Half-Step Soldier: Youngsta

Now a global scene that not only has made pop stars out of former pirate radio selectors, but has thrown up some of the most defining tracks of the past 10 years, it’s no doubting dubstep’s universal power to bring followers of modern dance music together.

One of the genre’s finest DJ’s, Youngsta has been there since the beginning. Having played his first set on Freek FM at the tender age of 13 (hence the name), and presented his deep and dark take on dubstep to the world on ‘Dubstep Allstars Vol. 2’, the man who brought that original half-step sound to prominence with some truly legendary sets around the 2006/6 period, is partly responsible for dubstep’s continued success across the globe.

Having mixed the 14th chapter of Rinse’s seminal mix series (released last week), we thought we’d email the Rinse/Tempa man for a brief insight into the past few years of a scene in development.

Interview/ Josh Thomas

You’ve been involved with Rinse FM from its humble beginnings, how has it changed since the license was granted?
We no longer have the many problems that come with being a pirate to deal with, plus the studio and equipment is very professional which makes performing very enjoyable.

Your older sister Sarah Lockhart is best known as head of Ammunition/Tempa/FWD>>. Can you talk us through the influence that she had on you and your involvement with music?
I’ve always had a natural love for music from a very young age. Sarah was the person who introduced me to acid house, hardcore, jungle and garage, and at the age of 13 she helped me get my first pirate radio show on Freek 108.8FM. She started up her weekly club night FWD>> and then asked me to be one of the residences! I also A&R for Tempa – I think we’ve got a very similar taste in music, which helps.

Do you still only use dubs/vinyl?
I’m using CD’s at the moment, but I always have some vinyl in my bag!

Dubstep has evolved dramatically over the past couple of years with elements of house, techno and garage taking the music in new directions, what do you think personally of where dubstep is at as a genre right now?
I think it’s very interesting right now – there’s so much diversity, it’ll just continue to evolve and grow.

You’ve always stuck to a handful of core producers in your sets – now that the scene is worldwide, do you take on more artists in your sets?
Yeah, as now the scene is worldwide I have alot more producers to choose from who are are making the type of dubstep I love.

Last year you put out some big records on Wheel & Deal and Osiris, what have you got lined up for this year?
I have collabs lined up for this year with Icicle, KM, SP:MC, Headhunter, DJ Madd, Matt U and Jubei, plus I’ve also got some solo productions ready to go…

And finally, what tracks are doing it for you at the minute?
Headhunter ‘Clone’, J Kenzo ‘Roteks VIP’ and Biome ‘Propaganda’.

‘Rinse 14: Youngsta’ is available now on Rinse Records. Click here for your copy