If money affects what you’re doing then you’re a dickhead…
What happens after an artist hits the top spot in the national charts?
Do your regular wheels suddenly switch into performance-tuned whips over night?
Does an orderly queue of hot girls form outside your crib waiting to hang off you like a poorly fitted suit?
Does your bank manager ring you up and invite you over to feast on a seven course banquet post haste?
“We haven’t changed as people. We haven’t seen any financial benefit of getting a number one quite yet. We’re not rolling round in Ferraris,” says Sigma’s Cam Edwards. “We’re still driving the same cars, living in the same houses and having the same lives. If money affects what you’re doing then you’re a dickhead. We’re still the same people. Nothing changed. We’re still writing tunes in a shed.”
“In my parent’s back garden, I’d like to add!” quips his partner in vibes Joe Lenzie.
This is life for Sigma since smashing the UK number one with Nobody To Love on April 19 this year. Next month they’ll follow it up with Changing. A gospel-bolstered showdown that features the first ever guest vocal from major league soulstress Paloma Faith, as far as follow-ups go, it’s huge. And even more radio-friendly than its predecessor.
So are Sigma gunning for the top spot again? And if so, is it a result of internal or external pressure?
“A number one record is a rarity for any artist. But it doesn’t necessarily mean added pressure once you’ve done it. We don’t write tunes to go in the charts, we write them because we like them,” states Cam. “But the fact is we’ve done it once, so we do want to show that we’re not one-hit-wonders and that we can do this without using a Kanye hook. We wanted to follow it up with something very musical that shows we’re into music and have been doing this for a long time.”
Changing began, like any other track, as a loose sketch by the guys themselves. After the success of Nobody To Love they decided it would be the best choice for a follow-up. Originally penned with erstwhile Rudimental singer Ella Eyre, it’s gone through various changes to get to this point and includes the skills of award-winning top-line writer Wayne Hector.
“That is one thing we did notice when we’d got the number one… We’d got in touch with a load of top line writers before Nobody To Love and we didn’t see any responses. When it got to number one we started seeing lots of replies! ‘Oh sorry, I forgot to get back to you on this’ But that’s the way it is! Most came about through our management – who have been amazing – and the whole thing has been a great experience.”
So there are changes once you’ve hit a number one. Albeit smaller than you’d imagine. Another big switch in the life of Sigma is their very first label deal. While the guys have released beats on the likes of Viper, Hospital and Breakbeat Kaos, they’ve never actually had a label deal before.
“3Beat really believe in their artists,” states Cam. “We haven’t seen as much of that behaviour in the drum & bass scene. Sometimes it feels like the music is the by-product of everything else as labels make themselves bigger and bigger. It’s refreshing.”
Refreshing but, let’s face it, a banquet for passionate underground D&B fans who famously diss any crossover success. Possibly more so than any other genre thanks to the legacy of scene-shaping forums that, while hugely supportive of the underground, can be razor-sharp when artists do a ‘DJ Fresh’ and start exploring the wider realms of popular music.
We’ve always made musical and slightly commercial sounding tracks anyway. So every track we’ve put out we’ve waited to get a caning!
“Yeah D&B fans can be critical,” admits Lenzie. “We’ve done a few tough tracks in the early days, but we’ve always made musical and slightly commercial sounding tracks anyway. So every track we’ve put out we’ve waited to get a caning! We haven’t had the backlash we’ve expected, really.”
“Of course people sometimes come on Facebook and say things,” agrees Cam. “But we take the piss back. If you want to be negative come and say it to our faces. I often ask them if they want a cuddle. Come to a gig and have a cuddle. Your mum loves you!”
And we love Sigma. Especially as we left the conversation with some very exciting release news: They’ve just unleashed a VIP of Changing that features Stylo G and they have over 10 tracks that are ready to be unleashed in the near future.
“We’ve got a lot of tracks we’re working on,” Lenzie reveals. “But we’re being very careful about what we put out. We’re not putting out anything just to please people – it has to be something that we really love. If it translates to what’s going on in the charts then great. If not, cool. That’s not the point.”