Stay Fresh: S-X

At just 18 years old, Wolverhampton’s Stay Fresh representative S-X has spent the best part of the past 12 months causing a stir on the UK bass scene with one single production; ‘Woo Riddim’.

First coming to light through SB.TV’s F64 freestyle sessions, the grime instrumental spent most of 2010 being caned across the board with its pan-genre appeal nodding to both UK grime and dirty south hip-hop, creating a deadly mixture of rolling 808 bass and creeping low-slung melody that brought forth rewinds from artists as diverse as Semtex, Mosca, Ramadanman, Terror Danjah, Benji B, Loefah, Cooly G and Oneman. More importantly, the track achieved cult status on the internet as a slew of mc’s spat bars over the original, with D Double E, Riko, Dot Rotten, P Money, Footsie, Wiley and even Dizzee queuing to vocal the track.

Backing up his initial success with productions credits that include Skepta, Chipmunk, JME and Frisco, S-X has carved out a space in the scene in just a matter of months. With ‘Woo Riddim’ now released on vinyl through Elijah & Skilliam’s Butterz label, and his ‘100 Bags’ instrumental currently doing the rounds, we chatted to the young producer to see what he’s got planned in 2011.

So, introduce yourself – what’s your name, and what music do you make?
S-X is my name, I make ‘S-X Music’ I like to think my stuff sounds like nobody elses.

How long have you been producing?
Since about 13, but properly since around 15 maybe?

What set up do you use?
Man, I just use a laptop with FL Studio on, and some Beats by Dre headphones – when I don’t use the headphones, I’ve got one monitor because the other one blew!

How did you first get into music?
Through school really, everyone used to mc and stuff at lunchtime, then I just started taking it seriously and decided I wanna do it as a career.

Tell us about the grime scene in Wolverhampton…
There’s some talented people here man, I would say StayFresh are the most established but there are definitely other people with some big talent – their time will come!

How did you hook up with the Butterz crew?
They basically just asked if we could release the Woo Riddim on vinyl, and feature the Q remix. I thought it was a genius idea, since there are so many vinyl DJ’s that I didn’t know about.

At just 18, you’ve made a modern anthem in the form of your ‘Wooo Riddim’ – with the track being played across the board by dj’s from grime to dubstep, to funky and beyond – how do you feel about the reaction the tracks got?
Its crazy, I can’t explain, that track really put me out there, I’m just fortunate I had stuff to back it up, for all the peeps saying I’m a one hit guy! But nah man, it feels great, to hear it getting played in a dubstep rave or a funky house rave and still get a crazy reaction is such a good feeling.

The number of freestyles online for the Wooo Riddim is huge – if you had to pick, what would be your favourite?
Yeah it’s actually crazy the amount of freestyles that are out there – my favourite has to be D Double’s, I don’t think it needs an explanation as to why! Me and Double have got some new stuff coming for 2011 too so thats gonna be big!

The track got absolutely caned over 2010 – why the delay in a vinyl release?
It really came down to myself, I wasn’t sure there was a big market in vinyl anymore, but Butterz showed me that there are more than enough people out there who still use vinyl!

Your ‘100 Bags’ track is currently blowing up the internet – what sort of vibe were you going for with the production?
Yup, 100 Bags is more of a laid back, screw up face type track. But it can still get played in the clubs, radio, and have the same reaction as every other track.
-what else do you have coming up?
Aside from the 100 Bags beat, I’m working on loads of albums this year, with big UK mainstream artists aswell as US artists. I’d say just keep locked and you’re gonna see…

What’s your connection to the StayFresh camp?
StayFresh is my family, I’m one of the producers for them. We’ve been there from day one when nobody knew our name, to where were at now and we’re all still close, it’s a good thing!

Do you play out alot? Where can we catch you playing in the next few weeks?
I do play out quite often, however I’ve been pretty busy lately, but promoters hit me up and I’ll definitely come and fuck up your event!

Woo Riddim is out now on Butterz Records.

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