Returning star, FELIX, brings us the SoundOf LA in this exclusive mix
The man behind the 1992 club classic "Don't You Want Me" is back with new music in the form of bassy house groover, "Nothing More I Need" featuring the vocal talents of Brendan Reilly, who's best known for his work on Disclosure's "Moving Mountains".
FELIX is a UK dance legend, now living the good life in LA, so to celebrate his return, we asked him to put together an exclusive SoundOf LA mix.
MoS: Hey FELIX, you’ve put together an exclusive SoundOf mix for us, can you talk us through the mix, what is the theme, what were you trying to capture?
FELIX: I live in Los Angeles, but being form England I wanted to try and represent a UK sound as that sound is not only very prominent right now but it’s a big part of my musical journey, so feels very natural.
Is the mix indicative of what you play out?
Yes indeed. Depending on the venue and set length I might have room to take things in different directions, sometimes a little harder or more dark and tripped out, but I try and focus the core of my set on House as that what tends to get me most excited personally. I always think about what’s right for each crowd but you first and foremost have to be fired up about the music you are bringing.
How are you finding life out in LA? How has the dance music scene there changed since you first moved over?
I love it. I moved with my family in 2012 and we settled in really fast. The weather is the big plus and it helps keep you upbeat and on focus. In terms of dance music, there has always been a strong underground club scene here in LA although the media focus over recent years has tended to reflect the ‘big room’ type acts, mega raves and bottle service venues. There are so many kids coming into dance music through different routes and to be honest it doesn’t matter to me as long as they are doing something with passion. I’m all about inclusiveness and bringing people together, that’s what attracted me to the scene years ago and I just love to see that continuing!
In London in 2016 the hot topic for dance music fans, is the spate of club closures, are there similar problems in the US?
Not on the same scale. The licensing laws in the US are tighter anyway. For instance in LA they stop serving alcohol at 2am. The main difference I see is that in the US you are really held back from having an honest and adult discussion about drug use. If a promoter tries to make their festival or venue safer by handing out leaflets or providing free water then they might open themselves up to law suits for the perception that they are endorsing drug use. That mentality needs to change as we must put peoples lives before political objectives.
You’re well known on this side of the pond for the massive, “Don’t You Want Me” what was it like having such a ubiquitous hit at an early age? How has that song changed your life?
It changed my life completely. Before that hit I was working in an office in Chelmsford! It was a crazy time as the success really bought me a lot of freedom to create music full time, travel the world and meet so many amazing people. I don’t think I had been on a plane before that time so I got to experience so much more to life that I wasn’t aware of until then.
Your new track “Nothing More I Need” has a very modern British feel to it, was that intentional? Do you still keep up to date with what’s going on in the UK?
Yes indeed. I’ve really been feeling a lot of the stuff coming out from the UK over the last few years with elements of Garage, UK Bass, D&B, Grime etc. The way that we (UK) seem to draw on all the different influences around us is really special and seems to create something unique and authentic. It’s really fresh and exciting times for UK dance music and I just wanted to put my own little twist on that sound.
The singer on that track, Brendan Reilly, will be a relatively new voice for our readers, how did you come to work with him?
My Management were looking at some potential collabs and we loved Brendan’s voice from "Moving Mountains" with Disclosure on Caracal. Knowing the sound that we were trying to achieve Brendan was very much a key target that we knew would be a perfect fit. He lives in London but is actually from LA so we organised the recording when he was back. The writing and recording came together really fast in a couple of days and I finished the production a little later. Brendan is a really laid back guy and such a joy to work with because he is so very talented.
DJ Mes - "Feel Like Getting Down"
Dakar - "See You Work"
Full Intention - "All I See Is You"
Green Velvet, Riva Starr - "You Are Beating" (Paul C & Paolo Martini Remix)
Static Revenger - "Happy People" (Rrotik Extended Remix)
Partycrashers - "Like The Way Yo Do"
Duane Harden, Ryan Blyth - "Back To You" (Extended Mix)
Demuir - "2.5 Bars It Work Tho" (Innovate)
Scott Diaz - "The Shakedown"
Billy Kenny, Maximono - "Get Off"
TYLA - "Deeper" (feat. Kelli Leigh)
South Royston - "Work It"
Felix - "Nothin More I Need" feat Brendan Reilly (Rrotik Remix)
Demuir - "Call of Da Sound"
Jesse Perez - "Calm It Down"
Dakar - "Your Bass"
Louis La Roche - "The One"
DJ Pierre - "Let The Music Take You Higher" (Kevin Over Remix)
Format B - "Okeey Yaaah"
Deux - "Party People"
Claptone - "Heartbeat" (Mat.Joe Remix)
Klangkarussell - "Sun Don't Shine" (Crookers Remix)
The Deepshakerz - "The Fever"