Home town vibes for the launch of Weiss City at London superclub Egg
Interview by Nicky Trax
Weiss, a big welcome back to DMCWORLD. Where on planet earth are you today?
Hi DMC! I’m currently in my studio working on lots of new material ready to showcase in Miami for MMW in a few weeks time.
Cool. You’re launching your Weiss City event this weekend at the new Toolroom Live residency at Egg London, please can you talk us through the concept…
We’ve been working on the ‘Weiss City’ concept in the background for a while now and it actually started life as my original showcase EP’s for my productions a few years ago and has now morphed into its own concept. It encapsulates what I’m about I guess, with its roots in the original house sound with that underground feel, and we’re looking to tour it across different cities and bring some of my favourite DJs and producers together. I’m really pleased to be able to bring artists together who are not only friends but producers and that I’ve been supporting and playing their music at my own gigs. Of course I’ve been releasing my music through Toolroom for while now and playing their events, and it made sense to team up and launch my first night the same time as them, so I’m taking over the infamous Terrace at Egg Ldn for the whole night with Weiss City.
As London is your hometown, does it make it extra special playing here for you?
Of course, I absolutely love playing in London and it’s where it all started for me from when I was younger going out clubbing in the late 90’s. It’s an iconic city with so many amazing clubs, some of the best in the world! London seemed the perfect place to launch it and I’ve always loved Egg as a club – it has a real clubbers feel and people are there for the music and to really get down. I’ve played there a few times already and have had such an amazing response, it felt natural to launch my own residency there and the fact London is my home town city it just made complete sense!
Hailed as an ambassador for real House music, one of the leading lights in Toolroom’s #RESET campaign alongside Mark Knight and Adrian Hour, you were recently nominated in the Best of British Awards, how did that feel?
It felt great to be recognized for what I’m doing. I’ve never been nominated for anything in my life apart from captain of my school football team many years ago haha, so this was a real honour.
The tracks you make have a lot of soul behind them, where do you get the inspiration to make these tracks from?
I take a lot of inspiration from various music and artists, but my biggest influence is from a real early age; I grew up listening to Motown and Disco music due to my mum having such a passion for it. From a very young age I was listening to artists such as Funkadelic, The O Jays, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson so I think that’s where my soul comes from.
Your recent Radio 1 After Hours Mix was really well received…a big buzz?
Just having my music played on BBC Radio One is amazing. Again growing up I’ve always listened to Pete Tong and its such a buzz to hear my music on his show and he’s shown me great support which I’m very appreciative of, but to actually do a guest mix for Pete’s show was fantastic. It really was a pinnacle point to a great year. I loved the process of going through so much music…working out what I would play, getting it ready and knowing millions of people around the world will be listening in so it had to show what I’m about as a producer as well as DJ when I’m playing in a club.
So a new year is upon us. 2014 and 2015 were pretty spectacular, you gonna top those years?
Yes 2014 was a great year, things really moved on from there. But it just feels like it’s still growing, which is fantastic. 2015 was also incredible, traveling to so many different countries and playing some amazing gigs is so rewarding, and meeting new people and the fans who support me are incredible. This year we have so much planned already, with the Weiss City events and some really cool collaborations in the studio.
Tell us more…
As ever I’ve been working hard in the studio on new productions, I really try to structure my weeks, I’m in the studio every day 9-5 around touring at weekends. I’m just finishing a new EP collaborating with Jesse Rose for Play It Down which I’m really excited about, our styles have come together and its sounding fantastic. I’m also working on a brand new EP for Toolroom, which will be premiered at the launch night at Egg. I’m also just about to start another collaboration with a really exciting artist which I can reveal soon. Then of course I’ve been crazy busy getting things ready for Weiss City…there’s a lot of build up towards a club night! For summer I’ve already got some great festivals booked in and another Australian and also European tour, its going to be busy!
Okay let’s rewind for a moment. You hail from London, at what age did you start to take notice of dance music?
I took notice from the age of probably 12 or 13 due to my brothers coming home from nights out at the infamous Club UK in London and telling me all about the music. I also used to listen to a lot of early hardcore and then moved onto House listening to the Retrospective Of House tapes and tuning into Pete Wardman on Kiss 100 during the day on Saturdays. When I was old enough I’d go clubbing at Ministry Of Sound on the Strictly Rhythm and Subliminal Records nights and that really changed it for me. I knew from then on I’d be wanting to do this for a living. Todd Terry, Masters At Work and Harry Choo Choo Romero were big influences for me to want to make House Music.
And the DJing?
I first started, not professionally, from the age of 13. My older brother had a house party and when it was over there was some Technics 1210’s left behind, I started messing about with them and was instantly hooked! I practiced and practiced on some old belt driven decks I managed to get hold of even to the point if one had broken I would mix records out from a tape deck. I did the odd pub gig but I first got my break from the age of 16 when I was allowed to play a warm up set at The Chunnel Club in London playing Subliminal style records into Hard House, trying to bring some funk into a harder sound. I remember being so nervous I couldn’t put the needle on the record so I had to chuck the needle onto the vinyl hoping it was near the beginning. If it went too far I had to rewind in back to the start with my hand quickly before the record finished!
How do you stand on the vinyl/new technology debate?
I have no debate on either. I started on vinyl and learnt to mix through belt driven to Technic 1210’s in the 90’s and then moved onto CDJ’s. Yes working on CDJ’s is easier but you have to move with the times. I do miss mixing vinyl you can’t beat that warmth and sound you get, and I love the nostalgia too, but I don’t miss carrying around huge heavy boxes of vinyl, I think you should embrace changes in technology and just use what works for you, its always good to know where it all started though…
What are the 5 big tunes in your box this weekend…
1. Philip Bader & Nicone “Break It Down”(Ninetoes Remix) Snatch Records
Obviously Ninetoes is playing at my launch night at The Egg but I’ve been playing this guys music for a while now and he never fails. Great build with a 909 rim shot throughout the track with a fantastic drop.
2. Junior Sanchez “Move” Play It Down Records
This is just pure old school house with such a cool hook. It definitely takes you on that house journey every clubber deserves on the dance floor.
3. Hector Moralez “Brand New”(Original Mix) I’m A House Gangster
This is straight up ghetto house but what more would you expect from Sneaks label. Really cool old school funk vibes.
4. Rudimental “Rumour Mill” ft. Anne-Marie & Will Heard (Jesse Rose Remix) Atlantic Records
Slightly more deeper from Jesse but such a fantastic record.
5. Weiss “Feel For Me” Toolroom
I’ve actually only just finished this the other day for the new Miami Release. It’s proper in your face jackin house with a funk twist.
What do you think is the recipe for success in these over saturated digital times?
Just be yourself and make great music that stands out from the rest. Do something different and think outside the box. And my advice for producers is please….try not to only use pre made loops, sample packs can be great for finding cool sounds and influences but try to create and come up with your own sounds, don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against people using them and it’s a great building block of getting used to producing but personally I think you could work a little harder and really learn your craft to get your own groove going.
And finally, what should we be listening to before we head off the Toolroom Live and the Weiss City launch this Saturday March 5th at Egg Ldn?
Erm….Well if it’s a house party maybe one of my DJ Mixes haha, but seriously maybe something other than House Music! It’s going to be one hell of a night of pure House so maybe listening to some old funk or Disco can get you into the groove before you really get going, I actually like to listen to classical music in the car sometimes driving to gigs!