- COMPA: I’m Compa. I’m a Dubstep music producer from Manchester. I’m originally from slightly further up north, A small town called Clitheroe to be precise, and right now I’m studying music production at university.
BWS: What in your life led you to DJing and producing? Have you always been around music, or did it just hit you one day?
- COMPA: When I was growing up, age 13 at youth club, I started Djing. Later that year I bought turntables. I was obsessed with playing music. It came from nowhere. None of my family were musicians, it just came natural. At the time, everyone was playing house music, and later when I met other DJ’s they were playing Drum N Bass music. I just followed on. I started buying records and religiously attending youth club to mix weekely. I’ve never stopped.
BWS: Being an upcoming producer/dj establishing himself in the uk scene with some of the major heavyweights, yet at the moment being relatively unknown in the US, what are your hopes over the next year as far as spreading your music in the US and possibly gigging over here?
- COMPA: If I’m honest, I don’t know really how people end up hearing music and my name. I get people from all over the world now asking about my music and I just feel like saying “Hold on, How do you even know about me?”. But I’m pleased and blessed have come even this far so quickly. Over the course of 2012 there will be more music made as standard, I’m not going to slow down. So hopefully some of the music will be well received in the U.S through people like yourselves, especially after the releases I have planned for next year come out. I’m hoping to join an agency over the next 12 months, if I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity, who I hope will be able to help me travel a little bit more internationally. Up to now I’ve only played one gig outside of the UK. That was in Sweden for the ‘Dubstep Bastards’ club night. I have been talking to a few promoters in the U.S about coming over but let’s just have fate do it’s thing … (and if you’re reading this, book me!)
BWS: Who are a few artists that you most look up to in the scene and why?
- COMPA: I’ve looked up to Mala and Kode9 for years because their music was the first Dubstep music that I heard so their influence was the original influence on me. The sounds they use, the music they make – it’s all perfect to me. Very inspiring, but recently I’ve been trying to concentrate on building my own ‘sound’. If I was to list all my inspirations we would be here for a long time, but to list a few producers off the top of my head who’s music I really respect and enjoy; Goth-Trad, Burial, Loefah, Coki, Tunnidge, Cyrus, Vivek, Skream, Benga, Distance, Breakage, Pinch, Kromestar, Headhunter, Youngsta and Icicle. Nearly all of which I’ve already been lucky enough to have played alongside (obviously not Burial though unfortunately).
- COMPA: Not at all. I’ve always been so thankful to Pete and Jorge at ‘Just Skank’ for having me as a resident. They’ve done me so many favours, and if not for them I wouldn’t have been able play alongside so many of the producers who inspire me, like you’ve listed above.
BWS: Given that you’re one of the last DJ’s to spin only vinyl, or acetate more accurately, do you take this same analog approach to your productions? Do you use hardware synths and sequencers, or do you handle your writing within the computer?
- COMPA: I don’t use any analogue equipment. I can’t afford it if I’m honest. Every spare penny goes on cutting acetates. Sometimes I even walk a few miles to University and go without food if I know I have to cut dubplates before a certain date. I’ve kind of settled into a piece of toast for breakfast and a ready meal for tea. To answer the question: I made all my music inside Logic. 100% software.
- COMPA: The last 12 months have seen a lot of music that has really inspired me being released, by a lot of great producers, established and up-and-comers, particularly in the early stages of this year on Deep Medi. In fact, all three of these releases have come out on the Deep Medi imprint. The label has always been number one for me in terms of consistency and quality, each and every.
- Mala – Return II Space (DMZLP001)
- Vivek – Eyes Down (MEDI042)
- Goth-Trad – Sunbeam (MEDI048)
BWS: Radio is a great way to reach a large audience, it gives you a chance to play your new dubs as well as play out the artists you support. How has having your own radio show benefitted you and enabled you to network your way into the scene?
- COMPA: I’ve been able to play people the music I love as well as play people new music, and I love to be able to actually talk and interact with the people who feel the same about the Dubstep music that I play. It’s also been a great way for people who don’t know what I’m about yet to hear me do my thing live and hear the stuff that I play in a typical DJ set. If you didn’t already know I play on Sub FM every Wednesday at 2-4pm GMT.
BWS: You recently played on the world-famous Rinse Fm down in London, The radio responsible for breaking Wiley’s career, as well as helping Skream, Benga, Youngsta and Hatcha become famous, and the same station that holds shows by Distance, Plastician, Oneman and Youngsta, How did it feel to visit the studio and how has the appearance benefitted you?
- COMPA: It was surreal. I wasn’t even nervous because I just felt so honoured and blessed to be able to visit the studio. meet some of the people that I look up to face-to-face and play a set on the radio. Playing on Rinse FM was a lifetime aspiration, I can’t believe I’ve had the chance to do that this early on in my career. Truly blessed. Big thanks to Ben who sorted it for me. After the show my Twitter exploded, as did the Rinse FM twitter when we were in the studio and I’ve had lots more positive reactions my music. A few bookings came off the back of the airtime too, which was great.
BWS: What’s are your favourite tracks at the moment in dubstep and outside of dubstep?
- COMPA: Well I pretty much religiously listen to Rinse FM and Sub FM ever day, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Hip-Hop like Nas, Redman, Doom, Jay-Z, De la soul and Gangstarr. On top of a lot of Techno and Funky. I’m always listening to everything really. I love Funk and Soul, too.
BWS: Gotta say, Dem A Talk is an absolute gem. Great to hear that reggae chant throughout the tune accompanied by low-end pressure. Has reggae played an influential roll in your musical development? If so, what artists are big inspirations to you and can we expect to hear more reggae influenced riddims in the future?
- COMPA: If I’m honest I don’t really listen to much Reggae music at all and I never have. I wish I could say that Reggae and Dub music has influenced me because I know originally when Dubstep music began being produced there a Dub element to the sound and half-step tempo but, no. Originally I played drums at a very young age and I was into Punk Rock, Metal and then like I mentioned, I got into House and Electronic music in general and it all progressed from there until I ended up falling in love with Dubstep music.
BWS: What should people be on the look out for, as far as upcoming releases for the remainder of 2011 and early 2012?
- COMPA: This year, nothing else coming out. Next year I’ve got three 12″ releases planned so far. One of which will be a bootleg coming out on vinyl-only, without a digital release. One making my debut vinyl release on Boka Records and one on Area Recordings. Really looking forward to seeing those releases come out. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to release some other bits too. Only the future will tell.
BWS: Where can people hear more of your music?
- COMPA: Soundcloud is good (Link Below). But live is best on a good sound system. I handle bookings myself at the minute so if you’d like me to play for you, feel free to get in touch via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Compa – Dem A Talk (Dub)
3. Biome – Untitled (Dub)
4. Compa – Sentence (Forthcoming Boka)
5. Compa – Signals (Dub)
6. Compa – Before U (Dub)
7. Coki – Gobin (Ringo)
8. Subreachers – Tidals Vip (Dub)
9. Biome – Untitled
10. J:Kenzo – Ruffhouse (Forthcoming Tempa)