AON is an up and coming star hailing from Northampton. With a number of musical achievements, I have caught up with him to see what’s cracking in NN1!
Thanks for your time. just remind me it’s 2016 and you’re how old?
Hi Aliina, I’ve just recently turned 19. It’s crazy really, I’ve not long been allowed into the clubs!
Someone mentioned that and I was thinking rah, kids making moves so big up…. so you won the Random Concept competition and the Pure Science Competition, gaining residencies with both! How has that impacted on your bookings so far?
Yeah, winning those two big competitions has really boosted my platform over the last 12 months. As well as being given the chance to play at loads of top events, It’s put me into situations that I wouldn’t have usually found myself in. For example, back in September, RC & Sunbeatz flew me out for a set at Heatwave in Mallorca. I ended finding myself catching a flight with Kenny Ken! It was a surreal situation; he gave me loads of tips on what I’m doing which for me is priceless.
Garry is cool huh? I’ve had the pleasure of working with the RC boys for a long time… what do you think makes a good promoter like them?
Yeah Garry & Presha are good lads, they’ve really helped me grow over the last few years. Due to being from the same town, they’ve been a big influence so far. They’ve given me some big opportunities so far! So big respects those two.
And will you be hitting Summer Gathering this year?
100%! I’ve been to Summer Gathering the last few years, and it’s just going from strength to strength. Seeing it go from a sell out event at The Roadmender to a 10,000 strong weekend festival is really cool. So fingers crossed we can continue to see that progression.
You performed at the O2 in Bournemouth, when was that and how did you find it?
Yeah that was a crazy experience. That was for Evil B’s Birthday Bash back in January of this year. Evil B’s never fails to impress, but that event was special. The venue is unreal and the stage show was awesome too!
You have played at Boomtown, how did you hook that up and what is your preferred DJ set up?
I’ve performed at Boomtown Fair the last 2 years now. I’m given the opportunity to play there by another local artist (Madame Electrife). Her and her team have been running a stage there for the last 5 years I believe, and fortunately they’ve got me involved. The place is impossible to describe to somebody who hasn’t been. The production, storyline and performances are all second to none. It’s by far the craziest, wackiest place on earth. The only piece of advice that I would give to anybody, is to get your tickets for 2017!
My favored mixing set up is 4 Pioneer CDJ’s for when I’m playing out. Recently at home I’ve been getting the vinyl back out, as I feel its so much more fun, working your arse off, to get the beat locked.
Good on you for challenging yourself with vinyl!
Tell us about BCM Mallorca?
BCM is a really cool venue. It’s a bit like a Shopping Centre, but with clubs instead of shops. When I performed there in September, we were in the Millennium section. The soundsystem was on point, and there was unlimited alcohol at the bar, so I’m afraid I can’t give too many details.
So Embodied Audio. Tell us when you set that up and what inspired you to do so?
Embodied Audio is a concept that I’ve had stored in the back of my mind since I was about 16. I promoted various nights before it’s inception, as I wanted to wait until the perfect time to unleash all the idea’s that I had stored up over the years. I initially attempted to release the concept back in 2014, but licensing fell through due to me being underage! So I decided to wait until I was 18 to proceed, to ensure that there wasn’t any hiccups. So back in the summer of last year I formed a team of other likeminded individuals, and the first event was in September 2015. Since then we’ve gone from strength to strength, showcasing artists such as A.M.C, Jayline, Kyrist, Garry K, Presha, RV, Torchman, Raz + Many More. We’ve developed an amazing fan base, so I’m really excited for the future.
You recently had AMC and the night went off… tell us about the night, the residents and people supporting you.
That night was emotional. In the lead up, it seemed like everything that could’ve went wrong it did e.g. Venue changes, DJ’s pulling out etc. The night itself however was mind blowing! It was the busiest we’ve ever been and the vibes were on point. Every single DJ smashed it and the ravers couldn’t thank us enough. It was an amazing feeling. Our residents consist of myself, Spectre, Kagun, Dubway, Kagun & our newest member; Shakey Jake. All these guys have been friends of mine for years, and I feel that these are the next wave of talent coming out of Northampton. In terms of our supporters, we seem to have developed a very unique crowd, who are all so loyal. They make it to every event without fail, and they’re bringing more and more people each time, which is a good sight to see.
You supported Ram at the Roadmender too? That was a big night for Northampton?
RAM Northampton was the f@ck*ng nuts! To have the worlds biggest D&B label on your door step is always going to be a winner, but it was a solid 10/10. Witnessing a legend like High Contrast making his town debut was great to see. For me the Rene La Vice was set of the night, tune selection carried some serious weight. Seeing a crowd of that magnitude turn out in my hometown was wicked to see, so many local faces having it in the crowd, it’s a real good look for the local scene.
So, a little bird tells me you are learning to produce. What DAW are you on?
Yeah I’m getting there with my production! I have a few bits available to check out on my soundcloud. My choice of DAW is Logic Pro X. I learnt the basics of this software at college and I’ve been honing my skills ever since. By this I mean I like sitting there for hours on end, pressing buttons until my computer makes a womp kind of sound. But I’ve got some studio projects coming up with some highly established producers, and I feel that these projects will provide me with a lot of knowledge going forward. So I’m really looking forward to be getting cracking! I won’t say too much 😉
Your parents are supporting you hard too at the moment. What does it mean to you to have family support?
I’ve got a give a massive shout out to my parents for providing the support they do. When I decided I wanted to take up DJing, back when I was around 12 or so, my Dad really nurtured my love and helped me with the basics. After all these years he agrees that the student has probably exceeded the master xD. Although to be fair, we did book him for a charity event last year and he smashed it. The crowd were gassed at the fact that AON’s Dad was tearing it out at a rave! In the midst of all of this I think that the biggest support has to come from my Mum… being able to put up with having all of us DJ making noise in the house all the time!
DNB and Jungle is a bit like an extended family. Who would you say your closest family members are?
That’s a tough question! For me I’ve made so many great friends through this scene so far, but I’d have to say that my local crew is my closest Drum & Bass family. So of course there’s the Embodied Team (Names Mentioned Above), Abstract (Heedless & Suspect), Basstravaganza (Lufa & Co), NUS & Cypha, plus I have to mention Projekt, Basskadetz and Indiekai. We’re a big family!
If you had to take one tune to a desert island to listen to over and over, what would it be and why?
I think it would have to be Mr Happy by DJ Hazard (You might know the one?). I think if I had this on repeat for long enough, it would probably drive me crazy, and it would force me to come up with a plan to escape from the island.
What’s up next for 2017?
It’s looking wicked so far. From the end of January to the end of April, its getting pretty stacked with bookings, a few being debuts for top nights that I’ve been aspiring to perform at for a while, and I’ve got some studio projects coming up as I said above. The aim is just to keep moving forward, and hopefully do better than the year that I’ve just had. I’ve got a lot of plans in my head, and they’re coming into motion. The year ahead is looking exciting.
Shakey Jakes Birthday in January 28th in Northampton, and its free entry. If you could describe the night in 3 words to convince people to come down, what would you say?
Drinks on Shakey!!!
And your next Embodied Audio night?
Drinks on Shakey!!!
Hahah! So… who would you say are your favorite up and coming DJs and MCs in Northampton right now?
The real artists to look at coming out of this town at the minute: Spectre for me, is absolutely killing the production wave at the moment. The same goes for Shakey Jake, Projekt, Ekseption and Indiekai. On the MC side of things, I think that two MC’s from this area that are really killing it at the minute are Kinetik & Karnage. The same goes for Johnny D, he seems to be going out to Belgium every week nowadays. He must’ve learnt how to MC in Flemish lol.
Well… thanks for your time… any shouts and thanks?
I’ll have to give a big shout out to all of the guys at Random Concept Academy, Pure Science, Basstravaganza, Abstract, NUS, Cypha, Custom Print Worldwide (Scott Charles is the Don King of T-Shirt Printing), CRE8DNB, Stormin Audio anybody who I’ve possibly missed… I love you too J
A massive thanks to you too, Missrepresent, for interviewing me. It’s been a pleasure!
Always a pleasure, so happy to see local talent doing well and all the best for 2017.
See you in January 😉
Interview By Aliina Atkinson (Missrepresent) 2016