Firstly, briefly introduce yourself.
My name is Oliver and I’m from Acton, West London. I’m starting to realise that not having a style is my style in a weird way, although there are common threads I like to come back to. Jamaica has been a big influence on my production in terms of where I borrow my sounds and vocals from, and equally UK underground music is prevalent in what I do.
What would you say are the most popular beats you’ve created?
I think ‘Gyal Town’ was probably the one record which really made people’s head turn. I made that with my mate Michael on a late night at a friend’s studio who let us use it after hours (shout out TMS). We had never made music together but I knew I wanted to make a footwork type record and everything just clicked that evening. I was going to festivals and hearing it go off and that was the first time I had that feeling of satisfaction – like I had finally made something which connected.
What is your favourite song you’ve worked on and why?
I would have to say ‘Where I’m From’ with Kiko Bun. It was the second record we made after doing ‘How Many Times’ so we knew we connected with each other. We did a week at my studio in London just fleshing out little one minute demos and we made five. The week after, we flew to New York to really produce them up with Ticklah and this band called The Frightnrs. The Frightnrs replayed the sample and tracked a new rhythm section in Ticklah’s basement in Brooklyn and then we headed to Tom Brenneck’s studio. Tom has worked on some unreal projects from the Black Keys through to Charles Bradley so to have him grace us with some riffs was really special. Once it was finished, Island pressed it up on to 7” so it’s a real moment in time for me that I can look back on and actually hold like, “I made this.”
Do you think that production software becoming more accessible to just anyone is a good or bad thing for music? Why is that?
It’s 100% good. Music is all about trial and error. Even though I was classically trained, production was a new thing for me and I had to learn by just figuring it out. There are no rules when it comes to you making music and so when you make production more accessible to everyone, people are going to come at it from all different angles because they have no one telling them not to.
This is an extract from Issue 7, The Barely Legal Issue of Viper Magazine. Read more from the magazine here. Buy physical and digital copies here.
Photos by Ollie Adegboye