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Discovering the London-born DJ: from his own music journey to his thoughts about the industry.


Ukraine is in absolute crisis but other places shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re going to boycott Russia, boycott England and boycott the USA. If we’re gonna do it, we should do it properly.

How did you initially become interested in DJing and producing?

When I was growing up, I used to go to house parties in Brighton and it would be Pale Man, Swamp 81, lots of drum and bass and that stuff. I experienced it vicariously because electronic music was never my jam. Hip-hop and grime were my number one interests. But when I got a bit older and encountered Ibiza, it was the perfect gateway to electronic music.

Did you start with producing or DJing?

DJing was something that came a lot later. I remember being in my mum's Ford Fiesta and I downloaded a copy of Reason illegally. I was throwing some shit together and just stayed up all night for days producing. It was DJing that came as a result of production as opposed to the other way.

When you're playing a DJ set, what journey are you trying to bring your audience on?

It depends where you are. In London, places are more open to bass music, and bass music is my love. I live in Berlin though, so when I was playing Berghain, for example, I played a lot more techno. I fucking love techno as well but I also love a bit of disparity between genres.


I used to go to Dance Tunnel in Dalston all the time and you would go there and never hear the same genre mixed into the same genre and it was the same in Plastic People. In these places, you weren’t defined by a single genre but Berlin is a bit more regimented, which is also nice in its own way. For me, when I go to a club it’s to have a good time of course, but I also want to be educated by a DJ who knows more than I do. I think it’s good to give something other than instant gratification.

What kind of impact has the pandemic had on how you approach making music?

Initially, I had a lot of time. A couple of years ago, I was going through some nostalgic music and not trying to emulate it but was definitely taking influence from it because I was yearning for the better years of my life. It was nice because I didn't feel like a lot of people were making the music of the 2010s. Then I had a big hiatus, not for any reason other than life and it was hard to be as inspired when I wasn’t going gallivanting. Recently though, I’m back in the studio, I’ve moved to a new place and I’m feeling a lot of inspiration.

You contributed to the United for Equity, Ukrainian fundraiser compilation. How important is music to you as a platform for talking about things politically?

In my opinion, you shouldn't need music to talk about stuff like this but unfortunately, we do live in a society where we need something to draw us into something or we overlook it. I'm more than happy to contribute to these compilations - I've contributed to a couple. They bring us all together, raise awareness and don’t cost anyone any money to make. If it raises awareness you should do it, in my opinion.

How much of an influence do you feel like your Sri Lankan roots have on your music and

your art?

I grew up in London and I moved to Kent. I lost touch with my Sri Lankan background because I moved there when I was around 10. I went from a predominantly Black and Asian community to a situation where I was the only brown person in a 50-mile radius. When you're that young, you want to fit in and I sort of discarded most of my Sri Lankan roots. Now I've become more confident with it. In terms of making music, I listen to a lot of Sri Lankan music - tabla drums, percussion and interesting rhythms. I try to incorporate it into my music. It might not directly influence my techno music, but with my more breaky-based music I definitely try to get it in.

Do you feel like the economic crisis and the troubles facing Sri Lanka at the moment are going relatively overlooked? Or that there’s a tendency in the music scene to focus its political energy towards particular places at the cost of others?

Absolutely. The media is whitewashed. Even I am to some extent because I'm influenced by the media. Especially when you look at the Palestinian crisis, which has been happening for ages compared to the Ukraine. Ukraine has a special place in my heart - I played in Ukraine in January and I have very good friends there that I would die for, but I feel that the way that people banded together for Ukraine you will never see for people with melanin in their skin. Ukraine is in absolute crisis but other places shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re going to boycott Russia, boycott England and boycott the USA. If we’re gonna do it, we should do it properly.

What are your artistic goals for 2023?

I've always made music because I want to make music. I've got a job. I've got financial income. So there’s no rush for me! At some stage, I want to put out an album. It might not be electronic. I'm learning the piano at the moment so let’s see how that goes.

You've played a lot of amazing venues, what have been your favourite places to play?

One of the best was the Berghain because I love playing techno. I was in Kyiv, three weeks before the war started at a club called K41. It was amazing - the venue, the people, the staff, the party-goers, everyone was amazing. It was on a great trajectory, it’s such a shame that it’s been stopped. Of course, I love Corsica too.

What would be your dream lineup to play?

There’s a guy called Karma who makes dubstep. He’s someone who I look up to a lot for his productions and DJ sets. He makes inimitable music, and I’ve never even heard anything like it. I’d love to play with so many people - but when it comes to techno Regis, Oscar Mulero, and Ben Sims all come to mind.

01 XPULENT | FEATURE, JAN 04, 2023


Photographs by Florian Heidrich 
Styled by Alejandra M. de Toro Harten
Interview by Kelly Doherty
Edited by Ines Lefebvre du Prey
Director, Original Content: Nadia Dayem
Shoot Location: Berlin, DE

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