Low Steppa

The king of bass enjoying a storming summer at the best night in Ibiza, Redlight at Sankeys

Interview by Dan Prince

1Dude welcome to DMCWORLD, where in the world are you right now?

Thank you for having me! I’m actually in a little town I grew up in right now, Cannock.  Our claim to fame is Stan Collymore lol. Somehow I’ve been all around the world, even lived in Echo Park, LA, and now I’ve ended up back where I started! It’s pretty grim and most of the locals look like mutants out of Total Recall but it’s home so it’s kinda nice to be here, nice to be near family and old pals. 

What was the first piece of music you heard this morning after springing out of bed?

Tracy Chapman was on the iPhone this morning while cleaning my teeth, followed by Radiohead “High and Dry”, rather depressing way to start the day off haha.  I thought about ending it all, but then I remembered I had a remix to do. 

Well fuck me you’re having it off at Sankeys in Ibiza with your Redlight residency, it’s bedlam!?!

It’s been a great season so far and seems lot’s of people are talking about it. It’s been great to hang out with Matt Jam Lamont a lot too; got a lot of respect for Matt, great guy. Lots of good times and jokes so far. It’s kind of different each week too so it’s always interesting and keeps you on your toes as a DJ. 

It must be amazing to be part of this Sankeys steam train that has firmly established itself as the most cutting edge, forward thinking club on the island this year?

Yeah it’s a proper family vibe with the people involved too. Tough Love lads are great lads too, always really funny catching up with them. I feel The Redlight party probably is the stand out party this year, offering something different than everything else and the crowd is always spot on as well. 

What do you think of owner David Vincent walking around with his tiny pet dog? Not right is it?

Hahahaha he loves that dog. I had dinner with it the other week, I think his name is actually Sankeys. It is a beauty though, think it’s a Pomeranian? Definitely brings attention anyway! 

Nominated for the DJ Awards in September – fancy your chances?

I wasn’t excited at first but then I suddenly decided I wanted to win. I really can’t call it though. It would be nice, I haven’t won much since the Handwriting Cup at junior school so it would terrific. Will have to wait and see.

What are the big 5 tunes in your box this weekend?

Few of my own, my remix of ‘Deep Inside’ is still doing it in the clubs, my remix of Azzido Da Bass, ‘ oomsnight’ is smashing it along with my Coma Cat remix. I play a lot of my own tracks these days. ‘About Time’ with Martin Ikin always goes off too as well as my ‘Nose Powder’ track with Taiki Nulight. 

What is the latest with your label Simma Black, what’s next?

Yeah the label is going really well so maybe some parties? We are thinking about it anyway but definitely not rushing anything. The releases are going from strength to strength, we have just signed a Robosonic track featuring KRS-ONE, rather good and rather happy about it! 

“I used to pretend to DJ in my bedroom before I got my decks”. A quote from you from a few years ago. Errm, how exactly did you practise without any decks??

Well I didn’t practise, but I remember listening to stuff like Carl Cox mixes and standing at my desk looking out the window dreaming of being a DJ. It’s very special to look back because all this was my dream. Even when I was playing in bars in Bristol I would still dream about playing the clubs. Even typing this answer makes me feel very thankful for everything. Never forget where you come from!

Your favourite track from each of these superstars : David Bowie. Michael Jackson. Prince.

‘Ziggy Stardust’ from Bowie, but hard to pick. Michael Jackson, that’s even harder, ‘Human Nature’ maybe. Prince, ‘Purple Rain’ I think. I was obsessed with all 3 of these when I was a kid, loved the mystery about them. You don’t really get that anymore.

Couple of remixes we wanna touch on. Digital Farm Animals and Owl City, talk us through your work…

I was actually just talking about the Digital Farm Animals one earlier. It’s really grown on me since I made it, not that I didn’t like it but I like it more now. I basically set out to dirty the original up and I wanted to keep it very stripped back too; love the old keys in the middle too, that’s the old vibe that I love. The Owl City one was meant to be a kinda Tuff Jam but gritty vibe. I always like my stuff to sound old and reflect the stuff I liked when I began DJing and buying vinyl.

What is the last GREAT album you checked out?

Great albums are rare but one album I still listen to a lot that isn’t that new though is Spirit Catcher ‘Night Vision’. I absolutely love Spirit Catcher’s great production. I don’t tend to listen to a lot of new music that isn’t house music. For example in my spare time you would probably find me listening to Steely Dan, Thin Lizzy, The Who, The Beatles, Prince, Led Zeppelin. I also like Marky and Makoto, Makoto’s ‘Souled Out’ album is really good. I guess I listen to a bit of everything, really into stuff like Gang Starr, Common, Big L etc.

You rocked the States again recently hitting EDC, the Paradiso Festival and Slake NY. Is the scene changing out there? Are the kids getting more clued up?

I think they are definitely getting into the house and bass stuff. Not so sure on purer forms of house but it’s all positive that it’s not just all that EDM stuff, I’m not going to say its crap but I don’t feel it has any heart or substance.

Not many people know this but Low Steppa is really good at…

Getting drunk. It’s quite bad actually. I’m sat here and I’ve realised it’s all music, music, music. I used to paint, I used to take photos and develop my own pictures. I need to get a life again! 

Tell us about the moment you heard the Prodigy ‘Experience’ album for the first time…

I remember buying it from Woolworths and going home and going down into the cellar we had. There was an old tape deck down there. I remember just being glued to it. Listened to it over and over again. I actually just started listening to it again last week. It’s still as amazing as it was back then. 

We come round to your gaff and are looking through your tunes. Which record do you hide before we arrive?

Haha maybe Madonna’s Greatest Hits, Sam Smith, I have seen a Miley Cyrus album floating around too… 

Word on the street there is some Kenny Dope and Todd Terry collab coming?

Yeah it’s been pretty crazy speaking to the those guys and hearing that they love what I do, that is a big thing for me. There is definitely some music in the pipeline!

You are appearing at Bestival in September – have you got your fancy dress outfit ready?

Glad you told me it was fancy dress!

And finally – what else studio wise is on the horizon?

I have a few remixes I’m working on, always working on new tracks for my next EP for Simma Black. Making music pretty much everyday. It’s kinda like an addiction and I get moody if I feel I haven’t made anything I’m happy with!