Southampton UK, not really known for its music scene right? How did you come to get into music, DJing and song-writing?
I grew up around music. Both my mum and dad are really into it and my dad was part of the local music scene in Southampton. He’d take me to different events when I was growing up so I was always surrounded by it. When I was about 15/16 years old, I met DJ Flash who was and still is the go to DJ in the area. He gave me opportunities at different nights in the city and allowed me to jump on the decks and freestyle so that was my first taste of live performing. I was always writing music in the meantime and at around this time I met Mark Hill who was one half of the Artful Dodger. He had a little studio space where we’d work on recording and producing the records that later became the big songs on my first album, ‘Born To Do It’.
Best memories about being a teenager in England?
My best memories always involve music. Growing up in Southampton was amazing and really helped me develop as a song writer and live performer. I owe so much to my mum who would always collect me at 3am from the different nights I was performing at and help me bring my massive crates of records to the shows. These were great times as all I was focusing on was how to break into the music scene.
#TS5 – From a small penthouse party (literally in his house folks) to crowds of thousands … what was the turning point?
TS5 just started out as a bit of fun I’d have with me and my friends before we’d go out in Miami. I’d jump on the decks and start playing music to get us hyped for the night. I’d then freestyle and sing over the records I was playing as well as my own songs. It was no different from what I was doing when I was a kid in Southampton which is the crazy part! It then started to become this go-to party through word of mouth and before I knew it we were performing live around the world. I never thought of taking it to the UK but when we decided to, I was just so happy that it worked and people received it so well. Fast forward a few years and we’re hosting festival tents and playing at massive nights all around the world which has really been a dream come true. I’m so excited to be performing in Bali at Omnia Club on 16th Feb. This is one place I’ve never taken TS5 so I can’t wait to share it with everyone over there.
The track “When the bassline drops” – love this one. What was the inspiration?
This record happened organically. I had met Big Narstie on Mistajam’s Radio 1 Show in the UK and then literally the day after we were in the studio together recording When The Bassline Drops. We got on so well and I have so much love for Narstie because he’s just a genuinely nice person. My boy White N3rd produced the track and smashed it. The inspiration was just to have a good time. It was the first song I had released for a long time and I wanted to make a record that everyone could rave to in the same way they do at my TS5 Shows.
How has your music evolved over the years?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a career that has gone through two decades and my advice to anyone would be to just stay true to yourself as an artist. It’s of course essential to evolve your sound and keep your ear close to the ground with what’s going on but it’s important to never change due to trend. You have too stay original and make music which you love, first and foremost. I feel like I’ve done that for most of my career – which is why I’m still here.
See you on Feb 16 at Omnia!