Wheats

How long had you been working on your productions prior to meeting Toolroom at the Academy Live event at Brighton Music Conference in 2016?

I’ve been producing music and working around the DJ environment since I was about 13-14, so I finally had the confidence to try my luck and let a huge label like Toolroom listen to a track of mine. At this point I had quite a lot of knowledge of the whole scene but I’d never signed a track to a major label – just local labels, and I’d managed to get a Radio 1 play from Monki.

Why did you attend the Toolroom Academy event at BMC in 2016?

Me and a few friends noticed the local event (we are based in Portsmouth). We travelled up to see what it was all about and made sure we attended the Toolroom Academy. We knew it would be a good place to network & I’m quite networking MAD haha!

What do you remember about the production seminars? Did you learn anything in particular?

I really liked the Prok & Fitch one. They’re one of my all time favourite artists so I found that very interesting. I loved the way they showed us the reverbs & delay techniques in their “Build A Groove” tutorial. It was an amazing experience to say the least.

Which track did you submit to the demo drop? Did you feel confident about it?

It was an early days track entitled “Redstrict”. At this point I had hardly any confidence but sometimes you’ve just got to go for it I suppose.

What do you remember the A&R team saying with their feedback?

Ha great question. I was stood there shaking like a leaf, I can actually remember my leg going as well, quite an experience. After they listened I do remember George saying “Really reminds us of an early Disclosure & Prok|Fitch”. So you can only imagine how I felt after hearing that… He also shouted across the room jokingly “Can we get the sample cleared so we can sign this up?”. It was a mega experience, I was chuffed to bits.

How did it feel when you first got signed to Toolroom? Which album did it appear on?

It felt like a truly massive achievement! After long, long A&Ring with George [Ankrett, Toolroom Music Director], loads of phone calls and emails, it was finally signed to the Ibiza Volume 2 album, which was packed with the likes of DJ SKT as exclusive tracks, so great company!

How did your relationship with the label develop after the first release?

Basically I did all I could to try and keep a connection every two weeks. I was absolutely spamming George with tracks & general conversation! I went on to sign another track called “Starburst” – this one picked the ears of Mark Knight.

What’s your relationship with Mark Knight like?

Me & Mark get on extremely well. It’s great to see how much time he has for me & how we are progressing. I see him as someone I’d love to emulate one day. He’s a massive influence on me. I think you can hear certain parts in my tracks that have similarities to his work. The guy is a great mentor, helped me a lot last year & already this year!

How did it feel when you were signed to Toolroom as a roster artist in 2017?

It felt like everything I’ve worked for was worth it. Toolroom is a label that I’ve always looked up to & supported from very young so being a signed artist is just the ultimate feeling.

What advice would you give to other young producers who are trying to break into the industry?

Basically never give up. You never know what’s around the corner. One moment I was handing my Demo in, now I’m signed to my all time favourite label.

Do you think attending the Toolroom Academy live event made a difference to your career?

I wouldn’t be where I am without the Toolroom Academy live event. Even before I was signed, they were there to listen to music that wasn’t even going out on the label. I think anyone that gets the opportunity to go they SHOULD 100%!

What does the Toolroom Academy mean to you?

I’m forever thankful for Toolroom for putting on the Academy. I think it gives newcomers a chance. I didn’t expect it to be so in-depth with how the label works. Not a lot of labels give these opportunities.

What are your plans as an artist in 2018?

2018 is set out to be my most exciting year yet. My first full single for the label is landing next month on Toolroom Trax, so that’s a massive goal accomplished!

I’ve got more and more gigs coming in, including my debut for the label in London for Toolroom Live. I’m playing Elrow later in the year as well, which I’m very excited about too.

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