Full Article- Tales from Freshly Squeezed Remix Competition winners

It may or may not have escaped your notice that the fine people at Freshly Squeezed recently ran a remix competition for Swing Republic’s new song “Crazy in Love”, itself a cover of r’n’b pop-strumpet Beyoncé’s hit. I, along with my comrades over at www.swingrebellion.com, have been lucky enough to be granted interviews with the five winners.

Per from Swing Republic is currently ensconced in a studio somewhere working on the album, but he kindly took the time to send us these thoughts on the competition:
“This competition really blew my mind, a lot of good remixes. The thing that I really enjoyed was that the mixes where so different in tempo, mood and approach. It shows that Electro swing as a genre is playful and open-minded. Thanks to all the participants!!!”

Per has promised us an interview when the album is out, so watch this space!
The way that this will work is as follows – I have conducted some questionnaire-style interviews with the winning DJs while Tom from Swing Rebellion has tried to conduct audio interviews via the wonders of Skpe. We will be publishing the interviews in two chunks, of which this is the first.
As Per hints at, one thing that I take from these interviews and remixes is that electro-swing really does touch a huge range of people – the DJs are from all over the world and a variety of musical backgrounds. Some are names established in other genres, others just starting out. The first two come from a pair of UK based DJs, both of whom are well known in other genres.

The first of these is from DJ Rory Hoy. Rory’s story is a fascinating one, so read on!

Name: DJ Rory
How did you get into DJing/producing?

I first got into music around 1993-ish when Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince released “Boom Shake The Room” but I only got into it seriously around 1998-1999 during the Big Beat movement (people like Fatboy Slim and the Chemical Brothers). I started producing in very-late 2005 inspired by the Big Beat sound I grew up with and the Djing began in 2007. Also in 2007, I was discovered by the legendary DJ, Freddy Fresh on MySpace (remember that?) who signed me to his Howlin’ Records label, which resulted in my debut album ’Cosmic Child’ in 2008 and that’s how it all started. Since then I have had 3 more albums on Howlin’ and countless remixes and collaborations on different labels around the world including Skint, BigM, Pig Balls, Funk Weapons, Bulabeats and more. I’ve been lucky enough to have been played quite a lot on various radio and TV stations worldwide and I’ve had great comments about my music from people including Fatboy Slim, Craig Charles, Mr. Scruff, Afrika Bambaata, Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest and Marc7 from Jurassic 5.

What motivated you to get involved in this competition?

I really loved the Swing Republic take of Crazy in Love. I wanted to do something one 3rd Swing Republic, one 3rd the Beyoncé original and one 3rd me.

What was your first electro-swing experience?

This is actually my first Electro Swing experience. It’s a very fun genre that combines the old time jazz that I dig with the sounds of today and it works so well. I’m really glad I’ve discovered it and am currently working on a new track inspired by this genre.

What’s the best event you’ve played at/put on?

My Career has been mainly focused on the production side of things and the Djing is only a recent addition – I’ve done a few great gigs in London, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and I’ve got a few Festivals lined up this summer (see below)

What do you listen to at home?
All the old Big Beat artists mentioned before, Classic Funk/Soul, 60’s Rock, House, Nu-Funk, Ghetto Funk, Breaks, Drum & Bass and quite a bit of Trip-Hop/Chillout and Jazz.

Who are your favourite electro-swing artists?

I like Caro Emerald – She has really taken the Electro Swing sound to a larger audience, and It’s so great to see other styles of Electronic music making a mark on the mainstream. Mr. Scruff (one of my favourite artists) has a few tracks in this genre and also Jurassic 5’s ‘Swing Set’ track.

Where can we see you play?

I am doing a few festivals in the North of England (as mentioned before) this summer including Dragongate Festival, York Carnival, Cultureshock Festival, Summer Saturnalia and Manchester Pride. Hope to see you all there.

And where can we find more of your music?

You can check me out on either www.roryhoy.com or http://soundcloud.com/rory-hoy. It’s also available to download on iTunes, Beatport, Amazon, Juno Download etc.

How do you see the electro-swing scene progressing?

I think within time, more and more people will know about this scene. Caro Emerald (as mentioned above) has opened the doors for many other Electro Swing artists to finally get their big break just like how Amy Winehouse revived soul music back into the mainstream in the 2000‘s.

What do you do when you are not making music?

I’ve made a number of short films (a couple of which were shown on BBC2) and an award winning film called ‘Autism and Me’, which is released worldwide on DVD together with a booklet I’ve written. I go into schools and organisations where they show my film to talk about autism and I get e-mails from all over the world thanking me for opening their eyes to the world of autism. I’ve made a number of TV and Radio appearances in the USA and UK through this, won a UNICEF award, a Royal Television Society Award and went to Belfast to collect one from Film Director/Producer, Guy Richie.

I also work in my local primary and high school a couple of days a week as a film/DVD technician.

What advice would you give to up and coming DJs/producers?

Don’t follow trends – Invent them!

Apart from your own, which is your favourite remix of the five selected by Freshly Squeezed?
Out of the other remixes, I really like the Vassili Gemini remix – I’m really into that Jazzy House sound. I really like all the other remixes as well.

http://www.roryhoy.com/
http://soundcloud.com/rory-hoy
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rory-Hoy/107929322609241?v=wall
http://www.mixcloud.com/RoryHoy/
http://www.discogs.com/artist/Rory+Hoy

Next up is the C@ in the H@ – his remix is perhaps one of my favourites (I am really getting into swing-step at the moment). I would also suggest that those of you who like Dubstep check out his other project The Brotherhood of Filth, with includes DJ Switch, a name that may be familiar to you..

Name: C@ In The H@
How did you get into DJing/producing?.
Well I am a big fan of scratching, and probably got into it the same as a lot of people my age, by holding down the tape button on my Hi-Fi and tapping the vinyl button whilst scratching the vinyl, so it worked kind of like a fader. Hearing Dubstep in 2006 got me interested in producing. Most of my early productions are atmospheric or tribal Dubstep.

What motivated you to get involved in this competition?
The Swing Republic track is fantastic and it inspired me. So often with remix competitions the original track is not something that I’d like to work with, but this one just excited me straight away.

What was your first electro-swing experience?
I was having a jam with DJ Switch & Malicious from Brotherhood Of Filth, & Switch played me some new tracks that were Electro Swing. However it was like a year later when I randomly heard a bunch of kids playing in a big band one day and I was like, I’d really like to put a bassline over this sound! That’s what made me getting into producing Electro Swing, before that I had mostly been making Dubstep.

What’s the best event you’ve played at/put on?
The Best music event I’ve put on – nothing beats the feeling the first time you put on a good event, so that would be the first Bass Operations night (a student DnB night in Birmingham) back in 2006.
Best gig I’ve played at – this is a difficult one but probably outside in the Alps to a few thousand people last year. There was an extreme sport competition happening as part of the event too which was pretty neat. Music, snowboarding, & hooch is a great combination.

What do you listen to at home?
All sorts but more often than not it’s reggae or hip hip. My favourite chill out music is actually 70s reggae such as Dennis Brown or Phyllis Dillon, I could listen to that all day.

Who are your favourite electro-swing artists?
I’m a big fan of turntablism so Switch would be my favourite Electro Swing DJ. The Correspondents put on one hell of a show, so much energy. Electro Swing Circus are definitely one to watch for this year, awesome music and stacks of energy too.

Where can we see you play?
I am based in Birmingham UK and have a residency here at Hot Club De Swing, otherwise keep in touch on Facebook for updates. http://www.facebook.com/Cat.In.The.Hat.Swing

And where can we find more of your music?
Find me on Soundcloud for all my tracks: www.soundcloud.com/c-in-the-h
I am also a bit of an alias slut, and DJ under various names… here are a couple of my other projects I’d like you to check:
Alternative Dubstep Orchestra (live Dubstep) http://www.facebook.com/AlternativeDubstepOrchestra
Brotherhood of Filth (Turntablism meets Dubstep on 4 turntables) http://www.facebook.com/brotherhood.of.filth

How do you see the electro-swing scene progressing?
As a genre of music it’s been here for a while, and it will always be here, whether it’s under the name of electro swing or not. One of the great things about jazz fusion styles is that they can be so diverse. I’d really like to see more of the swing beat used in productions as it’s so good to dance to. One thing I really love about the scene is it is very friendly, people are really up for dancing and letting their hair down.

What do you do when you are not making music?
That time would be known as sleep.

What advice would you give to up and coming DJs/producers?
3 things… Only put work into things if your heart is in it. Hard work is essential, but if you are doing what you love it won’t feel like work. And Backup backup backup (ouch)!
Apart from your own, which is your favourite remix of the five selected by Freshly Squeezed?
The Vassili Gemini mix is really hot, I’m feeling that one.

That’s all until next time…
But don’t forget to Check out Jacks Blog here at: http://jackthecad.blogspot.co.uk/