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.
Billon are in the mix this week with an eclectic mix of rarities. Known for presenting a weekly radio show as part of Soulful Sunday on Rinse FM, Billon took the nation's dancefloors by storm in 2014 with their massive hit with Maxine Ashley, "Special".
They'll be playing the club alongside Cajmere, Doorly, and The 2 Bears at Doorly & Friends on Saturday 7th February
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?
You're welcome. It's a mixture of both. Stuff that's been working well in club sets over the past few months and some stuff that has been going down well on the Rinse show.
For those who may be new to your music, how would you describe your sound?
I would describe the Billon sound as a melting pot of styles, House, Garage, R&B, Jazz, Soul, D&B, Hip Hop and Prog Rock at around 120bpm
How did you first get into music, when did you know you wanted to be a DJ?
I have been DJing since I was about 14, my brother was into Jungle and Hardcore, I went to a few raves with him when I was a bit older and heard stuff like LTJ Bukem and Zinc. That got me into dance music really, then a good friend's older brother was part of the DIY collective in Nottingham that put on a lot of the biggest Deep House and Techno free parties in the late 90s, I heard a lot of stuff through him and that was what got me into House and Garage, from then I went to study music production at Brighton University and met a few like-minded people and did work experience at a record label, then moved to London and began working on music full time.
What have you got coming up on the horizon?
A four track EP that will be coming out very soon, just putting the final touches to it now. There are some interesting collaborations on there and then another single in spring time.
What can the Ministry of Sound crowd expect from your set at Doorly & Friends on Saturday 7th February?
Some good tunes and new Billon tracks that no one has heard yet!
We’re big fans of your Sunday radio show on Rinse FM, how did you get involved with Rinse?
We sent a couple early tracks to Sarah via a friend who runs Rinse with Geenius. She got right back the same day and said she wanted to release them. That was at the beginning on 2013 and since then we have released 2 EPs and the single "Special" Feat. Maxine Ashley. The opportunity came up to do a weekly show and I had always wanted to do it, so I jumped at the chance.
What do you think of the state of dance music at the minute?
Dance music is really popular so it seems to be in a good state.
Who are the most exciting underground artists that our readers might not have heard of, but who you think will be big names to come?
Tee Circus > https://soundcloud.com/teecircus
Zeemon > https://soundcloud.com/zeemon
Ifan Dafydd - https://soundcloud.com/pushandrun/ifan-dafydd-eclipse-1
Who are your biggest influences?
Micheal Jackson, Cerrone, Cassius, Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, Todd Edwards, MJ Cole, Armand Van Helden, Fleetwood Mac, The Neptunes, Tangerine Dream, Depeche Mode, Brian Eno and Steely Dan are the ones who spring to mind.
You’ve remixed some big Artists, is there anyone left on your bucket list that you’d like to remix?
It would be great to remix some hip hop. Doing the Lion Babe ft. Childish Gambino track was really good fun, the remix ended up being very Neptunes inspired. Good rap vocals are great to work with.
What do you like to do on your day off, what’s a typical Sunday like for you?
Well Sunday is actually a work day because of the Rinse FM show, but a day off would usually be spent chilling around the house, watching films, doing DIY or going to the countryside to see family.
How do you prepare for a gig?
I usually try and visualise the gig and what kind of people will be there, then try and work out what kind of stuff they will want to hear. Then I will usually plan some kind of running order but usually end up deviating from it. Eat a good meal, shower, maybe a nap!
Who are your dream collaborators, past or present?
I've actually ticked a few of them off the list over the last year! But there are a few left. Any of the people in my biggest influences.
Tell us something we don’t know about Billon.
We co-wrote and produced all the songs on Sasha Keable's most recent EP - Check it out here!
22 Jan 2015