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Laurie Charlesworth

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In Conversation With goddard.

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In Conversation With goddard.

Photo Credit: Khali Ackford

Ice baths in the garden, BRIT Award nominations, green juices that taste like mud, platinum records. The life of goddard. is both extraordinary and completely normal all in the same breath.

Hailing from the midlands, goddard. has been a key player in one of D&B’s biggest commercial peaks. His love for collaborating with both up and coming artists and artists from other genres has set him aside, with collaborations with Greentea Peng, Cat Burns and Venbee piquing interests globally.

Fans will be happy to hear his label and event brand rabbit hole. are on the horizon too, and with his recent signing to Atlantic Records also being thrown into the mix, slowing down is completely off the agenda.

Zooming in from an Airbnb in the UK countryside before jetting off to sunny America for his first US tour, goddard. joins us to talk rabbit hole., his incoming release on UKF and so much more.

You’ve had an incredibly busy year so far, how’s it been for you?

Yeah I’ve been super busy this year. It’s been good. The Brit Awards were a bit crazy, but a cool experience. I was really happy to get ‘Wasted Youth’ with Cat Burns out this year too. It was my first release with Atlantic so it was nice to get that out into the world. I have ‘Drowning Mind’ out on UKF incoming after that and then my EP to follow.

Lots going on. ‘Messy In Heaven’ went platinum this year too. Is this something you envisioned happening?

Absolutely not! I didn’t even think ‘Messy in Heaven’ was going to get radio play because of the lyrics. That was a big surprise. When we first started to work on it I thought ‘this probably won’t get any radio play, but that’s ok’ and then it was all over the radio. I didn’t expect it at all. We’re really fortunate because with that happening, we’ve been able to go around the world, from New Zealand and Australia to America, and play drum & bass to people. It’s really cool. It was definitely the catalyst for everything that followed. The ‘Go’ remix gave me my first headline tour and then when ‘Messy in Heaven’ did what it did, it really took off and bookings came flying in.

Talk to us about ‘Drowning Mind’ incoming on UKF!

UKF approached me and asked if I wanted to make a track. I asked if they had any vocals I could check out. They sent me a few but Billy Lockett’s really jumped out at me. I was immediately drawn to the passion and the power that you can hear in his voice and when I heard the chorus, I thought it was a really anthemic moment. I started working on it straight away, and got a demo together straight away. Billy loved it. We had a bit of a back and forth. Billy went from giving me one vocal stem to him sending me 15, so there was a lot to play with. I really wanted to try and use all of it. A few days later, it was finished. I gave it a test on the road, it went down well and yeah, it was ready to go! Beau from Ten Eight Seven Mastering smashed the mastering on that one.

It was meant to be. Big up Beau too. You were discovering D&B when UKF was launched back in 2010. What does it mean for you to release on UKF? 

It’s unbelievable. When I was at college, we used to stay in the classroom at lunch and I would always put UKF on. That was my encyclopaedia to the world of drum & bass. I had already started dabbling with RAM Records, Hospitality and Playaz, but with UKF, they were showcasing such a vast amount of music. They showed me drum & bass acts all over the world, and they still do!

You’re now signed to Atlantic. Was being signed to a major label always a goal of yours? How has the process been?

Well, it was a long process. I didn’t want to sign to a major unless I could work with both younger drum & bass artists and create a network to put out music for them and myself. That was one of the main things that I considered. Am I going to go down the road of signing to a major label? The answer is yes, but only if I can also release on independent labels like UKF and my label, rabbit hole., which is very, very nearly launched…

Exciting! You’ll be running rabbit hole. events too, right?

Yeah definitely. Before I started to produce, I wanted to put on events and work in events. I actually had an events company. We’d create art installations and stage design for other festivals. My whole goal for that was that once we’d built enough installations through other jobs and we have a collection of all this art, we’d create our own little festival and grow it from there. There is still an essence of that with rabbit hole. My dream is to one day put on a festival and to have it so it’s very much built around the production and the experience as a whole. It’s great having a big lineup, don’t get me wrong, but for me personally, I’d rather have a smaller venue or festival that really goes in on the immersive experience. Which is what I want to do with rabbit hole. Those sort of experiences really do thicken the memory. I want to build a community and a family. It’s very easy to become disassociated sometimes because we’re always on social media so these things are important to me.

Absolutely. How have you found having social media as an artist?

Initially I found it difficult. Mainly because if you’re promoting a business or a brand, you want to translate a positive attitude, but as human beings, we are always going to have down days. I’ve learnt to limit my time on social media over the last 12 months because I’m an overthinker. Sometimes when I spend too much time on social media, I can spiral a little bit. I find it hard. I try to limit the time I spend looking at my screen. I like looking at what people are doing but I also need to remain conscious of how much time I’m spending on there. There is a certain level of mental resilience needed when using your phone. Pressures like this are why I do ice baths now, because it helps with brain fog and over thinking. When I get in a scatty state of mind and I’m not really getting the job done, I’ll get in an ice bath and it’ll reset my mind. The worst part is getting in. Your breathing intensifies, it’s ok, when you get out you get a flood of dopamine, it’s great.

Those ice baths look horrendous and amazing all at the same time! Is there anything else you do for your mental health?

For me personally, I need routine. I try to eat healthily and go to the gym, more for mental clarity. I’m not fussed physique wise, it’s more to keep the head clear. Keep the negative nancies out of my brain. So, gym, ice baths, trying to eat healthily too. I even started drinking these green things that taste terrible! They taste like the earth. The thing is, when you’re on the road, the only thing open at 3am is McDonalds. But when you’re only eating fast food, you start to really feel it in yourself. You feel lethargic, you feel tired. You don’t feel sociable because you have no goodness in your body. The last 18 months has been a massive learning curve in that respect, if you want to feel good, you need to put good stuff in your body. It helps no end.

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