Things are moving very fast for the D&B duo, Sigma. They blew up after scoring a UK No.1 with summer anthem "Nobody to Love" and now they're gearing up for their second headline slot at Ministry of Sound.
We sat down with Joe to chat about touring, clearing club dance floors and kangaroos.
Tell us a little about your musical history and background.
We started working together as Sigma in 2006. The first track that put us on the map in terms of underground D&B was called "All Blue" for DJ Zinc in 2007. We worked the club circuit from there and built up a following. We also did a track with DJ Fresh which got us somewhere with Radio 1, and for a while after we moved away from breakbeat house and moved back to Life, our own label, to put out a couple of tracks. We spent a while focusing on production and experimenting with writing a different style of music. It took a while getting our head round that but we then signed to 3 Beat in October last year and it’s been all go from there.
How would you say your sound has changed since you started out?
We haven’t changed our style so to speak. But we’ve been very lucky in that we’ve had a team of people to help us in terms of getting our music to the right places. Things also change as new trends come round, and now Drum & Bass is very popular again which is great!
"Nobody to Love" - your reworking of Kanye West’s "Bound 2", was phenomenally successful in the charts. Why did you decide to remix that track?
We heard the original track and heard the potential in it. It’s funny, I heard the original on the radio the other day and it sounds strange to me now. For us, that track didn’t fit together so we took it, did what we did, and made it our own.
Your latest single "Changing" features Paloma Faith. Tell us how that came about.
Our management reached out to her. We were looking for a vocalist and Paloma was a good choice as her style of vocal suited the track. We reached out and she was up for it. It was exciting because it was her first ever feature on a track.
How do you balance the split between touring and recording in the studio? Is it hard?
Yeah, it’s so hard! We’re finding it difficult right now because we’ve been touring so much. Cam lives up in Manchester and I’m based in the south. I think it’s coming together, and we’ve put aside a few weeks in October to do a load of sessions. Learning to work on the road laptop has been hard and we’re getting our heads around that.
Obviously you’re doing extremely well for yourselves right now, but we want to know some of your biggest musical blunders.
There’s been quite a few along the way! In terms of DJing, the worst set I ever played was when I was booked to play a party where the promoter expected a completely different style of music to what I played. It was a really cheesy bar and I cleared the place with one song. I’d like to say it was no fault of ours! It was definitely the promoter’s fault. People were literally running out the door.
There’s a lot of Drum & Bass around at the moment – do you think it’s a difficult market to crack?
I think it depends on what you define as success. It was quite hard for us to get respect from our peers in the scene because it’s a very closed-knit scene. Even getting DJs to listen to your tracks is at first very difficult. On the commercial level it took a while, but then it all happened very quickly.
You’ve been playing a lot of festivals this summer –tell us your favourite festival memory of 2014.
I think the highlight this year has been Reading festival, playing the Radio 1 stage. That was pretty intense. There’s been so many! We’ve also just got back from a tour in Australia, which sold out and that was really cool. We’ve been to Australia a few times but we mostly play and then fly out. We don’t get to see much of the country. Although there was talk of going to a kangaroo sanctuary, but I wasn’t interested. I’ve been to one before and I saw kangaroos having a threesome. I’m not even joking. It was weird.
Check out the photo gallery from when they last played here.
08 Sep 2014