea grow from nothing to sitting on set in a full-on spacesuit as we put together a rocket ship. I met with Joe, our director/mastermind, in North Hollywood as he presented every idea with “Wouldn’t it be crazy..” – and somehow 90% of those ideas made it into the final cut of the video. We went as far as hiring a very talented prop master to build a spaceship for us, which is now sitting on my apartment balcony if anyone is interested. Overall, an absolute joy to work with this cast and crew – all really amazing human beings involved in sending me to space.
How would you fare in Space?
I feel like I’d do alright being subtracted from society for an extended period of time. I don’t know if I could do space food though. Can you have noodles in space? That’d be a deal breaker.
Let’s do a twist on “who would be your shipwrecked squad” – who would you like to be lost in space and quite content with?
Oh man, excellent question. First – Bill Nye the science guy because I feel like he has all the answers and I like having my mind blown with knowledge. Second – Aziz Ansari because he’s hilarious but also likes to talk deep from time to time.
Summer is coming…what’s the itinerary to a perfect sunny season in Tim Atlas’s book?
I’m not a summer person to be honest. My daily itinerary would consist of maybe a hike in the morning, grabbing a cold brew and then sticking my head in a freezer til the sun goes down. But I love a good music festival and tropical vacations. I’d love to just retreat somewhere nice like Thailand and write music.
The dream for me is to eat really good sushi in Japan. I think about this often. Maybe go skiing afterwards.
Who would be on your iconic festival line-up – feel free to make it fictional and impossible!
Super band consisting of John Mayer, D’angelo, and Thundercat
Death Cab for Cutie
Kanye (but only playing his first 3 albums from beginning to end)
Funniest festival story?
This isn’t a funny story, but it was a moment I’ll never forget. It was during Paul McCartney’s set at Outside Lands in 2013. He was singing Hey Jude, and all my friends and I were singing at the top of our lungs with our arms around each other. It was just this surreal moment where I realised that it was special.
You’re heading to Brighton for The Great Escape Festival in May! Who else are you hoping to catch in action, and any seaside must-do’s to tick of?
So excited for this! Definitely want to catch Still Woozy, Innerwave, LEISURE, and innerwave. We have a couple friends playing the festival as well like Gia Margaret and Big Wild, so I’m very excited to catch them!
What’s your summer style?
Can’t go wrong with some light trousers, a vintage tee, and some sunglasses. Literally me all summer.
WATCH THE VIDEO TO TIM ATLAS’S NEW SINGLE DIZZY HERE!
FOLLOW TIM ATLAS ON INSTAGRAM HERE!
BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN APOLONIO
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL HERE!
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TIM ATLAS AT THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL HERE!
TIM ATLAS PLAYS A HEADLINE SHOW AT THE LEXINGTON WITH LIVE NATION ON MAY 14th – BUY TICKETS HERE!