Since moving from Hastings to Bristol to embark on a three year Music Production course, rising producer Drone has immersed himself within the soundsystem culture of his new home city. Hanging in the circles of bassweight units like Young Echo, Sector 7 and Coyote Records, his musical voice, like much of his contemporaries belongs toward the colder end of the spectrum, sitting somewhere between the darkest corners of grime and dubstep.
Whilst Drone’s beats have landed via London’s Hear Other Sounds, Boofy and Lemzly Dale’s Sector 7, and even on a stack of limited edition USB’s for the lucky few, the producer’s latest experiments finally make it to Coyote Records, with the soon to be released Light Speed EP. A regular at the label’s Bristol raves over the course of 2016 and 2017, his first production credit for the imprint sees him head further into the cold, with four iced-out riddims that pack both the rumble and razor-sharp sonics Coyote have become known for.
How have Hastings and Bristol, your new home, helped shape your style of production?
I think your surroundings can definitely have an impact on your creative output as an artist. When I was living in Hastings I think I was still finding my feet within my own productions. Since being in Bristol and being surrounded by so many creative people and artists I believe it has helped inspire me a great deal to develop a style of production that I am confident and happy with.
At what point did you know you wanted to go down the music route and start producing/DJing?
Growing up I always had a very varied taste in music. My parents would play all sorts around the house which opened me up to lots of different genre’s and styles. I started DJing with a good friend of mine back in Hastings when I was about 15 and then a year or so later I got a copy of FL Studio. I didn’t really know what I was doing for the first year or 2, I just used to have fun and make loops. A few years down the line I decided to start taking it a bit more seriously, focusing a lot more of my time on producing and trying to learn as much as I could. I’m still learning new things everyday.
What have been some of the challenges of DJing and releasing music alongside studying music production in Bristol?
Studying music was great, it gave me a lot of time to refine my own production and learn as much as I could in those 3 years. It can be hard at times balancing studies with your own music, however most of the time it wasn’t too bad. It helped me get into a good routine and allowed me to make lots of music.
Whose production/selection got you into the music you listen to and make today?
When I was first getting into DJing and producing I was listening to a lot of early dubstep. People like Loefah, Mala, Skream etc. I remember when I was young and used to listen to the Stella Sessions shows on Rinse all the time. The selection on there used to be so sick. I think it was a soon after that I heard Joker for the first time and was blown away. I also used to listen to a lot of bands and experimental stuff, I’ve taken inspiration from all sorts over the years.
You’ve played sets at Coyote Records parties for the past few years now. How does it feel to release on the label?
The whole process has been very organic. I’ve been friends with Tom for a while now and we’ve been speaking about putting out a record for the last year or so. I’m glad it’s happened the way it has, it feels really natural and I’m happy with the finished product. Everything kind of came together at the right time.
When you’re producing a track, which steps/elements do you focus on the most and why?
It changes quite frequently. At the moment I’m focusing a lot on my drums and how I make my basses. I feel most of the time the bass can be the driving force of a track and it’s something I try and work on as much as I can.
What are your go-to bits of kit when you’re in the studio?
I use FL Studio and then also have a few synths and bits of hardware which I’ve picked up over the years. Mainly just a combination of these things and plugins.
How do you go about picking tracks for your sets?
It’s normally music that I’m feeling at that moment in time and also stuff from me and my friends.
Light Speed is out November 30 on Coyote Records.
Pre-order it here.