DMCWORLD checks in with resident DJ Alex Smith ahead of an exciting Autumn…

Tell us about The Little Festival – where and when and why did you set it up?
I actually met Dan (one of the original founders) in Ibiza through a mutual friend back in 2013 and we got on really well. A couple of months later he put on the first Little Festival and I travelled down to London to support. He asked me if I wanted to be part of the project and join the team, so I jumped at the chance to be involved. We had a vision right from the start to create something different within the scene and to bring all of those magical festival feelings and cram them into an 8 hour club event.
What have been the hardest parts, what takes most time to get right?
This project was the first thing any of had taken on in terms of promoting and hosting events, so everything has been a learning curve. Getting to know the industry and finding out that everyone’s not in it for the right reasons was one of the hardest lessons. I think nurturing the vibe and the crowd over the course of the past 4 years, we’ve had some amazing people come to our parties, and getting that right is the best foundation for any party in my opinion.
How competitive is it to do a party in London? Are people aggressive and keen to protect their own path, or is there friendly competition?
It’s incredible how many world class lineups are in London every weekend. You can pick what you think will be a quiet weekend, launch your event, and then within 2 weeks huge events can pop up and provide you with some big competition. It’s all part and parcel of throwing parties in the best city in the world. With regards to the competition being friendly, I think you get good and bad eggs in all walks of life, the promoting world is no different. Some promoters will go out of their way to help and others won’t, I’ve met some of the best people in my life right now through the music scene, so overall it’s been a great experience.
And what are the best bits, when have you had most fun with the brand?
I always look forward to getting together with the team, in any capacity. We have a good laugh together, even if Oli and Jarmo are the biggest piss takers in London. I think my best bits would have to be our second steelyard party, it felt as if we’d got everything spot on, and our vision was coming to life in front of our eyes. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible. Our boat party last year in ibiza was pretty fun too. Oli spent the whole event being sick at the front of the boat, which was quite funny to see.
You grew up in the Midlands right? What parties, labels and sounds first got you into dance music?
I used to head to The Rainbow and Lab11 quite a bit, with promoters like like Face, Below and TRMNL throwing wicked parties. Adam Shelton and Subb-an who head up One Records have definitely been a big inspiration, Shelton played one of my favourite sets to date at the Below 8th birthday, it blew my mind.
How did a move to London change those? Has it had a big impact on your taste and style?
The musical diversity is huge in London. As I mentioned before, the lineups in the capital are world class and there’s always inspiration to be taken. Heading to parties such as Fuse, Solid Grooves & Percolate have definitely had an impact on my style. I used to play very stripped back minimal but now my energy has definitely intensified, adding more grooves and melodies to my sets.
As a DJ what is your own style who do you take influences and inspirations from?
As I said before, Audiojack have definitely had an impact on my style, and their outlook and approach to life is an inspiration. I’d also say that TLF co-founder Dan has been a big inspiration, he’s always pushing for more and works very hard with his music. My style is a cross between Tech House and Minimal, lots of groove, percussion and synths. I’d say Enzo Siragusa, Tato and Premiesku are my top 3 at the moment.
Tell us about the next run of Little Festival events – some are in London, some in Zurich, right?
Yeah we’re teaming up with a Swiss brand called Terrazzza, who are doing very well at the moment. Our aim has always been to take the brand to Europe, so being able to link up with such an established brand is a dream come true. They’re booking the likes of Solomun & The Martinez Bro’s on the regular, so their brand is very well respected. We’re heading over on the 7th October to a club called Supermarket in Zurich which I’ve heard some great things about!
You’re also resident at AudioJack’s party – how different is it to be a resident DJ vs headliner? How do you approach your set? Whats your role?
I was lucky enough to be a resident at Audiojack’s Sunday Social party in Ibiza for the 2016 season, it was an incredible experience and one I’ll never forget. Playing every weekend with Rich and Jamie (Audiojack) was a dream come true, they’re wicked DJ’s, and really kind people and overall great role models. I had the opportunity to play alongside the likes of Russ Yallop, Kevin Knapp and 20/20 boss Ralph Lawson to name but a few. The party had a real family feel and it was more about the music than the headliners, as many lineups were unannounced. It was great being able to try out new music every week, playing to a real underground, continental crowd.
What else have you got coming up/are you excited about?
I’m looking forward to putting in some studio time and getting a first release under my belt. It’s a personal goal to be able to release on my own label Little Festival Records over the next year or so. We’ve got some great label parties coming up over the winter at Shoreditch Platform, and I’m really looking forward to showcasing the artists and music. We’ve got a busy end to the year, there’s definitely going to be some stressful moments for the team, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s definitely all worth it!
Adam is a resident at The Little Festival. Tickets to Little Festival events are here…