In a short space of time, Exit 11’s standout singles have propelled him into the credible dance music community. On esteemed labels like Subliminal and Spinnin’ Deep, always with robust grooves and emotive synths, his productions skills have elevated his tracks to the next level. Big names like Steve Lawler, Hot Since 82, Erick Morillo and BBC Radio 1 tastemaker Danny Howard have all had their heads turned by the English producer’s music, while his DJ sets at celebrated clubs like fabric and XOYO have truly made their mark on the dancefloor. Hot from remixing ‘Firebird’ for chill out king Kinobe on New State, we thought it was time we got to know, Exit 11.
Welcome to DMC Exit 11. Let’s get the formal introductions out of the way first. What’s your name and where d’you come from?
Hi there DMC, my name’s Luke and I’m from the Midlands in the UK.
Where did it all start for you?
I’ve always been involved in music and spent a long time working in various projects in the industry. About 12 months ago I was with Danny Howard playing him some records I’d made, and he was like, “Wow, these are really cool, let me send them out for you”. Within 10 days, Erick Morillo had come back and wanted everything I’d made for Subliminal, and since then it’s been a whirlwind!
You’ve been rather busy of late. Tell us about your remix of Kinobe’s ‘Firebird’ on New State.
I’ve always been a massive fan of Kinobe and was so excited when my manager came to me with the chance to remix their latest single. I wanted to do it justice at the same time as putting my own stamp on it, so decided to go on a progressive tip with it. It came out sounding amazing and sounds really good in the clubs too.
Prior to that you released ‘Stay With Me’ on Spinnin Deep with Calvin Logue. Are you and Calvin old friends?
I’d actually played with Calvin a while ago at Glasgow Arena so we already knew each other. I reached out when I heard his previous track on BBC Radio 1, championed by Pete Tong. I messaged just to say congratulations on the track and well done for the support on it, and we just got chatting about music and then decided to do something together.
We hear you have a collaboration with Erick Morillo coming up. What’s the story there?
Erick has been amazing and so supportive with me. We’d been chatting over a number of months after he signed 5 of my records and I just decided to send him an idea to see if he liked the vibe. He came back straight away and said, “Yes, I love this – send me the parts”. We’ve nearly finished it now and I literally can’t wait for the world to hear it!
What’s been your most memorable DJ set to date?
I’ve been really lucky to play Fabric 4-5 times and the atmosphere in that main room is incredible and the sound system is second to none! We had a great vibe there last time with Nightlapse from Area10, the dancefloor was rocking all night long.
Did you grow up in a music household? Were you encouraged to listen to and make music?
My mother was a huge Beatles fan and she used to take me to Paul McCartney concerts which were amazing. Apart from that, we were a sporty household with my brother playing football and being offered professional terms.
What jobs have you done whilst climbing the music industry ladder?
I’ve had 2 jobs – one was terrible and the other was amazing and I’d still to do it today. When I was at university I worked for Woolworths as an Entertainment Service Team Leader. Basically, I had to serve people at the till, but also got to do the entertainment stock and listen to all the new albums that were coming out. My favourite job was being a project manager for an audio-visual company, and I loved that. We did various things from product launches for Stratstone Ferrari and the National Rail Awards to annual AGM’s for ATS Tyres and the BARQA medical research annual conferences.
What is your go-to ‘inspiration song’?
Wow, that’s a tough choice. To be honest, at the minute I’m listening to a lot of Dee Montero stuff – that makes me feel happy and also a lot of Chus & Ceballos for when I want to feel energetic. I suppose my favourite club song of all time would be Hardsoul – Back Together on Soulfuric.
What labels are you digging at the moment?
I’m loving Subliminal, of course, Anjunadeep, Stereo Productions, Filth On Acid and Truesoul.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
Apart from Erick I’d love to work with Cristoph, Camelphat or Artbat.
What are Exit 11’s 5 hottest records right now?
There’s so much music around at the moment! But here goes…
Danny Howard, Illyus & Barrientos – Need
Ronnie Spiteri, Oscar L – Sunrise
Cristoph, Jem Cooke – Slowly Burning 2019
DJ Vivona – Worldwide
Erick Morillo – Fifth Element
Exit 11’s remix of ‘Firebird’ by Kinobe is out now on New State and available exclusively via Beatport