DAMU

Damu
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DAMU



Written by Dan Hampson
Photos and illustrations by Emma Phillipson
28 Monday 28th November 2011

How has the last year been for you?

Absolutely mad! In the past year I’ve gone from dreaming to living it. From DJing to no one to playing to some big crowds. From trying to chat to the DJs in the smoking area to having a party in the back room. Throw in working 40 hours a week in a nightclub, sleeping three hours a night for a few months and living with my best mates to that and that’s basically where I’m at now.

Peaking Lights - Amazing & Wonderful (Damu Remix) by Weird World Record Co

Earlier this year Mike Skinner selected you as one of his 'New Faces of UK Dance Music.' How did that feel? Are you a fan of his music?

Like a lot of stuff that’s happened this year, it was pretty surreal. I was hearing about stuff like that and just thinking "Is that good? Is that normal?" I'm a big fan of especially his early output and he's one of my favourite lyricists of his day so it was cool thinking that he was listening to my music somewhere out there.

How did you find the album making process?

It was a joy. The idea of putting together an album and knowing it was going to be released on Keysound was extremely exciting when, at the time I started, I hadn't released anything. I had a sound in my head that expressed a lot of that excitement I was feeling and I found it increasingly easy to find ways of capturing that euphoria sonically as I progressed. It was definitely a learning experience.

Rizlab presents GHOSTPOET Featuring The D.O.T. - Trouble (Damu Remix) by ghostpoet

Where do you draw your influence from? Your music is as colourful as 80’s pop but darker than Noise/Drone at times so I’m guessing it’s a pretty mixed bag?

I'm very much into a lot of different music. You're just as likely to find me at a Devil Driver gig as at the Orchestra. Obviously dance music is a very big part of it. I'm a big techno head, love the house sounds coming out of London at the moment, RnB, Hip-hop, Footwork, I could go on.

EDM isn't really that governed by genre that much anymore anyway, I’m more influenced by anything with characteristics that appeal to me, be it musicality, colour, intensity, emotion or just weirdness. Mixing genres together should be pretty simple if you have no desire to stick to the rules.

If you were to invent one of these ridiculous new genre names to describe your sound, what would it be? Future 80's boogiestep? Post Eski-tropical step?

I'm gonna have to stick with my better judgement on this and say I have no idea. I still remember how the Klaxons Nu-Rave joke stuck. Genre classification is good in that it makes music more easily definable, searchable and probably marketable but one of the key elements of my writing process was that I was trying to mix together all my influences as much as possible. If I were to say post-house or something like that it would just be ignoring all the dubstep that it came from as well. Feel free to suggest one though, I’m supposed to not be able to answer that question.

Sleep Over - Romantic Streams (Damu Remix) - free DL in description by Damu

UK dance music is in a wonderful state of flux at the moment, where do you align yourself along the spectrum? Do you feel closer to the remnants of the dubstep movement or more In line with the Night Slugs boys, or do you not care at all?

Deep, dark dubstep was a big part of my introduction to dance music but honestly I think its probably one of the only types of music that does nothing for me anymore. The Night Slugs camp is fairly representative of what’s going on in UK urban music as a whole at the moment so yeah, I definitely have a lot of love for what they and their peers are doing.

Manchester is a bit of a separate bubble and I’m sure if I lived in East London I’d have been making very different music this whole time. I love that whole scene but I think my music probably falls slightly outside that box.

There are a lot of talented UK MCs at the moment, why did you choose Trim to appear on the album?

A lot of talented MCs yes, but Trim was the first guy on the list to vocal 'Ridin'. It’s a club track, but I didn't want it to be typically aggressive grime. Trim is a masterful lyricist, he has the slow delivery, drifts in and out of time; just does it completely his own way. The depth of his lyrics, talking about his fears, his mistakes, his weaknesses; you don't get that a lot. I like that you just don't know what to expect from the man.

What’s the plan post-album - worldwide Damu tour?

I've made a lot more music since the album so there's working out what to do with some of that. I’ve been playing out a lot more, trying to experiment, trying to save up for some hardware. I'd love to go round the world, just a matter of time waiting to see who'll have me I guess.

Unity is out now through Keysound

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