"I've Always Done What I've wanted To Do" Catching Up With Skream

Some might call Skream controversial, for voicing his opinions proper on twitter or daring so boldly to completely change his sonic path (from dubstep to disco); but at the end of the day he’s just doing what he’s always done: his own thing. There are plenty of people out there who just don’t get this, people who are quick to connect the dots wrongly between dollar signs and his musical direction, but that’s something that becomes instantly clear is as far from the Rinse affiliate’s agenda than anything out there could be. Seeing as we’ve invited the Croydon native to share his four four influenced record collection with us on the birthday with his disco set in Room Three we wanted to talk about what inspired him towards the house and disco world of our Saturday night programming, as well as what we can expect from him this coming weekend. So how're you doing? You're just back from Ibiza right? Has this last season been a new thing for you musically to be so involved out there? It’s the first time I’ve been enjoying it because before I was going there and playing alien music, playing dubstep and people where like ‘what the fuck is this?’. But yeah it’s been great this year, I’ve met so many good people like the Hot Creations lot and Jamie Jones, that’s who I’ve been with most of the summer and Seth Troxler has really helped me out as well. I have to mention Circoloco too because they’re ultimately really cool people. It’s been really good I’ve not just met good work people but actually a load of good friends, and not just meeting in clubs but actually hanging out. It’s been a really good summer. Your activity over there there particularly this season really has seen your move away from the dubstep world develop even further, at what point did you feel that you wanted to make that move? It was touring America and was just feeling alienated on these huge stages and playing stuff that I didn’t want to play any more. I was getting sent so much stuff that was really good, slower between 119 and 130bpm and I just found that I liked that more than what I was playing. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed playing those big stages a lot, but my heart wasn’t in it. I’ve always done what I’ve wanted to do it just felt really natural, but the hardest bit was getting everyone else on board. I’ve obviously lost lots of fans. I guess there are a lot of people out there that when they heard your early records fell in love really hard with that sound… What people forget is that I did a lot of those records when I was 15 or 17 and I’m 27 now. I do still listen to a lot of dubstep but people seem to think that I’ve completely cut it out of my life. I can’t, it’s in my blood but I’ve started a new chapter and I’m kind of excited. It’s a weird situation you’re in as a DJ where you always have to indicate what kind of set you’re playling at a gig. Like you’re billed at our birthday as ‘Skream disco set’ – most DJ’s are just DJ’s and don’t have to explain what they’re playing to people. I’ve noticed people responding to these billings just by asking ‘play some dubstep’ how does that make you feel? It drives me up the fucking wall. But to be fair it’s very humbling at the same time because people care that much, they love the music you’ve made. You know I’ve still made that music I’m still associated with it but it’s just like if I get one more tweet that asks what sort of set I’m playing I just think it’s the same set I’ve been playing all year. It’s kind of like fucking hell are you a fan or are you just annoying me because if you were a fan and followed me you’d know what I was doing now. It’s kids who aren’t actually my fans, they’re fans of dub step and just associate me with it. I’ve seen it happen with DJs who have no association whatsoever with the dub step world playing gigs, having kids flash their phones at them with ‘got any dubstep’ typed out on their screens…Going back to your DJing more specifically what kind of tracks are you playing right now? One of my favourite records of the summer, which was probably the biggest record in Ibiza was a track by Tell Walls called Gotham which was one of my favourite tracks. Richy Ahmed’s got a track that’s not out yet called ‘It’s The Drums That Get Me’ and there’s a Tom Shorterz remix I’ve been playing a lot. It all depends where I play, that’s the great thing you’re catering for the crows whereas before I felt I couldn’t play anything whether I liked it or not. Now everything I play I’m really into – I was before don’t get me wrong but what I was playing before at some points in the set I felt I was more buzzing off the reaction rather than what I was playing and now it’s about finding tracks that no-one else knows, We've talked about your fans but what about your peers? Are they supporting you in this new direction? Yes. Well, the thing is that everybody knows I follow my heart. I always have. If you listen to my second record Outside The Box it was a brave move because at the time I could have done a stadium type dubstep album which could have gone huge, but I didn’t want to. I’m doing well that’s the thing so everyone’s there and they’re they might not be into what I’m ultimately playing but most of them are into me. It’s not just about being successful in stature terms then, it’s doing what you want? And it’s friends, people I’ve worked with for the last 13 years. So they’re friends, they’re best friends. Nobody’s going to go ‘I don’t think should do this’ because they know I’ve not been forced into doing it. I’ve forced myself because I just wasn’t feeling creative. That was the main thing, not feeling creative to make music anymore. I’m a producer ultimately and when I’m not being inspired by what I’m playing I’m fucked basically. Your latest single then - it's got a real story behind it with the video - did you have that story in mind when you were writing the track? No, the song was written about 2 years ago and we just finished it recently. That [the video] was all to do with the guys who produced it but when you explain the video it sounds so cheesy but when you see it, it makes sense. It’s really fun, it’s a fun story – is this the prelude to an album then? I’ve got some tracks together but I’m not ready to write an album again. After the winter, new year I think I’ll be able to start talking and thinking about one but I haven’t been in the studio that much this year. So I need to get back into the spring of writing music and getting my production back again. And you’ve had Nile Rogers compliment your recent output too? Yeah, that was amazing. I supported him in Ibiza and he came out to me show. He was on stage with me which was buzzing. Then he tweeted about my track. It doesn’t get much better for me than that. Let's finish up by talking about RM3 which is completely different setting from your usual RM1 booth, you'll know our rooms have a different dynamic - what's that going to bring out in what you play? I’m going to be in fancy dress - i can't tell you what it'll ruin it. Well I was nearly going to go as a bed - with a fake woman's head so it looks like I'm in bed with a woman but I'm going to be in fabric for quite a long time and i won't be able to wear clothes underneath it if i wear it cos I'm going to be hot. So I'm going to swerve it.
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