We caught up with Londoner Après as he continues his fine run of form in 2016 with his forthcoming release on Eton Messy Records to chat production, inspiration and Ibiza.
Bursting onto the scene with ‘Chicago’, a mammoth debut on SubSoul which went on to be one of the biggest house records of 2015, the consistency from Après for putting out quality original records and remixes hasn’t faltered.
Having spent a busy summer playing festivals such as Lost Village, Boardmasters and Sail Away and DJ supporters that include the likes of Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Groove Armada, Marco Carola, MistaJam, DJ EZ and Tough Love to name a few, 2017 is set the be the year for this burgeoning Brit.
“Your target demographic as an electronic artist will constantly change”
Where did it all start for you with producing? What pushed you to make it your career?
I have always been a musician and a drummer more specifically but I started producing electronic music when I studied Music Technology at university. I used the three years to develop my own style of music and ‘sound’ but didn’t start to consider it as a career option until I had released my first track on Bambusa Records and found myself with a manager. The release and sudden Radio 1 support from Annie Mac for ‘Chicago’ is what really gave me that hunger and belief that I could pursue House music as a career.
Has your sound changed much since you started producing?
I think someone’s sound needs to change as time passes and genres develop. Your target demographic as an electronic artist will constantly change so it’s important to be able to adapt to maintain a presence and an audience.
Do you play instruments when producing or otherwise?
I’ve played the piano and the drums for years so always find myself making a beat first and foremost then jumping behind a keyboard and seeing what works. I’ll often record some live percussion sounds but that’s about the extent of live instruments for now.
Tell us how you first got involved with Eton Messy? You’ve released a few tracks on their Eton Messy Records Imprint.
Having an upload on Eton Messy’s Youtube channel was a big ambition of mine and my first introduction to the guys was at my student union where I got the chance to support them. They’ve been a huge support ever since and when considering which label to approach for my latest single ‘Take Over’, Eton Messy seemed to be the perfect fit. Since then I’ve done a live session for their channel, released a track on their In:Season compilation and managed to be involved in their Autumn tour.
Tell us about your new track “Take Over (Club Mix)” and how you made it? Who writes the lyrics?
Take Over has been a big project of mine and first came about last summer in-fact. I’d been sitting on the track until the time seemed right to finally share it and the right label to release it to the world! The hook line is originally from a Dennis Edwards track, ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ which I had re-sung and re-recorded up in Manchester by The Dream Life. Joe’s tone fitted the track perfectly and really lifted it to the next level!
Have you got any major influences in your music?
I take inspiration from so many producers and artists, constantly trying to break down and work out how they make their distinctive sounds. Detroit Swindle and Shadow Child are both huge influences for their beats, their arrangements and their organic, ‘classic’ house sounds. Disclosure are influencers for their pristine production, their rich, warm sound and their ability to transform house music into music you can listen to on your commute.
What was the first record you remember buying?
The first CD I remember buying is The Offspring’s ‘Americana’ album and listening to it through my Discman on so many long drives. The first record I owned was actually Frankie Knuckles’ ‘Your Love’ which my girlfriend bought for me.
Has there been a pinnacle moment in your career so far that you’re proud of?
The past two years has brought so many highlights which I never thought I’d be able to experience but a moment that stands out comes from summer last year. I was given the opportunity to play an AMP event at the incredible Dalt Vila in Ibiza and the memory of finishing my set infront of 3000 people and having Annie Mac jump on the mic during my last track and follow on from me will stick with me forever as a turning point in my career.
What do you do when you’re not producing and DJing?
My two brothers and I started up a video production company four years ago or so and so when I’m not producing or DJing I’ll often be behind the lens of a camera for Brother Film Co. I never find myself with a great amount of free time but when I do I love cooking and just chilling out.
What’s your dream venue to play at?
My experience of playing Ibiza is still small so DJing at Pacha or Amnesia is high up on my list of dream venues (I’m already too late for Space). I’d also absolutely love to play a stage at Glastonbury. It has always felt like a right of passage to play the iconic festival to justify calling yourself an artist so I hope the day comes soon!
“Take Over” (Club Mix) is now available on Eton Messy Records. Stream & Share HERE