Rolling deep in every direction, Preditah’s got a beat for every occasion…
Grime-wise: As a key member of Boy Better Know, Preditah’s built some of the heaviest MC tracks in recent times such as Solo45’s Feed ‘Em To The Lions and Wiley’s Back With Banger
Vibe-wise: He can be spotted on 3Beat (home of High Contrast and Sigma to name but two) laying down tasteful soulful garage such as Supernaturally and infectious bumping bassline house like Selecta
Remix-wise: He’s refixed the biggest in the game from Chase & Status to Skepta to Disclosure
Everything else-wise: The Birmingham 28-year-old has just launched his new label Circles as an outlet for him to experiment, collaborate and co-sign friends who inspire him. And he’s just laid down a supreme Fabriclive mix. Continuing the club’s mix series currently impeccable vein of form and exceptional mixes from Special Request and Kahn & Neek, Preditah’s given us a solid summer soundtrack that flexes from deep smouldering house to aggy, heavy grime. And, like all the best Fabriclive mixes, he mixed and recorded it live and in one take.
Which is where our conversation with him begins…
You recorded your Fabriclive mix in one take? Props.
Yeah it had to be done, right? Not to show off in any way, but to try and represent me playing in live in the club. It’s me on the spot. That’s what I wanted to capture. There’s a few bits where the beats are just a tiny bit out, not clanging or anything but you can hear it being mixed live. I think that’s really important.
It’s a proper Preditah calling card!
Definitely. It’s my first official mix CD so it’s got to be personal doesn’t it? Musically, too. All the music comes from people I have that personal connection with because I wanted represent the people who I’m playing, the people who play my records and the sick new guys coming through.
J.G is a new guy from Sheffield who’s making some really sick sounds at the moment. Same with Bassboy. He’s been around for a while but not had his tunes on a Fabriclive mix so that was important to represent him and get him out there. DJ Q, too… He’s such an important figure in bass at the moment and makes so many good tunes that I had to represent him in this mix. I couldn’t not do.
Genre-wise you cover some serious ground, too…
Some of mates are like ‘how can you get from house to grime without anyone noticing?’ I love being able to make those transitions and find those tunes that bridge the sounds. I love it when you can’t tell that the tempos gone up and before everyone knows it they’re jumping at 140. It’s what I’ve done on the mix and what I also do live.
Bassline brings it all together, it’s the key theme running through. That’s your Brummie roots, right?
Yeah, it’s definitely a Birmingham thing. And northern thing full stop. Speaking to people from London and the south and they all grew up on UK garage but we were brought up on a diet of bassline music. It’s our thing so I naturally gravitate towards that sound.
We spoke to Mr V recently about bassline having a really regional variety…
Yeah every city’s got their own sound. Manchester, in particular, has got a darker, grimier thing going on. That’s a sound I’m really feeling because I personally got into the bassline sound around 10 years ago because it’s got those similar sounds and energy of grime. It’s like grime but four-to-the-floor and slower. It’s not something I’ve made a huge amount of but I always represent it in my sets.
You discovered bassline 10 years ago… Just moments before dubstep overshadowed most bass genres for a few years!
It did. It took over the world for a bit. I didn’t want to make or play dubstep myself so I went down the garage route and did my thing for a while. Then house came back, which has always had parallels with garage so I was already on that type of beat. Selecta is a reference to that type of mixture.
Instrumental grime joins those dots even more. Grime beats are an exciting space for experimentation at the moment…
Yeah I think there’s so many possibilities with the sound and so much talent out there. Sometimes I’ve felt the producers don’t get enough recognition and it’s them who are helping to shape and develop the sound of grime. There are a lot of producers killing it right now and they’re starting to get recognition.
Do you think MCs have hogged the spotlight?
Not at all! MCs don’t physically hog it. It’s the fans who make them big and focus on them and not the producer. MCs do their thing like producers do their thing but it’s what the listeners chose to champion. I think producers are getting more recognition now than they were but this is up to the people.
Will Circles champion the producers?
Circles will champion everything mate. Literally just music I like! I know so many talented producers and MCs so it’s a chance to give them some support, a chance for me to experiment with things and collaborate with people. I got my thing with 3 Beat to release singles, I got my things going on with Boy Better Know and now I’ve got Circles which is about me having fun, putting out good music and putting on some events. Just need to find the time – there’s always so many different projects and collaborations going on.
Speaking of productions and collaborations. Feed ‘Em To The Lions is still huge! Were you in the studio with Solo45 making that and was it a vibe?
He sent me the acapella years ago and asked if I could make a tune out of it or remix it. At first I was like ‘nah not really’ then found it again early 2013 and put a beat to the vocal and yeah I felt it was going to be quite big when I was making it. I just tested it in my sets for a while to see if it was working, and it was. If I had an MC hosting the set then I’d get them to get the crowd singing along to it, even if they didn’t know it. So I built the tune up naturally then it went viral. It’s still one of the biggest tracks out there in the clubs now. With festival season coming now I think it will get even bigger.
I bet you’ve witnessed some scenes to that tune over the last few years!
Yeah man, every time. It’s nuts. The tune’s bigger than me!
Amped for this year’s festival season?
Yeah there’s loads going on. I’m playing for you guys at We Are FSTVL on the weekend and I’m really looking forward to Hideout this year, too. That was my favourite one last year. So mental.
The type of festival you don’t have to play the big bangers because everyone there knows the score…
Exactly. When I got to Hideout last year I realised there were loads of people from up north so I played a bassline set and everyone loved it. It was really special and a lot of people said it was the highlight of their holiday. Hopefully I’ll do the same again this year.
So going back to the Fabriclive mix. Have you got any favourite mixes of all time or anything that inspired you over the years?
Nah not really. If I listened to any type of mix I was always into the MC sets growing up. DJing’s the last thing I’ve learnt really. I learnt guitar before any other instrument when I was a kid. Then production, which you’re always learning I guess. Then my cousin showed me how to beat match and the next week I was playing out…
Nothing like seriously massive but birthday parties and little events in clubs, working my way up around Birmingham and getting a bit of a reputation.
Didn’t know you played the guitar?
Yeah, the bass guitar. I grew up in church and there was always instruments there so I taught myself bass and played in the band, playing lots of gospel style music. Then as I was growing up I moved away from that and into the studio and learning Cubase. Everything is pretty much self-taught to be honest.
I have to ask… Has anyone asked you to rate and rank the Predator movies in order?
Ha! No. I’ve never even seen the films. Ever. Mad isn’t it?
Everyone says that. I’ll get round to watching it one day. It’s just a tag I picked at school and it’s stuck. My mum hated it because it’s a pretty negative word but I think it’s one of the reasons things have gone the way they have for me – I picked a memorable tag. A friend of mine MC Tempa said it on the mic and I sampled it and used it on my beats since I was 13 or 14. Totally spontaneous and not planned. Like all the best things.