SUBNR is an Ibiza based artist called William Burns who also runs the Dirty Retro Records label. With his debut LP coming up “Planet Hot Mix”, we caught up with him to see how the creative process all came about…
Hey, how are you, how has 2022 been for you now you look back?
All good thanks, 2022 has been a productive year. I moved into a new home and studio in Ibiza, finished off my album and also other tracks.
Tell us a bit about your style/aims when it comes to DJing – are you someone who likes to get people in a trance, or who likes a sense of fun in their sets, or who likes to shock etc etc etc?
I like to keep people on the floor entertained. I enjoy mixing it up and will never stick to one specific genre, I like to keep the crowd guessing and wanting more.
And where is your best environment? A small dark club or a huge outdoor festival stage? Late at night for the weirdos, or early so you can play slow and eclectic etc etc?
Having performed at many of the big festivals, Glastonbury, Ultra, Bestival and lots of tiny sweaty underground clubs, they are both totally different vibes. I like them both, you always get more energy in a smaller packed intimate venue.
And when making music, what are your aims, what sounds are you most found of, what is the aim of your tunes?
I just make music that I can listen to and enjoy myself, if anyone else likes it that’s a bonus. I always aim to have some melodic input either vocals or keys with feeling and emotion behind each song. I like to tell a story with each piece of music.
Why did you want to do an LP, what inspired or influenced it?
I always wanted to release an LP that is journey mix of my musical influences. Growing up I have always listened to albums from well known artists from all genres rock (Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Metallica) hip hop (Notorious B.I.G, Cypress Hill) to electronic (Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Orbital) and have thousands of LPs on vinyl CD even tape cassette.
Was there a plan for it from the start, did you know how you wanted it to sound? What was the aim generally with it?
No real plan, I recorded over 30 tracks and had to narrow it down to 10 or 12 for the album. A very difficult decision choosing songs, it’s like not inviting a friend to your wedding.
How did you hook up with the guests on it? Did you know them all before hand? Why them specifically?
I met Barbara Tucker a few times and we were friends on FB so I messaged her there and we did a track over the phone during lock down. I’ve always been an admirer of her voice. I met Pato Banton at a gig in Florida and I thought he would suit the style of song, he liked it and came up with a great vocal. Ade Omotayo I’ve known for years from the London music scene when he was singing with Amy Winehouse, and is one of the finest soul singers I know.
Is the LP a continuation of your usual style or have you switched it up?
It’s a mix of all styles similar to my DJ sets, I have never stuck to one specific genre, and my music would be titled as electronic.
How did you find the process? Was it fun or torture? Did you learn about yourself?
It’s enjoyable working on a new musical project such as this, the creative process can be tiring and time consuming but a relief once finished, and a good reason to go out and celebrate.
What’s next now it is done, what else are you working on?
I’m, working on new music with other artists for my label and hopefully dj/tour next year.