Who The Hell Is Lovely?

Ulterior Motive’s Guidance imprint continue its intense level-up exercise this month with another exceptional EP. Following killer dispatches from Neve and the label bosses themselves this year comes a complete curveball from a newcomer with only a handful of releases to his name.

Get to know Jack Lovelidge AKA Lovely: London-born, Hong Kong-based, Greg Ulterior Motive told us the other month that “he’s going to come out of nowhere and knock people senseless”. Listen to his debut Guidance EP Run The Square and the results speak for themselves. At time of writing, it’s currently at number one on the Beatport D&B chart…

Dirty, rolling, abrasive yet loaded with soul – and a wry element of crack-smoking, booze-drinking east end humour in his chosen sample on the main title track – his EP follows a small handful of outings on labels such as Vampire Recordings, Dissonance and Synesthezia. It’s his biggest release to date and, according to Lovely himself, it’s the first chapter of what’s set to follow… And everything else has been a prelude. We called up Hong Kong for a Lovely little chat.

What took you to Hong Kong?

I was teaching music tech in London. The government cut funds for performing arts and, along with a lot of other teachers, I lost my job. Jobs were few and far between so ended up here. I came here in 2016, I’d been planning to move anyway but that pushed me in this direction.

What’s the D&B scene like out there? 

I was quite surprised when I got here, it was pretty healthy. There were four or five promoters all doing regular things but the main problem here is venues and finding spaces to throw parties. It’s been closure after closure so there’s not a lot going on anymore. I actually started doing my own events, From London With Love. It’s more of a garage thing but we finish with a bit of drum & bass. It’s just myself, a few other DJs I’ve met here and anyone else locally who wants to get involved. We’ve given a few guys their first ever sets and now they play every month.

Sounds like the same venue problem the world over…

Yeah underground club spaces aren’t big money makers so they get closed down for other businesses or apartments. There’s a main party area but it’s really commercial. Around there you get the odd drum & bass thing but not many. A good friend of mine was doing nights under the name Synthetik. She was booking artists from Europe like Fre4knc and Total Science, but she’s moved to Holland now.

I’m wondering how this might influence your sound as a producer. You’re not in the thick of a busy scene so you’ve got less distractions from the sound you want to make…

I guess being away from the core drum & bass thing has definitely given me a clean mind, but you need inspiration from places. For about a year I stopped making tunes because I wasn’t going out and hearing it over here. It’s only when I saw Goldie play a 4 hour set at a beach bar called Maverick’s that I got inspired again. After that I listened to a Metalheadz mix by Digital, and I was back on it again. I’d fallen off because there wasn’t much happening here.

Lets go back to your really early releases. You must have been studying in London when you released on Dissonance?

Yeah when I was at uni in Brighton, I was on it with my flatmate a lot. We were DJing loads and making lots of beats. I had one tune out on Lifestyle under a different name, the Dissonance release and one on Vampire. A friend of mine Luca from Madrid has a label called Synesthezia which I did some bits of on. All little bits, learning curves. I was really passionate about making music when I was getting into it so all those releases were like validation, especially the Vampire one.

But Run The Square is a level up. Like chapter two…

I’d say even chapter one. The stuff I’ve done before was the prelude. Now I want to keep the ball rolling and take it more seriously.

How did you link up with Ulterior Motive for the Guidance release?

Through my friend Synthia, the promoter I was telling you about before. She had booked Ulterior Motive before I got to Hong Kong so she had contact with them, sent some tunes over and developed the idea for the release.

What’s the oldest tune on the EP?

Let me think… Originally I sent them two tracks, Synthetik Dub and another tune which never ended up on the EP. They liked them so I sent over a bunch more, I sent about 10 and they put together the EP from that. I was still adding things up until the last minute. Run The Square was a very late addition.


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I’ve got to ask about the Phil Mitchell sample… Is that you being homesick, then? Missing Eastenders?

Haha, no I just used watch it at home with my mum. I like putting in little samples from places and that one made me laugh, it sounded alright and I rolled with it. Maybe I am a little homesick? I do tend to go for English samples like that.

What do you miss the most? I’m gonna send you a care package… What three essentials must it have?

DJ Fu is going to kill me for saying this but as much as Hong Kong is the centre for delicious food – and I do like Chinese food, just not all the time – it has to be like some nice UK food. Some proper steaks and some Reggae Reggae sauce.

Okay that’s in the package. What else?

Hmmm…. A fucking rave man. That’s what I miss. A proper UK rave, I miss them.

I don’t how I can fit a rave in a package but consider it done!

Or you could just pack some flight tickets for me to come back and go raving?

Easy mate, I’m not made of money. You mention DJ Fu – that’s the same badass turntablist who was based over here, right?

Yeah the very same but we met here in Hong Kong two years ago. His family is from here so he’d been coming over for years but was based in the UK. A friend of mine was warming up for him so I came down early. I’d known about him for years before – maybe a decade. He’s a sick DJ and did loads of cool stuff with Jungle Drummer. We got chatting and he already had some of my tunes, the releases on Synesthezia. We hit it off and now we’re doing it over here.

Nice. We need one final thing in the care package…

To be honest I’m surviving out here so I can’t think of much I want. Maybe my cat? But he’s dead now so that’s going to be hard for you and maybe a bit messed up.

Yeah, I might get back to you on that. Sorry to hear though man

Yeah all good, he was cool. RIP Garfield, kicking it upstairs.

Biggup Garfield. So what’s next for Lovely?

I’m hoping to get another EP out by the end of the year but these things take time… Just gonna keep things rolling, keep making tunes and move things forward.

Lovely – Run The Square is out now on Guidance

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