Interview with Deji & Night Tracks 013: Guest Mix

Deji came to my attention when he sent me some tracks on soundcloud. He produces what could be called “Future Garage” with some really interesting percussion, and his track “Morning Sickness” even featured on BBC Radio. Get to know him a little better...

NT: Hey man, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm Deji , I'm a 17 year old producer and DJ from Dartford. I'm influenced by a lot of things that I see and hear and a lot of different artists as well. When I was around 15, I toyed around with FL Studio for a while to learn the parameters of 140 BPM music but eventually I felt limited by what I could do. A track I made called 'Technicolour' was the start of me sampling vocals and an 808 drum machine.

NT: You would’ve been pretty young when garage was first around, so how did you get introduced to UK Garage?
When I was around 5 I lived in East London and that was in 1999 when stations like Rinse and Kiss were still pirate radio and Sweet Female Attitude and Artful Dodger were popular so there was no avoiding the garage sound. Then when I was 14, I started DJing and playing garage tracks like DJ Zinc -138 Trek for a bit of nostalgia, but the sound really resonated with me and I was a bit older so I could appreciate the music a lot more.

NT: Which producers/DJs have been your biggest influences in making music?
Funnily enough, Quincy Jones has been a massive influence in my latest tracks because his arrangements are consistently good and he's got a unique ear for composition. New Order are another strange place that I take inspiration from, I think they came well before their time and I've been sampling a lot of their spooky analog sounds as of late. James Blake and Mount Kimbie are really good at creating a soundscape for their listeners and Jacques Greene and Koreless share my love for re-sampling tracks so it's really easy for me to draw influence from them. In terms of DJs Oneman, Lunice and SBTRKT really stand out for me, they all put on a really good live show and engage their audience.

NT: Do you only produce garage, or do you try out any other styles? If not, do you ever intend to try something different?
I don't see what I make as strictly garage, it's just 'circa 140 bpm electronic', but my 'signature' sound is still growing , so I really want to perfect that sound and my production style as much as I can before trying something else. But I am really into the chillwave and witch house sounds so I would love to have a go at making at least a couple of different records.

NT: What made you decide to start producing? Did you have a musical background previously?
I've always had an interest in music, I took piano lessons when I was in primary school, that didn't last very long because of my attention span. I dabbled in guitar , but when I was about 11 I started taking music a lot more seriously. I got up to grade 7 standard drumming and joined a few bands. But the drummer never really gets much input into the music they make and they're too many egos to contend with in bands, but when I started producing I was independent. I had a much more hands-on approach to the music I put my name to and I could make the music I envisaged.

NT: Can you explain your selection for the mix?
The tracks that I selected in the mix are all tracks that mean a lot to me. It's a linear transition from 140 BPM deep tracks to the more unorthodox bass tracks. that I love. These are just a few of the tracks that I play in my live sets on a regular

NT: Do you have any releases lined up?
I've just signed a 2 EP deal with a label from Miami called Dubporn Records, so my next two full releases are due to be released within the next year. Dates and titles TBA, but expect some fresh material and keep an eye out on my soundcloud page for forthcoming releases.

NT: Finally, can you name your three favourite “Night Tracks”?
I'm really in the habit of listen to music before bed so there are a lot but my three favourite are probably;
Come Undone by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan is a really nice track to listen to at night
I really Hannibal by Caribou as well, something about the stereo play really chills me out at night time
Touch by Holy Other is really ambient as well so thats a nice one to listen to
but there are so many more, I could go on till next week.

Thanks for your time man! Check out Deji's guest mix below:

Mala - Alicia
Zomby - Things Fall Apart
Koreless - MTI
Deji - Warm Cider
Stavrogin - Axis
SBTRKT - Living Like I Do
Rusko - Hold On
Mount Kimbie - Blind Night Errand
Cam’ron - Hey Ma (RL Grime Remix)
James Blake - CMYK
Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo