Go ahead… Check discogs, check the Med School website, check the download stores, check streaming platforms, check with your nan or your neighbour: Stranger Tides is Whiney’s official debut EP release.
With four years of scene activity under his belt, it genuinely feels like he’s been too prominent in the bass sphere to only be hitting his first four-tracker. Connected to Med School for two years since emerging on the label on various Keeno collaborations, the Coventry-born artist formally known as Will Hine has constantly trickled out a steady, consistent flow of cuts – including two on the eminent Nest HQ platform.
From glistening soulful liquid cuts such as They Will Come to much gnarlier, grizzlier roll-outs like Monty Zoomers by way of bubbly bassline cuts like Komodo: with a broad spread but his own mature sound and sharp sense of contrast, at just 22 Whiney is showing all the right signs of an artist in it for the long game… In a similar way to Logistics when he emerged 13 years ago via collaborations with Nu:Tone and Commix before slapping the scene in the kisser with his debut EP. For many comparisons don’t get any higher.
For Whiney, it’s all about the slow and steady vibe. Echoing exactly what LSB said in an interview just last month – things don’t need to be rushed, just because you can put something out, doesn’t mean you should. As Stranger Tides shows, the long game pays off – his experience and tutelage at Med School University has led to a four-track collection that tickles the most vibrant tops and kicks the gulliest bottoms. Compounding the diverse signature he’s been steadily chiselling since day one, it’s his biggest release to date ranging from the hazy soft focus soul of Moondance to the raw grit of guaranteed-rewinder On The Rocks.
Don’t be surprised though; Whiney’s on such a roll he recently upped sticks from London to a small village up north and instantly found a job, with on the job training to become an architect, right opposite his house!
“I’m so lucky,” he laughs. “I’m waiting for something to go wrong!”
Luck or strategy? You be the judge…
Sounds like you’re the type of guy who wants to keep that job on the side so music remains a passion?
It’s definitely appealing, yeah. Not having that pressure is so important to just write tunes you want to write and not have to write. Plus I’ve found in the past when I do have time constraints because of a job then my productivity increases because I look forward to getting home and writing music in the time I’ve got. I focus my mind on a job then come home and focus my mind on music. Having the two has benefited me a lot more than when I was in uni doing six hours a week lectures and spending the rest of the time in the studio. Things may change in the future but I’m very happy with this approach… You’re a lot more focused, you’re a lot pickier over things you want. You make decisions on what feels right rather than what may be right. Efficiency, basically.
On the flip side – you’ve taken your time getting your first EP out!
Yeah I’m the guy who people know but don’t actually know! I have been part of the label for two years now through collaborations, features, single tracks on compilations, remixes but no substantial release of my own. That’s cool though – to build up the anticipation. In terms of an artist’s career, two years isn’t very long. I’m only 22 so I can afford to be patient and trust Hospital’s decisions and the way they’ve built up their artists. Hospital, alongside labels such as Breakbeat Kaos and Ram, helped me define my tastes and understanding of drum & bass growing up so I would be mad not to listen to their advice. I was churning out tune after tune each week when I started. I’ve got over 60 unreleased tunes on my dropbox and only now have we got four tunes that are really worth putting out and people investing in. There’s a real feeling of excitement about the release now – from me, from the label, fans and DJs like TC, Friction and Loadstar. It’s the opposite to how a lot of new artists want to get as much stuff out there as possible.
LSB said that to us too – less is more; don’t hammer out everything. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to…
Nail on the head. Anticipation has been lost now – the guys who fans get really excited about are the ones who don’t put things out all the time. Chase & Status and Pendulum, for example. There can be years and years between releases. You don’t have to fire all your guns or put your cards on the table straight away. It’s much better for everyone to drop a release and let people absorb it for longer.
Was it important for you to show all your sides on the EP – the deeper melodic side and the straight up gully side?
Definitely. I’ve covered a lot of different sounds within D&B over the releases I’ve done so far. So it was important that all those styles interconnected and keep things consistent so they sound like the same person has produced them. Diversity is really important to me – I don’t want to be in a niche within a niche.
Within a geography niche!?!
Ha! The geography theme throughout the EP was totally subconscious. They were all written over the course of five months, starting at different points in that timespan. I didn’t sit down and think ‘right, I’m writing a geography concept EP’, I’m just generally interested in geography and I wrote a lot of music and learnt a lot about production while studying geography. But yeah so Onyx is a mineral – I called it that because it’s quite angry and large. Same with On The Rocks. Then Stranger Tides which is relevant to the moon which is Moondance. It sounds a hell of a lot more balanced and considered than it is! A happy accident, I guess…
Was the Nest HQ release a happy accident?
Not at all. It came from a guy called Edgar who worked at Hospital A&Ring my music. He organised the S.P.Y release for Nest HQ, it did so well that they got in touch and asked for me. He knew I had a backlog of music so we gave them two tracks that covered my style and where I’m coming from: Teddy’s Gate was very liquid and chilled while Monty’s Zoomers is a total banger that tears holes in the dancefloor. You’re not going to sit back and enjoy a fine glass of red to it with your dinner! But that’s me all over – the very chilled, soulful side and the angry, energetic confrontation side. It’s the old A-side / B-side thing I guess… Something I hope to continue for a long time to come.