Over the last 12 months alone, eSQUIRE has been delivering top-drawer productions to compliment already incredible tracks. His high-profile official remixes include Au/Ra & Camelphat’s ‘Panic Room’ and Galantis & One Republic’s ‘Bones’, and his original material has been snapped up by the likes of Gemstone and Tiger Records.Having taken on one of his biggest reworks to date, ‘Teardrops’ by Womack by Womack, and ahead of his return appearance to The Gallery at Ministry of Sound on 11thOctober, we thought it was time we got to know, eSQUIRE…
Welcome to DMC eSQUIRE. Let’s get the formal introductions out of the way first. What’s your name and where d’you come from?
My name is Lee Squires and I am from Liverpool!
Where did it all start for you? When did you get your ‘big break’?
It was probably around 2005 when I started producing house music, switching from hard dance/bounce which was the prominent sound in Liverpool at the time. It was around then when I got my first of many remixes for Hed Kandi, the first was Dogsax ‘Love Is On My Mind’.
Teardrops is a mighty record to take on. How did that come about for you?
I’ve been planning to do a version for a few years now but kept putting it of ‘til the time was right, and I when I’d found the right vocalist to do the original justice. For Teardrops, I landed on the singer / songwriter Sash Sings who I’ve worked with on a few tracks over the years – she wrote and sang on my track, ‘Keep My Breathing’.
You’re quite an in-demand remixer. Is there a formulaic approach you to take to remixing or is each an organic process?
I have always kept my remixes very uplifting especially in the breaks, and in the drop, very clubby and pumping. I was known for my piano style remixes such as Coldplay’s ‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’ (unofficial) and Arizona’s ‘I Was Wrong’ on Big Beat / Atlantic. I still apply this formula today as well as introducing a bit more of a tech house feel to them.
You’re playing at The Gallery at Ministry of Sound on 11th October. What’s an eSQUIRE DJ set like?
I guess if I was to play like my first ever set, then maybe I’d hold back a bit with the anthems to let the club warm up a bit! Seriously though, it’s difficult for me to say as it really depends on where I’m playing. I usually get a feel for the place and venue I’m in and just go with the flow and play what I think will work. I’m playing a lot more accessible, tech house these days but I’d definitely go heavier and more clubby in a place like Ministry.
What’s been your most memorable DJ set to date and why?
I’ve been very lucky to play some great venues over the last 15 years or so. There was a NYE festival in New Zealand a few years back which was awesome – it was in private vineyard so really unique. The first time I played Ministry of Sound in August 2018 was a memorable one, and also touring in Brazil where I played some cool, mini festivals with pretty special atmospheres where the crowds were well up for it!
Did you grow up in a music household? Were you encouraged to listen to and make music?
I didn’t grow up in a music household to be honest – I never even studied music in school or college. It was when I started going out clubbing in Liverpool, to places like The Paradox, 051 and Garlands, that I realised how much I enjoyed house music. This led me to get my first set of decks and wanting to become a DJ. I was doing I.T. at the time in college so the production side came really easy to me.
What jobs have you done whilst climbing the music industry ladder?
I worked as a cold caller selling car insurance at Abbey National – I only did it for 6 months and didn’t make a single sale. It clearly wasn’t for me! My early days of DJing were spent warming up in bars like VR before the main DJ, which gave me a good few years learning the ropes. I was quite lucky because I made good connections with other Liverpool DJs, producers and labels like Mike from CamelPhat and Anton Powers from 3Beat, and it led me to getting some of my first official remixes on Anton’s label.
What is your go-to ‘inspiration song’?
Deadmau5 ‘Strobe’. I first heard it on holiday in Ibiza about 10 years ago. It has an incredible build that goes on for about 5 minutes – a clever and inspiring piece of production.
What labels are you digging at the moment?
Defected has been on fire this past year or so, with signings like CamelPhat’s ‘Cola’ and all the new Jack Back material.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
I was a massive fan of Axwell before the Swedish House Mafia days, so it’d have to be him.
What are eSQUIRE’s 5 Hottest Records…
Endor – Pump It Up
Midnight City – Say Hello
Duke Dumont – The Power
MOGUAI – Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime
Sigala & Becky Hill – Wish You Well (eSQUIRE Remix)
‘Teardrops’ by eSQUIRE is out now on New State https://orcd.co/eSQUIREteardrops