FOREWARD BY NICK DONNELLY
‘people are like where is that hit track I can play on the radio, but this thing, it was always about making a full-bodied project, that was what we wanted to do.’ Star.One
Since piracy hit the industry and affected album sales, music has consistently focused on that which will play live in the clubs and at the festivals.
Rap music has struggled to survive this change in recent years, with dance crossovers feeling forced as two worlds collide for what suggests tacky desperation. It was only a matter of time before someone came out and fused the sounds of the club with the sounds of the streets.
This is the latest of our interviews with who we feel are the most original producers of our generation. Magz caught up with Star.One in Hackney as the two brothers are in the middle of promoting their debut E.P. ‘Elements’ that features collaborations with the likes of G Frsh and
INTERVIEW BY MAGZ JACKSON
How does a producer get noticed and get to the point where they can release their own EP through their own brand name?
That’s a good question! This is our first one isn’t it …
There are other artists on there that are bigger than us in terms of progress, so we used that to generate the buzz in a way. So obviously P Money and G Frsh etc. they helping push it as well, it’s a collective type of thing so it’s not just ours, it’s everyone’s on the tape, we kind of pushing it together.
I think that helps because we are not like signed or anything but we have that kind of backing. So we just try to create our sound and with everyone else do a collab and just push it all together.
It seems natural that DJ-ing is the step that a lot of producers take to go into production. How difficult is it personally to keep going from the privacy of the studio to the public nature of the stages?
Adam: Well we do different roles. Joe is more production and I do the DJ-ing so that kind of works well. There are times when I’m at a gig or something and he’ll be in the studio, finishing off a remix…
Joe: Yeah in two places at one time!
Adam: Yeah so that kind of double act works better, but we both came from DJ-ing first.
It’s good that you have the opposites then. You open Elements with a quote and a very stripped back production. As producers this is an interesting statement. Are Star.One more than music?
That’s an interesting question! *laughs* Stumped!
The quote is actually one of our favourite quotes. Bruce Lee is a clever guy man and everyone says bout his fighting but go through his interviews. That is the thing, flow like water that relates to everything. So our sounds, people are like its hard to describe it because is kind of goes a bit everywhere, but that, to go with the quote, flows like water.
So we will work with different artists and try and fix all different types of genres.
Yeah we like to do as much as possible, do loads of radio. Music is our main focus at the moment but we aren’t going to shut any doors. We’ll take it as far as we can go and try and set our style, record label, all this, that and the other, we’ll try and do as much as we can but for now we are just focusing on this kind of stuff.
Do you make your production with a specific artist in mind?
We kind of just make stuff in the studio off of the vibe we are feeling, what kind of mood we are in and then we think who would suit that kind of track.
Because especially for Elements we had most of these (productions) there, we then invited who we think this is going to work for. So ‘P we think this track is going to work for you, P what do you think? Yeah we’ll do that.’ Or they come to the studio and we go through and try and get their vibe and our vibe and put it together.
All artists work in different ways so we just really tailor it a little bit but for Elements especially, we kind of had the beats there already and got the artists in. But now we are doing more work with artists so sometimes they come to you, like we want to create this particular sound, could you come and do this? So it kind of depends on who you are working with.
In terms of music, who inspires you? It is more producers or artists or both?
Joe: As a producer, producers inspire me more but I like the DJs too, but I’d say producers.
Adam: Yeah I think producers; exactly as what you were saying. But especially now, you can get inspired by everything because you got such a wide range of music out there, and with the way the UK is, there’s garage, drum and bass there’s hip hop and they all kind of merge in together, so you literally have everything.
Joe: People are like have you heard what this guy has made? He’s made this garage track but he’s put something else in it.
Do you record in the studio with musicians?
Do you have any interesting stories?
Sometimes you haven’t met people but you know them so its fun when you meet and go through the process. Well we met someone like P Money, at Glastonbury the year before so that was like a process. People like Trim and G Frsh they’ve come to studio sessions and it was good to see how everyone worked in their different ways and different approaches to the tracks.
That’s probably one our favourite things; working with other people in the studio.
You came through Manchester and the Murkage Cartel. Have you had to adapt your sound and style to London at all and what was the energy like back in Manchester?
Ahhh Manchester was sick. I miss Manchester. That was where I was at uni. Nights wise…. it’s so good for nights out, like all the clubs and stuff, it’s quite concentrated and I love that. Especially with Murkage, it was all about mixing up the styles and I think they do that in London now as well, it didn’t take much altering but it definitely had the solid fan base. The thing about Murkage is basically London is in Manchester and it’s all full of London people, so we didn’t have to adapt too much but it definitely gives a good grounding and because there are always new artists coming through like Skepta, MJ Cole etc. it’s a good grounding to come at the start.
How difficult is it for producers to make an album without the pressure of everything sounding like a single?
It’s a really good question because the problem is you do you do treat anything slightly like a single.
Yeah we kind of thought they may all be singles and so we made radio edits at first but as it progressed we thought maybe we could make certain tracks longer to combine with the whole project.
Because there are so many tracks where we thought that initially that would be a single…. Then it’s like no, that’s not a single.
It is hard especially because people are like where is that hit track I can play on the radio, but this thing, it was always about making a full-bodied project, that was what we wanted to do. Now looking back on it, I think it does flow in a way and we are happy with it but it is hard because the pressure is to make this ‘one-hit single,’ but hopefully that will come! We got one there maybe! I don’t know, we’ll see.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RIANNA TAMARA
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD ELEMENTS FOR FREE AT STARONEUK.NET