Photography: Eleanor Weitzer
You know you’re onto something when Andy C starts playing your tunes.
You know you’re onto something even stronger when Andy starts playing them within days of you sending them to his label manager.
And you most definitely know you’re onto an absolutely mad thing if Andy uses your tune in one of his famous XOYO intros and the label signs you.
Such is the case with Skantia, a 22 year old Newcastle DJ/producer who has officially joined the RAM ranks and has a persy stash of dubs to die for. The big tunes in question that Andy’s been supporting include a cheeky remix of Loko’s Bassline Secret (coming up on a special Program release later this year) and Cluster, a banger that goes a bit like this.
Cluster is set to drop May 7 and will be followed by plenty more. Currently living the aspiring producer dream, to say Skantia is inspired is an understatement. We headed north for full details:
Andy’s been rinsing your tunes a bit…
It’s mad mate. He seems to love that Loko remix, he keeps drawing for that. It’s a mad experience to see him rinsing my tunes. It’s immense. Gutted I wasn’t able to get down to XOYO to see it in the flesh but it’s a mission down from Newcastle.
What’s the scene like in Newcastle right now? I’ve never had a bad night out there!
It’s great man. Jump up was huge here for years but recently everyone’s got into the deeper sounds and rollers. It’s had an impact on everything I make and play because we all want to impress each other.
I think you can hear the direction you were heading in with your early stuff like Laser Defence. That rolling sound was already there even in your jump up…
Yeah I think so man, it’s been a pretty natural development, I only ever make what I want to make but I know I’m inspired by what’s happening here and everyone in the scene up here.
I’m trying to think of other artists I know of from Newcastle. You must know Nectax? Who else is there?
Nectax is my best pal! Also Scudd & Kastro who are both killing it too. And of course man like Yun, aspiring MC and serial creema. We’re all super tight and all share and support each other. It’s really inspiring man.
Crew! A combination of strength in numbers and friendly competition, right? It keeps you on your toes….
One hundred and ten million percent mate! We’re all trying to out do each other. You can’t beat friendly competition. It makes it so much more fun and it’s wicked knowing you got that support. If one of us does something big then we all benefit.
Love that. How did the RAM link come about?
After my track Balance came out on Lifestyle, Jim the Ram label manager got in touch on Facebook and asked about an EP. I was like ‘woah!’ It gave me such a creative spurt, I started spamming him with tune after tune. I was making a tune a day. He was like ‘bloody hell, you wanna sign?’ Then the Bassline Secret remix came through and I seen videos of Andy playing it within days of finishing it. It’s mad how quickly things can happen sometimes. Same with Cluster. I sent it to Jim and he was like ‘oh my god, I need this now!’ Two days later, I get another video of Andy playing it. Mental mate.
Amazing. What persy stash are you sitting on? Sounds like you’re not short of ideas!
I’ve got too many tunes! Seriously. I’ve almost deaded my computer with them. It’s on its last legs but I’m getting a new set up soon and the music will flow even faster.
Amazing. What other major league DJ support have you had?
Quite bit fair play man. Actually Camo & Krooked hit me up the other day which was pretty mind-blowing. I sent them three tunes and I’m hoping I get some dubs back! I’ve also had support from Shy FX, Randall, Doc Scott, it’s been mental!
That’s the way it works innit? Dubs are like currency in that way. You’ve got to have something to give to get something back…
That’s what I think but you should see some of the requests I get. People treat dub blagging as an artform. You see it a mile off when they send you a message with a little kissy face and all that. But then when the big DJs ask you for tunes then all that goes out the window!
Hahah. True! Are you resident anywhere in Newcastle then?
Yeah I’m resident at a night called Dilate, it’s run by a guy called Danox. He’s helped me out so much. Everything I’ve done in drum & bass is because of him. I started selling tickets for him, then got my residency and that’s where I’ve found my sound and style. I gotta big him up massively.
That’s wicked, the best artists started with flyering and ticket sales. Andy C did as it goes!
That’s it man. You’ve got to put in the hard work and contribute before you can expect to reap the benefits. I love it mate, I couldn’t be happier.
Skantia – Cluster is out May 7 on RAM Records