May is now upon us, and it is less than 2 months until things reopen, with no restrictions.
It’s fair to say there is a buzz around the music scene about things reopening, and artists are beginning to release new music in readiness for (hopefully) a summer to remember.
We kickstart May’s new music month with South Coast based dance music producer and DJ, Connor Watling, with his new single out on 10th May called Higher (Amen). A track I’ve had in my armour for many years at festival gigs, nightclubs, even the occasional wedding. This really is something special. With an insanely catchy rhythm, a haunting spoken vocal; it really is a ‘wow’ track.
We speak to Connor Watling about his latest release.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi Connor, I must say it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen you, especially as we saw each other on the semi regular before! How have the last 12 months been for you?
Connor Watling; Frazer I must say the last 12 months of my life have been something of a rollercoaster - I’ve had lots of things change from my personal life to my professional work life… I’ve spent a long time around some great people in the lockdowns, I was fortunate enough to have influences like Jamie Hayes Jones - Founder of Launch Interactions (Seeing him build his Hybrid event app company into virtual events inspired me to take my DJing virtually) I’d like to think the virtual nightclub sets I’ve done with WW Events & Loud Audio & The Rave Bunker & Air 107.2 kept me sane in terms of playing music.
FM; So this track, Higher (Amen), I’ve had it literally for years. Why are you releasing it now after so long? And why did it take you so long?
Connor: The track has been ready since April last year however….There’s been no real time I’ve wanted to release it and what with getting festival bookings this year already I thought I’d jazz up the package for prospective promoters *wink wink*
FM; Obviously this has been a tough year for you, going from gigging at least twice every weekend, to virtually 0 gigs in the last 12 months, how has that been for you? What have you been doing to pass the time?
Connor; I’ve been working on my own businesses - most people think I’m a full time DJ however I’m also a UI/UX Software and Web Designer, this is what pays the bills...also I’ve been working with a few company’s that are planning events ahead of time which is giving me motivation to get up and not pay about all day.
FM; What does the future look like for you as a producer / DJ? I’ve noticed some people who used to gig a lot aren’t as interested in gigging as much, yet others are even more eager to get out there again; how do you feel about the near future?
Connor; I’m still very young I’d like to think so - I’m hoping I’ve got a good few years of pressing play left in me, I’ve still got some amazing projects with some very influential people in the music industry which are in need of finishing/developing. I’m hopeful for summer however when I receive a booking as “Provisional and unfortunately we can’t pay you a deposit” I start to think maybe this isn’t the year for DJs.
FM; Something I’ve been asking a fair few people in similar interviews is about their mental health - people in the music industry are often very social people, and to have that taken away from them for such a long time can definitely take it’s toll. Is this something that you’ve had to deal with over the last 12 months?
Connor; If Im completely open and honest - I was diagnosed with asperges syndrome when I was about 7 years old, this isn’t something that’s ever really effected me badly it’s just been my secret power I suppose, I was very fortunate to have great education and influential teachers and ‘grown ups’ which taught me the best way of communicating. Throughout lockdown and this crappy tier system my routine has been thrown all over the place and I don’t have much of a routine at all anymore. This has led me to some dark places however I’ve always had some form of normality to ground myself with whether that be activities such as set prep or production or going for a long old walk up a big hill.
FM; Thanks so much for chatting with me today Connor, and no doubt I’ll see you soon!
Connor; No problem! I wish this was more of a two way interview - I’d like to ask you all these questions back 😂 I miss playing with you *ooo errr* I’m sure we’ll have a spin this summer somewhere ❤️🙏🏼🔥
You can listen to Higher (Amen) by Connor Watling on 10th May.
In March 2021, there was a huge amount of new and amazing music being produced and released by artists across the South West.
The momentum hasn’t stopped as we head into April. This week, we shine a light on Second Run, a newly formed pop / punk band from Yeovil, who came to us to record their debut music video “Without You”. Since then, they’ve gone on to release their first EP “Beyond All Hope”.
Frazer Mitchell; Hi guys, hope you’re keeping well! Was great meeting you all at the video shoot too. Tell the readers a bit more about Second Run, who you are and what brought you 3 together.
Second Run; Well Steve and Ross have been in previous bands and decided through lockdown to create a new project
FM; So you guys just released your debut EP “Beyond All Hope” - how did that come about? Where was it recorded?
Second Run; The whole EP and idea came through lockdown where songs were created and written, bounced back and forth between members and James Herron who mixed and mastered the tracks.
FM; You guys have a great sound, it’s refreshing hearing a band releasing new original material, especially in this genre as it seems coronavirus has killed the band scene for the time being. What’s the next steps for Second Run once restrictions are lifted?
Second Run; The EP has been done and dusted, a lot of positive feedback, currently creating the physical set list. We welcome our friend Mark on bass and we can't wait to perform our first live gig to you all where we will be touring new original punk rock material, keep real and we can't wait to perform for you all.
FM; Thanks a lot for chatting with us today, best of luck for the near future!
Second Run; we appreciate the time and all the effort Antix has put in to the promotion and recording of the video. We respect the time you guys put in to local and original music.
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network