SoundOf 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.
This week we've got Southampton duo Cameron Jenkinson and Johnathan Neenan, better known as South Royston, to give us a grand tour of all things house.
Forming in 2014 the boys have had a string of releases and found a firm fan in Radio 1 tastemaker B-Traits. With a huge release in the pipeline on our very own HK Records, we thought it'd be the perfect time to get them in for an exclusive Spotlight mix. Enjoy!
MoS: 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?
South Royston: We went for what we typically play in a set nowadays and some new tracks we’re feeling.
For those who may be new to your music, how would you describe your sound?
We don’t like to pigeon hole our sound. While we started off making bass-driven house, we’ve now branched out into much deeper and more tech influenced productions. We’d like to think that we have a broad appeal due to the variety of the sounds that we dabble in.
How did you first get in to music, when did you know you wanted to be DJ?
John: Well my mum was very supportive of the whole music thing, paying for me to have piano lessons from a young age and even forced me to attend singing lessons when I was really young. So its always something that’s been a part of my life. As I grew a bit older, I started getting exposed to other types of music. I remember my cousin introducing me to some old DJ EZ garage mixes and it then spiraled on from there. I knew this was what I wanted to do from that point onwards.
Cam: I’ve grown up around music from a young age, listening to my parents' old cassettes and my grandparents' old 7” vinyl collection. As I grew up I used to go to Woolworths every other day to pick up the latest singles, it’s always been a massive part of my life. I started DJing around 15 and this progressed into making my own music.
What have you got coming up on the horizon?
We’ve got lots of new music coming out especially the release of Unfamiliar Ground with Ministry’s own HK Records. On top of that we have a another big releases coming out on a pretty large European label (but we’re keeping the details of that quiet for now!) We’re excited to change the direction of our sound and getting involved with labels we really like. We are experimenting in completely different genres with a new alias, which is something we’re really excited about over the next year.
What can the Ministry of crowd expect from your set at Saturday Sessions?
We are always bringing varied sets to any gig we play, bringing the new music from artists we are backing as well as classics from old sets. While we do like to drop in crowd pleasers from time to time we will always try and play at least a couple of tracks which we hope people won’t have heard before.
What do you think of the state of dance music at the minute?
Cam: I think the state of dance music couldn’t be better right now, its great to see underground artists breaking through to the charts and becoming established house hold names in the industry.
John: I agree. I also think that with the explosion of the whole ‘EDM’ culture in America, electronic music has now been opened up to a much wider audience. While undoubtedly not all of it is of the best quality, it still means that loads of young kids are getting into this kind of music, and when they become older and their sound matures we are going to find a lot more quality music will begin emerging as a result.
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?
Naked Swing, Latmun & Denham Audio are artists we’ve backed early on and have enjoyed how they’ve developed. Expect lots from all of them this year and some collabs from us as well.
Who are your biggest influences?
We both have lots of influences some of the main ones include Dusky, Maya Jane Coles, Amine Edge, Jonas Rathsman, James Blake, Mala, Kings of Leon, Prince, Armand Van Helden. We really could go on and on...
What do you like to do on your day off, what’s a typical Sunday like for you?
Cam: Typical Sunday consists of a roast dinner and an afternoon of laziness
John: Usually recovering from Saturday.
How do you prepare for a gig?
We usually spend the day sorting through new tracks we’ve been listening to over the weeks prior to the event. We then check out the venue, promoter and other artists who are heading down to get a flavour of what we can expect on the night. Of course sometimes a lot if it is just spontaneous.
Who are your dream collaborators, past or present?
Dusky. Arguably the best guys out there at the moment in terms of production quality for us. Certainly someone we’d love the opportunity to work with. In addition to them…. there are so many, again, but probably Jamie Jones. Plus he looks like he’d be fun to go out with afterwards.
Tell us something we don’t know about South Royston (the act)?
John: Cam tried to start his own condiments business to trump Heinz Ketchup but after a week and he gave up due to lack of culinary skills.
Tell us something we don’t know about South Royston (the place)?
Funnily enough it’s not actually a place. It’s the name of a road near to where we live. Cam was on the bus and saw it and suggested it as a name. We were originally called ‘South Royston Collective,’ but then we came to our senses and dropped the collective part shortly after.
Robert Babicz - "Chordy" (Gorge Remix) [Systematic Recordings]
Samu.l - "Innocent" [One Records]
Darius Syrossian - "Halcyon" [Let’s get Melted]
Matias Valdmont - "Funky Love" [Lust Recordings]
Hot Since 82 - "Like you" (Audiojack ruff cut) [Get Physical]
Demarzo - "Crazy" [Underground Audio]
Chad Andrew - "Ebony" [Novus]
Gus Gus - "Crossfade" (Maceo Plex Remix) [Kompakt]
Alexis Raphael - "Who's Corge?" - [Moda Black]
Igor Vicente - "The Knight" [Hot Creations]
Latmun - "Strong" [Eton Messy]
South Royston Feat. Elliot Chapman - "Unfamiliar Ground" [HK Records]
Louis Benedetti & Raffa Scoccia - "Hammonized" [Soulshine Recordings]