Redlight’s on a mission right now…
That’s not to say he hasn’t been on a mission all along, but as the dust from critically acclaimed debut artist album X Colour settles, he’s found himself re-inspired about his roots, his label and his future and has a whole battle plan drawn up from now until the winter with a brand new club music album (Templates), a new tune every Friday from now until mid June, parties, new artists and stacks more.
Ahead of him playing for us at We Are FSTVL we called him up to get up to speed….
Two albums in six months: You mad bro?
Ha! It’s not an ‘album’ album like X Colour was. That was a proper song-based album with vocalists and songwriting and orchestras and stuff like that. This is a club album but with all my own original music. It’s a mixtape. It all came about because before big gigs and festival shows, I always make new club jams for the occasion. So this album is full of those tracks and bangers I’ve made for parties. It’s fun, I’m really excited about it.
Taking it back to the roots….
Yeah totally. I love making club music and I’m taking it back to that for a while. It was never my intention to forget about my fanbase or alienate people who like my club music with X Colour. That album was about me doing something a bit different artistically. I had the opportunity and went for it. Now I’ve got the opportunity to showcase my club side again with Templates. It’s me back to doing what I know best, it will be an annual series and we’re dropping a new track on iTunes and Spotify every week in the run up to it!
Yeah, that started last week with Blood Moon. Soon we’ve got a garage banger called Toasty, there’s a 140 grime instrumental called Bossman. There are tracks coming every Friday from now until mid June. I’m basically getting people hyped for the summer season!
And, probably, working on even newer stuff while you’re dropping all this….
Of course! I’m off to America next month and will be working with people out there. I’ve got a lot of projects on and we’ll be looking to drop another single towards the end of the year before starting the next Templates album again. Basically I made the decision last year that I need to concentrate on Lobster Boy more. We’ve had some great releases from incredible artists over the years and now it’s about making the label a proper label that people know about.
It’s been in the shadows a bit. We’ve mainly been on vinyl so I want to make much more noise with it. We’re starting a new party called Fish Tank, we’re doing the albums, we’re going for it, we want to make it a contender. It’s a sleeping giant… It’s been around for a while, people respect it, let’s build it up. It’s all about artistic creativity, driving the vehicle and making sure the aesthetic of everything is just right.
I’ve always thought that was the case with Lobster Boy anyway, especially because of the vinyl releases.
Yeah totally… A vinyl label was important for me because of my drum & bass heritage. Lobster Boy was a follow on from that, but having a vinyl only label was cutting our noses off to spite our faces. And now majors are cutting vinyl again so we’re being put to the back of the queue because majors want 500,000 ACDC pressings and they pay in advance. Little old Lobster Boy coming in with a request for 500 pressings has to wait! It’s a nightmare. All these little labels who’ve supported vinyl all the way through the vinyl drought are now getting stung. But hey, that’s consumerism right? The terrain changes and you’ve got to adapt and not moan about it. Dust yourself off and crack on!
You made a diss track about digital culture back in your D&B days didn’t you?
I did! We’d invested so heavily in dubplates that the drum & bass community really didn’t like the change at all. Download did 11,000 copies on vinyl actually. It was a big middle finger to the situation and everyone caught on to the vibe. But you know what? In the end I stopped cutting dubs and started taking a CDJ around to shows myself because it was cheaper! You gotta move with the times haven’t you?
You have. So what do you make of the Full Cycle reunion? Have you been asked to get involved?
I think it’s great! Yeah I was invited to do some Clipz stuff but that was my education, my college and because I had such incredible tutors, I’ve graduated on to other things and I’m able to make my own way in the world and make my own space. Full Cycle is Roni and Krust’s space, I’ve got 100 percent respect for them and it’s great to see them back on the road together smashing it out… Where they deserve to be. That’s their place. My place is Lobster Boy…
… Which you seem pretty buzzed about right now!
I am! We’re signing amazing music, developing our releases and how we deliver it creatively, we’re putting out the Templates album, we’ve got some sick parties lined up and, bottom line, we’re having a lot of fun with it. We’ve got releases from Studio 6 whose track Fruit Machine is going to be big this summer, we’ve got stuff from Tom Shorterz coming, we’ve got amazing New York Transit Authority coming, loads of stuff coming… Chock a block until November!
Photography: Vicky Grout
Redlight will be with us at We Are FSTVL on Saturday May 28.
Tickets and info
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