After a fantastic Profile Interview series showcasing the best up-coming artists in the UK and Ireland, we decided to return to our original interview format 5 minutes with… revamped for this era of post-pandemic clubbing with some face to face music people meet-ups. First up is Stress records chart smasher DJ & Producer, Tommy Farrow. We met at the evergreen Sheffield Winter Gardens for a chat.
Let’s start from the very beginning. Where was your first proper rave, who did you see there, and what were your general after-thoughts?
My first proper rave was seeing Disclosure at Alexander Palace when I was 16. Disclosure got me into dance music and were my roll models when I first started djing at 14. Me and my friend were so gassed we got in at that age as we took a big risk travelling up to London for it. I remember it so clearly being on his shoulders listening to ‘White Noise’, it opened up my eyes to how incredible live music is.
We met whilst doing seasons in Ibiza, how would you say spending time over there has influenced you as an artist?
It was the main influence that got me into taking producing seriously. My last season I was so motivated by going to all the different club nights, especially Camelphat’s Bodyworks as we got to go behind stage a lot of the nights and meet the artists. I was hooked to the lifestyle immediately haha! Afterlife influenced me when I got back in the studio as I always experienced new sounds and feelings every time i watched Tale Of Us play.
Now that we have finally returned to clubbing which has been your favourite gig so far?
Playing before Alan Fitzpatrick the 2-4am slot. My goodness I still can’t put it into words how good that gig was. I felt like I’ve waited all my life for that moment and it was the best being able to play heavier stuff and dip into some techno. I actually think after that gig I’m going to be playing more heavier sets and reflecting my music around that. The feedback I got was another level!
What makes Sheffield a great place for clubbing in your opinion?
Sheffield is great because the city isn’t too big. When you go out you bump into a lot of people you know and there’s a real sense of community. Hope Works is a great club that has put Sheffield on the map with such diverse underground bookings. There’s some really exciting new promoters too and I have a new residency I can’t wait to announce.
We heard on the grapevine that you are building a new studio, have you bought any extravagant items for it?
For making music no… but for now I have a sofa, a mini fridge and a microwave! It’s getting finished in the next week and it’s looking amazing. Pretty much looking like a living room, converted from a damp dark basement! I’ve not been able to make music properly for the past 5 months so I’m going to be an absolute beast in there when it’s finished.
You returned to Stress with ‘Everything We Talked About’. How did this track come together and what inspired you to make a track like this?
This track was made during lockdown without a care in the world. It’s my first single that’s not big room with trancey elements, very refreshing for me! It was inspired by love and relationships like a lot of my music (cringe I know). I was watching ‘The Beach’ at the time and was so fascinated and hooked on Leanardo Dicaprio & Virginie Loyden’s relationship in the movie. So at the same time I wanted to reflect that feeling into a piece of music, and I’m so happy with the outcome!
Is there any advise you would give to fellow young producers who are sitting on an amazing track and are not sure how to move forward.
If they’re sitting on an amazing track then they’ve done the hard part. Best advice I could give is to reach out to as many DJ’s and industry heads possible and introduce yourself and send your music. networking is vital in this game and I’d say half of my gigs I have atm is because I’ve networked and got my name out to promoters.
You’ve recently featured on Danny Howard’s show with a euphoric mini mix. How did it feel to join that series and what was your favourite song from the mix?
It was honestly so crazy. I made a list of goals for 2021 the start of the year and to do a mini mix was at the very top so I was over the moon!! I only had a week to finish it as well as a remix to complete, both for the same deadline! I also had bloody shingles the same week as well as starting a new job so it was hard work! I didn’t think I was capable of doing a mini mix to a certain standard but the reaction from it was overwhelming. My favourite moment was probably dropping ‘Air’ by Magnetic man. I was obsessed with that tune when I was in secondary school. Proper hands in the air moment.
Is there anyone on the circuit today who you think is on the up and coming or about to blow up in 2021?
My boys Tibasko are gonna blow up next year for sure. Silly amount of top class demos.
Danish DJ Kolsch recently stated that “social media has saved electronic music” – what are your thoughts to this statement?
I wouldn’t say save electronic music. I think social media has helped producers get their name out there and unfortunately a lot of promoters check DJ’s socials before they book them and it’s important to have good profiles. I’m regards to saving electronic music I think it’s just making sure people are pushing new boundaries and inspiring the next generation. That’s why I like to think all my releases are unique. Nobody really expects what’s coming with my music! I get really nervous before my release days because of this but being unique and different is good.
And finally, is there any genre of music you listen to regularly that people might be surprised that you listen to?
I love R&B as much as I do electronic music. I’m obsessed with PARTYNEXTDOOR, dvsn, Majid Jordan, that kinda vibe. I feel that’s what’s inspired me to create emotional music. I listen to more R&B then I do any other genre!
Your first vinyl EP, Forever, comes out on Shall Not Fade tomorrow. You linked up again with vocalist Clementine Douglas as you did for Everything We Talked about. What do you like about her style of vocals and what does it add to your productions
Ahhh Clem is out of this world! She is so easy to work with and she nails everything straight away. Her melodies and emotion suit my music perfectly! Forever has had lots of hype and support from Pete Tong so I’m so excited to get this one out.
Now that you have hit the big leagues, signing with Sony Publishing, what are your plans and goals for the future?
Yes! I’m working closely with Sony now and I’ve arranged a day to go to the offices In London next month to plan out 2022. I want to release big club records throughout the year. I’ve got a collab in the works with arguably one of the biggest DJ / producer around atm so I’m hoping to get that out next year. I honestly can’t wait!