Interview: Artful (The Original Artful Dodger)

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This weekend, at Festibelly Festival, Arftul will be headlining Le Disco on Saturday night. Artful aka Mark Hill, is a original member of Artful Dodger. He’s responsible for many classic garage tracks including “Re-Rewind“, “Movin’ Too Fast“, “Woman Trouble“, “Think About Me“, and many more. Not to mention the fact that he co-wrote and produced Craig David’s 6x Platinum début studio album “Born To Do It“. Mark released his first solo material in May this year (“Trouble” featuring Clare Dove) and is currently working on a brand new album under his Artful alias.

Festibelly is due to take place this weekend (11th-12th July) just down the road from Southampton in the heart of the New Forest. The festival has got a wide variety of artists lined up to play across various weird and wonderful stages. Headliners The Cuban Brothers, David Rodigan, Hudson Taylor, and indeed Artful will be brushing shoulders with a wealth of local talent. We got in touch with Artful late last week to find out who to look out for next in the UK Garage scene, and what to expect at Festibelly.

We’re really excited to hear you play this weekend at Festibelly, what can we expect to hear from you? Any particular tracks to look out for?

I can’t wait to play there, especially as I now live right around the corner so a load of my mates are gonna come down. Makes a nice change from travelling all over on my lonesome :) I’m gonna mix up a load of the old classic Dodger stuff as well as some exclusive mixes I’ve made recently that I only play out live. I’m also gonna be dropping loads of new tunes that have been influenced by the Garage days from the likes of Gorgon City, Shift Key, Disclosure etc! It’s gonna be a fun set.

Festibelly has done well in the past to grab new talent whilst also bringing back festival classics. Who are you most looking forward to seeing this weekend?

The Cuban Brothers and David Rodigan will be great to see again, also looking forward to Hudson Taylor, Femme and Ginger and the Ghost but the whole line up looks amazing to be fair.

Is there anything in particular you like about performing at smaller events and festivals?

Besides being less likely to get lost, I love the vibe of small festivals and the fact that the crowds seem that much more up for partying!

Can we expect anything exciting from you over the next year?

Very much so! I have some incredible collaborations lined up for the new album, it’s actually blowing my mind a bit. I’m also in talks with a huge band about DJing with them on their tour this year, as well as touring the US myself.

Are there any artists you are expecting big things from in the near future?

I think Shift Key will smash it, he’s a very talented lad and also a vocalist called DC who is on the new Audio Monsters tune. Also look out for Stephen Langstaff, Cory Fox-Fardell and Cattle and Cane, all big ones to watch

Many of us saw you reappear to the music scene following Disclosure’s remix “Please Don’t Turn Me On”. Can we expect any more reworked classics following this?

I’ve actually done a bootleg of “Fill Me In” myself which is going down well and there is a cool mix of “Woman Trouble” doing big things in Ibiza and elsewhere by “Long & Harris”

Thanks Mark!

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