Exclusive Interview As We Get More Insight Into This Dope Producer / DJ
Give us a little insight into just who Boxer is… Boxer’s the artist name I’ve been using to release music and DJ since the beginning of my teenage years. The name “Boxer” stems from my grandad’s family. Growing up in a rural mining community part of England where most people and families have nicknames, this was ours. I was more commonly known as boxer than my actual name Dan. Even some teachers at school called me boxer. It was a no-brainer that this name was to be used, and I’m proud of the history behind it.
What got you into producing & spinning the decks? Wow… so many influences from my childhood that led to where I am right now. As most artists will say, I was influenced by my parents taste of music growing up. Very electric 80’s/ new romantic and dance music from the early 90’s. Both myself and my best friend Rich were heavily influenced by his dad Mark who is a DJ. We used to roadie with him, beg, borrow and steal his kit to play our own gigs. Playing alongside Tony de Vit who needs no introduction, some of the stories he used to share inspired us to get amongst the scene. I’ve always been fascinated by dance music and its culture. It was in the early 00’s where I bought my first pair of Stanton turntables about the time where Kevin and Perry Go Large was released. Myself and Rich had that film on repeat for about 5 years until we started hitting the clubs ourselves.
Let’s get into your upcoming release, The Rhythm, comes across as a shufflers paradise. How would you describe it? What sound would you give it? I’m heavily influenced by such a broad spectrum of dance music. I’m not the type to stick to one particular style, I’ve always been torn between genres. I think music reflects mood and I think you can pretty much pick that up in each track of mine. I love groovy tech house. I’ve been to sooo many raves with my friends over the years who listen to tech. This is where I was going with this track I suppose… Chunky techy groove, with exciting mad dirty synths, vocal chops that move throughout the track and keep it exciting. I’m excited about this release. It;’s been a long time in the coming, also my first tech release for over a year and seems to be getting some early attention! Happy Days!
‘Funky Groove’ is oozing energy and funk. What was the inspiration behind this one? One for the terraces! The “funky groove” sample comes from a 70’s vinyl by Gary Toms Empire, called ‘Feel that Funky Groove’. It was used about 15 years ago on a hardhouse record I used to play back in the day by Untidy Dubs. I always wanted to do something with it… Again, this is very 90’s inspired. I wanted to give it a bit of a tribal feel with the percussion, and a lot of movement and play with the synths to keep the energy.
What made you go with remixes that you did on the EP? We’re loving the VIP Bosh Remix! The remixers were carefully selected between myself and label A&R Huff. Illyentus and Barrientos have been smashing there way into the scene recently and were in the shortlist from the beginning. We wanted one big recognised artist to remix, one upcoming artist and one of the label residents who happened to be the label boss Lee Pearce! Paradox City bringing in the groovy terrace aimed remix which is probably my favourite remix. Can see that getting some attention this summer. Nice to hear you like the bosh mix though! I agreed with Huff that I’d do an alternate remix for ‘Funky Groove’ and take it on a different direction. I’d recently been to Berlin and love a big of techno now and again so yeah… that’s what happened with that! Was really fun to make.
Playing through your Spring Mixtape you previously mixed and we’re feeling the dope blends of Tech / Deep / Soulful / Melodic it delivers. What was the thought process behind choosing these tracks to mix? It was only this year I decided to do a seasonal mix, with the spring mix being the first. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but never got round to recording as was busy sat in the studio making music. So for a few times a year I’ll be taking some time out and putting these together. The idea was to not take it too seriously. A very different approach to how I would tackle a set in a club; I want to use these mixes to showcase the styles of music I love, and as explained earlier I have a very broad taste of music. Note the deeper/ melodic stuff being at the forefront as that’s truly where my heart rests. I will be putting the summer mix together very shortly 🙂
You seem to have a specific sound to your music which is dope. What’s your thought process when creating tracks? That’s really interesting to hear actually. I still don’t’ feel like I have a “sound” and often I feel quite torn between genres which can be good at times but a nightmare at others. I guess the majority of my tracks share the same amount of emotion. Emotion is what I like to focus on with writing. I don’t want to sound clichéd or cringy but I believe you’ve got to feel the emotion in the music and that’s what I focus on mostly. Other than that I try not to have too many structures and rules and just get on with it jamming and see what comes out.
What would be your ideal situation/goal with this upcoming release? Obviously, we all want our music to get into the hands of the big guns, mainly for the exposure. I mean, we want our music to be heard by as many people as possible and it works when the A-listers start spinning them. It would be nice to see it being played and doing well on the dancefloor as that’s what’s intended.
Anyone, in particular, you wish to work with & trade ideas within the studio? Yes. I think it’s beautiful when two minds come together and you get a unique result. I’ve been known to work alongside others, collaborate and write music with/for other artists. Something I’m not doing right now as I’m trying to grow my own sound and experiment with my own ideas. I would give my right nut to be a fly on the wall let alone to be creative with some certain producers. Jody Wisternoff, Joris Voorn, Yotto, bBdzin, Sasha, Mat Zo and the likes would be the ultimate dream though let’s be honest. Thanks for having me. Look out for my summer 2018 mix and a year of insane releases. I can’t share anything just yet but i have a release later this year on a dream label of mine.
Get your copy of Boxer’s ‘The Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm’ EP Out Now