Forever making innovations in the Zone Focus features we have decided to change up how we do the 5 Minutes with…series. Usually, the case would be that we release a feature track along with the artist interview and from an artist already well established within the leftfield electronic community.
But it was time to allow some relatively unknown artists within the ZF family to enter the spotlight online. With this, we are introducing the x2 Series, A mini EP release made of an exclusive ‘A/B side’ digital free download on our SoundCloud. First to be released is two great remixes by our man, Ssin. Powerful Lo-Fi style instrumentals with sublime vocal samples, we are really happy to present his work on Zone Focus.
ZF: What first sparked your interest in electronic music?
Ssin: I think the first gig I ever went to was The Prodigy at Milton Keynes Bowl. I went with my brother and my dad. To this day it is still one of the best live performances I have ever seen. After that, I would spend hours on YouTube and Soundcloud searching for new tunes and the cycle continued. I think I first started getting into house music in about 2012 and to this day I am still spending hours on the internet finding both new and old songs
ZF: How did growing up in Nottingham influence your style of productions?
Ssin: To be honest, Nottingham isn’t really that big for its underground house music. Stealth is one of the only clubs that I would go to and it would from time to time have artists play there that have very similar styles to me. Also, my friends from home don’t all have the same tastes as me, some are still listening to some pretty tragic tunes to this day (you know who you are).
My brother and I have similar tastes in music so we would compare tunes when we were younger, but nowadays I am the one sending him all the best new tunes. I guess I just followed my own little niche in terms of my style of productions and just went for what I thought sounded best.
ZF: Which artists do you listen to the most for inspiration or enjoyment?
Ssin: I have quite a broad taste in music, I find that my mood will determine what music I will listen to at a certain point in time. There is a vast array of artists who have inspired me over time, the artists who have inspired me into the house music that I produce are the likes of Mall Grab, Demuja and Anthony Fade.
However, I have also found inspiration through Kaytranada, J Dilla, Robert Glasper and Tom Misch; all very different artists with different styles, but all have that old school soul/jazz vibe, which I am very fond of. In terms of enjoyment, I listen to all genres of music every day, from the disco vibe of Oby Onyioha to the fast tempo house vibe of Vantane. I have a great number of playlists on my phone to enjoy, but I mainly listen to house, disco, old soul and jazz.
ZF: What has been the best music event you have been to and why?
Ssin: Stealth in Nottingham will always be up there I think. They have held some very good events that I have had the pleasure of seeing from D Double E at the age of 15 to Hunee last year. But, I also enjoy World Headquarters in Newcastle which has become a club I go to quite frequently ever since attending Newcastle University. I have not really attended many festivals in my life, but Lovebox in 2015 was very good and musically it is the best festival I have been to.
ZF: Why do you enjoy making Lo-Fi electronic music?
Ssin: Lo-Fi house music, just like a lot of other genres of music involve samples from over time. The one thing I really enjoy about making Lo-Fi house music is the samples that I find. I love using old records that have a very upbeat style and speeding them up to about 125bpm, with that done I can already hear the beat in my head and I love hearing what I can do. Nevertheless, house music is just very pleasing to the ear, and it is what I have grown up listening to for the majority of the time.
ZF: Where and who would you like to DJ an event with?
Ssin: Goes without saying really, I would love to play my hometown of Nottingham with Mall Grab. He was the first artist that really inspired me to make similar music to himself. And, being back home with all of my friends watching would be unreal.
ZF: Which are your favourite labels at the moment?
Ssin: At the moment, I am really enjoying Steel City Dance Discs, with their newest releases with the artist Loods. Also, love listening to No, She Doesn’t Label, they always have exciting new tunes to offer.
ZF: Can you name a few tracks that are essential for an after party?
Ssin: All feel-good tunes, that are perfect for an after party.
Jocelyn Brown with Nuyorican Soul – It’s Alright, I Feel It
Loods – What Is It
Sybil – Don’t Give Up (Dimitri from Paris Re-Edit)
ZF: If you could meet any person from the underground music scene
who would it be and why?
Ssin: I think it would have to be Moodymann. One of the coolest artists in the underground house scene. What he has done for the underground scene is very inspiring to me. He produces music like no other and he does it on an MPC, which is incredible.
ZF: What have you got planned for the rest of the year musically?
Ssin: I have just released a single with Zone Focus, which I am very proud of. But other than that, I am releasing a song with Moskalus in mid-February. I have also got a few DJ events lined up in Newcastle, but I would love to play back home in Nottingham as well, so that is what I am aiming for. In addition, I will still be making and releasing music throughout the year, which I am always excited about.