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Friction is a modest man. Having spent the last 15 years at the heart of the music community, hosting a drum & bass show on BBC Radio 1, playing international festival stages and dropping a slew of stinking club tunes, you’d think he might have a bit of an ego on him. But, this Brighton-born DJ and producer
has come from humble beginnings, working hard to cement himself as one of the most adept artists in the industry.
We caught up with him just before the drop of his debut album Connections, where he reminisced on his beginnings in the industry. “I used to go out to raves and clubs when I was in school. I then started making my own mixtapes to get my name out there and eventually got to the stage where I was being paid £5 for a gig...It all helped to show me how to make music and learn how to put concepts together.”
Soon enough, people began to recognise his name. Which, at the time he dropped his debut single ‘Critical Mass’ wasn’t Friction, but Kinnetix. And as all good things do, they spiralled. Soon enough, Friction dropped a slew of singles on some of the biggest labels in the drum & bass biz, including Tru Playaz, Hospital, and his own imprint, Shogun Audio.
“I started Shogun Audio when my DJ career first started 13/14 years ago. It’s kind of developed its own deep rolling sound ....Now I’ve got two labels; Shogun where I mainly act as an A&R for the music that comes out. Whereas Elevate is where I release my music and sign artists that are new and fresh.”
As Friction’s sound developed, so did his priorities. Moving away from simply reproducing beats in the club or remixing classics, he’s become far more interested in the grander production process. While Shogun Audio is the perfect stepping stone for middle-ground artists, his new label Elevate is ever-changing with his own sound and innovative, new styles coming through.
“It’s great to have that control of what I think is the right vision for each label. As opposed to being signed to a major label where I wouldn’t have as much control.”
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