Introducing Fullbarr, An exciting, forward thinking independent record label based in Leeds, UK. Focusing on alluring , mood setting and provocative electronic music. FB is powered by the amazing, inspirational parties, music, artists & friends from around the globe.
"it all makes for another interesting EP from fullbarr, which we're following more avidly with each release"- MIXMAG, feb 2012
Monday, 13 February 2012
Artist Interview: Le Jockey
Jockey aka Cambridge producer Johnny Davies had one of the first release's on Fullbarr, I caught up with him recently to ask him a few questions.
Tell me about your early years, instruments and development into electronic music?
My early years were spent playing the violin, piano, percussion and singing. I had a fairly hectic lifestyle. I sang semi-professionally for the Jesus College Chapel Choir in Cambridge, rehearsing 5 times a week and touring around the world. On top of the choir rehearsals I had violin, piano and percussion lessons. It was a very hectic life with every spare second outside of school being completely consumed with music. Around the age of fourteen my voice broke though, and I stopped singing in the choir. This left me some free time in the week, something I had not experienced before, and it was around this time I started to get interested in writing electronic music. At school we had some Atari 520ST computers and some Roland XP-10 synths. I started to play around on these and would attempt to re-write as faithfully as possible, all the electronic dance songs I would hear in the pop charts. I went to a posh school and had led a very sheltered life and at this stage I had no real concept of underground music. However as my teenage years progressed and I rebelled a bit more, I gradually became aware of the scene and by the age of 18, following a trip to Fabric to see Tyrant I was obsessed with house music. That first night, Tyrant at Fabric, was by far the most important night of my life.
How has your production evolved , what do you use ?
Equipment wise, I just have my laptop and a midi controller. Everything else is software. So my kit hasn't really evolved much over the last five years, except for buying faster laptops. I am finding that I work faster with time as I know my software better, and I always try to figure out new interesting things to do with the software I have. For me, the most important piece of kit is actually the monitor speakers and the room acoustics. I have about 5 different pairs of speakers, ranging from expensive studio monitors to the cheapest of hifi speakers, with everything else in between. These are all controlled by a switch box, allowing me to hear what my mix-down will sound like on a range of different speakers. And the room acoustical treatment is essential too. Bass traps, and absorption behind the speakers, deflection behind the listening position.
With other known successful artists from the area, has living in Cambridge inspired you in any way?
I think Cambridge allows you the space to breathe. Its a very soft gentle existence here. No gangs, violence etc. Just allows me to be myself and walk around the city with my head firmly up in the clouds. Also the city is beautiful. Really beautiful. Some of the colleges in the university have been around for about 800 years. The architecture is stunning. At the moment I still have my day job, which is working on the punts in Cambridge. From here I get to spend my days floating past the most beautiful of the buildings as I push tourists up and down the river. The whole mix of serenity, beauty and peace is the ideal environment to allow creativity.
As a young upcoming artist what are your thoughts on the music industry as it is now?
No thoughts. I used to procrastinate loads about the download thing, the piracy issue and how I was going to 'make it' in this industry. Nowadays I don't give it any thought. How do I even define 'making it'? All I concentrate on is writing music and trying to craft my skill as best as I can. I don't give the rest any thought. I run a party called The Fuss with a couple of mates locally, which gives me an outlet to play and perform my music, and I get asked to play other gigs across the UK but I don't actively self promote or worry about where the next gig is coming from. I have found for me that music is a lot more fun if I don't worry about these things and just enjoy the process of writing music and trying to be the best I can be.
Tell me some inspirations.
The best and the worst experiences in life. Love and loss, highs and comedowns, birth and death. I find inspiration in the extremes of emotions we experience.
Tell me something funny?
I told a group of tourists the other day that the Wren Library in Cambridge was the last building in the country to be built before Isaac Newton discovered gravity, and as such was the last building to be built from the top down.
What has been your biggest personal success so far with music?
Hmm, difficult to say really. There is youtube footage of the Belleville three (Atkins, May, Saunderson) playing a remix of an Onionz track I did with Jim Masters (which was basically a complete new track) to around 50,000 people at Awakenings festival, Amsterdam. That was quite a buzz seeing that. I think my biggest personal success so far though would have to be writing a piece I called Hand Shoe. It was such a personal piece of music for me to write, and I think it is the piece which comes closest to capturing the emotions I was trying to portray.
You have a track on Fullbarr as part of cool VA EP as well another EP planned and we spoke a bout an album before December, what else have you got coming up?
I am finally biting the bullet and signing with a manager/booking agent, so I am hoping for some more gigs this year. I have been playing quite regularly at The Egg in London, and at my own party as well. Release wise I have a few things in the pipeline, including an electronica EP on Endemic Digital to be released over the next few months. The album for Fullbarr will be my main focus though.