Quick and Dirty WEMF: Andy C
One of the top 100 DJs in the world and a pioneer in the drum and bass genre, Andy C is a legend. The Ram Records founder has relentlessly dedicated almost two decades of his life to the music he loves. He flies across the globe week-in and week-out to spin for sold out crowds and represent electronic dance music.
I had the chance to speak with him prior to his WEMF performance and went through the Pink Mafia Quick & Dirty.
(1) How did you get into the world of DJ and producing?
You know, I found it through a work experience many, many moons ago. I met my best friend Red 1 who was putting on parties in London. He invited me up to his party. I wasn’t old enough to get in at the time, but he made sure I got in. I remember the moment: I stood at the side of the stage and this DJ dropped a tune called “The Beast” by Revolution, and when it dropped and everyone went crazy — you know when that happens — that is when it just all made sense. That is when I knew what I wanted to do. So I rang up Red 1 on Monday and told him I had some money in my piggybank and said, “I need to get a pair of decks, what do I do?” and we went out that evening and bought some. Then I just mixed in my bedroom every night ridiculously for 10-12 hours a day to learn how to mix.
(2) What would you say is the best part about your job?
The connection with the crowd. Last year, when I played WEMF and it rained, it was absolutely incredible. There was a huge crowd and it was just beautiful. Before I started playing I kept thinking: “I hope it doesn’t fucking rain,” and you know, I was worried. But I went out and I was playing this tune that had a really epic breakdown in it and it really just fit the moment as the rain was coming down. It created this whole euphoria with the crowd. It’s that connection. But when it clicks and it goes, it’s the best feeling in the world.
(3) Do you have any say in the debate regarding button pushers in the land of DJs. It’s become DJs vs. Producers. Any thoughts?
At the end of the day, whatever medium artists want to use to get their sound out, it’s all good by me. I get off on the crowd, mixing the tunes and selecting what is coming next. If other people want to use laptops, I don’t really think you’ll see a difference in the crowd. As long as the crowd is pumping, that’s what it is all about, right? If we all did the same thing, it would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it?
(4) What advice or tips would you give to someone who is an aspiring DJ or producer?
You have to work hard and you have to feel it. Don’t get into it because you want the glamour because, believe it or not, there isn’t much of it. You’ve got to love it and you’ve got to stick it out because it won’t come overnight. When you’re with a big crowd, focus on little pockets of people. But when you’re with a smaller crowd, focus on moving all of them.
(5) What was one of the very first records that you ever bought?
Wicked by Shut Up and Dance. This was the record I bought when I bought my decks and it was the record I could afford with the money I had left from buying my decks. It wasn’t very good since I needed to mix two records together, so I ended up borrowing my sister’s copy of Madonna’s Vogue. It was the strangest mix of records but it worked in the beginning.
(6) Are their any other musicians you feel aren’t getting enough recognition or somebody that you would love to work with?
There are tons of people who aren’t getting enough recognition and that is what RAM is all about. We just started a new label called ProgRAM. The whole point of ProgRAM is to bring forth new talent, sign them, nurture them, and get them recognized. Because there are loads of new people out there but they are working on the undercurrent of today’s d&b and that’s what we want to bring through.