Simon Baker is one of those consistent figures in the house and techno world, who remains at a strong level both DJ-wise and with the music he makes. Never one to be surrounded by hype, he gets on with it and does his to the best of his abilities, which is no mean feat in an age where almost everyone is using social media and the internet as a whole to sound off about how great they are, what they’re up to and what they had for breakfast. Simon plays at the next Vertical Series event, the first of which we reviewed last week, so, ahead of that party, we grabbed him for a quick chat…
First off, we’re almost halfway into 2015 already! How’s the year been so far? Any new developments or gigs/locations that have excited you?
I have kicked off a new techno project call BKR Projekt which launches in June. It will be my own works on my own label with stripped back grooving techno sounds. So I’m excited about that… Other than that I’ve had some music signed to Adam Beyer’s Drumcode and Truesoul labels. The Truesoul release is out now and Drumcode lands at end of May. I also have a remix coming up on Moonharbour records and a single on Dessous, as well.
Did you kick off the year with a firm plan? If so, what were your main targets? If not, how do you work?… Take everything as it comes?
I was taking everything as it comes until this year, which was the year I decided to make a few changes and have more of a direction, hence the new label and project as previously mentioned. I also moved DJ agencies, after eight years with the same one, so that was quite a big step for me. It was time for a few changes.
How would you say you’ve grown/developed as a musician/DJ since you first got into the business?
Things are always evolving and changing. I always feel like I am moving forward with it. My sounds have changed over the last eight or nine years, I started in techno then went to deeper places and now I’m heading back to more techno again. I get bored staying in the same place, I’m always learning in the studio. I feel like I can never can know enough. I always like finding new ways to work to keep things interesting. I now have the knowledge and confidence to push forward with my own label and know exactly where I want to be.
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What would you say has been your greatest achievement so far?
Probably my album Traces on 2020 Vision. It was something I was very proud of and got a lot of a respect from the press and public alike.
You’ve built up a stellar reputation over the years, do you ever feel any pressure to maintain the respect you have?
I just do what I do, and hope that people can relate to that in someway. I am never really the hottest kid on the block but I like to think that I am a consistent producer and DJ you can rely on to deliver the goods.
How do you keep yourself motivated? Do you ever have moments where you feel a little jaded with the whole nightlife business (maybe after a long weekend of gigs??)…
Sure, often. The travelling alone and lack of sleep can definitely get on top of you. I just try to balance my life out a lot. I am partying way less than I use to nowadays. I’ve started doing yoga and running a lot and other things that keep my head intact. I just did the Hackney half marathon this weekend, which has kept me motivated and focused to not end up in the afterparty. I’m getting a bit older now and it’s become much more about the music and less so about the partying that goes with it. But I still love the odd blow out of course!
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If you’d never made it as a musician what were your other options?
Ahh fack knows…! I worked in a boring office job for eight years before this, so it’s not something I tend to think about. I just live for the now. I do know I would NEVER EVER go back to that world.
How do you unwind? Do you have any hobbies?
As I said before really; yoga, running, circuit training and I like a spot of cooking. I’m definitely getting older!
Summer is upon us – anything you’re particularly excited about over the coming months?
Just my new techno label BKR Projekt really, and my new relationship with the Drumcode crew.
How often do you make it back home to see your family? Do you miss the north? If so, what do you miss the most?
I miss the people of the north but I have enough northern friends down here to keep me on track and keep the banter flowing. My parents visit a fair bit so I see them. I am still a fully northern lad, nothing changes there!
Complete the sentence, ‘Without house music I would…’
Listen to techno!!
The next Vertical Series takes place on 16th May with Waifs & Strays and Death On The Balcony among others, for more information and tickets, click here.