In celebration of his debut release, We The People EP, we asked artist James Silk to answer a few questions for our Artist Focus series:
1) So great to have you on the label, James, with your debut EP for Large. Can you tell us all how your love of house music began? We all have an “origin story” and we would love to hear yours.
Hi, it’s great to finally be on the label, I’ve been a big supporter for a while!
My ‘origin’ story is quite simple really. Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve always been infatuated with music. Once I was old enough, my Saturday’s were spent in record shops spending my pocket money. By the time I was 16, I found myself DJing at school discos and my classmate’s birthday parties.
2) If you were to highlight one record & one producer that has had the biggest influence on you and your sound who would it be?
It would have to be Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones – Off The Wall. That album is just perfect. Growing up I was definitely influenced by disco music as it was all my dad used to play in the car.
3) Do you consider yourself a DJ first and then producer or the other way around?
Well originally I was a DJ first of course. I didn’t start producing until I was about 22, so already had almost a decade of DJing under my belt by then. To be honest though, I enjoy them both equally. The best part is when you can combine them and play a tune you’ve made in the studio out to a crowd, that’s the ultimate feeling.
4) Tell us about your process of production. Do you use any analog gear at all or do you work fully digital?
I’m all in the box for sure. I did experiment with some analog, however I just found that it slowed me down. From when I have an idea, I’d ideally like the bulk of the track done in a day….if not it would mean the idea is not good enough.
Gear-wise I’m an Ableton guy, and to be honest I just use simple virtual synths such as the Arturia stuff and maybe Sylenth1. I always enjoy digging out samples too.
5) This pandemic has been painful for everyone and our hearts go out to those to have lost loved ones. How has the pandemic affected you personally and as an artist?
Yes, of course it’s been a terrible year. For me personally it made me step back and ask myself what I want.
Prior to lockdown I was finding myself making tracks for specific labels, it was all about ‘I need to get on that label’, and therefore my creativity and enjoyment suffered.
With the year we’ve had it just made me realize….’make music that I want to! If it gets support, that’s great. If not, that’s fine too. I’m doing this because I love it, not for success’. So in a way the pandemic helped me get back to just simply enjoying making music with no outside pressures.
6) What is the one thing you most look forward to as the World opens up fully?
Thankfully due to some music getting support over this pandemic year, I’ve got a few gigs lined up which I’m looking forward to. But to be honest, I’m just looking forward to spending time with my girlfriend in a foreign country!
7) Finally, we ask this question of all our featured artists: If you could pick one record from the Large Music catalog as a favorite what would it be?
Well, there is certainly a lot of great tracks to choose from! One record that first made me aware of Large Music was from 2014; The Checkup – I Got Something. Brilliant House music.
Click HERE to hear more of James’ debut EP On Large Music