From the tender age of 16, dubstepper Draper’s music career has gained considerable reach, even landing him a runner-up slot at the prestigious Laurie Anderson competition (judged by iconic curmudgeon Lou Reed) in 2010. With his full-length debut record set to drop, Wonderland sat down with the Kent-based beat wrangler to ask how he intends to introduce “liquidstep” to the world.
You’ve been involved in music since a very early age. Has it always been your priority and passion?
I’ve always been musical, whether it’s playing an instrument or just listening to all kinds of music, I just love the creativity that comes with music in general.
How do you think you’ve grown as an artist since you started producing? Would you say that you’ve found your niche?
As I’ve progressed with my music – it’s definitely matured. If you listen to some of my earlier music compared to newer releases, I think you can hear the maturity in the melodies and the overall production. As for the niche, I’d say I’ve definitely found an audience. I love making this kind of music, but in the future who knows. To keep it fresh, you’ve got to change it up a bit so I’ll venture into some other styles, but you’ll always know it’s a Draper track!
Who would be your ideal artist to collaborate with, either mainstream or underground?
I would love to work with someone like Clams Casino and do some more abstract songs.
Is it “the dream” to produce or remix for a huge commercial artist?
For me it’s not “the dream” but it would definitely be a cool thing to do. I would love to get to the stage where I’m producing for other people, but at the moment remixing and producing my own stuff is my focus and I’m having a great time doing it!
Your music has been described as “euphoric liquidstep.” Would you say that’s a fair description?
I actually started calling it “liquidstep” because I don’t think it’s dubstep as people know it today, and it just makes it easier for everyone that doesn’t want to call it dubstep, but I don’t mind what it’s called really…
Your debut EP, **The Introduction** received a very pleasant reception. Were you happy with the reviews that it received?
Definitely, the fact that it was my first release made me wonder how people would take it. It found an audience that were really into it, so I was extremely happy with how it went.
You’re currently studying media production at Oxford Brookes University. Was it ever an option for you to study something other than a creative subject?
No. Throughout secondary school, I just wanted to make music – especially the two years of doing the International Baccalaureate, I was just getting through it to get to uni and learn some creative stuff!
The artist you choose to remix seem very diverse, ranging from Bring Me The Horizon to Strange Talk. Do you have a favourite type of music genre?
I have an eclectic music taste. I listen to a lot of stuff and it’s hard to pin down a favourite genre as it all depends on what I feel like listening to at the time. But if I were to put a favourite genre out there I would say post rock, Jónsi style.
What can we expect when the album appears?
Some cool stuff, I’ll be working on it non-stop when I finish university in a couple of weeks, but at the moment it’s sounding like it’s going to be a big one!
Words: Shane Hawkins