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Interview: Preditah

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“There are two journeys" Preditah tells me, "There’s been my DJ journey and my production journey.”

As you'll see the two skills go hand in hand for success, but are truly different arts.

National Student Preditah Interview 

Speaking about his progression, Preditah compares his DJing and production different to sides of the same coin.

"It’s been two journeys. I’m a DJ and a producer naturally so it’s been really good."

Often producing tracks for Boy Better Know, Preditah is easily associated with grime, however as a DJ and producer his sound isn’t so easily tied down to a single genre.

Speaking about his early influences Preditah explained, “It was a lot of two step and minimal garage, four to the floor at the time as well. Just a varied sound really at that time.”

Growing up in Birmingham, Preditah is one of the few non-Londoners to truly integrate himself in London's grime scene. 

"Production-wise, a key point was when JME kept posting me on twitter back in 2011, kept saying my name and I was sick. At the time people were listening to me at clubs, so it did a lot for me. From there I’ve just been working hard on new music: lots of EPs, production on people’s albums, etc. That’s the production side of things, and then you’ve got the DJ side of everything. I always try to be the best that’s possible so that people take to my set. People always draw a bigger crowd to my sets."

 Now with ample notoriety and respect for his craft, Preditah has recently been added to the roster of DJs on Kiss Fresh's weekly schedule.

“Kiss is a station that is legendary, and it’s still fresh and exciting. I thought I’d give my demo a go and they loved it, and now I’m here it’s just got stronger and stronger.”

Joining the station seems like a natural move considering that thanks to Logan Sama, the station has been at the forefront of plugging grime on national radio since 2002. Sama even released Preditah’s very first EP, Circles on his imprint Earth616. 

With all ears turned to Preditah for his first show, unsurprisingly there was a little pressure.

“I was a bit nervous to do the talking side" he admits.

"I can’t talk”

“Everyone was really excited talking about it."

"The response was massive on all the social medias I’ve got. As time has gone on it’s become a daunting process, because obviously I haven’t been on radio before so I’m still figuring out how. Your online at a certain time but somehow I want to find a way to push being on radio in a different way."

As he talks about adjusting to the new platform, Preditah picks up on the need to adopt a slightly different approach to playing on the radio to playing in the club.

"I think it's the way you promote it. I think if you’re promoting a radio show like it’s really important, it’s going to be a massive show, then people will start locking in."

"You’ve got to somehow find your niche in radio, because everyone’s on radio now, not everyone, but you know it’s not new for someone to say I’m going to go on radio today at 10. So I’m still finding a way to push me being on radio in a different way and find my niche. From there my show should get bigger and bigger, but it’s been great so far."

This summer Preditah has also made the move out to Ibiza, playing alongside fellow Kiss DJs Tough Love during their resident night at Sankeys' Redlight.

“When I’m in Ibiza DJing, obviously it’s a bit more of a house Island. I play house anyway but I get to play a few tunes I wouldn’t usually play in my UK sets out there. I will still also throw in garage music, bass music, bassline and grime."

"I realised people that go to Ibiza are those that like listening to everything. They’ve come from England or wherever they are in the world that they’re not going to come all that way just to pout."

Seizing on the spirit of the island and placing an emphasis on the music has proven popular:

“A lot of people have come up to me and been really happy from hearing something different in such a housey environment so it’s been really good."

Throughout our conversation Preditah makes it clear that whilst he enjoys playing a varied range of music, he will still stay true to his own musical identity.

A recent tweet seems to evidence this nicely, as Preditah described how he wasn't interested in promoting the latest genre declared by all as the 'in thing'. Instead he prizes individuality as far more important.

To evidence his point Preditah references another member of Kiss Radio royalty: “For example DJ EZ plays House Every Weekend, that track is so bait everyone’s playing that tune, when everyone was singing the lyrics he dropped Daniel Beddingfield, 'dun da dun dah...' [Got To Get Thru This] and everyone went ooooh because it’s all about selecting.”

Preditah explains that selection isn’t something that he takes lightly. Song choice is the crucial tool to differentiate his DJ sets from others in the business.

“I premeditate and think how im going to play different. Being a selector is a really important part of being a DJ.”

Another skill that is essential if you’re going to be able to cut it is being able to adapt to new audiences. At the time of our interview, Preditah had recently finished a busy weekend of gigs, playing both Shakedown and Boomtown festivals.

“I don’t really do festivals” Preditah explained.

“I’m still relatively new to the festival circuit, but Shakedown was absolutely amazing there was a good 3,000 people there raving with me."

The reception was clearly a strong one as Preditah spoke enthusiastically about his experience: “Festivals are really good because you’ve got so many different people DJing at the same time you think 'is anyone going to come to my tent when I’m DJing?'"

"You get those nerves, but when you see people there, whether it’s 10 or 3,000 you go ‘ok I’ve got supporters."

He continued by sharing stories of similar success at Boomtown:

“Boomtown was the big one for us. I got there for a late night set. I’m in some tent and I don’t know what I expected and also before I DJ’d I didn’t see the crowd when I stepped up at 9 o’clock from behind the barrier and you see all those people you just go ‘Woah!’ They just knew everything I was playing."

As Preditah continues to play to new audiences he explained how it is challenging him to rethink his approach to DJing. In a recent tweet Preditah declared he would try and refrain from reloading in his sets. 

“I, myself, have been excited and pulled up a tune because of my excitement," he tells me, explaining the motivation for the tweet, "people might think why did he do that?"

"The reload thing is from Jamaica and Bashment, it’s not really a commercial thing to go to a set and hear a reload. It’s more of a grime thing. So I might have gone to Ibiza the first time and thought oh there’s a few thousand people, I’m playing my tune and I go and pull up the tune and everyone looks at me like why have you gone and done that?"

"So now I only reload a tune if it has to get a reload. There are certain tunes in my set that have to get a reload to get a certain reaction from people. So that’s my motivation behind that tweet, to get a bit more smart with it and not get too excited.”

It’s clear that Preditah knows how to read a crowd, and by continually refining his performance he’s quickly becoming a must see DJ.

This year has seen Preditah receive the recognition he deserves as a producer as well as a DJ, following the release of his debut single ‘Selecta’. He’s also recently been nominated for the accolade of best producer at GRM Daily’s Rated Awards. Whilst ‘Selecta’ is staple calling card among many DJs' sets, it’s been almost impossible to ignore another of Preditah’s productions, which has also been turning plenty of heads this year.

I’m talking of course about Solo 45’s ‘Feed  Em To The Lions’.

Last year at the Red Bull Culture Clash we got a tease of what was in store as Solo 45 performed the track live for the first time as part of BBK’s first round of the competition. The response that has followed has been enormous as Preditah and Solo 45’s collaboration has been played over and over again in countless clubs and upon numerous festival stages.

However, as I learnt from Preditah, the record started life far longer ago: “Solo made that tune in 2012 and he gave me the accapella at the time to remix for the EP, but I was really busy at the time doing other stuff so I couldn’t do it. I think it was like January 2013 I was going through my computer and found that accapella again and get the vocals are really hype by itself. So I thought 'how can I make this tune fit into my sets?'"

"I made the beat around the vocals and now, as you said, it’s crazy. If we did something again it’s going to have to be like feed em to the dogs or feed em to the wolves. We’ve got to bring the hype. We can’t go and make a soft tune, we’ve got to keep the legacy going and make exciting tracks."

Despite revealing himself as a talented producer, with his fingerprints all over some phenomenal material, it’s evident that Preditah is only just getting started. Anticipation is high for his next move; asking after his future plans he told me:

“Because of all these shows I’ve been doing in the UK, a lot of promoters have taken to the idea I’m a good DJ. So what we decided to do, me, and the promoters, and my agency, is to put on a tour. I’ve got a club tour going up in October called Circles Tour so we’re going to be touring round lots of different clubs, it’ll start off small just building the brand Circles as actual brand name rather than just a B name. So that’s one thing, the dj thing.”

As for 'the production thing', working between the famous London Red Bull Studios for recording sessions and his home for making beats, Preditah is piecing together his first full length artist album.

“I’m trying to capture my best moments, making exciting music to put together on a CD for people to have. I’m not trying to chart or sellout the O2, but we’re just trying start small and capture what went with that and make it our own."

"That’s the plan, circles tour October and Preditah album hopefully early next year.”

Listen to Preditah every Tuesday night (10-11pm) on KISS FRESH.

Visit www.kissfmuk.com for more.




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