After releasing his semi-autobiographical album ‘Forty-Five’in 2019, Bristol’s Boca 45, AKA DJ Scott Hendyis about to embark on a brand-new project, starting with a new release next month. His new Donutsseries will see 5 limited edition (300 stamped & numbered) coloured vinyl 45s released throughout the year, and he’s kicking things off with the very aptly titled ‘Powerful,’co-written by and featuring Hannah Williams on vocals. DMCWORLD dives in…
Hi Scott, great to catch up. You’ve got a big 2020 planned with your new Donuts project – can you tell us how the idea came about and what you plan to release year?
Thanks a lot! Last year I released my LP ‘Forty Five’ with the US label “Mass Appeal” (Home of Nas / Dj Shadow etc) which was a great honour and experience, but each year I like to have a new project. In 2018 I did a series of 45s called “BocasClubDonuts” which were basically cut & paste DJ Bangers – I did 300 of each and then made a boxset of them all at the end of the year. With the 2020 Donuts I wanted to make them less about just being sampled tracks and to collaborate with a different vocalist each time, and an instrumental on the flip (of a different track).There will be STRICTLY 300 copies only which will be stamped and numbered and never re pressed. Each Donut will make up part of a Bigger Donut which will eventually be the full LP by the end of 2020, it means that I can record throughout the year – that’s the plan anyway! Luckily, I have a really loyal fanbase who buy my wax etc. directly from me, so it’s kind of a way of saying thanks to them and making something that they value and tangible. Unlike being part of some playlist where nobody knows what it is anyway!
You’re kicking things off with ‘Powerful,’ featuring the great Hannah Williams, please tell us about the track and why you wanted to start your campaign with it?
On my last LP ‘Forty Five,’ all of the vocal contributions were male, so I wanted to do some female collaborations this time around. I knew Hannah’s LP ‘Late Nights & Heartbreaks’ and loved it (produced by Malcolm Cato who is wicked) from when it was released in 2016, but was also really into the Jay Z record 4:44 which sampled Hannah’s vocal on Jays track to Beyonce about his infidelity. So, I had a brainstorm one rainy autumn day last year and thought I should try to reach out to Hannah about an idea I had. I made contact with her record label (Record Kicks) and she was really into the idea. I wrote a rough idea on Garage Band, sent it through and then I went down to Southampton to a studio and recorded it with her. We’re both really proud of the track and it has a message to it of how current political situations make her feel as a woman in 2020. It was a very worthwhile exercise.
How about the AA side, Sparky Evans, can you tell us about the production and the ideas behind the track?
As “Powerful” is heavy on the message, music and vibe, I wanted a bit more of a traditional DJ friendly Boca type action on the flip side. It’s 101 BPM, a rolling hip-hop beat, funk and psychedelic guitar licks which will do the BIZ on the dance floor (hopefully). The track is named after a Park in Bristol which was close to where I grew up and it has a small suspension bridge crossing the River Avon. It was always a precarious walk across it as there were so may gaps and holes – I had recurring nightmares about falling through. I never did though (luckily!) – the park is still there by the way and it’s opposite Boomtown’s new venue Area 404. So, if you ever go there make the pilgrimage across that rickety old bridge!
Taking your sounds from the studio to the dancefloor, why do you prefer playing with 45s and what do you think your Donuts project will do to the dancefloor?
I’m always hopefully that my music works well on the dancefloor. I’ve road-tested the TPs and they’ve worked well on my crowds thus far which is good. Re spinning 45s, It’s just always been my thing – hence my name! It seems to be a bit of a trendy thing now to play 7s but I like the restrictive nature of just having a box of 100 or so 45s that you have to choose from to play to a club or a bar. Very few people give you vinyl as it costs a lot of money to manufacture, so most of those 100 records you have paid for – so there’s less of a throw away nature to DJing. You have to choose carefully on every level. Also spinning with 45s keeps you on your toes – nothing lasts much longer than 3 minutes, so there’s no faking playing pre-recorded playlists etc.
In a digital age, how important do you think the vinyl resurgence is?
I’m not saying that vinyl is for everybody. I’ve witnessed fantastic DJ sets from all mediums. Although on a personal level I think it’s important. I co-run a collective DJ crew / club night / radio show / blog / label etc with my friend Pete Isaac called “45 Live” – check out the website 45Live.net, its focus is a celebration of 45s and DJ culture. I initially ran a club night under the “45 Live” name in Bristol from 2012 and invited some of my favourite DJs to play. The brief was, you can spin anything so long as it’s on a 7’’. A lot of these DJs had moved over to Serato / Digital so it was a bit of a challenge for them to re-adjust. 95% of the DJs who came through loved going back to basics and just having a box of wax rather than a laptop or memory sticks and they’re now actually part of the crew!
Do you have any gigs coming up that people can hear your tunes at?
I have residencies in London at The South, London Soul Train @ The Bussey Building in Peckham and Sure Shot @ The Lanes in Bristol, also keep an eye on the 45 Live Site as there are lots of events all over the place & other one offs around the globe.
Finally, please shout out the links and places people can get the vinyl!
Buy Link: https://2020donuts.bigcartel.com/