The East London musician lets us in on his blossoming empire.
Recently New Machine dropped his third remix of his single, “Chance”, featuring Shakka. The East London musician has dabbled in the realms of producing, sampling, and featuring in music for some of the most acclaimed musicians in the industry such as Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, Chipmunk, Plan B and more.
We spoke to Adam Jordan – the real name of the mastermind – to chat all about what we can expect from him next.
You recently dropped your first remixed track, “Chance”, featuring Shakka…
Yeah, that’s actually the third remix so far!
What was the process you went through with the first two remixes?
Well the Sammy Porter remix was a house remix, he’s a friend that lives not too far from the area I grew up in. There’s a small circle of us that all do music and have been climbing up that ladder together. I knew he had been climbing up that ladder for years, so thought he would be relevant to have him do the remix of the single.
Yeah, so what genre would you staple this third remix as?
The thing that makes this track a remix is mainly Shakka’s vocal, apart from that, the beat is the exact same as the original. It’s kind of more like an alternate version, rather than a remix if you know what I mean. You know how you got like Not3s and Mabel on a track, but it’s Not3s main track? That sort of vibe. I’m not really sure exactly on the genre, I just call it “future pop”.
How was the process of getting this recorded with Shakka? I read online you were excited to work alongside him…
You know what, Shakka is one of those artists that I respect because he produces and engineers a lot of his own work at home. I prefer that because I feel like I’m getting better out of the artist because they’re doing it in their own space, where they’re most comfortable. So I just let him do it at his house, he sent it back to me quite quick. I knew he was going to vibe for it because he was kind of the inspiration. But, kind of just got lucky with it I guess.
How was your experience collaborating with him?
I think we were pretty much on the same page, because he was quite a fan of the original song, which just featured Hamzaa. He was really feeling the songwriting too, again because she’s younger and it was her first release ever, you could tell that she was inspired by Shakka anyway, she was also a fan. But yeah, I think it was pretty much an easy process, I also had some trust in him anyway because I’m a fan of his, and I had worked in the studio with him previously for Rihanna. I knew he was gonna be a quick worker and reliable. It was fun.
Are you happy with the end result? I saw a fan had done a cover of it which is amazing as it’s not long been out.
Yeah, it’s crazy! I guess because we released the song by ourselves last year, during winter time. I was slightly conscious of the fact it was coming out at a dark period of the year where everyone’s thinking about spending money on Christmas. It’s just dark and cold and miserable. So, I felt like the track wouldn’t do as well as it could have, I felt like people needed to hear it in the day time, sun shining, and just a different vibe. London changes the scene and so does the sun, so I think it just worked in my favour. All we have to do now is try and get it out to the masses because so many people still haven’t heard it.
How did you and Shakka meet?
We had met lightly at gigs and stuff, because I used to play guitar for a few people like Plan B, Chipmunk and a few bits for Maverick Sabre. I guess we met each other on the circuit a few times, but hadn’t really spoke much.
I basically have another act called Wolves featuring my friend called, Aaron London. We make music together and we released our first song last year, after that we got approached by some of Rihanna’s team to go work and go into the studio and try some stuff out. Our first session ended up with Shakka, and so we ended up writing a few things with him. That was my first introduction to meeting him properly and getting to work in the studio, but obviously with, “Chance” it was a bit more remote as he worked from home. But yeah, he is wicked in the studio, a very quick worker and great energy.
So, with your other group, would you say you’ve been balancing out distributing music with that and New Machine well. Is there a good balance of effort put into the two?
Yeah, crazily yeah. I need a vehicle to make the other one work, I think that Wolves is going to have to be a lot more independent. It’s quite cool and free music, so I think there’s a chance for it to do well for itself. We haven’t really been promoting the first cover we dropped but it has just been building up, I think it’s on about 90,000 views now. It’s just had no promotion, but it’s just keeps picking us up, and getting us loads of interest, like those Rihanna sessions. So, I think we’re just going to let it bubble for a bit and see what energy it creates by itself without taking it to record labels etc.
Who’s responsible for the visuals created for the single cover?
So, it’s a lock machine. The official music video was directed by Clare Gillen and Brittney Scott, two girls based in LA. We had a great idea for the visual, but it was complicated because of the current state of music and where I come from, I didn’t want it to come across as urban. Because that’s the thing that everyone is promoting at the minute, like being from the hood, or urban. I’ve got all of those things but I don’t see why it should come out of my music, especially if it’s pop music. I just wanted something bright and colourful, a bit quirky like old Lily Allen videos, something that makes you feel the way the song makes you feel.
The song is about reminiscing on chances you could’ve took with past lovers, but I didn’t want the visuals to be exactly like that with a relationship in the video, like cringe story writing, because the song is great but as soon as it’s translated onto something it can come across in the wrong way. I didn’t want the video to be meaningless, but we knew we wanted it to be colourful and with the word “chance”, we could flip it and have a few chances taken in the video, like different events like gambling etc. So that’s when the idea of the slot machine came about, it was just a better metaphor than some soppy relationship.
How long has New Machine been active for in the industry?
I’ve been producing since around, 2009/2010. I started off around the same time Plan B’s Strickland Banks album came out. I did a remix for Ed Sheeran which got me quite a lot of attention, on his first album, a few for Maverick Sabre, a few for a lot of people that were around me that were quite big at the time. A lot of them gave me the opportunity to remix it at the time and then they’d promote it on their platforms and through their labels. But yeah, that’s how I’d get a lot of features.
A lot of people used to do dub-step remixes, but I would get rappers up on there to make it a little bit different. But I didn’t release my own solo artist music till about a year and a half ago. “Dare for You” was the first of my summer project because I worked with a guy featuring on it called Aaron London, who is from that day in the group with me called Wolves. It was originally a New Machine song, he was featuring on it, but after we made that song, he was like, “We’ve made something quite special let’s make a group.” But I think, “Chance” is the starting point for me. “Dare for You” was just a summer project, but I’m glad we did it, because now I have a whole project off the back of it.
What’s the support been like from people in the industry since you dropped “Chance”?
From touring with Plan B, I have made some great relationships on the road with other people and just generally being in the studio. I’ve got great artists around me who have helped, share, re-post or bought the track, which I really appreciate. The response has been good this time round, the views have gone up a bit more since the original. The radio has taken to it too which is good, we’ve been getting a bit of love on 1Xtra and stuff. It’s nice to see it build up slowly. Realistically, this is the first introduction into seeing what I will be doing in the near future. I’m just excited to see what we get out of the rest of this song as we still have more to come.
What age did you move to London as there has been different discussions as to how long you lived in Ireland for…
It’s a long story, but I was born in England, but I was raised back and forth from Ireland for about 10 years. Obviously, I’m quite English, but I also hold my Irish heritage to me quite closely. That’s where all my musical influence come from, back in Ireland. My granddad and uncle used to play in bands, my granddad plays violin, trumpet, all sorts! They both taught me guitar, from then on, I went into doing everything else. I was in a couple of rock and indie bands growing up.
I’m not sure most of that would’ve happened if I weren’t raised around them in Ireland. Ireland is quite a musical nation anyway, there’s a lot of traditional stuff that they hold close to them over there. There’s a lot of tradition and old school skills lost in other places because technology is moving our age forward so quickly. But I like a lot of the traditional, old school styles, I guess it’s because my family are from the country side, but yeah, the simpler life.
Do you think moving from this country background into London you’ve seen a lot more creativity?
The struggle of London and the hustle and bustle keeps me quite driven, but I can’t say that I don’t take my influences from living in London. A lot of the production is still quite hip-hop and up-tempo. But there’s a mix of both of them in the music, some of the music you haven’t heard yet has a lot more folk and banjo influences with trap, drums and bass. It’s just my perfect mixture of London and Ireland.
Are there any musicians you would like New Machine to collaborate with soon?
The thing with me is I don’t like to plan ahead too much in case things don’t happen. I prefer when situations come out of nowhere or are a bit unexpected as I tend to get into better situations. There’s a load of people I’d like to work with, but I have a weird taste in music so not a lot of people expect it. I’d like to work with people that have kind of been forgotten like Dido, David Gray. There’s a lot of artists that you don’t hear about, but you hear their records and you’re like, “Oh my god, what happened to them?” But people like Moby, lead singer [Kelly Jones] from Stereophonics, Travis and loads more. I like surprising people and collaborating with people they least expect.