If you haven’t heard North London dj/producer Fis-T‘s ‘Night Hunter / Deep Mover’ release over the past 12 months or so, its fair to say, you’re on the wrong site. Re-released on Oneman’s fledging 502 Recordings label last year (following its initial release in 2009 on Fis-T’s own Boom Ents imprint), the hard hitting mix of grime, garage and funky spent the best part of 2010 at the front of any discerning UK bass dj’s record box, picking up heavy support from the likes of current scene-stormers Ramadanman, Jackmaster, Ben UFO, Loefah and of course Oneman himself.
With another release on 502 in the pipeline, and an exclusive Hyp Mix on the way, we spent an afternoon emailing the young producer to get an insight of the house/funky/grime ‘mongrel sound’, how he hooked up with Oneman, and what we can expect from the North London set in the future.
So, tell us who you are and what music it is you make?
I’m Fis-T a dj/producer from North London. When people ask me what kind of music I make my answer is always good music.
You had your ‘Night Hunter’ track re-released as the first issue on Oneman’s 502 label – how did you first hook up with Steve?
I first heard of Oneman from his Rinse 11 mix, and did a little digging around on who he is and what he does. A week later he messaged me telling me he’d featured ‘Night Hunter’ and ‘Deep Mover’ on his Red Bull mix. From there we started talking, and he told me about starting 502, and eventually we got to discussing the re-releasing of ‘Night Hunter’ as the first release on the label.
You released the track on your own Boom Ents label back in 2009, and it spent the majority of last year at the front of some top flight London djs boxes – when did you start the label, and how does it feel to have such a reaction from some top names in UK bass?
The label started in 2009 with the rest of my team – we just planned to get some of the music we created out there. [The response] feels great as you don’t often get great recognition from top names in the industry straight away. It usually takes a few years before they recognize your potential, so to get it from your first release just makes it feel worth it.
How did you get into house, funky and garage – what other music do you take influence from?
Well I started from grime, play bashment, and listen to r&b. African music has also played a part in my music influences as my heritage is African. Now I am indulged with house and funky, so my music influences are from around the world.
I’m very opened to music as long as it sounds good then there’s nothing wrong with it. House and funky grew on me from Roy Davis JR to Dj NG’s ‘Tell Me’. The more I heard the more I got interested and now I find myself at the heart of house and funky, trying to push and influence people about that particular genre of music.
Who have you been listening to recently, and can you give us any particular artists that influence you in your production style?
Katy B, Roska, Jamie George, Ramadanman, Jamie Woon, Drake, Mosca, Dirty Money, DVA, Majoe Notes… the list goes on! Ramadanman really inspires me to get my music done – I like his style and feel he’s definitely someone who’s doing it right.
What else do you have coming up release-wise?
I’ve a few funky bits coming out through Boom Ents and currently working on my next 502 release.
Martelo put together a Wookie X Fis-T version of Night Hunter – what do you reckon to the edit?
I think its great a lot of people love it and its mixes old and new and sounds great and does damage in the club!
Where can we catch you playing out over the next few weeks?
I have a few lined up in Bristol, Leeds and more when they are confirmed you’ll be first to know…
What do you think of the UK/London scene at the minute?
I couldn’t be any happier with UK music. Grime artists are getting signed and the UK is being seen as a force to be reckoned with. I feel people are starting to appreciate the music we make again and that makes the artists and producers push and do more.
Finally – I’m assuming you’ve heard the unknown ‘Sicko Cell’ riddim currently doing the rounds – any ideas who’s behind it?
Even if I knew I’d still keep it a secret……and then wait do I know?!
Night Hunter / Deep Mover is out now on 502 Recordings.
Words: Louis Cook
Photography: William Biggs