Pushing the best new sounds and artists, leading jungle's revival all whilst finding time to produce his own tunes, Hybrid is one of the busiest guys in the scene right now.
Running three labels, touring up and down the country playing at some of the biggest events and clubs, and steadily releasing plenty of his own material, Hybrid is a man who probably doesn't get much sleep.
One of his labels is ready to release it's biggest project yet, the others are on fire while Hybrid himself is hitting North America for a debut tour. Somehow he managed to find the time for a quick chat with Guestlist where he shares a little more details about all that he has happening.
Hey, how are you?
I’m good thanks mate
What was your first thought this morning?
Coffee? Maybe? Haha!
What's currently got you motivated?
Probably my obsession with this music is what keeps me motivated mainly, apart from that I very much like to prove people wrong and enough people have tried to tell me I can’t make a career in music so it’s all fuel for the fire!
You tell them! You must be doing something right with three labels and have a hefty touring schedule. How do you manage your time?
I think I just try and get as much done on a day to day basis as possible, I don’t really have a day off or anything and I’m pretty much none stop which obviously helps but doesn’t leave you with much free time. On the other hand if you enjoy doing it its time well spent in my opinion.
There's a lot to be said about never working a day in your life if you love what you do. Though that doesn't mean you haven't worked hard, how have you got to this point?
Originally when I set up Audio Addict with a friend 7 years ago it was a platform to promote our own music and release our music on vinyl. Over the years that has changed and now it’s more about promoting other artists I like, as well as myself. Deep in the Jungle on the other hand was specifically set up to focus of jungle music and promote other artists.
I think there was a combination of things that ‘changed it all’ but, when my tune ‘Badboy’ was released on Deep in the Jungle that’s when I really started to get somewhere. There are a few achievements which still can’t believe but getting asked to remix jungle classics such as 'The Hitman' by Marvellous Cain is one of the most amazing achievements I can think of! I’m also currently working on a remix of Top Cat’s ‘Gallist’ which I’m very happy about too.
Big things! You've been making big moves in jungle, when did you first seriously get into this sound?
Like most people I started listening to jungle when I was a teenager, not specifically jungle music - I used to listen to everything from D&B to hard house and hip hop. There always was something that stood out about it for me though, maybe the rhythm or the bassline? It just felt energetic and different. I think there was a few tunes I used to listen to over and over but some of the ones that I liked most were 'King of the Beats' by Aphrodite and the Shy FX remix of 'Chopper' by Ray Keith.
In your mind what's driving the current revival of Jungle?
I think through the expansion of the drum & bass scene and how the music has changed over the years, such as the over the top sound of jump up & neurofunk. Some people have started to go back to that classic sound again, whether its old skool jungle or the Full Cycle styled rollers, it’s obvious that there is a big following for these sounds once again.
That combined with a whole new wave of jungle producers which aren’t just rehashing the same ideas but coming with something new and interesting has contributed to the ‘revival’ of jungle. Also I have to say, it’s got a lot to do with old labels starting back up again when they haven’t released anything in years.
Also people like Ray Keith and Bladerunner have kept that sound prominent within the scene all these years, they deserve some credit too.
You mentioned Ray Keith & Bladerunner, there are plenty of others too - though how does it go down with all the legends of the scene still doing their thing as a new generation bring new energy to the scene - how does this effect things?
Obviously you always have respect for the legends as without them I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now and so many of the legends of the scene have shown me so much support and I’m extremely grateful. Without sounding too cheesy, to be on the same bills as some of the legends of the scene as well as my idols is like a dream come true. One thing I will say though in regards to line ups of some jungle nights I think you obviously need the legends on the bill to some extent to get people in the door but I do think they should also focus on the newer artists in jungle too. Some line ups I see just seem to be the same big names over and over and surely people want to know who are the next big names of the future?
We hear you! Aside from the jungle stuff you've got Audio Addict pushing a variety of styles in d&b - how would you describe this imprint's ethos?
Audio Addict has always just been about good music. We do release a lot of drum & bass music like liquid, jump up, jungle, tech, halftime and minimal stuff but we have always been open to putting out any good music we get sent, no matter what genre.
How do you feel about the creative position of Audio Addict right now?
I’m happy with it but I still feel that it needs more work, Audio Addict will always be a working progress for me really and it’s something I will always be trying to develop alongside my career and bring new artists through.
I think we do well with being diverse and that helps us stand out but it is also hard to build a strong following when you don’t specifically identify as say a jungle label or a jump up label. We have a couple of really promising artists on the roster such as Kumarachi who is one that always impresses me with his music and Agro never falls short with his jump up sound.
RMS & Dcision have a massive EP which is going to be released in two parts and they are really ones to watch out for in my opinion, they are from Canada but people are really going to have to start booking them in the UK soon as they are going to be huge. Also just want to mention Section, Scartip, LJ High, Stranjah and Tyr Kohout who we have released some great music from recently and we also have music forthcoming from label newcomers Replicant, Subcriminal and Rob Blaze later this year.
You're soon gonna be dropping the first volume of the Audio Addict mix. What can people expect from that?
It has to be my biggest project yet and I’m really happy with how it’s turned out! It pretty much covers all styles of D&B/jungle really, with a lot of exclusive remixes, VIP’s and original works. It also showcases a lot of the future talent and releases we have forthcoming on the label too. There are a few back catalogue tracks here and there on it but it is mainly all new exclusive stuff, as well as a few new bits from myself.
How did you sort the tracklist?
I always find tracklist’s really hard to do if I’m honest, I just end up trying to write it down on a A4 piece of paper but I probably ended up scrapping it, rewriting and changing it about 6 times before I had the final tracklist.
You're heading off on your first tour of North America, where exactly are you heading?
Yeah so I will be starting in Buffalo and then moving on to Toronto, Los Angeles, New York and finishing up in Boston.
What are you expecting from the tour?
I’m just hoping for an amazing experience really, we tried not to overcomplicate the tour and keep it simple. We even had to turn down a couple of bookings so it will be more enjoyable for me, as it is my first time touring North America I want to have at least a bit of time to see some sites. I did have a couple of gigs in Canada last year in Calgary and Toronto but this will be my first time touring the USA.
Anything else you wanna do when you're out there?
Apart from the usual sites I’d like to get some good food and I’ve always been a big fan of American sports so would be nice to see a Basketball, Ice Hockey or Baseball game while I’m out there.
If you weren't a DJ, what do you think you'd be doing?
Well I used to work in a Record Shop and a DVD shop so probably something like that although I was a chef for a short period but it made me very ill so it’s not something I’d do again.
If you had to start a life in a new country, where would that be and why? What pulls you there?
I think my first choice would be somewhere like Spain I have some family and friends out there and I’ve been to Barcelona twice in the last year and I very much like the Spanish lifestyle. Other than that Canada is a very nice country with a good D&B scene or Belgium for the same reasons.
Any ideas that have changed you life?
I think probably moving out of my hometown, I used to live in Coventry and I wasn’t having a good time with it. I was running myself into the ground trying be a chef and working on a music career at the same time, I even made myself very ill and couldn’t work for a while.
In that time I re-assessed my life and decided to go full time on making music and to move from my hometown down to the south coast not far from Brighton. It wasn’t the main reason but it’s around the same time things started to happen for me with my music career and I’m honestly not sure if it would of gone the same way if I have stayed put in that same life.
If you had a superpower, what would that be and why?
Being able to stop time? Can think of many good reasons for that to be honest haha, take your pick!
What would you do to change the world?
Well going a bit deep but I would probably take the power of issuing money without debt attached to it or as some people call it fractional reserve banking away from a lot of the global banking companies and the Federal Reserve and Bank of England etc.
In my opinion most of the problems of the world at the moment seem to be a social economic issue and banks should be for the people to help them and not to benefit corporations. While I’m at it probably get rid of them Kardashions too as they don’t really do anything for the world I don’t think anyone will miss them.
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