One To Watch :: Jasper James
Jasper James has had a breakthrough year, racking up notable achievements such as hosting a monthly Rinse FM show, holding a residency at new South London hot spot, Phonox, and most recently adding his name to the illustrious list of DJs and producers on the RA Podcast series.
It was always going to be hard to imagine James not falling into the world of music with his father, Harri, being co-founder and resident of the renowned club night, Subculture at Glasgow's legendary Sub Club. Naturally James was surrounded by dance music from a very early age and, according to his Dad, he used to remark, 'Every record sounds the same! Why don't you play some Hip-Hop?' Both he and Harri pinpoint a moment at T in the Park - James was 13 at the time - when he began to understand house music, he 'remember[ed] feeling that bass vibrating through [his] body'. Another person who was around was close friend, flatmate (both in Glasgow & Ibiza), and fellow Glaswegian Jackmaster who has been a 'massive motivational force' for James.
Y.O first stumbled across Jasper James when we heard the lead track on his debut EP 'Sneaky,' and quickly fell in love with the funky floor-filler. The full EP follows suit, maintaining that bumpy character throughout. Since then James has had a second EP released to his name on Matt Tolfrey's 'Leftroom' imprint. With an ever-growing range of bookings coming from all over, including Fabric, DC10, Warehouse Project and many more, James is making his mark and is rightfully leading from the front of the youthful UK music scene. It's clear in his sets, podcasts, and in his productions, that he's paving his own way and cultivating his own style.
GROWING UP WITH YOUR FATHER BEING HEAVILY INVOLVED IN GLASGOW’S ELECTRONIC MUSIC SCENE, WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE INFLUENCED BY HIS LIFESTYLE AND MUSIC FROM AN EARLY AGE?
To be honest at an early age I didn’t really understand electronic music. I was more into hip hop, people like Tribe Called Quest, Big L and De la Soul. It wasn’t until the age of about 12/13 when I heard my dad playing at the slam tent at T in the Park, and heard it being played out of a big sound system and watching the crowd losing their shit that I really began to take any interest.
YOU ARE THE YOUNGEST DJ TO HAVE PLAYED AT SUB CLUB, WHERE US SOUTHERNERS HAVE ONLY HEARD TALES OF THE LIVELY VENUE, HOW WAS IT STEPPING UP THAT FIRST TIME? DID YOU FEEL AT HOME HAVING PRESUMABLY BEEN A PUNTER FOR A FEW YEARS?
The first time I played at Sub Club I was really shitting myself. My hands were trembling uncontrolably - but after a couple of vodkas and a few records in, I felt at home. Its still one of the most memorable nights I’ve had to date.
WE HAVE READ A LOT ABOUT YOUR VERY EARLY EXPERIENCES TO CLUB CULTURE THROUGH YOUR DAD, WHEN WAS THE MOMENT YOU REALISED YOU WANTED TO FOLLOW IN YOUR FATHERS FOOT STEPS AND BECOME A DJ?
For the female attention.
YOU’VE SAID JACKMASTER HAS BEEN A ‘MASSIVE MOTIVATIONAL FORCE’ BEHIND YOUR CAREER. ON TOP OF YOUR FATHER'S INFLUENCES HOW HAS JACKMASTER STEPPED IN?
Jack has helped me realise that I’m not going to get anywhere by sitting on my arse and that I really need to go and hustle for it. Whereas my dad always took the more hippy approach and always told me to stay grounded as well as work hard. This has been a good balance and approach for me to take in my life
YOUR DEBUT EP ‘SNEAKY,’ ON OPTIMO MUSIC WAS QUITE SOME FIRST RELEASE! CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE PROCESS YOU WENT THROUGH WHEN MAKING AND MERGING THOSE SOUNDS AND WHAT MAY HAVE INFLUENCED THEM?
I pressed a whole lot of random buttons and hoped for the best.
IT’S VERY EXCITING NEWS ABOUT YOUR WEEKLY RESIDENCY AT NEW SOUTH LONDON CLUB, PHONOX. HOW WILL THIS CHANGE THINGS FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE AND WHAT CAN CROWDS EXPECT WEEK IN WEEK OUT?
I’m really going to have to screw my head on, start waking up at a normal hour and grafting hard to ensure that I provide a good party for the punters week in and week out..... I don't even know what to expect!
WHAT HAVE YOU GOT ON THE HORIZON PRODUCTION WISE?
I’m about 90% there on a number of tracks. Hopefully one of them makes it as Christmas no.1 :)
I UNDERSTAND THAT OVER THE SUMMER YOU LIVE IN IBIZA, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE CLUB SPOTS THERE AND WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL GIG THERE?
DC10 is my favourite club on the island so Antonio if you’re reading this – my agent's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
TOP THREE FAVOURITE RECORD SHOPS IN SCOTLAND?
For me there is only one, and that is Rub-a-Dub in Glasgow! But growing up as a kid i liked going to 23rd Precinct and the Beat Museum which are both no longer about. RIP.