Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Bobby. Can you start by telling us about why you felt there needed to be a label such as Needs – not for profit, in the world today? And can you tell us about your personal philosophy for life and music?
When I conceptualised Needs it was around the time of Trump & Brexit. I was feeling a lot of social dissonance and I wanted to try and do something about it; using the music and scene that I love as a means to spread a message of unity and togetherness. Music is the most powerful force on the planet. In a world of ever-evolving technology, communal centres such as nightclubs are becoming increasingly important in terms of social interaction and it’s here where people and ideas can come together.
The next and third release features five different artists, each with a differing sound. What attributes do you look for when putting together a release?
I look for timeless music from artists that I love. Music that will sound great in 20 years time. With the releases being various artist EP’s I try to group them stylistically as best I can and also try to order the EP in a way that the release flows naturally, and makes sense when listened to as a whole.
*Needs003 is in aid of the refugee crisis. Featuring Lord Of The Isles, Mehmet Aslan, Petwo Evans, Bartellow, Nick Gynn. Released 16th April on Needs not for profit: pre-order link.
And can you tell us why you chosen the charities so far?
I chose charities based on several factors: the work they do, the demographic(s) they help, the reach they have and the areas they offer support. I also looked if they had any previous involvement in the music industry as I thought that would maybe make any potential partnerships easier.
In broader terms do you think Dance Music culture is more or less self-obsessed than other parts of society? Do you think that the ease with which the internet connects us all, also creates a sense of unease?
Definitely. I think it’s a general problem facing all of humanity. More and more we seem to be living a solitary existence as humans, with people mainly socialising and working from their phones and laptops. But like how I mentioned earlier, the thing that dance music culture has is the nightclub and also festivals. It’s quite a rare thing when that many people get together and interact and we should really embrace those experiences. It could be that we see important social movements emanate from these gatherings.
Your new single: Renegade EP co-produced with Adam Curtain is due out in April on Trouble Maker. How did the collaboration come about? And can you tell us about the process of creating the music?
Ahhh yes and I’m very excited about this! Me and Adam have been friends for a while and we hit the studio together about a year ago. We have very similar tastes but brought different vibes to this project. It was a very natural exchange of ideas and we created something separate from our own musical identities. However you can still really hear both of us in the music. It’s super nice when you collaborate with friends and it works out like this.
Do you think nostalgia has helped or hindered music creatively?
I think it can do both. From a production perspective it’s always helpful to look to the past for inspiration but it’s important to also do your own thing and find your own style. From a DJ perspective we’re in the midst of extreme rare record/digging culture, where the emphasis can sometimes be more about how rare or expensive a record is. However I believe dance music and electronic music is evolutionary by nature and will always naturally move to the future.
You recently launched your own night Pleasure Club at The Lion & Lamb in London. How did the night go and what are the ideas behind it? How do you choose a particular guest to play?
It went really well thanks. I’ve been involved in my fair share of parties over the years and I wanted to create an all-encompassing experience that was a culmination of everything I’ve learnt along the way, as well as a platform for me to showcase the music I really love. Pleasure Club will be my ultimate expression of this. Guests are chosen simply because they are the best selectors I have come across in my time as a DJ. Expect the best music, an open minded crowd, plenty of attention to detail and lots of extra treats thrown in. Keep your eyes peeled for a Pleasure Club membership card!
You are part of the first: inner city electronic, event in Leeds this coming June. Tell us some more?
I was label manager manager at 20/20 Vision for 4 years so I know Ralph Lawson really well. I’m so happy for him that this new vision has come together so well. It’s looking like a really incredible event which should be very exciting for not only Leeds but also the UK scene. I’m honoured to be involved at the first one and I can’t wait to see the action unfold.
And finally. What are your plans for the remainder of 2018?
In 2018 I’ll be releasing some more music (including my first solo EP), starting another label, DJing at lots of amazing parties & festivals, and where possible using Needs as a platform to raise awareness for different causes and charities.