They say it takes ten years to blow up overnight. The old adage is true and Tall Order is a living proof to the sentiment. Today we can announce that Tall Order is exclusively signing to Ram Records after first releasing on Bowlcut Beats only two years prior.
From the get go Tall Order has been making moves, his first release Hold Your Corner featured the legendary Dread MC and was subsequently remixed by the irrefutable Kyrist and his second release All Yours was remixed by none other than Cyantific. These tracks ensured he was swiftly picked up by Viper Recordings, who are known for their impressive A&R, before this year’s exclusive singing deal with Ram.
We chat to Ram’s newest recruit about the years of hard work it takes to break onto the scene’s biggest labels, the Bristol scene which got him hooked and how his very first gig was at, wait for it… Printworks!
Hey, how are you? What have you been up to recently?
I had my first gig which was a big one. It was Printworks a couple of weeks ago for the Ram Records 30th birthday and it was pretty mental, it was my debut gig so it was really exciting. I did clash with Camo & Krooked who were playing on the main stage, but I still kept a bit of a crowd, I really enjoyed it.
You must have a good set time if you were on at the same time as Camo & Krooked, that’s a Mammoth venue for your first gig…
It is! I’m happy I played there before it shuts down, that was a good one to get in the bag. I don’t know what’s ever gonna beat playing for Ram at Printworks. I got a couple of things on my list that I can tick off, Printworks was definitely up there.
I imagine it is for most artists, as is releasing on Ram Records. You’re about to release your debut with them. How does that feel?
It’s pretty nuts. I’ve been producing for a while, and I’m grateful for all my releases but when you first start out, you dream big, and it labels like Ram you really want to be on. So to finally get some music released with them it’s super exciting, I’m really happy. It’s been hard work to get here. So yeah, I’m just really excited to get it out. There’s been a fair bit of celebrating going on, I can say that.
That’s good to hear. Can you tell us about the beginning of Tall Order?
I started probably about 10 or 12 years ago. I studied sound engineering in college before going on to do digital music at Southampton Solent. I graduated in 2015 and have been working full-time since then. So music hasn’t been on the back burner but I’ve had to juggle it with full-time work. Having my first release in 2020 during lockdown with Bowlcut Beats, is when I started to really take things seriously. Having a couple of releases on Bowlcut and then going on to Viper and now Ram.
You studied Digital Music at Solent, what happened after you left? Why did it take you a while to get back into it again?
I moved to Bristol after graduating. And I still live in Bristol now. I moved here because that’s where it all started for me. It’s taken a while, probably a bit longer than I would have liked. I’ve tried full-time work, I’ve tried part-time work, just trying to fit it in where I can. I feel like things are finally paying off now. It’s been slow, but I’m liking it.
That’s quite a quick journey really, obviously it’s been a lot of hard work but from Bowlcut to Viper then to Ram, there’s massive leaps between them…
I think my production has come on quite a lot in the past few years. To be honest, it was a slug start off with and I wasn’t happy about it. But I’m glad I stuck at it. My first release on Bowlcut Beats had Dread MC on it. You know, he’s a legend in the scene, so that was really good to have him on it, and Kyrist remixed it. She’s incredible too. Then on my second release for Bowlcut I had a Cyantific remix which was crazy. Then moving to Viper, which Futurebound owns, he’s doing some amazing things and releasing some great music. They’ve had some amazing artists and still got some amazing artists there. So releasing with Viper was a dream too. And yeah, going on to Ram, Like you said, it’s been a quick ride from Bowlcut to where I am now. So hopefully I can just keep pushing up some good consistent releases just keep going from there, really.
I keep saying it but I’m super excited.
I read somewhere that you co-own Bowlcut Beats?
That’s right, after my first release Joe, who owned it, brought me on board just after the first release. And then we brought in Jamie. So there’s three of us who own that label at the moment and we’re enjoying it. Yeah, we release every month. So Yeah, that’s going well, we’re looking to do some events next year. But the label is separate from my music now. It’s a different sound I’d say.
So when you were first getting into drum & bass, who were you into?
I grew up and lived in South Wales. There wasn’t really too much going on, to be honest, my sister was at university in Bristol, so I’d come over the bridge and we’d go to Motion and that’s when it all started. Going to nights like Shit The Bed and RUN, seeing Friction, Andy C, Brookes Brothers, High Contrast, Sub Focus the list goes on. Some incredible nights and that’s where the flame inside of me lit. I just got the bug.
When I first had your latest track, I thought to myself ‘it reminds me of old Chase & Status but in the Ram days’. And then when you start talking about Brookes Brothers and High Contrast it all made sense because I can really hear that later noughties era in your music.
Yeah, Chase & Status are a massive influence. But, it’s important to put my own spin on that as well. I like the sort of atmospheric melodic intros, but then going into high-end high energetic drops. As you can probably tell with Heater.
I actually wrote Heater in two days. I can usually take a while, anywhere from like a couple of weeks to a couple of months to write a tune. But Heater just just all fell into place. I was in the shower one morning. I had this idea. I don’t know why I get really inspired in the shower, it’s really weird. But I got out the shower, went straight to my studio and just put it down in two days. And I was thinking, this actually sounds quite good. So I sent it to Joe Bowlcut and he was like “ You have to send this to Ram”. So I did and Jim got back to me on the same day saying they loved it. All of a sudden Andy C was playing it, then on the Radio One residency and it’s just all gone from there.
It is beautiful how supportive your co-label owner is of you. Instead of taking such a great track for Bowlcut actively encouraging you to take it to a bigger imprint shows a lot about the integrity behind the label.
Joe is just so supportive of me. He’d love to have had it, but he knew it had to go to Ram. and that’s where it went and and thankfully that’s where it’s being released. I’ve made a few more tunes since then and I’ve sent them all over to Ram and hopefully they’ll be coming out soon, but each tune I’m writing I just feel like I’m progressing and getting better and better with my production and my mixdowns.
Do labels give you guidance or anything, or do you write what you would do normally, and then just send it out?
Yeah, pretty much. I sent RAM some music, and there were a couple of things that needed changing on Heater and New Dawn, mainly changing uncleared samples. Infact, New Dawn was originally called New Day but was changed at the last minute. Other than that it’s been really easy which is great. RAM have been amazing and so easy to communicate with. I’m really happy they’re liking the sound and direction I’m going for in my music and it’s great to have a label like Ram releasing and supporting it.