At this point, we could understand if the moniker Samename doesn’t ring any bells for you. After all, the young British producer has yet to see his first official release, and his SoundCloud boasts just four productions, all from the past 11 months. If you put your ear to the ground, though, you’ll quickly discover that he’s already made significant inroads into the dance scene, with forward-thinking tastemakers like Canblaster and Lucid supporting his hyperactive, grime-indebted, undeniably fresh production style. As part of our newly-relaunched “Introducing” series, we caught up with the newcomer and asked him some questions to break the ice. And as an exclusive for Truants devotees, he’s offered up a free download of his track “Okishima Island,” which has been floating around the Internet for a hot minute and was just featured in ClekClekBoom’s most recent Boomcast, mixed by Pelican Fly co-founder and all around badboy DJ Slow.
Stream: Samename – Harajuku
Hey! How did you first get into producing? What inspires you to make music? “As far back as I can remember I have always wanted to make/play music through one medium or another. As a kid I’d ask my parents for some drums etc., but the lack of money for it, the noise it would make in the house, and my dad’s belief that everyone musical in our family bases their self esteem on the recognition of others, all made it more difficult for the average kid wanting to make music. I actually did try to pick up acoustic guitar when I was about 8 but got kicked out of the classes because I wanted to play what I wanted and not what they were teaching ha. I think finally at about 11 years old I managed to get hold of a copy of an early version of Reason through my dad strangely enough. At that age I found it crazy that you had all those possibilities musically (I still do to be honest) through a program and under your control if you knew how to use it. I got into it straight away and at the age of 20 I am as hooked as ever.
Inspiration wise, listening to other people’s music and their creations is what inspires me most. As a kid I had this really shit radio (I think I still have it somewhere) that I had by the side of my bed, on school nights when I should’ve been sleeping or if I’d just woken up in the middle of the night I would tune into the radio. Some of the stuff on there would really capture my attention – I’d hear sounds and music that would make me stop and go ‘What is this? I want to hear more.’ As a kid I’d even go down to the local library to rent out CD’s in the hope of finding something new and exciting. I think what gave me a lot of inspiration to produce my own music in the first place was to make music that would make someone else have that same experience I had with listening to radio when I was a kid/teen. My uncle is another inspiration I guess, he’s a very talented musician and an amazing percussionist (listen to Jacob’s Ladder by Incognito to hear some of his work). And that with the combination of my parents great taste – my mum’s mainly being Latin music as she’s Colombian, and my dad’s being anything from the Hacienda days to Massive Attack – pushed my desire to make music even more. Nowadays these things still apply but I also do it to kick back, and figuratively anything can inspire me: movies, pictures, games, people, you name it.”
What would you say is your creative vision? “I wouldn’t say I have a vision of what I am trying to achieve, I’d just say I am enjoying making music that pops into my head. I don’t have a specific destination that I am trying to reach. I will just take things in whatever direction I find enjoyable. That being said, I don’t make U-turns or just go on a mad one stylistically, there is an element of continuity in what I produce.”
If you could come up with an absurd genre tag for your music, what would it be? “Ha I can’t actually think of one. Honestly I’d rather not invent a genre tag at all. Having said that, it is obvious that I take influence from other already established genres. I feel like it’s a restraint when I’m producing if I think about it as a specific genre. I want to be able to combine things without thinking ‘Wait this isn’t [insert genre name], maybe I should take it out.’ I’d just say my music is mostly atmospheric, dark and energetic.”
What do you have in store for the rest of 2012? Any releases or projects you can tell us about? “I’m sitting on a lot of material right now. I am just letting it breath and then I want to get the songs I like the most out there where they fit best. I do have something coming out on one of my favourite labels soon, I can’t really say too much but dig around on the Internet and I reckon you could get a fair idea of which label it is. I did a sort of ballroom with a grime approach refix of Wileys “Colder” beat last year. It was originally just supposed to be a tool for me and friends that DJ and produce. I was a bit skeptical of what others might think of it but it panned out nicely as some of my favourite artists/DJs have played it out. I think it will be available as a white label along with an “Ice Rink” refix done by Moleskin. Apart from that I have been doing some remixes also but really I’d like to be working on more remixes – working on originals all the time can get a bit repetitive and it feels like I’ve been doing that 99% of the time this year.”
Stream: Bosstone – Beaucoup (Samename Remix)
Lucid started his recent “Triple Lucid Life” mix for us with a remix of “Nonspatial Continuum,” an unreleased track of yours. How did you guys meet and how did that track come about? “It was a moonlit night, our eyes met and the rest is history…nah I’m having you on! We actually got in touch over SoundCloud just over a year ago I think, we traded music and just got talking on iChat. Over time I’d send him a lot of my music even if it was just an intro or the main body of a tune. He gave me pointers on my music and since I’m pretty fresh to the music scene he’d give me advice in that respect. He’s been massively helpful. Lucid’s probably the biggest Internet troll that produces that I know hahaha. Anyway we’d both been working on a lot of demos earlier this year and thought we should do a remix of each other, that’s how the ‘Nonspatial Continuum’ remix came about. I’ve also done an Eski style remix of one of his tunes, keep your ears to the ground for that.”
To give readers a sense of your where your taste in music falls, what are three of your favorite tunes at the moment?
Grind High Priest feat. Dajae – Mary Mary (Bok Bok Reconstruction): “I think Bok Bok said this is a year old now on Twitter but it doesn’t sound like it’s aged one bit. It combines various samples (some that were in the track originally) that are/were instrumental in other genres but it fuses them to make a heavy stripped-back ballroom track. In my opinion there are a lot of producers that attempt these same kind of fusions with various samples but get them wrong, so it’s nice to see a track where it’s done so well. It’s simplistic but in all the best ways and it definitely did the original justice.”
Danny Scrilla feat. Om Unit – Hunch: “I first became aware of Danny Scrilla after he’d done refixes of ‘Shank Riddim’ by Danny Weed and Skream’s ‘Midnight Request Line.’ Since then he’s really come a long way and I was really impressed with the track he he did with Om Unit. The square sounding synths that drive the track are catchy as hell. I can’t wait to see what else Danny does in the future.”
Nguzunguzu – Delirium: “I’m a massive fan of their tunes but this one especially got me so hyped as it sort of all reminds me of ‘Brand New Day’ by Dizzee Rascal (which is definitely not a bad thing in my eyes). I love how the chimes sort of hypnotise you. This along with the use of reverb and the subtle vocal samples come together to make something that sounds so cosmic.”
How about a few forthcoming releases you’re geeked about?
Palace – Trust: “A 2-steppy Bassline banger that I can’t wait to play out. I think this is going to get some people going. Energetic, dark and raw.”
Logos & Mumdance – In Reverse: “As the name hints this track has plenty of its elements in reverse. Bar the kick drum, I think almost all the percussion is reversed (which sounds absurd on paper but works quite well). Anyway, I just find that this track a breath of fresh air. Also the track contains something that will have you laughing pretty hard, I won’t say too much about that though as it’d be ruining the surprise…”
Cashmere Cat – MirrorMaru: “This got played in Rustie’s Essential Mix earlier this year and immediately got the Internet searching for what [it] was. Cashmere’s productions are so dreamy and uplifting, this track being no exception that. It’s not what I’d personally play out but I love listening to this on my headphones or at home.”
Can you tell us a bit about “Okishima Island,” the track you’re giving away as an exclusive to Truants readers? “’Okishima Island’ came about after I’d watched the extended version of Battle Royale. I loved the scene where they play the instructional video on how to compete on the island (Okishima is meant to be where it takes place). The girl who gives the instructions gives them in such a light-hearted manner as if it was a good thing they were there competing for their lives. That just adds to the chaotic feel of the movie and I really wanted to capture that mood in a tune. I drew a lot of influence from early Wiley instrumentals (as some listeners may be able to tell that from the samples) whilst still having that sound that runs through my other productions: dark, moody and energetic.”
Exclusive: Samename - Okishima Island