Spotlight focuses on the DJs and producers who are making waves in the dance music underground
Each edition features an exclusive mix and interview with an artist who has been handpicked by the team at Ministry Magazine.
Starting at the tender age of twelve years old, DJ S.K.T made his way up the ranks by competing in under-18 DJ competitions, including 'Technics DMC under 18's Battle', in which he came fourth in the country.
He came into the limelight in 2013 when he remixed a number of high-profile tracks, including The Nightcrawlers' "Push The Feeling On", which was released on our label as an official single in 2014. He's also released on Audio Rehab, Strictly Rhythm, Kontor and New State.
Most recently he's remixed the Oliver Heldens and Becky Hill, UK No.1 smash, "Gecko (Overdrive)"
He'll be in The Box alongside Shiba San, Tough Love and Mark Radford at Audio Rehab on 31st January.
First of all thanks for doing an exclusive mix for us, what did you go for in the mix? Is this a representation of what you play out now or more what you listen to at home?
No worries! The mix is mainly based on what I play out with a number of my own remixes plus some exclusive forthcoming material for 2015!
For those who may be new to your music, how would you describe your sound?
I'd describe my sound as energetic, pretty bass-driven. I'm also a sucker for a good vocal!
How did you first get into music, when did you know you wanted to be a DJ?
I got my first pair of decks (Soundlab belt drive's) at the age of 12, from like a really early age I always wanted to be a DJ and to be able to make music. At 16 I entered a number of under 18 DJ competitions including the "Technics DMC Under 18's UK Championships" in which I came like 6th in the country, which was really cool and gave me a great experience of DJ'ing in clubs up and down the country - after that I really got the bug to pursue DJing and making music professionally.
Where does S.K.T come from? What does it stand for?
Unfortunately this is really boring, but it's just my initials. I always get people trying to guess different acronyms like "super kind teacher". They're usually pretty stupid but funny!
What have you got coming up on the horizon?
So much for 2015! Unfortunately I can't reveal too much about who and what I'm working on as I'm not allowed to at the moment! But I can say that I'm speaking to some pretty cool underground labels in regards to forthcoming EP's and most of the majors regarding the more original vocal material I've been working on. There will definitely be a few announcements to be made within the next 6/8 weeks!
What can the Ministry of Sound crowd expect from your set at Audio Rehab on Saturday 31st January?
I love the Audio Rehab crowd, they really embrace my sound and are always receptive to new sounds, which means I can be as diverse as I want from filthy basslines, vocals to more techy & minimal tracks. I'll definitely be playing a lot of my new material that will be forthcoming for 2015 plus some new remixes I've been working on.
How did you get involved with Audio Rehab?
I met Mark Radford a few years ago through Riaz Dhanani & Adam Cotier who were friends of mine and got to know him quite well. I had a few tracks that I'd been working on which I sent over to him. He loved them and started playing them out, he then asked if he could put them out on Audio Rehab, which was really cool.
What do you think of the state of dance music at the minute?
Generally I think it's good. Like everything, once a style of music starts to become popular, the scene tends to get over-saturated with people jumping on the bandwagon and trying to profit from the scene rather than benefiting it and fundamentally doing it for the love.
You’ve been described as the major labels’ go-to guy for underground credibility, do you find it difficult to straddle these two worlds?
Hahaha, I find that funny, but cool at the same time. With production, I've always been true to myself, my style hasn't really changed in over 10 years really, only peoples tastes and reactions to it. I managed to have some commercial success in 2014 but that wasn't manufactured or contrived at all. For example, "Right Before My Eyes" ended up in the Shazam Top 100 Chart with NO promo from any major label, but simply from club DJs & specialist radio DJ's across the country supporting it week in week out.
All of my commercial success has come from the underground and all of my tracks have started their lives from being played at raves such as Audio Rehab by the house scenes biggest DJs - I had no major backing, no major management, no PR or marketing teams - just a lot of people & DJ's sharing what I was doing and really supporting it. I've kept the same structure. I haven't sold out to the major labels (and I could have) - if they don't like something, fuck them. The music is always going to be for the clubs, if it happens to crossover into the more mainstream world then thats really cool!
I've never sat down and thought "I want to make/manufacture a top 10 hit and make shit loads of money". I think today, people aren't as stupid/naive and can see through some of the more fake, manufactured groups, bands or DJ's that major labels try and promote and push. That's why half of them end up disappearing after a year, because they don't have a foundation or real fan-base so when the major label then gets bored of them, they're left with nothing...
I could go on all day about this and go more in depth but ill stop there, but yeah I think if your true to yourself and enough people like what your doing, its possible to be credible and to achieve commercial success too. For me, credibility is simply being true to yourself. I'll never sell my soul!
Who are your biggest influences?
My influences vary greatly. I tend not to get too influenced by a certain style, producer or sound. I'd prefer to try and create my own. I grew up listening to a lot of different music from hardcore, D&B, UKG, house, trance to Motown, reggae, 90s RnB and Rap. All of those genres and artists have influenced me in some way. I generally like anything that's bass driven or bass lead!
You’ve remixed some big name DJs, is there anyone left on your bucket list that you’d like to remix?
I'd love to work with Banks, Ellie Goulding, London Grammar and MK. There has also been a lot of big DJ's, artists and money offered for remixes that I turned down in 2014 too - if I don't like their stuff I won't just remix something for the sake of it or for the money.
What do you like to do on your day off, what’s a typical Sunday like for you?
To be honest, I don't really have a day off. Music is as much of a passion and hobby as it is work. I'm one of those people that can't really sit around and do nothing or else I'll just get bored, so Sunday is always a studio day for me. Most of my downtime comes when traveling, when I am either alone or with close mates, I'll usually drag everyone somewhere completely random the next day on the way back from a gig, somewhere like a theme park or a zoo if I see a sign for one on the M1!
How do you prepare for a gig?
I don't really to be honest. I have set folders on my USB's which I group from Vocal, Dark, Energetic, Old Skool and then I'll vibe off a crowd - I don't like to pre-plan sets, I find it more exciting to go with the flow! I'm quite impulsive if you haven't gathered already!!
Tell us something we don’t know about S.K.T
I don't drink... I think thats pretty unique within the music industry! You'll usually catch me with a can of Red Bull at a club. I'm hardcore!
14 Jan 2015