- Cutting-edge Afro house out of London.
- Adrian Jay's new RA Podcast begins with a series of producer drops and testimonials from DJs all around the world, underlining the fact that, well, DJ IC is kind of a big deal, especially in the bustling world of Afro house. But that isn't the whole story, either. Started out as a jungle, grime and garage DJ in the early '00s, Jay had a taste for all things UK, before discovering house, following the evolution of the London scene through UK funky and eventually into Afro house.
On his RA Podcast, Jay shows off this lifetime of musical experience. In these strains of Afro house, you can hear everything from UK funky to gqom in the alternately bouncy and heaving drum patterns, in the dark, jabbing synths and the wonderful mix of atmospheres that come from edgy drum tracks with beautiful vocals on top. His mixing is expert, betraying his almost two decades of experience—he's been a regular on most UK radio stations you could name—as well as his taste for techy, interlocking rhythms, what he calls the "cutting-edge." It's right there in the name of his ongoing podcast series: All Shades Of The Drum.
If you're new to DJ IC, this is a great introduction to one of London's best DJs. For more, check out the wealth of mixes on his SoundCloud page, especially the All Shades Of The Drum series, and read the interview below, including a list of his favourite artists and DJs in the scene right now.
What have you been up to recently?
Well, I've been in the studio a lot lately making new songs and working on a few official remixes which will be released later this year. I'm unable to give to much away regarding the remixes but it's good to see that my production is getting noticed and a number of artists and labels have reached out.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was actually recorded in my pre-studio late Friday evening. After a long day's graft it was nice to put on the headphones and hit that record button for you guys!
Can you tell us the idea behind the mix?
I decided to give you guys a high-energy mix and a taste of what you can expect to hear on my radio shows and in the clubs (when we eventually get back). Great vocal songs with some cutting-edge beats striking a perfect balance and creating a great musical journey.
The Afro house scene in London has only grown and grown over the past decade. Do you think the scene is in a good place right now—is it exciting? And who are some of your favourite artists/producers/DJs?
The Afro house scene has definitely grown! I think even more so over the past three-to-five years. I check social media a fair bit keeping a look out for the talent coming through and it pleases me to see so many DJs now playing the music. The more DJs that play Afro house the better, it exposes the sound to new ears everyday. With this being said I definitely think it's an exciting time in the scene.
Some of my favourite artists, producers and DJs are Black Coffee, Caiiro, Jim Mastershine, Enoo Napa, DJ Vitolo, Kabaza De Small, CeeyChris, Jackie Queens, Lizwi, Tabia, Miss P, Native Tribe, Cisco De Sol, Queen Rami, Kitty Amor, Bobby Digital, Simone Martinez, Klevakeys, DJ Able & Supa D. When it comes to hosts, there can only be one Tippa!
Some of these names may not play Afro house but they are DJs or producers that I've always appreciated and I admire their work ethic as well as the good music that they play.
How has the pandemic affected the scene, and you personally, and are you optimistic about the future once the UK finally reopens?
The pandemic has of course affected the scene, with no live events DJs have used the tools they have to continue getting their mixes and music out there and we've seen the rise in livestreams. As DJs all you want to do is play music and, if you're lucky, to a live audience. It's been tough for me because just before the pandemic really hit I was getting a fair few bookings and things were planned for me to go abroad, talks and dates where pencilled in for a mini-tour in South Africa, bookings in Amsterdam, Sweden, possibly France and dates confirmed here in the UK. That has all been put on hold until we know what's going on especially with the travel arrangements. What can we do but wait and see how it all unfolds!
I've used the time to perfect the art of producing and I'm happy with where I'm at, and there's lots more to come. I'm definitely optimistic about the future of the scene and I'm hoping we can get back to some form of normality very soon with the clubs open, people want to rave and we want to play! The UK is in a good place, promoters are working hard behind the scenes to put on events for the people but waiting for that green light. I know when the time comes these promoters will put these events on in a safe way allowing people to express and enjoy themselves.
What are you up to next?
I'm currently planning the promo around my forthcoming single "Awakening," featuring Tabia, a singer-songwriter from South Africa. It's being released by Sneja Records so there's a lot of discussions taking place at the minute.
I've just had three releases, "No Limitations with" Jim Mastershine, "Never Let You Go" with Massive Chemicals featuring Lyric and Graduation ,they are now available on all leading digital download stores! I'm also gearing up for my second EP release The All Night EP, and then the final EP release of the year Voyage, with KiingPraiise, a producer also from South Africa, so keep an eye and ear out for those releases!
In-between releases there are discussions about events but of course that's hard as dates are always being pushed back but the discussions are ongoing and provisional dates are being looked at for New York, Amsterdam, Sweden, South Africa and of course my hometown London, UK.
Working on remixes which will be released later this year and 2022 so watch this space! I'll be here all day giving shout outs to the people who have helped me get this far in terms of my productions and getting my music out there, but thanks to Housupa Records, Clubshine Records, Mukua / Black Mambo Records, Sneja Recordings, Drums Radio, MVMT, Monika, Seb now at Defected Records, my very good friend Jim Mastershine and of course you guys at Resident Advisor!
Noah Slee - Radar (Enoo Napa Remix)
Da Afro Kid - Hands Off
Hyenah - You Made Me Who I Am (Enoo Napa Remix)
Vida-Soul - I Believe feat. Tf Stylez
Jim Mastershine - From Earth To Mars
Vida-Soul - Movanto
Soulic.M - Traditional
Simone Vitullo - My Darling feat. Lady Vale (Enoo Napa Remix)
DJ IC - Higher Level
Jim Mastershine & DJ IC - Exodus
Soulic.M & Vida-Soul - Closer feat. Twin Beats
Dafro - Nkrumah (United Nations Of Africa)