Slowly but surely, London producer-DJ duo Jack Beats have clawed their way into public consciousness: residencies at Fabric, Annie Mac tip-offs, all that jazz – until finally, being signed by gazillionaire DJ Skrillex. Wonderland ask ex-raver Beni how him and Niall make such sweet music.
How did you guys meet?
We met years ago when we both used to compete in DJ competitions and we lived really near each other in London, so used to hang out in clubs and record stores.
How does the partnership work musically? Who’s the boss?
We basically work the way we always have from the beginning, so a track or remix will start with one of us beginning the idea – which might be a tiny loop, a sample or just a vibe – and if the other one likes it we start developing it and taking it further. Quite often this starting block is twisted and remixed and developed more and more till the track takes shape. I guess we both work best when we write to something or a melody, even if this doesn’t even feature in the finished track. There’s no boss haha…but we probably both do our fair share of bossing the other around from time to time!
You’re releasing Careless on 10 September – what was the idea behind it?
Careless is our first mini album and also the name of the lead single. It’s just the first half of our full album and the idea was to include mainly club tracks on this release.
You grew up in London – what was that like? What kind of music did you
I’m very fortunate to grow up in London when I did, as I came from a part of North London where there was so much exposure to early rave culture. Lots of pirate radio stations used to broadcast near me, there were many record stores and so growing up there, I just couldn’t help but be immersed in the rave culture that was breaking out of London. I used to go to loads of the raves, then I got into jungle music when it started, as well as hip-hop too. It was impossible to escape what was going on in the UK during the 90s.
You guys got big through the blogosphere – do you still check out blogs? Any hot tips for upcoming acts?
Yeah we check blogs still for sure, that was where we began so we owe a lot to that culture. Hot tips… Baauer.
You’re about to embark on your biggest ever tour – are you nervous?
I think we are both looking forward to it more than anything, and excited to try make the show killer. Hopefully people will come to the shows and be able to just lose themselves… We want everyone to come and get messy!
What’s your idea of a dream crowd to play to?
One where Jay Z’s in attendance!
What was the record that made you want to go into music?
I can’t remember one particular track that made me want to go into music, but I do remember when I first heard Radio Babylon by Meat Beat Manifesto, I became fascinated with breakbeats and how this worked in dance music.
Careless is being released on Skrillex’ label OWSLA – have you met Skrillex, what’s he like?
Yeah we have, and I don’t think anyone will disagree when I say that he is one of the nicest people you are ever likely to meet.
Careless is out on 10 September. www.jackbeats.co.uk
Text: Zing Tsjeng