We touch down with tech house DJ and producer, 2involved, who has come a long way since first making waves on the scene with a remix of Hot Since 82's, 'Knee Deep in Louise' to chat inspiration, influences and who should play at the last ever rave on the planet.
What were your early influences with regards to electronic music?
Before house, it was all about jungle and drum & bass for me as a teenager in the 90's. Dnb was the successor of hardcore/rave music my biggest love as a young 90's teen. Coming from a small town in the North-West of UK we had limited access to underground music, hearing only commercial rave & dance mostly through TV programs such as Top of the Pops. I was very fortunate to have an older brother and sister living in London at the time. And it was through visiting them in my school holidays I got to hear the London sound! It blew my mind completely! I would sit in my sister's spare room and record tapes for hours on end of pirate radio stations such Kool FM, Don FM and Flex, to take back home with me. My sister took me to some raves when I got a bit older and I just completely fell in love with the music and knew it was something I wanted to be involved in.
A lot of people are into electronic music but only a few actually want to DJ, what made you pursue the art form?
Listening to pirate radios religiously I began to wonder how they kept this continuous rhythm going. I tried with a couple of cassette players and failed miserably as you could imagine but continued to try to understand how it was done. I learned it was turntables I needed and managed to get my hands on a pair.
However, problems weren’t over yet discovering I needed pitch controlled turntables in order to mix records. Despite the fact I didn't have this feature I got quite good at keeping the pitch in with my finger continuously moving it around the turntable! I eventually got one 'wheel' pitch controlled turntable and I was in the game! Things progressed from there...I landed my first gig at just 15 years in Durban, SA after my family emigrated there. This was where the transition to house music took place as it was mainly a London dnb thing back then.
Your latest project 2involved has seen some rave reviews about your music. Where do you find your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from all the producers I play in my DJ sets. I wouldn't say 2involved has a specific sound yet, somewhere between house and techno. I'm still learning and developing my style, though I've been trying to make music for many years it's not a new thing for me and hasn't been easy.
Maybe if I'd have stayed in for a few weekends in my twenties I probably would have seen success a lot sooner! But you live and you learn and I'm 100 % percent focused now and have a good bunch of people around me which is important in this game. I do listen to lots of other types of music when not producing, rarely do I listen to house in these moments. I've been listening to a lot of funk and old school hip hop recently but I could just as easily be listening to jazz or ambient music.
What projects have you got in the pipeline?
I'm working on another release for Out of Nowhere Records due out in June. It's my good friend Jefton's label, set up in 2018. It's still early days but he is determined to make a success of it and is a sick producer himself with some quality releases. The new EP will feature a track I'm working on with vocalist Enel, who I met through the Codesouth.FM radio station I currently have a show on. He has got some serious hooks! I have a few more to come with my pal SubSahara, and of course my longtime friend Joe Le Groove. Joe and I have been djing and producing few bits together, mainly remixes, since the mid-noughties. He's had lots of success and I'm excited to be working with him again. We have our own collaboration project called Gatchamen and are in the process of getting some of our original material released.
If you held the last rave on earth and could book 7 acts, who would you book?
The Prodigy, Deep Dish. Master At Work, Carl Cox, John Digweed, Sasha, Richie Hawtin and Hot Since 82.
Have you got plans for your own label?
Not at the moment but not out of the question.
Name one thing you would change about the music scene?
Might cause a bit of controversy this but Laptop DJing and sync buttons… I'm old school and DJs must learn how to mix in my opinion like the rest of us! It's rewarding and a lot more exciting when you're playing. I'm speaking from experience… I ditched the laptop and went back!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
100 % making a living off music hopefully! Continuing to produce and release quality underground music and djing in clubs if I'm fortunate enough. My own label, Album, more success!
If you were banished to a desert island and had to take 3 famous people with you, who would you take and why?
Tom Hanks – he knows how to survive on a desert island! James Brown - The king of funk. And Jennifer Lawrence – she would play an important role in my repopulation strategy!