MENU Interview with DJ Vadim

Interview with DJ Vadim

July 20, 2011

As a creative globetrotting genius, DJ Vadim’s résumé speaks for itself. He’s performed with anyone from Stevie Wonder to Dilated Peoples while also  known to work with unsigned talents that’s gone on to big things. Nominated for the Grammys and produced under multi alter egos, Vadim has his fingers in every pie hole and is never running out of ideas.

Vadim’s latest project is The Electrics. Rap News sums up The Electrics as what Black Eye Peas could be if they didn’t suck.  I could only agree, but nonetheless go cop the 16 track LP ‘ Life is Moving’ and find out for yourself.

Join us as we chinwag with Daddy V about inspirations behind their LP, his newly found record label and where the Mp3 generation is taking us.

Brownswood: DJ Vadim! You’re known as “the hardest working man in show business”, are there any other titles your going for?

Vadmin: Well I’m working very hard on changing that title to sexiest man in Britain! Sexy is better than busy right?

BW: How has your travels as a musician shaped you in anyway praticular?

V: I’m afraid it’s made me a bigot fascist asshole with many passport stamps!

BW: Haha, that’s  a shame. Your music has spanned across a wide genre of style covering hip hop, jazz, broken beat and more. Are such classifications important to you when putting out a record?

V: I do what I feel. I used to care how people saw my music and wanted to fit into a certain style – basically hip hop, but nowadays I’m not really fussed anymore and choose to have fun with my music.

A lot of people only think within a box, by that I mean they identify themselves with brands like Nike or Vans, or one particular brand of music such as hip hop or heavy metal. Well if music is no more than a brand, then I guess I will never appeal to those people. The music I do is more beneath the surface, baring a variety of content and substance.

BW: You’ve collaborated with a lot of artists from different tribes and places, how do you normally find yourself in these collaborations?

V: Mainly through travel, I’m currently speaking to you from the beach in Copacabana, Brazil!

BW: Your latest project is Vadim and the Electric, who are you guys and how did you guys come about?

V: Vadim and The Electric consist of three musicians: DJ Vadim, Pugs Atomz from Chicago and Sabira Jade from Manchester. I met Pugs in New York when I was living there in 2006 and Sabira in cargo London back in 2007.

BW: How did you guys collaborate when you each hail from different parts of the world? Did it require a solid studios session?

V: Well, we did most of the collaboration on a tour I did for ‘U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun’ where Pugs and Sabira joined me as guest vocalists. We wrote the songs back stage, in the van at airports and as soon as we found studios to record in, we laid vocals, scratches and stuff like that, and then I finished the rest once I came home to London.

BW: How did you guys work together when producing ‘Life is Moving’, was there a particular formula you stuck to when laying down a track?

V: Not really. It is a feel good album, and the tracks are just days from a diary of us on tour and the experiences and feelings we went through. It’s a glimpse of what we did from 2009 to 2010 when we were recording the album.

BW: ‘Life is Moving’ sees a variety of beats, style and content. Where did you draw inspiration from when producing the album?

V: Well the traveling, the fans and the experiences made up the content of the album, both the good times and bad.

In terms of stylistically, I guess it has a big soul feel, in particular 80′s soul to soul, loose ends and a little retro synth. This is also combined with a lot of music style we’ve produced previously, weather it’s broken beat, dubstep or the new stuff happening on radio at the moment. But yes, it is a hip hop album, which I feel has a young twist to it. I don’t just want to produce some throwback retro 92 sound like album.

BW: The album is very emotive, are there particular narratives behind ‘Life is Moving’? If so, could you share one?

V: The theme song ‘Life is Moving’ is about the poverty seen traveling the world
and people being complacent. The song aims to elevates people from this ignorance.

BW: Along with The Electrics comes Organically Grown Sounds, your newly found record label. What was the reason behind putting out ‘Life is Moving’ on your own label?

V: Simply because I wanted creative control over the music, I decided to launch my label with “Life is Moving” as our first release. This way, I have all the control and need not split the money with some middle man.

BW: The mp3 generation is somewhat of a phenomenon, how do you think a record is received these days in comparison to 10 years ago?

V: We live in fickle times where it’s about image and instant feeling rather than composition or substance. I think both are important but the balance right now is heavily concentrated on the image, which is fueled by the internet and mp3 generation. Technology allows music to be distributed instantly hence a large amount is available for consumption, it’s interesting to see how much of the music released now will be remembered in 10 years time.

Some people would say it doesn’t matter- music is just the soundtrack of today and tomorrow it will be something else. For me, music isn’t disposable; I go back and listen to loads of things from previous years. I hope my music will keep on living!

BW: We at Brownswood recordings have always been attentive to your music; are there any Brownswood artists you might have kept your eye on lately?

V: Flako (featured on Bubblers 5), Owiny Sigoma Band- lots of bits and pieces. Big up Gilles Peterson for keeping his eyes and ears to the ground for 20 odd years or so!

BW: What’s the most memorable gig you guys have done as of late?

V: So many, it’s easy to forget. Perhaps Paris, where we giged at La Maroquinerie, it was nuts, and also Glastonbury!

BW: What were you playing on you iPod last?

V: The Cure, Nneka, Untold, Kanye West, DVA, Alborosie, Depeche Mode,
Erykah Badu….

‘Life Is Moving’ is now available online and all good record stores, ‘Toot Toot’ and ‘Beautiful’ which are  featured on the LP are also available as singles alongside a remix album  of ‘Beautiful’.