Having only just about recovered from the MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire event last Friday for GetDarker’s new album launch party, Lara and I figured it was about time we sorted the next MIG x FKOF feature.
Before we do so, we both want to say a massive thanks to everyone that reached last Friday and all the artists that played. Vibes were most definitely flowing!
Next up in the MIG x FKOF spotlight is Leeds-based DJ/producer Snare Surgeon. He’s a definite talent on the decks and has strong production potential (although that’s being tempered by a university degree at the minute). In our opinion, Snare Surgeo is definitely one to watch, so sit back and enjoy getting to know him!
First off, tell us a little about yourself… My name’s Will and I’m a 21 year old DJ/producer currently based in Leeds – but originally from London.
How long have you been producing/ DJing for? What made you start and who are your influences? I have been DJing for 5 years and producing for 3 – although I haven’t produced anything recently as am busy with a full time degree at Leeds University!
I produce with my friend Silas a bit, but we use different software so he ends up producing most of it! I got into DJing because my mate had a pair of decks and I always used to go round to his. I’d get really bored just watching him so started to get involved! I then bought my own decks and was hooked.
Influences at the start of my DJing career were Jump Up Drum and bass DJs like Hazard, Hype, Andy C and Original Sin. Then I got into grime and then fell in love with the darker side of dubstep – so my biggest influence DJ-wise would have to be Youngsta. Production-wise there’s so many to choose from. But a lot of them have had features on here BIG UP!
How would you describe your sound? I try to push anything and everything 140bpm from grime to hip-hop. I was recently given the chance to be one of the residents at Bigger Than Barry in Leeds. That’s really broadened my DJ horizons as I began to play house, garage, funky and future bass stuff. My true sound, in my opinion, is 140 UK and a bit of American bass music; anything from Juicy-J to J:Kenzo or Busta Rhymes to Biome. I like to keep the mixing quick as well to keep the crowd guessing, keeping the vibe varied and exciting.
Turntables or CDJs? I’m not one of those guys who bad mouths people because of their set up, if I like what they are playing and think their mixing is good then I’m happy!
In an ideal world I would say turntables all the time, I still collect a lot of vinyl and it’s what I started on so I hold it close to my heart. Increasingly, clubs are not taking care of their turntables and also there is the issue of money when it comes to cutting dubplates.
This is why I have so much respect for vinyl DJs who are still carrying a bag full of acetate around – Mala and Compa spring to mind but I know there’s loads more! So I am currently using CDJs and have to say I think they are a fantastic invention. Especially the new 2000’s!
What’s the bass music scene like in Leeds? If you could change one thing about it, what would it be? The bass music scene in Leeds is outrageous!
There are so many great nights promoting all different types of bass music and I feel honored to have played at a wide variety of them. It is the home of the mighty Sub Dub and Exodus nights, which helped put dubstep on the map. It also is home to Vagabondz who consistently get ridiculous line ups to play to thousands and these two nights are instrumental in the running of Outlook Festival, which just so happens to be my favourite festival as well!
There are also a lot of great smaller scale nights such as Full Fat, Rewind and Reggae Roast who have all been smashing it recently, not to mention Brotherhood Sound System which I co-run with 3 of my best mates!
There is so much variety in both bass music type and venue that you can never get bored. There will always be a couple of nights that tickle your fancy every week. There are also always new nights popping up regularly like Big Joe’s new night Nudist (who smashed their debut with Hackman).
Thinking of something to change about it is so hard because I love it so much! If there where less nights I’m sure I would be doing much better in my degree – getting the balance between the two is so hard!
What’s been the best set you’ve played and why? Another really hard question! All of the best sets I have played have been with Silas, who is the guy I normally DJ with. Two sets that have stood out recently which would have to be playing after Oneman at Bigger Than Barry to a packed Mint club where people where just having it, we could play any tune and the crowd response would be so good!
Also when Brotherhood Sound System hosted a room at the last Metropolis with SBTRKT, Rustie and Koreless. All the DJs in our room smashed it and we kept the room full all night even though the line up next door was ridiculous! Silas and I played a 130bpm set and it went OFF!
Who are your top 5 producers at the moment? And why? In no particular order:
- Biome – his mixdowns are unbelievable and I have liked/ played out everything he has ever put out
- Silkie – I always found his productions really original and his tunes are, again, insanely well produced and always get me moving
- Lex Luger – this guy’s productions are so gully. A truly inspirational American artist!
- Chimpo – he’s such a sick producer and an awesome DJ. He also happens to be a really sound guy!
- Barely Legal – Although she doesn’t produce, this girl is one hell of a DJ and she always smashes it. Every set I’ve seen from her I haven’t stopped moving, watch out for her in the future she’s going to be BIG!
Any advice to those starting out? I would still class myself in the starting out/ upcoming category so it’s a tough one to answer!
In terms of production, I would say always finish your tunes. If you get stuck really try and finish them. It means you just get a lot more content out for people to listen to and more of a chance of getting heard.
In terms of DJing, persistence is key. I was playing in my bedroom for 2 years before even going near a club – so stick at it! Also take any opportunity you can get when you start out, play for a couple of beers at your mate’s house parties or for free in smaller venues and then hopefully you will get noticed!
3 people dead or alive you’d love to have a drink with…?
- Skream – I like to think I can take my drink but apparently this guy is next level so would like to see him in action!
- Bob Dylan – Always been a musical hero of mine and I would like to see what he’s like in the flesh.
- My grandfather – I never got to meet him but apparently he was a boss!
Twitter or Facebook? Twitter because it’s easier to get replies from artists who wouldn’t normally speak to you on Facebook. Half the artists I am into at the moment have managers who run their Facebook pages but I think, on the most part, their Twitter is a personal thing!
I’d just like to say a big thank you to MakeItGood and FatKidOnFire for this opportunity and like to shout out Brotherhood, Blackfoot Phoenix, Vagabondz, Bigger Than Barry, Just Jam, Sub Dub and anyone else who has supported me so far!
You’ve had the words, so here’s the music. Turn your subs up, get listening to Snare Surgeon’s exclusive mix for MIG x FKOF, grab the download if that’s your thing and don’t forget to get following Will on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.
Click to DOWNLOAD
1. Clue Kid – Evolution [Tectonic]
2. Soap Dodgers – Contact [Tempa]
3. The Bug – Skeng [Ninja Tune]
4. Skream – Midnight Request Line [Tempa]
5. Ludacris – What’s Your Fantasy [Def Jam]
6. Girl Unit – Wut [Night Slugz]
7. Wiley – Gangsters [Big Dada]
8. TMSV and June Miller – Lost Cause [Black Box]
9. Radikal Guru – Dread Commandments (Killawatt remix) [Moonshine]
10. Preditah – Solitaire [Stay Fresh]
11. Claude VonStroke – Who’s Afraid of Detroit (Dj Madd refix) [Free DL]
12. Facta – FWD [dub]
13. Youngsta – Poseidon [Tempa}
14. Phaeleh – In The Twilight [Afterglo]
15. Kryptic Minds – The Divide [Osiris Music]
16. Synkro – Connected [Free DL]
17. Silas – DP 001 [dub]