Frenzy interview Andy Whitby in advance of his April gig
1st April 2010 - interview copyright of Frenzy
Andy Whitby is one of Frenzy's most popular guests, and this isn't the first time we've had words with him either. In advance of his April 2010 gig with us we talk about the Hard Dance Awards, his new labels, and what Bournemouth has in store when him and Kym Ayres take to the decks.
1. Hi Andy, you must be getting used to these interviews as I think this is the fourth you’ve done for Frenzy over the last few years, and we keep on asking you back. Frenzy loves you… but how much do you love Frenzy and have you got anything special planned for our next cosy date together?
*laughs* You guys do seem to enjoy asking me questions, so I appreciate you wanting to listen!
I love Frenzy, always have since the first time I played for you back in 2007. Everything from the atmosphere, Dusk Till Dawn nightclub... it’s all really intimate and how I remember all hard house clubs being back in the day; somewhere for people to go and stomp their tits off!
2. As ever, the last year has been a busy one in your calendar. I suppose the biggest news has been the launch of your multi-label project. How’s the launch gone and what have been the standout tracks so far?
The launch has gone brilliantly, if somewhat manic putting out so much music. The hardest part is you have to get releases to the distributor 6 weeks before you want a release, so you really have to plan in advance. Standout tracks so far have been the ’10 in 1’ release on AWsum Bootlegs which went straight to number 1 on trackitdown.net.
‘Cosmos’ on AWsum Future which was a real cross-genre unique release and one of my personal favourites, especially backed with the huge Technikal remix.
‘Cannonball’ by Scott Fo Shaw and myself, as it was something a little bit different for me and a great way to start the Funk imprint off in the direction we wanted to take it.
There are so many big tracks coming out all year across all 8 labels with all the imprint managers working hard to ensure the quality is there each time you see the logo on your favourite download store.
Yesterday AWsum’s latest signing Energy Syndicate sent me his remix E.P tracks and they are outstanding. Glen’s new spins on ‘U Ready?’ and ‘DJ Whore’ have jumped straight to the front of my C.D wallet as my big (not-so) secret weapons this summer...his AWsum Bootleg of ‘Warrior’ is another one which is huge for Cally Gage and I right now, listen out for it!
3. So 2009 cranked it up another notch… but I can’t help but feel there’s probably something else planned for this year given your capacity for spreading the Whitby love around everywhere.
*laughs* There is always new ways to spread my love around! This year is mainly being focused about releases and expanding my music style.
I am in the middle of putting together the debut AWsum Muzik album, which I’m hugely excited about as it will really show the versatility of our music styles and the strength of the music we’re putting out.
Also, my management are meeting with a several other key artists agents to discuss putting on a series of events across the UK; big, special parties which will really grab the interest of the punters...more on that when I’m allowed to say!
Obviously there’s all the usual big shows, including key festival performances this year at Global Gathering, Creamfields and Escape into the Park which will be, as always, absolutely mind-blowing!
4. The World Cup is fast-approaching… let’s say you’ve been asked to write and produce the official England Anthem. Do you think there are any tracks that would suit a remix… oh and would you put a donk on it?
I don’t really write ‘donk’ tracks, Klubfiller and I have created some sort of hybrid Hard-dance style where it’s all fluffy in the middle and then kicks back with an electro-meets-power-stomp bassline...originally heard in our track ‘Universal Sound’ and KF’s remix of ‘Big Fella’ and developed more as each track came on.
AWsum’s latest signing Energy Syndicate is bringing a similar style to many of his tracks right now too and it’s proving to be a huge success...but anyway, I digress...
I don’t think you can really touch the classic ‘Three Lions’ track for Football Anthems as it’s such an incredible song for when tournaments come around. Maybe just make a version which mixes in....then have the whole pop track.....then mixes out so you can keep the set flowing. I’d do that if we won anything for once!
5. You previously told us in 2007 that Fergie was a DJ that inspired you when you were a clubber and aspiring DJ. Fergie eventually turned away from the hard house sound and embraced different styles. Is that a similar path you can see yourself making in your career?
When I get sent a new track or remix, say for example the Energy Syndicate remix of ‘DJ Whore’ I got sent yesterday...I can honestly say I love Hard-dance as much as I ever have. I appreciate all music, and listen to a wider range than I ever have, but Hard-dance still does it for me every time.
When I came into this scene I said I wanted to try and change it for the better and really contribute...that is exactly the same, I’m out there every weekend giving my all for people who have worked all week and want to go nuts on the dance floor.
As for the future, I don’t know...I will always be open to playing new music styles and trying things, but I will also always love Hard-dance.
6. Recently you’ve played some harder, more NRG-based sets which have been promoted as a filth set. Some hard dance fans probably weren’t expecting that so how these were received and do you plan anymore?
I just wanted to try new things to be honest. I’ve been DJ'ing for 10 years and to keep things fresh and different you have to not be afraid to play other styles or embrace different sets; otherwise you could hit a wall like a lot of the older DJs have in our scene.
I certainly plan to do more; I’ll play any music, I love learning to mix new styles and genres.
7. Your music career is going well, but you must have some regrets, mistakes, or something you would have done differently along the way?
There’s always things that, when you look back, you think it could have been done better but that is all part of life; growing up and learning new things.
Something my manager and I mentioned recently was when I won Best DJ, Best Resident and came runner up in Best Album, Best Producer and Best Remixer in 2008 we should have made a real song and dance about it like every winner since then has.
All the artists after me managed to milk their win the entire following year...in fact, most still are *laughs*...I don’t blame them; being appreciated for working hard all year is an incredible feeling.
It’s a shame as I heard a huge amount of reports that this year’s Awards ceremony was hugely disappointing; the magic seems to have gone.
I was away touring in Canada but heard from a lot of friends there that something needs to be done as it’s in a bad place right now. Someone needs to step up and take control to bring it back to what it was when it was held at Brixton Academy with MTV backing and multiple sponsors creating a real media buzz about the industry.Which seamlessly takes us to the next question...
8. The Hard Dance Awards were recently announced and hardstyle seemed to get quite a mention. If we were to take the hardstyle acts out for the moment, who would be the deserving winners if we were talking purely traditional hard house nominations?
An interesting point is the people who run the Hard Dance Awards, trackitdown.net, have just separated their Hard-dance and Hardstyle sections on their download site...does this mean the same is going to happen to the awards?
I like Hardstyle, I play it in the end of some of my sets, but it is a separate genre of music to Hard-dance so why is it included in the awards? It needs to change, and I know a lot of people agree, most just don’t want to say it!
I have a lot of friends who play Hardcore and they even say if Hardstyle was included in the Hardcore Awards all the Core lot would win nothing.
Here’s a rundown, right now, who I would have as winners of the ‘real’ Hard-dance Awards;
9. What are the best, and worst sets you’ve ever played and why?
I don’t really have an opinion on if a set was good or bad, as different clubbers enjoy different things, but personally my favourite ever was Tidy Weekender 9 (think it was that one!) and my least favourite was probably my vinyl set at Frantic Timeless a few weeks ago, mainly due to the decks being in shocking condition and the pitch being all over the shop!
10. Finally, we’ll leave the last word to you which is usually a good opportunity to flog or pimp something. Alternatively you could be all controversial; it’s entirely up to you.
I’ll be controversial and say don’t go and see Shutter Island, its wank. Oh, and check me out at www.andywhitby.com.
Andy Whitby will be DJ'ing alongside Kym Ayres and Helen G for Frenzy on Saturday the 10th of April 2010 at Dusk Till Dawn nightclub. Check out our forthcoming hard dance events for more details.
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