Well this escalated quickly: nine months ago, we interviewed Whiney about the fact after four years he was only just dropping his first full EP. Less than a year later, he’s dropping his debut album: Talisman.
“I know, I know, it’s the complete opposite to what I was saying in the last interview,” he laughs. “I did say that ‘taking your time is good’ but then I hit my stride in a major way, I found extra time to invest in music and disciplined myself to actually finish things rather than leaving them unfinished. When I got into that stride things did take off really quickly.”
Talisman drops August 11. As hinted at by tracks such as Flashlight, Portal and Never Too Long, it’s a seriously accomplished piece of work that’s rooted in underground dynamics, peppered with soul, galvanises Whiney’s role in the Med School/Hospital family and builds on his modest but immaculate discog-so-far. To celebrate the release we’re hosting a UKF On Air broadcast with Med School this Thursday August 10 where Whiney will be joined by Etherwood, Keeno and Lakeway. The party will be held at the Work Bar, London and is free entry.
Can’t make it down to London? Tune in and join the party on Facebook live stream!
In the meantime we pried into Whiney’s past for a few tales from his past. It turns out a debut album isn’t the only major life event he’s enjoying right now. Congratulations Whiney!
His album is heavier than you might expect….
Whiney’s always kept us on our toes with his style. One minute he’s soothing our souls, the next he’s ripping them out and stamping them into the ground cases in point: the balance of Teddy’s Gate and Monty’s Zoomers on his Nest release or the contrast between Stranger Tides and Onyx on his last EP. But Talisman definitely slants on the heavier, club-focused corner of Whiney’s palette with sheer sonic scuds such as Portal, Rock Hopper and Last Contact.
“I’ve taken a different perspective and thought about what I like to hear in a club and what I want to hear as a track develops. Talisman, the title track, for example has quite a long introduction. In fact it’s a long track full stop. When I’m making tracks like that I put myself in the audience and think ‘what do I want to hear next?’ So on the next drop it evolves again and changes and develops before the breakdown. There’s been a shift in perspective for me; rather than considering how it may be from a home listening perspective, it’s much more of a club angle.”
He also sings on it….
Joining an elite breed of drum & bass artists such as dBridge, Calibre, Fred V, Calyx and High Contrast, Whiney has taken to the mic for the first time on Talisman.
“It’s a track called Never Too Long with Keeno and it’s the first tune that has me singing more than one word. Stranger Tides has a little hook from me but I had a bit more balls to sing something more substantial on this. I was really nervous sending it to Hospital, I had no idea how they’d react to it. It’s very inspired by indie rock I was listening to at the time such as Bloc Party, Bombay Bicycle Club and Foals. Luckily they really liked it and I’d love to develop this more in the future. It’s made me realise how unique your voice is. It’s your vocal fingerprint. It’s going to take me a while to stop completely cringing at my voice, though. Whenever I listen to it, it sounds like me talking in tune but people have been really nice about it so I’ll probably do it again.”
Whiney’s first ever gig was Chase & Status. It was a bit mental.
This is where it all began for a young Will Hiney.
“I went to see Chase & Status with my brother in Oxford at a night club called The Regal. It was the very first time I’d been in a music venue or anything. It was 14+ and I was 14 but I really looked 12 or 13. Especially with my big afro that looked like a perm and a crisp buttoned up polo shirt. Everyone else there was in branded t’s or wearing vests and all ripped. I was so out of place! 16 Bit were supporting which was amazing and I remember Chase & Status opening up with No Problem. They said it was the first time they’d ever played it and the mosh pit was mental. I’d never experienced anything like it. I thought I was going to die! My brother ditched me. I spent most of my life trying to stay alive! But yeah, it had a big impact on me, obviously!”
He had the best reason not to play at Let It Roll last weekend
Quite possibly the only reason why you would refuse a prime time booking at the mother of all drum & bass festivals
“At the same age I went to that Chase & Status gig I met the love of my life and we’re getting married on the same weekend as Let It Roll. We booked the wedding, thinking the festival would be the weekend before but it wasn’t. I was already booked for the event and logistically I could still have made the slot – 2-3am – but I think in terms of marital harmony and not being hated for weeks then it was right not to take the booking. If that’s not a show of my commitment then I don’t know what is. She’s incredibly supportive of me even though she’s not really into drum & bass. I have this beautiful memory of one of my earlier gigs playing a Med School night, warming up and getting into the vibe and looking around. In front of me all these people were starting to go crazy then behind me she’s sitting down reading Harry Potter. It’s very grounding and incredibly cute. She always puts things in perspective.”
He refused to sign his first Hospital contract
Just for a few days…
“I was 17 when my first song was signed by Med School. It was No More with Keeno and Louisa Bass, for Sick Music 3. I’ll never forget the day when I found out about it because Keeno called me while I was on holiday and said Tony (Colman) wanted to sign it. It was all incredibly mind boggling. I had no idea what was going on at the time and knew it was really cool and exciting. It made think ‘okay maybe I should take this seriously?’ But I actually refused to sign the contract at first. I was 17 so my parents had to sign it and I really wanted to sign it myself. I was three days off turning 18 when the contract came through, so I said ‘no’; and waited until I was old enough to sign it myself. Ed, the man who did the legal stuff, took it well and understood where I was coming from. I guess it showed I was taking it seriously.”