March 13 sees erstwhile rapper-turned-singer-turned-producer-turned-massive-headline-performer Example embark on a special three date tour where he’ll return to his roots for a series of ‘intimate’ gigs.
Inverted commas wholly necessary… London’s KOKO, Manchester’s Academy 2 and Glasgow’s Arches are still pretty big deals. But compared the epic headline slots he’s used to, they’re more intimate than a romantic meal for two.
“When you’re in an arena and you’re looking out at 15-16,000 people then you can’t see any real facial features. It just looks like a sea of ants!” laughs the man whose life is such a blur of shows and parties that his own ultimate weekender would comprise cosy meals with his wife, a 10 mile run and an afternoon down the pub. “It’s much scarier doing the more intimate shows. When you play to small crowd you can see every reaction. If it’s not working then you really feel that.”
The locations for these scary shows were handpicked because of their history to the London artist. KOKO saw him perform with the likes of Usher and Mr Hudson while Arches can proudly boast its home as Example’s debut Scottish show in 2006 when only 11 people turned up!
“A lot of my early gigs were a bit of blur as I was off my face all the time,” he laughs. “But I remember that one. It was a great gig. We loved it and got pissed with the crowd afterwards. It’s so weird to think that was in 2006 and now we’re doing massive Scottish shows, headlining massive Scottish festivals. It’s such a mad journey.”
There’s big rave pianos, a little nod to the Prodigy, a little nod the Chemical Brothers, a little nod to Faithless. There’s Underworld moments and Massive Attack moments.
The Journey Continues…
With more momentum than ever… His new single Kids Again will be released on March 16, just as Example’s production crew pack away from his final Ultimate Weekender show. It comes with remixes from Zed Bias, Dimension and MOTi and will act as the perfect fluffer for his long-awaited fifth album.
“Kids Again is the most out and out pop song on the record,” he reveals. “I needed to come back with something huge. I haven’t had a hit in 18 months so I needed to come back with something really big. The rest of the album is quite dark and tough and twisted. There’s big rave pianos, a little nod to the Prodigy, a little nod the Chemical Brothers, a little nod to Faithless. There’s Underworld moments and Massive Attack moments. All kinds of tempos and rhythms. The whole thing has a big 90s influence to my songs.”
Excited much? You should be. He’s called in the heavyweight help of hit-makers Stuart Price and Fraser T Smith. The former boasts the likes of Madonna, Missy Elliott, Scissor Sisters and Gwen Stefani as past chart-busting conquests while the latter worked with major headliners Adele, Plan B and Ellie Goulding to name but a few.
“Two of the world’s biggest pop song writers,” grins Example. “Then I’ve taken those tracks away and worked on production with a new secret weapon producer I’m working with. He does that final 10-20% on the tracks to make them tougher and ready for the festivals.”
Entitled Live Life Living, his fifth album is set for release on June 23. We can’t wait to hear it. In the meantime here he is at SW4 with UKF last summer…