After a huge 2015, which saw him win the Hannah Wants DJ search and release on labels including Dirtybird and Of Unsound Mind, producer and DJ Harry Judda has most definitely burst onto the scene. Mixing bass, house and techno with ease, he's already played parties up and down the UK and has just dropped his debut album on Low Steppa's Simma Black imprint. We caught him for a chat about all things bass and Body Swerve.
Hi Harry, how’s it going? How was your summer?
Hi, all good here. It’s actually been a different one for me as it’s been my first summer while living in London. By this point, I'm ready to get into the autumn and back into the club nights, it’s my favourite time of the year.
Give us the lowdown on how you first got into music – is it something you always had your sights on?
All of my family have always had a keen interest in music and it’s been my passion for as far back as I can remember. As soon as I was old enough I was working in nightclubs either DJing, doing promotion, running events etc. I still love it as much as when I first started and I find it hard to imagine myself doing anything else.
You won the Hannah Wants DJ search at the end of last year – what did that process actually involve and what won it for you?
I thought it would be a good chance to showcase my DJ skills as I’d mostly been known as a producer in this scene up ‘til then. I believe I mix slightly different to a lot of house/techno DJs so thought I may stand out a little. So I'm glad sticking to what I do and the kind of selection I'd play won me the competition.
And how much did that impact your DJing career?
It’s hard to say how much impact it made as at the time, I had been getting a lot of love for recent releases. But of course it’s helped my profile, and I also got the chance to support Hannah on her tour doing a couple of dates in Glasgow and Edinburgh, which I'd never been to before.
Speaking of Hannah Wants, what are your thoughts on the ‘Mercy (VIP)’ plagiarism controversy?
I actually did speak out about this on my social media. Obviously copying tunes is wrong and she's made a mistake (as well as other people involved) by putting it out there. But what alarmed me most were the public’s very strong, negative reactions towards her afterwards. It’s almost like people had been waiting for a chance to take her down. I couldn't get my head around the bitterness!? I personally hope she is ok from it all as she doesn't deserve that level of grief. Makes me wonder if it might have been different if it had been a male artist doing the same..
Your sound is very big and bass-heavy, where does that love of bass come from?
I'd pretty much got into 'rave' music as a little boy, continuing to listen to jungle and d’n’b throughout my school years and beyond. I think predominantly that is where my influences come from and I have shaped my own sound from that. Not intentionally, it’s just what feels natural to me.
Your debut album Body Swerve has been getting a lot of love on social media, how does it feel to have it out there and hear people are playing it?
It’s always a good feeling. Probably the best feeling is to be in a club and hear a DJ play one of your tracks and it be received well. But getting nice messages, tweets etc., from fans, DJs and particularly artists you've looked up to is a really special thing.
You released it on Simma Black, why did you decide to go with Low Steppa’s label for your first one?
It actually kind of happened by accident. Low Steppa had been playing a few of my tunes so I thought it would be a good idea to try and get a release on Simma Black. I sent them over a bunch of tracks for them to pick from and they came back to me and said they wanted them all! So we then decided to shape it into an album’s worth.
You’ve had tracks included in a Red Bull Studios Mixtape from Shadow Child, a Fabric Live mix from My Nu Leng, and CR2’s Space Ibiza album – how does it feel to get support from such big names?
Yeah it’s amazing to have such good artists, labels and brands into your music. I feel extremely privileged and complimented and I hope I can continue to impress them. Can’t be a bad thing!
You also find time to run Trademark Music, how do you like the label boss role?
It’s something I have always wanted to do, so it’s good to have got the wheels in motion. I wanted to use it as platform to put out some of my own music as well as taking on new like-minded artists. The plan is to push on with Trademark next year keeping up the releases as well as a mix series and starting a label club night.
What upcoming releases should we be keeping an ear out for?
I have just signed an EP to Shadow Child & Kry Wolf's Food Music which I am pretty excited about, not sure on release dates yet. Possibly end of the year or start of next. Before that I have a couple of tracks coming out on my label Trademark Music. I'm currently working on new material so hopefully I can give some more info on that very soon..
What song or piece of music changed your life?
I don't think there is one particular track, it was more of an era of underground music, particularly early 90's jungle.
And what track have you got on repeat right now?
Black Loops - Sex
What’s been the best gig of your career so far?
In my new ventures it was probably at the start of this year at a 'This Aint Bristol' event in Germany, such a good gig. Luckily it was recorded.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
A couple of beers if I can, I'm always better slightly loosened.
If you could play a b2b set with anyone, past or present, who would it be?
10 years ago it would have probably have been someone like Andy C, albeit terrifying. Right now I’d probably like to do one with the guys who play similar to me like Shadow Child or Billy Kenny.
What are you most in love with right now?
Myself. Someone's got to be.
If you could fill a swimming pool with anything in the world, what would you go for?
For some reason my initial thought was chocolate but then that would kill me. Then I thought of money but that would probably kill me. Possibly naked women but then that would probably eventually kill me too. So I'm gonna go with water with a touch of chlorine.
What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?
Getting stuck into the autumn events, DJing and partying.
Harry Judda’s album Body Swerve is out now on Simma Black. For more info on Harry Judda visit MN2S DJ Agency.