We read that you were first exposed to electronic music when your dad bought a Technotronic album when you were 4 years old, how have your tastes evolved since?
When I was 10 or 11 everyone in my school was really into happy hardcore and drum n bass. The music I was listening to was as hard as it could possibly be, the harder it was, the better it was. And then when I got to 16, 17 house got really big in England again. It was all over the commercial charts and that’s when I really started to pick it up again. Trance was also really big at that time it was playing in all the clubs so when I first started dj’ing in 2000, I started playing trance and then moved into funky house music. Back then the only way to get gigs in England was for me to spin in bars. It wasn’t until I came to Canada that electro house got really big and that’s when I got into it.
How did growing up in England shape your career and how did you break through into the UK scene?
I was at University and being a student I had lots of spare time. We used to go clubbing all the time and we decided one day that it would be a cool idea to get some decks. So we went down to the local music shop and bought some really rubbish cd decks and just started playing around with them. I just really got into it, it was a lot of fun to mix my favourite tracks together. I started picking up any gigs I could get and then eventually decided to buy some vinyl turn tables cause they are a bit more fun. I pushed everywhere to try and get gigs. I used to play these awful gigs where there was literally nobody there. It would be the highlight of my night if one person danced. I’ve payed my dues, ive been a dj for 11 years now. I’ve spent years and years touring around, my record is not in absence so I feel as if I’ve gone some way towards earning my place now.
What made you want to move to Canada and Vancouver of all places?
It was a friend of mine, he just said he was moving away in 6 months. I had just finished University and I was in a job that I didn’t love and I decided to take a risk and moved up with him. I’d never been to Canada before and I knew nothing about Vancouver I just decided to give it a go. I liked it, we had such a good time here so I ended up staying. As the production side of things picked up it was a no brainer to stick around.
Can you tell us a little about the difference in the Vancouver EDM scene from that of your home town?
I don’t really know much about the scene back home because I haven’t played too many gigs there in the past 5 years. When I used to play there back when I started off, it was just in bars. There are a lot more clubs out there playing electronic music and it seems there are fewer venues over here in Canada. But overall there is not much of a difference. Right now England is a good couple years ahead of Canada in terms of what kind of music they listen to.
Since you came to Canda you have garnered a lot of international exposure from a lot of artists and radio stations. Support has been pouring in from people like David Guetta, Fedde Le Grand, Carl Cox, Judge Jules and Pete Tong to name a few. How did your productions make their way into the spotlight?
I was very lucky with Fat Boy Slim and the remix of Weapon of Choice. I originally did a bootleg for the track Lazy by X-Press 2 which I sent off to Skint and they were kind enough to release it. They then offered me the remix to Weapon of Choice and it went pretty well and the amount of promotion they did for it was insane. They got it everywhere because Skint is such a well known lable. The amount of advertising we got on Beatport, it was on the front page for awhile and from that, the track got big.
What you do use in terms of software?
I use Cubase 5 and I use massive, virus and silence for my synths. Nothing complicated or especially expensive.
Big Fish is one of the hottest breakthrough electro labels that is out right now. What led up to its formation?
It was actually just a way for me to get the most money out of my tracks. Whenever you sign a track you give away half your money to the label. So if you run your own label you get to keep every penny that the stores give you. And its actually not much work on the labels part to put out tracks and to distribute them and so it’s a really nice way to put out your music.
We do everything we can to promote the artists, we talk to them everyday and we let them decide what they do with their releases. That’s what sets us aside from other labels is the social aspect of Big Fish. With a lot of other labels its very business like, you send off your tracks and sign the contracts.
You play a few different roles as an artist and as the founder of Big Fish. Can you tell us what goes into running your own label.
Talking to the artists is the most important thing. I also work with Hirshee and he manages all the uploading and distribution side of things. The most difficult part is deciding which tracks are decent and going through all the demos because although we get a lot of amazing demos, we get so much rubbish, like some of it is actually really terrible. Going through all those emails and going through every single demo takes up a lot of time. A big part of it is deciding which remixes will be best for which tracks and getting those parties involved.
Speaking on Hirshee, where did you guys meet and how has that relationship evolved?
He was one of the first people I met in Canada after I started dj’ing. I used to put some mixes out on a site called thefreshpage.com which is quite big in Vancouver. And through those I managed to get a booking at a club and he also came to that gig. We got talking and started hanging out. He was actually the first person that got me started into production. I asked him what I needed to get and he along with a guy named Jeff Daniels they invited me around there place and showed me how Cubase works and how synths work. Its because of those two guys that I am where I am now. They showed me everything.
You’ve brought in the works of artists such as Porter Robinson, Alex Kidd, Chrizz Luvly, Zedd and Cool Project to name a few. Can you tell us about some new artists that you’re planning on working with in the near future?
There are some guys from Russia called Fast Foot that I am really into right now. I absolutely love what they are putting out.
Can you tell us about the Lazy Rich show and where should we direct people to find your music?
It’s a really good way for us to showcase the artists on our label. Every week I just play all my favorite tracks. A lot of the tracks you hear is stuff I play in my live sets. You can also check out my soundcloud and check me out on beatport! Thanks!
*This interview has been transcribed from the March 14th episode of The Rinse on CJAM 99.1 FM in Windsor/Detroit