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.
Frazer Mitchell - Producer, DJ, and Events Coordinator at Antix Music Network