18 Mar 2014

An interview with Kayla Painter.

Photo by Zoltan Nagy


EMW: Welcome to EMW. How is 2014 treating you so far?

KP: Thanks Hari. Very well actually,  I've already played some excellent shows, this time of year is usually quite quiet for me but I've played London and released a new single, so im pretty happy with that.

EMW: Sounds good. So you're currently based in Bristol? What's so great about the city that makes musicians gravitate towards it?

KP: Yeah I am. I've been living here for five years now, and it still has new things to offer me. There are always new opportunities, amazing shows and festivals and so many inspired and creative people which is what makes it such a fantastic place to be.  I suppose the city has a feel to it, an accepting and interested audience, which makes it a great place for musicians like me, wanting to try something that perhaps doesn't fit the mould in other cities.

I also think as more creatives gravitate towards Bristol there is an increased market for unusual and innovative music / sound art, which only creates more of a reason to book interesting acts and curate festivals that will cater to this audience. Certainly a great place to be at the moment.

EMW: And before this you studied on the CSM course in Newport?

KP: Yes that's right. The course has been key to my development as an experimental artist. Before the course I was a bass player, but after one term I'd been skip diving to make an instrument, made my own light sensitive synth , learnt about 4"33 , Alvin Lucier, Steve Reich and of course some philosophy thrown in just to stretch your mind that bit further. 

EMW: Yeah. I'm currently studying there and already my views and opinions on music have changed. So before you were a bass player in bands. What made you interested in the electronic music that you are releasing and performing live now?

KP: Absolutely- it is a real eye opener.

Yes I was a bassist and previous to that my background was more formal I played and studied alto saxophone for a number of years too.

I was lucky enough to be exposed to experimental and thought provoking music as a child, I remember my dad showing us music by Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, David Byrne and so on. So I expect I have had a keen ear for alternative music from a young age, but found the exposure to new material at university really sparked my interest further. I remember hearing a third years performance, whilst I was in the first year, and being really struck by the  music that Al Mchattie performed, (it was thought provoking, very emotive, ambient and wonderfully electronic) I think that coupled with the lectures on Glitch & the aesthetics of failure really started feeding my brain.  It wasn't until two years later I started looking at making electronic music myself, I still had a lot of creative processes to go through and at first, the idea of making music on a computer seemed like cheating to me.  As I made a few of my first tracks I started to enjoy the flexibility you get from being a producer and that's when I got the urge to dive head first into drum programming.

EMW: It's funny that you use the word cheating. Once one has looked a little in to the works and philosophy of artists like John Cage or even his teacher Schoenberg the very idea of cheating in music seems absurd.

KP: Well absolutely, and something else I had to quickly get my head around was the idea of 'right' and 'wrong' within music. I'd come from a background of music theory and exams, and went to a place where atonal jazz and improvisation was encouraged, it blew my mind a little bit.  I certainly struggled with letting go of form, structure, and all the ideals that surround defined westernised contemporary popular music. 

Funnily enough it seemed for me that a total deconstruction of music was necessary in order for me to rebuild myself as a sound artist, and where i find myself now is making something much more fulfilling and exciting, and constantly pushing the boundaries further, (perhaps this is more obvious in my studio experimentation and sample collection than in my structured recorded work.)

Photo by annikmedia.co.uk

"I suppose my advice would be to be mindful of what you are recording..." 

EMW: So from the breakdown of traditional form and structure in music you have been able to find other ways of building tracks?

KP: Yeah I'd say so. It allowed me to really think about structure more openly, I sometimes think of my tracks as more of a collage than a linear experience, I often have people comment that my songs don't fit traditional structure and I think that's probably why.  Im more interested in the qualities of sound and what they do in relation to each other now, which I suppose is the sort of approach I have when I sit down in the studio.  It's also been a fundamental process in training my ear to listen, which in turn helps me identify unique sounds that i like to capture to sample, when Im out and about, and when i'm in the studio messing around with tapes or vinyl. 

EMW: Listening is vital! Can you describe your methods with using tape a little more?

KP: I have only recently started looking at tapes, and have a rather wonderful 90s kitchen radio with a tape deck. It is incredibly clunky. I have been working with random selections of tapes my neighbour was throwing out, almost in an improvised fashion. Hitting record on a room mic, and then selecting a tape at random, and going from there. Im putting the tapes in the machine, fast forwarding, rewinding, forcing the tape to pause and fast forward (which creates an amazing sound) and half pressing buttons to cause it to judder , and so on.  It feels almost back to the basics of concrete and field recordings, but I love doing it, you get different things every time you do it, and I also incorporate the radio too.  I like the random element of recording this way. After i've done that I'll then sift through the one singular recording and take things as they are out of it and use them as samples or basis of tracks. This is what happened with the track PW, a lot of that is noise from the tape machine..and the beat is made from the buttons being pressed.

EMW: Also on this track you have used recordings of your travels to Nepal. Did you find that field recording during your journey added another dynamic to your experience?

KP: Indeed I found the field recordings from Nepal absolutely fascinating.  When I got back and listened to the samples on my studio monitors it was almost like i could hear in 3D, I wasn't just hearing the sound I'd recorded, I was hearing the space around it, and what was happening in that space.  A lot of the recordings were of people or happenings in small villages on a trek in the Himalayas. So in places the air was quite dead and silent for a moment and then you'd hear passing donkeys or sheep climbing the mountains and over taking you on paths! 

The recording experience was odd in itself, because when you travel to such a poor country I am always aware of feeling and appearing very western, and I don't like the idea of taking too much from another culture, and then bringing it back to the west with me, and putting a glossy shiny technology stamp on it.  I was wary of recording because in the same way that some people believe taking photographs of people can capture part of their souls, I believe there is some beauty that should remain as it is and shouldn't be recorded and replayed (images or audio), and so there were many instances where I didn't feel it was appropriate to record what was happening.  The recording certainly made me think a lot more about what sounds were happening in my surroundings, and that was a wonderful way to spend many consecutive hours, in silence with my trekking partner, just listening.  

EMW: It's amazing how the process of recording somehow enhances that sense more than if you were just experiencing without the action. I agree with you regarding being sensitive when recording . What advice would you give to anyone wanting to record on their travels?

KP: I suppose my advice would be to be mindful of what you are recording.  Not to be concerned about having a hugely expensive recorder, I used a Zoom H1 digital recorder that I borrowed.  The great thing about this was batteries lasted the whole time, and the memory was big enough for me to get plenty of recordings, some of which are a couple of minutes each.  I suppose when capturing audio I was careful not to be seen pointing the recorder at anyone, to get the most honest sound possible.  On PW, near the end, you can hear a beautiful snippit of some nepalese children learning the alphabet, if they'd known I was recording it may have sounded quite different.


EMW: PW features as a B side to your track Railway Lines. Railway Lines also includes a video created by Jason Baker. Have you always been conscious of having a visual aspect to your music?

KP: Yes right from the start of making this stuff, again in University, we did a module on sound and image, which really spoke to me.  I started working with stop motion animation, and then did a series of projects that were all sound and animation.  So before I was even writing music in the way I am now I was writing and arranging instrumentation to animations.

A lot of people say my tracks are very minimal, and I think this is because when I write tracks I feel they have another dimension - a visual one - and often they are written with that in mind.  It is an absolute pleasure to work with Jason, we have lots of conversations about the concepts and ideas I have around my music, he also does a lot of live vj-ing for the shows I play.  The live visuals are largely based on the artwork and inspiration I had for my last EP, A Very New Everything, which was all about otherworldly experiences and space in the universe.  The Railway Lines video is a really nice play on the big brother vibe, surveillance and the uneasy feeling of being watched.  


EMW: You've also had a release on the electronic music label Bit-Phalanx. What's the story behind this release?

KP: A Very New Everything was released last year through Bit-Phalanx. This release was something I'd been working on for a chunk of 2013, and Bit Phalanx had seen me at a gig and approached me offering to work with me for a release.  Working with a label has been a good experience, and of course its great to have label backing.  Although previous to this I was a self releasing artist, so it was a little strange to start with. The idea for the release was that the tracks all tied together as a concept, tracks 2-6 make up the concept, but tracks 1 and 7 had to be added to meet the label requirements, so it actually turned out quite different to how i'd initially envisioned. The artwork was also part of this concept, to do with space, new life and new creations and otherworldly experiences. (excluding track 7, gaga, which is about something else entirely).

http://bitphalanx.bandcamp.com/album/a-very-new-everything-ep


EMW: Leading on from your experience being released by an established label would you say there were benefits in comparison to self releasing?

KP: There are certainly advantages to both self releasing and having a label back you.  
I've found the exposure from the label has been beneficial to me, getting involved with a London based label has allowed me to be presented to a different market I don't reach myself in Bristol.  I've also had my physical cd on sale at record label fairs and been involved in some great line ups off the back of bit phalanx. The networking factor has been great for me too , meeting other musicians and doing remix swaps and so on. 

EMW: On the topic of collaborating. Who would be your dream collaboration?

KP: Ah theres so many! Probably Mount Kimble, Nicholas Jaar or Thom Yorke.. I could go on!

Photo by Zoltan Nagy

"I believe there is some beauty that should remain as it is and shouldn't be recorded and replayed..."

EMW: All of theses producers also have interesting live projects. How's your live set developing? Could you explain your setup?

KP: My live set up is my laptop and a midi controller. Live, I trigger samples and stems of my tracks, I use different audio effects on them and alter them in various ways.  I build upon the sounds I'm making live until I have a coherent track.  In this respect my live set has a certain element of improvisation to it, which I like a lot.  It actually then feeds back into my studio process, So, if I remember certain things that went well on a particular live show, I might go back and experiment with that in the studio.  What I like about this is that my set will never be the same twice, so there is always something new to listen to even if people have seen me many times before.  I suppose the difficulties with this are sometimes an idea will come out of improvising and it won't work in the set or the physical space so i'll have to abandon it and go another way with the set, sometimes I feel like there are small missed opportunities within that, but it's all about listening and making judgments and decisions on the spot, which is great to practice. 

EMW: Do you have any live sets coming up?

KP: Yes I'm playing Bristol on Friday 21st at The Start The Bus, Tuesday 25 at Cafe Kino, and April 19th at the Old Crown Court, which is going to be a big one, supporting Patten, who has just released on Warp. Got a few bits on in May too, its been a busy year so far, and looks like it will continue to be!

Event page


EMW: Is it possible to give us a top 5 what's in your music player at the moment?

KP: Its going to have to be top 5 albums , tracks it too hard, and I don't do shuffle..!

Burial - Rival Dealer, Jon Hopkins - Immunity, Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here, Akira Kosemura & Haruka Nakamura - Afterglow, Murcof - Martes.  I quite frequently go through phases of listening to certain artists a lot, I guess all this stuff shares a fairly non intrusive and beautiful theme, apart from I'm New Here which is semantically rich, and excellent in a very different way. 

Many thanks to Kayla Painter for this insightful interview. Make sure you download her free EP on Bandcamp and do try to reach one of her many live shows this year! Here is a link to her Facebook page. 







12 Mar 2014

Herefordshire based music media company Circuit Sweet sponsor new Cardiff microfestival.




Herefordshire based music media company Circuit Sweet sponsor new Cardiff microfestival.
 
Jealous Lovers Club
 have teamed up with Juxtaposed Club Nights to provide what will be one of the best live events this year- in association with Circuit Sweet and Cardiff’s Quench Magazine. On theMay 4th Bank Holiday Sunday, Jealous Lovers Club & Gwdihw’s Thursday nightregulars Juxtaposed are teaming up to bring a day of outstanding music to Cardiff. With 12 bands from all over the UK set over two stages, one inside the quaint Gwdihw, the second in the adjacent car park that transforms into a full festival stage. First up to be announced are PlayloungeHer ParentsWOAHNOWS,Cleft and Cardiff bands Samoans &KUTOSIS Headliners and 5 more bands to be announced very very soon. Circuit Sweet will extensively be covering the festival before, during and after. With in-depth interviews with the artists and the organizers plus lots more set to hit the website.


Circuit Sweet is a Herefordshire based Music Media outlet and company. Circuit Sweet runs a successful  website site (www.circuitsweet.co.uk ) and online record store full of local, national and international artists and releases.  The site set out with the intention to promote/feature artists and also bands under the management of Naomi Preece and Co-Contributor and photographer Oli Montez. Circuit Sweet scales the country’s live scenes to connect you with more talent. Daily the website offers relevant music news, reviews, interviews, live sessions, general artist PR, tour booking and local event photography.  Circuit sweet is also known for their involvements with  Herefordshire and Worcestershire's Slap Mag (supporting local artists and performers). They contribute a monthly article on their past month as circuit sweet, the gigs they've covered, local events, local artists and more; Then distribute the free monthly magazines throughout Hereford City Centre- venues, shops, cafes etc. As well as surrounding towns including Ross-on-Wye. 


On March 29th, the company are celebrating their 5th birthday and in doing so have something very special planned. They've teamed up with local illustrator and artist Rosanna Tasker who has designed a celebratory poster highlighting the day's proceedings which will include a special 15% off sale on all items in their online store- circuitsweet.bigcartel.com and they plan to unveil something special featuring local, national and international artists, both signed and unsigned, on the day itself.

25 Feb 2014

ed!t interviews Quiet Noise. Beautiful sounds for international ears.



EMW: WELCOME TO EMW, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO OUR READERS.

QN: Hi, my name is, my name is, my name is 'chika-chika' Adam Wilkinson.
Doesn't really sound as cool as when Eminiem did it. I produce under
the name Quiet Noise because I think I have a geeky name.

EMW: WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START MAKING MUSIC?

QN:  I can't remember a time when I didn't want to make music so I can only
assume I was born, heard some notes and was instantly hooked. I love
the stuff. If I don't arrange, mix or play something for a whole day I
start to get irritable, like a smoker going a day without a cigarette.
Every musical adventure I've had my entire life has pushed me to do
more. Being introduced to a violin when I was 6 spurred me on to learn
every instrument I could possibly manage. When I was 7 I took apart my
tape machine and manipulated it so I could record audio in slow motion
and fast motion and I've been obsessed with the recording process ever
since. I was 5 when when Michael Jackson's 'Dangerous' came out. I was
fascinated by all the weird rhythmical noises on that record, they were
a huge influence on the Quiet Noise sound.

EMW: WHERE DID THE NAME QUIET NOISE COME FROM?

QN: It was a calculated name. Its an oxymoron, and so is the sound. Music
that can be taken at face value for beats, basslines and hooks.
Yet simultaneously, its littered with quiet detail that listeners only
hear if they really dedicate their ears to my pieces. Despite passing
most people by, its the element of my sound I spend the most time on.
I'm very meticulous about the process of creating those little details.
I think listeners would only notice a change if they weren't there. So
shhh they're my quiet noisy little secrets.



EMW: TO DATE WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE GIG?

QN: Old Town Festival Aftershow Party in The Parrot, Carmarthen. The vibe
was electric. I've never had a crowd that was so in love with my noise
before or since.


EMW: CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR MOST RECENT COLLABORATION WITH INDIAN VIOLINIST, MANAS KUMAR.

QN: He is a talented young man and great to work with. We met while I was
sound engineering on tour with his band Ghazalaw and I was amazed by
his style and his understanding of arrangement and texture. I twinned a
down tempo beat with a guitar piece I was writing and honestly felt it
was quite generic, but when he overdubbed his violin playing it was
given life. I thought it sounded like a bird soaring over the sea and
suddenly the whole piece made sense. I love collaborations for this
reason. Sometimes I feel I get lost in where I can take a piece.
Someone else's input - especially someone as talented as Manas - can
give it direction.


EMW: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM QUIET NOISE FOR 2014?

QN: The first Visionary Brotherhood release in 6 years with talented
American MC's Dums and Jack Wilson is in the finishing stages. Derren
Heath and I are in the early stages of an EP, and I'm halfway through a
solo dance oriented EP.


EMW: THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME MISTER MASTER

QN: My pleasure!


PLEASE ENJOY THIS GREAT TRACK FROM THE MAN QUIET NOISE " THE
DARKNESS PASSES"


ed!t is a producer from West Wales. Take a listen - https://soundcloud.com/impeccablypissed

3 Feb 2014

Kelan reviews Howling Owl's event 'New year and New Noise'.


On the 18th of January I had my mind blown to pieces at the ever inspiring Bristol venue, the Arnolfini. The event was Bristol D.I.Y label Howling Owl’s one off fittingly titled event, 'New Year and New Noise' that showcased respected talent from the city. 

The first artist on the bill local artist H from Zam Zam records who always comes armed with tape loops and a stack of pedals and takes no prisoners when inflicting her sonic doom upon her listeners. Her set moved from dark ambient tones to minimal tribal offerings and constantly kept the mind in a mediative state moving thoughts from the pleasant to the unpleasant. Next up was Bristol favourite and Howling Owl member Oliver Wilde who provided a nice breather after the intense dread of H’s set, Wilde offered his usual brand of dream like, hazy guitar tracks however with tail offs in to slightly more electronic territory. Even on a bill of such electronic intensity Wilde managed to sound massively relevant. 

A brief interval and then Giant Swan took to the stage with their twin guitar attack and pedal ammunition, inflicting a drone assault on the audience that held as much energy in each track that an entire punk gig would have. Just as this finished and you thought you had a moment to catch a breath, the well suited headliner Vessel took to the stage to lay down a slice of electronic goodness. His set consisted of favourite tracks from his 2012 debut on Tri-Angle, Order of Noise and also other EP tracks from the likes of labels such as Astro Dynamics and Liberation Technologies, however each track ran smoothly in to the next and had been cleverly reworked and improvised for the live setting, ensuring that the listener was engrossed in a whole new Vessel experience.


Fantastic event all round.

arnolfini.org.uk
howlingowlrecords.bigcartel.com
oliver-wilde.com/
soundcloud.com/vessel




Kelan hosts a regular show on Passion radio and is currently studying 3rd year Media and Cultural Sudies at UWE.

26 Jan 2014

Risin Sound release free 8 track EP plus upcoming Void Productions event in Cardiff.


Free 8 track ep - http://goo.gl/bewZxX (Mediafire) 


Risin Sound's first compilation of future bass sounds has been released as a free Zip available here ( http://goo.gl/bewZxX). Var.i.a.ble features music from Void Productions collective Endaf, Mesijo and Kapture  plus friends Wancho, Nightizm, Lindo Man and a Wonky Clock/Rogan collabororation.

“It wasn’t clear until the project came together how all the tracks, and EP direction would sound and how it should be packaged, but as it became clear about the potential of the music, it also became clear that the varied nature of the release was quite special. This eventually led to the name of the release, which fits nicely into the ethos of Risin Sound, and how they would like to move forward in 2014 – with the idea of fluctuating styles of bass music being at the forefront of their evolution.” Void Productions

This music crosses the borders of bass music in a melting pot of low slung bass, 2 step rhythms that blend with house and the newer forms of half step electronic music becoming a staple diet of many well established producers. 

Download this free ep and make your own mind up. I’m really enjoying the mellow sounds. 



Void Productions are hosting an evening of Future Garage, Deep House and UK Bass at the Moon Club in Cardiff on the 6th Feb. Bearcubs headline with support from Shifty, Whattsun, High For This plus the above mentioned Mesijo and Endaf. If you’re in the capital and love Bass music go check! 



25 Jan 2014

Kelan reviews Birkhouse 007 release party and Hicha interview.




On the 10th of January 2014 I attended the Birkhouse 007 launch party celebrating the release of Tlön (Tlön's album Truth In The 13th is out now on tape cassette and digital download:
www.birkhouse.bandcamp.com/album/birk-007-truth-in-the-13th), an event I had been massively looking forward to since stumbling home one night and finding the event poster stuck to my shoe. To some this occurrence would be an annoyance but for me this provided me with a reason and a reminder to check out the Cube cinema, which I have ignorantly left on a long list of things I need to do. 

Upon arrival I could already tell that the atmosphere at the Cube was going to meet my standards, dim lights, turntables at the bar, friendly staff and a selection of decent and fairly priced beverages. After soaking in the warmth in the bar room, I made my way into Cinema room, where first act Hicha was setting up for his much anticipated live set. Hicha has been sending me tracks for about a year now and with each one he sends, his sound seems to mature and increase in depth, so to hear he is finally debuting his tracks in a setting that is well suited to his music and amongst some of his peers is great news. His set begins with a selection of highly cinematic ambient soundscapes and dubbed out drones, reminiscent of 80’s science fiction and cyberpunk films. As his set progressed, gradually he seemed more focused and lost in his music, the set descended into a storm of broken techno. 

Next up was Robin Stewart from the Giant Swan duo, who for me had a far softer approach than Hicha but still maintained a performance that kept your mind involved with his music. 45 minutes, felt like two seconds during Robins highly entertaining live set consisting of a rich, textural sound palette. During the duration of the set, Robin had a skate video playing which lent itself well to the music that felt as though it was constantly shifting through a different place and time. 

Ekoplekz (AKA Nick Edwardz), always manages to bring something interesting and different table. Tonight seems to be a more rhythmic and melodic approach, however sonically he seems to me to be the most challenging artist on the bill. There is still an essence of the “avant-Dub” in which he is most renowned for, however behind his are driving rhythms that almost draw a resemblance to Krautrock music. This is perhaps a glimpse of things to come from his forthcoming album, ‘Unfidelity’ on Planet Mu out in March, which is his debut for the label. 

Finally the evening came to a close with headliner Tlön, whose new album, Truth In The 13th is the purpose of this event. This rounded off the night perfectly, with ambient tones that wash over the head like water meeting the shore and brutal, minimal rhythms that intrigue the mind as much as they disorientate. That may sound like a ridiculous description however if one is to check out the album they will know exactly what I am talking about! 

*Update* Listen to an excerpt from Tlön live at the Cube Cinema.



All in all this was a highly engrossing evening and I shall definitely be attending future events, you can purchase Birkhouse releases via there own website and independent outlets such as Idle Hands and RWD FWD.

www.birkhouse.info

Scroll down to read my interview with Hicha.





EMW: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it?

H: Experimental electronic music

EMW: How has the approach towards playing your music out changed over the course of the year?

H: It has really changed the way I work, I now have to compose music for a deadline and I am starting to take pieces out of my live shows and fully compose them for a finished piece.

EMW: Tonight was your first official live set, how do you think it went?

H: It was a incredible feeling the turn out was amazing having such a freedom to do what I wanted to do, then having a room listing to what I do in my bedroom the rest of the time, as my visuals where projected and the lights where on me, I couldn't see the audience this lead me to do my own thing and once I finished I realised how many people where listening, it was an incredible evening and the experience will remain with me forever.

EMW: What are your influences? Feel free to choose non musical ones.

H: I haven't been listening to music allot recently, I find it easier to compose when I am writing with out bombarding myself with music I just get confused, I am finding I get inspired by being it different spaces and places, I visited the barbican in London and the 60's gray architecture I found very inspiring. Bristol is such a incredibly beautiful city as well, it is hard not to be inspired by your surroundings and music, I think is relevant to a specific time and place. However without my influences I would not be writing at all, I am a huge Steve Reich fan, I have been very existed by The Haxan Cloak, Vessel ('silten' off 'order of noise' is incredible) and Emptyset's 'Material' is also amazing.

EMW: Do you think that growing up in Bristol and being surrounded by some of its great musical outputs has given you the encouragement to do what you do? If so How?

H: Bristol is a huge influence on me and the music community is so tightly knit that it is easy to find like minded people.

EMW: Where would you like to take your sound/ live set from here?

H: Play more spaces outside the 'club', I am working with classical musicians and I just want to keep composing and evolving my music naturally. I will know when it is the right time to release an album.

Kelan hosts a regular show on Passion radio and is currently studying 3rd year Media and Cultural Sudies at UWE.








6 Dec 2013

The Urban Music Awards - Hagie with coverage plus an interview with Fuse ODG.

The UMA music award is the leading worldwide awarding body for Urban music, with award ceremonies happening all over the globe. EMW went down to the 11th annual ceremony held in London, that is helping to raise awareness for #ProjectPhillipines.

It has been a good year for urban music, even if don’t follow the chart and popular music you would have noticed just on the radio. 2013 saw a lot of big hits being more hip hop or dance floor influenced. The scene is tipping away from your factory, reality artist (Pop Idol, X Factor etc) even though they're still about. The biggest songs of the year, like “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk or “Waiting All Night” by Rudimental obviously have that “Pop” edge to it, but are heavily influenced by Urban music. If you look at the 10 biggest songs of the year so far, you will see that not one of the top ten is a factory artist. They are all artists in their own right. We are steering away from the age of artists who are just faces and voices into the age of the artist ruling the scene.

The UMA operates by letting the fans vote for the nominations for the 21 awards, also the fans voting who wins out of the nominees. So you can say its an award that is put together and made by the audience. Which to me represents how good an artist is over a panel of judges.

The Big name of the event was Fuse ODG, who picked up artist of the year plus three other awards including best single, best collaboration and best video for his hit “Antenna” featuring Wycliffe Jean. We managed to get a quick interview with Fuse about his work and winning the awards.



Photo by Annie Edwards


"...just stay constant, be patient. Patience is the major key in achieving your goals, It’s not always going to come when you want it. It's going to come in good time, so keep your head down and stay true to what you're passionate about." Words of advice from Fuse ODG interviewed by Hagie



EMW: Hi I’m Gethin from Electronic Music Wales, first thing how does it feel to win two awards it must be a privilege
Fuse’s manager: He won four!

EMW: Four?

Fuse’s manager: Yeah four.

EMW: Sorry man

Fuse ODG: Haha, Nah its alright. What can I say It’s Crazy man, I’m Overwhelmed, you know because to get six nominations was enough of an honor, but to pick up four out of the six is just an amazing achievement man, it just keeps giving me more and more motivation to keep working hard. Also big shout out to the UMA’s for recognising our hard work.  

EMW: What can we expect in the future?
Fuse ODG: My new single million pound girl, the video is out on youtube at the moment, tv stations, radio stations have started pumping it now. You know kiss FM, choice FM, 1Xtra, But you know its coming out, go pre order your copy, Coming in stores December the 22nd.

EMW: Willdo willdo. Can you briefly tell us what influences you to make music?

Fuse ODG: what influenced me is my passion for Africa, my passion of wanting to change lives, and you know the best way I can do that is through my music. You know I went back to Africa around 2011 to soak in the music, and you know what I saw over there, I was so inspired by it. It wasn’t what I was seeing on TV over here in the UK. So I really wanted to showcase that side of Africa, and I’m glad I can showcase that through my music videos, through the talks that I do, though the songs that I make and the feeling that people get. You know it’s just that passion of wanting to change the perception of the continent, and to make a better perception on black people in the media. It’s an ongoing mission, It’s more than the music man, and that’s why were still here.

EMW: That’s some truths man, Have you got any words of wisdom for up and coming Mc’s and artists?

Fuse ODG: Yeah defiantly man, just stay constant, be patient. Patience is the major key in achieving your goals, It’s not always going to come when you want it. Its going to come in good time, so keep your head down and stay true to what your passionate about.

EMW: Well thank you Fuse for your time.
Fuse ODG: It’s been a pleasure.

Photo by Annie Edwards

Photo by Annie Edwards


It was a prestigious night for urban music. With Kiss FM winning “Best Radio Station” and Charlie Sloth from 1Xtra winning “Best Show” for the platform he has given to new and upcoming mc’s, which is understandable. "Best Male Artist" went to Ghetts and "Best Grime MC" went to Big Narstie, who was the life of the media room, bantering with all the reporters and calling photographers “spicy”, defiantly a larger than life character. (check out his YouTube channel for tips on cooking, women and about anything else, well funny). There were a couple awards if you asked me went to the wrong person, but because the awards are nominated and chosen by the fans, so I suppose I can’t complain and keep my opinions to myself.

Photo by Annie Edwards

Photo by Annie Edwards

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Photographs by Annie Edwards studying BA Fine Art at the University of Reading. To see more hit aeartandesign.wordpress.com/, to get in touch. Art And Design Facebook Page


Coverage by Hagie. I’m a Producer, Musician and DJ from the depths of the west but now based in London, Check out my music at www.soundcloud.com/hagie or get updates via https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hagie/