INTERVIEW – Lakeway

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Now based back in his hometown of Exeter after time spent on Bristol, Lakeway is making big waves within the drum & bass scene with his own, fresh take on the d&b sound. His sound and what he does with his music is on a parallel with the forward thinking likes of Ivy Lab and has received support from Rockwell amongst others. Having released his brilliant OXT EP that needs to be checked out and his work with the Diffrent label, he is a producer that is definitely on the up. We caught up with him to talk about his journey through music do far and what the future holds for him.

When did you first start DJing and producing?

I first started Producing way back, I think I was in year 9 at school when I first got a Korg EMX. I started using that in more of a band enviournment but that wasn’t really for me, wanting to do my own thing and all. About a year later I discovered Ableton Live and would spend all my free time outside of school making beats. In terms of DJing, at school there was a hidden room with 2 knackered turntables and a massive pile of random records which were scratched to hell and back. I would spend my lunch breaks in there with 2 other friends just jamming and seeing if we could blend what was a majority of battered obscure funk and soul. I eventually got some CDJs for my 15th Birthday and started of playing at friends parties. I eventually landed a residency in Exeter before I was old enough to even be in the clubs. I have some fond memories of hiding in the toilets to avoid getting kicked out by the bouncers just so I could play my set.

Who were some of your influences when you first started out?

It’s quite hard to recall, when the whole dubstep thing exploded I was very inspired by that. In particualr people like Badklaat, Skream and Benga. Those were sort of my introduction to the whole bass music side of things. At that age I was also very inspired by bands like Enter Shikari and Hadouken! I also remember buying Noisas Split The Atom album, and seeing Sub Focus support Pendulum, which was pretty mind blowing for me at the time which is really what turned me towards Drum & Bass.

What have you got going on for 2017?

For 2017 we have a few things lined up. Nothing concrete yet but I definitely have a follow up single prepared from my recent OXT EP, and on top of that there I’ve got loads of other bits penciled in with Diffrent Music & SweetBox.

I first heard your music on your OXT EP and loved it, especially the track Shelled, is that EPs sound typical of where your music is going?

Thanks a lot! I suppose it’s another stepping stone for the progression of my sound. I am really enjoying embracing the whole grime infuelnces thing but I want to keep pushing my sound forward and see where it ends up!

Will you be doing any more work with Dexta? Quasar is a big tune!

Thanks yeah that was so fun to make! Yeah Dexta & I work well together, we just need to set aside a few more dates where we can be in the same room together as that flows so much better than sending stems. I can’t confirm or deny anything, but I must say next time I go over I am going to take full advantage of his moog! Oh, and keep an eye out for our new Goron project, that’s all.

How are things going on Diffrent Music?

Things are going great with Diffrent! It’s so nice to be part of something where everyone is in it for the love of the music. It almost feels like a proper community and I am so happy to be a part of that! In terms of releases I love how relaxed it is, there isn’t any of that “oi we need a tune by next monday” bullshit which allows the music to come naturally as it should. Having the influence of diffrent is also helping me a lot with how to go about shaping my own sound, with sound advice around every corner. I don’t think I’d have gotten anywhere if it wasn’t for Diffrent to be honest.

How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard you before?

I suppose ther are multiple ways of describing it. The simple way would be weirdo 170. I find it very hard to describe my music when people ask me so I usually just go with “Grime at 170″ but that’s not really the case. I suppose as every song I write is based upon what mood I am in that day, I would describe my music as an extension of me as a person. Take from that what you will haha!

What inspires you to make the music you do?

I suppose the recent OXT EP was inspired by a hard time in my life, as the whole thing was made throughout a deep reclusive depression. Like I said it depends what mood I am in, so I suppose my own emotions are the main influence which is what makes it so personal to me, however sometimes I just hear something in the dance and think “fucking hell I need to go home and make a lenger” haha!

Who would you love to collaborate on a track with?

In terms of vocalists there are too many to name, but I’m going to try and name a few anyway… Spooky Block/Corbin, FKA Twigs, Ed Scissortongue, Flowdan, D Double E, the list of vocal collabs I dream of is pretty endless so I won’t bang on for too long haha! In terms of production collabs the list also pretty endless. Grobbie is someone I would love to work with, Loom and Dark0 would be a dream as well and can’t forget Mumdance. But if I ever managed to get in the studio with Arca I would be able to die a very happy man indeed.

What three big tunes are going down best in your sets at the moment?

Pulse OSX by Rockwell has been slaying the dance every time I’ve dropped it. Flying Saucers by Host has had the gun finger treatment for sure when I’ve dropped it! And of course Daft by Fixate & Hyroglifics always tears the place  apart too.

What other music are you listening to?

I’ve mostly been listening to a lot of the Gobstopper releases recently. I’ve not really had a chance to hunt down too much new music to listen to by myself due to life being a bit hectic these days. I’ve been listening to The Chromatics a fair bit in preperation to their new album, but when it comes to down time I’ve been listening to a lot of Max Richter, Jam City and a bit of Calibre. Oh and of course that new Sense LP! Oh, and this mix of course!

What song do you always reach for in a set?

Hmm that’s a tough one… The Alix Perez remix of Virus SyndicateKnock it Backalways goes off and I’ve been playing that I’ve been playing that in just about every set since it came out!

Have you got any bookings coming up that you can tell us about?

Not right now unfortunatly, now that February is out of the way my diary is pretty empty, so if anyone wants to get in touch… Hola: bookings@diffrentmusic.com

What’s the best gig that you’ve ever done?

That’s a really hard one haha! I think playing at Sense’s album launch at DJ Mag Bunker was the best so far this year. The intimacy of the venue was exactly what I love and it was an excellent performence from the whole team (apart from my occasional clangy mix haha!) A close second would be playing B2B with Corrupted for DEEPDREAM (Shoutouts to Youniss and Samuel) in Antwerp, it was my first time playing outside the country and was a fantastic experience.

Who would you most like to do a B2B set with?

Oh man I’m really gonna have to think here… I guess it would depend on the scenario. In a rave I reckon Chimpo would be someone I would love to do some sort of mental 1 track pass thing with haha!

What’s the best set you’ve ever seen anyone play?

There’s so many to choose from after my time in Bristol! The first one that comes to mind however is the set Mumdance played at Blue Mountain. The way he fuses grime, techno and hardcore is just mad and if anyone reading this gets a chance to see him you would be mad to miss it.

Which producer or DJ is your top tip for this year that we should check out?

Probably has to be one of the olde Exeter crew Phrixus, He has a killer out soon and plenty more to come this year!

What is your favourite album of all time?

Now that is a really tough one! It’s a close tie between J.DillaDonuts and WilcoHotel Yankee Foxtrot.

https://m.soundcloud.com/lakeway