Quickly bursting onto the scene, young producer Beau has already coined a distinctive sound for himself. Known for incorporating his own live vocals, guitar licks and piano keys into his music, he’s received approval from the likes of Jamie Jones and Disclosure, along with his tracks becoming dancefloor staples across numerous house events such as Abobe, Paradise and Kaluki. Following the release of his latest single ‘Feelin’ It on Gavin Koolmon of Discples’ new label, SIKR we sat down with the rising star to discuss his early influences, how the SIKR collaboration came about and all about his new track…Feelin It.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you first get into music?
I’m Beau (and yes, it’s just Beau… not short for Beauregard or Beaumont or Bojangles, fortunately). I’m 22, raised and live in East London and music has been a massive part of my life ever since I can remember. I would have to say it’s that my good old mum who got me into music in the first place. Growing up she introduced me to such a wide variety of really amazing music from artists like Barry White, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin and Elton John. We used to blast it in the car and have a bit of a sing-along on the way to school in the mornings and I suppose that’s why my taste is so eclectic.
My dad was really into his house music back in its early days and arrival into the UK and so his infinite CD collection of Hedkandi and Pacha albums served somewhat as an education for me in the world of house and dance music. Last but not least, my older brother Nick was one of the original patriots of the golden UK garage era and so growing up I got a lot of really amazing tracks passed down from him. So I guess I’ve been brought up around it a lot…
I actually started producing Hip-Hop when I was at school and would camp out in the computer room recording guitar sounds and messing with samples in trusty old Garageband. I still do in fact; you can check out my other project ‘SummerClub’ on all platforms.
For people who don’t know you, how would you describe the kind of music you make?
I guess it varies track to track. I think that my music contains garagy elements, soulful elements, funky elements and obviously housey elements. Some tracks will be really deep, dark and dubby, others will be quite upbeat and garagy or quite loungy and chilled out. I try to integrate as much of my own touch into my music as possible from guitar riffs to vocals etc. and I think there’s definitely something distinctively ‘Beau’ that runs through all of them… perhaps my ‘percs’? I don’t know… perhaps I’m still figuring that out.
Who are some of your early musical influences?
I listen to all types of music; from house, reggae, hip-hop, jazz… you name it! (You don’t even want to know how many Spotify playlists I have) so my musical influences come from absolutely everywhere! From garage, people like MJ Cole, Sunship, Steve Gurley. Deep house, people like Maya Jane Coles, Dennis Cruz, Jamie Jones. Minimal; Traumer, So Inagawa, Alexis Cabrera and the Fuse boys… the list goes on! I really love producers that play around and experiment with sounds in unique ways rather than just imitate the generic sound at the time. I’m also a massive disco-head and so I think there’s a big funky/soulful influence in most of my music… one of my favorite DJ’s is Motor City Drum Ensemble which probably explains a lot!
You’re relatively new on the electronic music scene, what have been some highlights of your career so far? Have you had any memorable DJ sets?
I was lucky enough to play at Wireless Festival for Midnight Riot back in 2017 which was great fun but so far, simply the amazing support and humbling crowd reactions that my unreleased tracks have been getting is a huge highlight. Standing in the packed carpark of Tobacco Dock dancing with everyone to Feelin’ It when Rich Nxt dropped it at Fuse before it was released was incredible. It’s an amazing feeling seeing people dancing to your music and overhearing someone ask ‘what the hell is this track?!’
Your productions have been supported by the likes of Jamie Jones, Michael Bibi and Disclosure. You must be pretty excited about that? Did you ever expect your music to get picked up like this?
Very excited and very grateful. It’s always been a goal of mine to have these DJ’s dropping my tracks to huge crowds, but I didn’t realize it could have been possible so quickly. I haven’t been on the scene for a huge amount of time and it’s amazing to be getting such a good reaction already… I’ve always said that I want my music to do the talking and I’m glad that that’s still possible in the world of house.
You’re releasing your track ‘Feelin’ It’ on SIKR, the label ran by Gavin Koolmon from Disciples. How did this collaboration come about?
Well I finished Feelin It along with a couple of other demos and I was really excited about getting them out there but as I’m sure any young producer starting out knows that just because you have a strong track that you’re excited about, doesn’t mean that labels are going to listen to you… especially if you’re a ‘nobody’. The amount of rejections and ignored emails I’ve had from labels is well into the three figures. So I tried a different approach and really started to dig deep in the internet looking for people’s personal emails, Facebook, Instagram… even LinkedIn to try and get people to listen. I was working as a recruiter at the time and used some of the cutthroat sales tactics they taught us with my music. It’s funny thinking back on it. Anyway, I emailed a guy called Chris Roohan, now a good friend of mine, who I knew had been in the industry for a while and I got in touch. Turns out we lived around the corner from each other. Chris runs SIKR with Gav, and they were looking for new talent at the time, so I guess it was just perfect timing. Goes to show you really do have to be ruthless… even at the demo stage!
Can you tell us about the track and the inspiration behind it?
Well it’s a really simple track. I was listening to a lot of garage at the time and also a lot of the new tech house coming out and I guess it’s kind of a fusion of both. Like most producers I have a tendency to overcomplicate things and so I just wanted to make something that was really stripped back but effective. I started messing around with some raw drum sounds and got the percs sounding really choppy and really full and that funky baseline just came out. I remember having the drums on loop and just dancing around my basement tapping the letters on my keyboard- I was enjoying playing it so much I didn’t want to hit the record button. It’s got a really funky inspiration with the powerful female soul vocals and the groovy bassline and I think that characterizes a lot of my music in a way. As the name of the label it’s signed to goes to show, sometimes simplicity really is key.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given as an up and coming artist?
‘Patience young grasshopper’. I’m really hungry and I also just really love making music. I think that’s a great combination but it can also get really frustrating in a world (and industry) where social media rules. You’re constantly looking at and comparing yourself to other artists who seem to have it all thinking, I should be there. But, as a wise man once said, nothing worth having ever comes easy and sometimes you’ve got to take what you see online with a pinch of salt and focus on building yourself, which takes time, consistency and hard-hitting tracks.
Finally, what else do you have coming up in 2019?
I’m hoping that 2019 is going to be a big year for my career. I’ve got a release on Solid Grooves coming real soon as well as a couple of gigs I’m really excited about; Fabric in March and We Are Festival in May. From now till then I’m hoping to just keep putting out solid tracks and book more and more gigs until I’m playing internationally…next stop Ibiza!