Monday, 7 November 2011

FEATURE: Star One Big Up Lady Sovereign! - Interview

Hailing from Kent, Star One are a new production duo who have been creating a name for themselves with their unique blend of Garage, Funky and Grime productions. The duo are brothers and have racked up quite a following in the blogsphere with hundreds of thousands of YouTube views on their remixes. Their first EP was released on 26th September featuring collaborations with Toddla T, Faro and Sarah Lillie. Impressively, the pair have done official remixes for Island Records, Ministry of Sound, and Polydor Records, and have been compared to similar production duos such as Nero and Chase and Status, so they are really very good. They even managed to win over the likes of my pseudo indie rock tastes, a feat in itself, as I can happily admit their track 'Bagz featuring Sarah Lillie' has been on repeat ever since I met them.

Star One tend to hold gigs at crazy times in the heart of London as well as being a fixture on DejaVuFM every Friday afternoon. Very busy lads indeed. But are they 2011's urban answer to Karen and Richard Carpenter?

What made you decide to enter the music industry?

It's just something we've both done since we can remember really, I think there's recordings of Joe spitting bars at 5 years old! Our Dad is a musician as well which is probably where it stems from.

When I was like 12, Joe had decks which he told me I wasn't allowed to touch. Obviously this made me want to play on them more! I had to sneak into his room while he was out to use them and remember what vinyls to put back on so he didn't know I'd been on them. I had to save up for like 2 years to get my own pair!

Being brothers do you find you agree or disagree on the creative direction of your music?

We have similar musical influences so there is a general consensus in terms of genres we both like namely hip hip, garage and grime. At the moment our productions are pretty Garage based which has kind of happened by accident but is something we're both happy with. But obviously we're not one brain so I may like something that Joe hates but we just work on things until we both feel happy with the final product.

We're also lucky as we have other projects we work on where we can go down different avenues and express different musical angles.

(Blacksta makes up half of hip hop duo 'Redz and Blackz' whilst Phaze One is a member of super DJ collective Murkage Cartel).

You fuse a lot of musical styles, what specific artists inspired you within those styles?

Far too many to mention but here's what comes to mind.
Hip hop wise - Timbaland, DJ Premier, Just Blaze, Ryan Leslie and Kanye West
Garage - Legends like MJ Cole, Zed Bias and Sunship alongside newer people like Swindle, Chimpo and Royal T.
Grime - DaVinche, Wiley, Agent X, Rapid and Maniac.
House - Newer producers like hard House Banton, DJ Naughty, Apple, Dennis Ferrer and Roska.

How did you find doing a festival ( The Last Day Of Summer Festival MCR 2011) different to your more intimate gigs?

It was mad, such a great experience and can't wait to do more. You get a different crowd to what you normally get in clubs so you have to cater to that. We were very happy with the way that our material went down, everyone seemed to be really feeling it so looking forward to next years festival season!

How was it being involved with big names such as Ministry of Sound, Polydor and Universal?

It's great and very surreal. It's also not as glamorous as it seems, we're not signed or anything so have never been to the offices or even met anyone from the labels! We just get sent the stems to the tracks to remix, do our thing, send it back and hope they like it which thankfully at the moment they are!

Though there was that small blip known as Lady Sovereign, do you believe there is room for female artists within your genre of music?

Haha... Big up Lady Sovereign, she did her thing, don't forget she got signed by Def Jam which was a huge look,its a shame she flopped!!

I think there are plenty of females, especially vocalists, in the UK Funky and House scenes which is good. Also in the Grime scene where previously there was a lack of females there is now a new wave breaking through with the likes of Mz Bratt, Lady Leshurr, Roxanne, Nolay and Shystie all making good moves.

I do think there is a general lack of female producers in the UK though. Dubstep, garage and house scenes are dominated by male producers so think there is definitely room for some females!

Since the early 2000's Grime, in particular, has seen a resurgence in popularity. What gives you the edge over current mainstream artists?

To be honest although a lot of Grime artists have been successful, I still don't hear much music which I would classify as Grime in the charts. Instead what I think is great is the way that the underground sounds of Grime, Dubstep, UK Funky and House are all beginning to emerge into one to the point where it becomes really hard to classify.

To be honest we don't classify ourselves as either mainstream or Grime so not sure what gives us the edge and don't really see ourselves as competing like that. But when we see respected producers like Nero, Chase and Status and DJ Fresh chart topping then it gives us inspiration to stick with our sound, keep making good music and see what happens.

Now that your EP has been released what is the next step for Star One?

We're just trying to establish our fan base now and keep pushing the EP to the masses. We're also working on new material which we're really excited about to be honest. I think we'll either have a single or new EP out at the start of 2012. We've also got a few remixes coming out - One of a new artist called Russo which we're particularly looking forward to. Also got a few more DJ dates coming in which is good cos we love DJ'ing out.

Eriin Dhesi

The Star One EP is available to buy now on iTunes. Preview it below.

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