Sotonight Podcast 001: BITR8 (+ interview)

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Welcome to the first episode in Sotonight’s new podcast series! We’ve been working on this for a while now but as soon as the idea was put forward, one thing was obvious: BITR8 should be the one to host the first episode. BITR8, aka Chris Stemp, is an extremely versatile Southampton-based DJ/producer and, we would argue, something of a local hero. Chances are, if you’ve been to any decent party in Southampton over the past few years, then you will have heard Chris’ selections and mixes blasting over the sound system. He has supported the likes of Bondax, Zed Bias, and Rudimental, and is also responsible for booking the likes of Disclosure, Cashmere Cat, and Ryan Hemsworth; bringing them to UNIT for their Southampton débuts. Listen to Chris’ mix below and have a read of our interview with him while you’re at it:


Direct mp3 download: SOTONIGHT Podcast 001 (BITR8).

Tracklist
Blonde – Foolish (feat. Ryan Ashley) (KAASI Remix)
Après – Take You Away (feat. Jamie Grimshaw) (Ben Remember Remix)
SNBRN – California Love (feat. Kaleena Zanders)
Iggy Azalea – Fancy (feat. Charlie XCX) (Riddim Commission Remix)
Redlight – 9TS
Shadow Child & Doorly – Piano Weapon
Second City & Tyler Rowe – I Enter
My Nu Leng – You’ve Been Gone (Chris Lorenzo Remix)
Bitr8 & Elrose – Brother
Worthy – I Get
Essay – Ocarina
Nadus – Nxwxrk (RL Grime edit)
Lido – Money
Zimmer – Sensify Me (Canblaster remix)
Gwen McRae – Keep The Fire Burning

Interview with BITR8:

To kick things off, can you tell us a little bit about this mix you’ve put together for us?

SOTONIGHT have been a great supporter of mine and do loads to promote the best nights in the city as well as showing a lot of love to up and coming DJs and producers aiming to make a name for themselves, so I was really excited when they asked me to mix their first ever podcast. I personally love being able to go across the board in my sets, and I’ve tried to recreate that a little here. Starting off with some chilled summer house and moving up to the more punchy stuff, then adding a healthy dose of bass and rounding it up with some broken beats before ending on a personal favourite with a soulful disco classic. There’s even an exclusive of a forthcoming track from myself and my good bud Elrose hidden in there, hope you enjoy the mix!

Awesome, so can you give us a run down of some tracks and/or artists are you’re loving right now?

Far too many to mention (which can only be a good thing!) but I’ve been really into Kaytranada for a while now and his rework of MNEK’s “Wrote a Song About You” is up there with his finest remixes, whilst on the more energetic side of things I’m loving “Piano Weapon” by Doorly and Shadow Child (featured in this mix). A special mention goes to Rockwell’s new one “I Need U”. It’s a hybrid of drum and bass, juke and oldskool rave stabs that has me bouncing about like a loon when I hear it.

I loved your “Losing Sleep” remix, are you working on anything similar or otherwise at the moment?

Ah cheers man! Yeah I’ve been working on some tracks with my good buds K1R3Y and Elrose and will be dropping them very soon! (keep an eye on my SoundCloud).

I see you’re having a busy summer, what’s it like going back and forth between UK festivals and BCM, Mallorca?

It’s been a bit crazy and there’s been a distinct lack of sleep but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Travelling is the longest bit but the pay-off is getting to play to those crowds. There’s a big similarity between the festival crowds and the crowds abroad – everyone is instantly up for it so it always creates a great atmosphere.

Has your love for wrestling and DJing ever overlapped?

Hahahaha, I’m not sure how it could! They’re both things I’ve been into loads since I was a kid, maybe I should create some sort of crossover event? Or maybe bring in wrestling stuff into my DJ sets. Like, Steve Aoki’s got his cakes … maybe I can put people through a table or smash a chair over some lucky clubber’s head? No? … Fair enough.

You’ve been on the circuit in Southampton for a good while now as one of the cities most loved DJs. How have you seen the scene develop here over the recent years? Do you feel it’s benefitting from promoters like DBP bringing in big name DJ sets for less, or is it devaluing electronic music?

Cheers for the compliment, and yes I’ve been around a while! It’s been interesting to see the local scene develop and produce some really talented DJs and producers, whilst also having it’s phases with certain genres. A few years ago electro house was huge with acts like Fake Blood selling out Junk (now TRiPP). We also saw the dubstep explosion with brands like WAX having some legendary nights, and now we’re seeing the revitalization of house music, with major labels heavily pushing the sound meaning that a lot more commercial bars and clubs are playing it as well as the underground brands like Junk Department and High Tide, who have been pushing it for a long time. I think that promoters like DBP bringing in the big names to the city is definitely beneficial for the local scene, and having played at some of the nights I can vouch for the atmosphere being incredible at them. That said however, I’d love to see Southampton clubbers support small nights too. The smaller nights are where the local acts can cut their teeth whilst also having up and coming acts visiting the city – it’d be great to see more of a balance.

You’ve been associated with MistaJam’s Speakerbox for a while now. How useful has it been for you as a DJ and producer to have that kind of support?

I’ve learned so much from working with Speakerbox and MistaJam, mostly it’s been making the step up to the big festival/summer stages and learning how to adapt to them. The support is great from them too, and I’m at a stage where I really have to take advantage of that, the best way is to push on with making tracks. The gigs I’ve been playing have been an amazing experience, though I’m fully aware the only way I can make the next step up (and make these more frequent!) is to establish myself as a producer as well as a DJ.

Do you have any advice for budding DJs out there looking for sets and exposure?

Learn your craft, even if it means getting hold of some old battered belt drive decks and a pack of 12″ beauties, it’ll put you in good stead for the future and mean you can handle any set up. I think the advancements in technology are great and am no way against controllers, its just unfortunately they’ve led to a lot of new DJs being wrapped in cotton wool in my opinion, which in turn has seen a great deal of the general public not fully appreciating the art and skill of what most of us do.

With regards to exposure: Regularly visit the nights you want to play at. Get your face around, I’m not saying you need to kiss arse, but if promoters see that you’re consistently supporting their nights, when you hand them that mix or send them that link, they’ll be much more inclined to listen to it. Above all else: Meet the promoter first. Putting a face to a name is important and gives you a better chance of being remembered and in the promoter’s thoughts if a set becomes available.

And finally, what producers are you tipping for the 14/15 season?

OK, its hard to keep it to a few but I’ll start with Lido. His use of melody vs pop music in his remixes and original works is blissfully good whilst his alias as Trippy Turtle is bmore party central (think DJ Sliink/DJ Sega) mixing up rnb/hip hop with his own style. We’ve also got some amazing local talent on our doorstep which I’d love to see break through out of the city and beyond including the duo South Royston (check the “Unfamiliar Ground” EP) and Jaycek who has got a ridiculous amount of trap/hip hop beats in his locker ready to be unleashed. Keep an eye on Gavin Foord and the Ape Like boys who are doing some really interesting things on the house/bass side of things and Jamie Ings who recently won the Ibiza Spotlight DJ competition and got some love from a certain Carl Cox with his track “Not Easy“. Special mention goes to my pals Elrose with instantly infectious tracks the dancefloor and K1R3Y – expect to hear more from us when he returns from holding it down at Mallorca and Ibiza Rocks.

Photo credit: Ryan Proudlock.

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