Interview:
7 Things We Learned From Alexander Nut

With close to nine years regular rotation on Rinse FM, a regular show on NTS and being one of the most eclectic, accomplished DJ’s of our time Alex Rogers, known to most as Alexander Nut, is no stranger to a busy schedule. However, sitting down with the Eglo Records co-founder ahead of his set at Soundwave Festival this weekend, he is keen to stress the importance of doing fewer things but doing them well. This attitude is the reason Eglo’s output over the past few years has remained of a consistently higher standard and will guarantee the label longevity in – what all too often these days – feels like a throwaway culture.

It was a pleasure to wax lyrical with Alex for an hour and the full-length feature will be available in our very first print issue coming August 11th.

In the meantime though, here’s seven things we learned from Alexander Nut.

On the upcoming Shafiq Husayn album…

We’ve got the Shafiq Husayn album that’s coming out on Eglo. We already put out an EP of his two years ago, which was crazy because it was one of the first Anderson Paak releases and he’s blown up this year, it’s funny. The album has taken a long time to get ready. It’s got Anderson Paak, Flying Lotus, and Bilal, so many people of a very high calibre. It’s taken a while but that’s happening, the test pressings for the album are underway, artwork is complete.

On the Shafiq Husayn artwork…

The artwork is a really important part of it as this guy Tokio Aoyama has done a painting for each track. So the album comes with a whole series of paintings. When you buy the album it will have a big fold out poster with both the vinyl and CD. It will be a mystery which one you get, one side will be a full image – so you can have that as a poster on your wall – and then the other side will be a compilation of all the paintings.

On upcoming Eglo releases…

I’ve got two releases from Steve Spacek, they’re both ready to go, just got to send them off for manufacturing. The first track is called ‘Follow Me’, which is a real big club track that I’ve been playing for about a year, everyone seems to like that. I’m really looking forward to that dropping, I think it will do a lot of damage in clubs. Then a two track release which will follow up after that. One side I’ve been playing, it’s like a 130 house-techno spaced out track that I’ve been playing on the show quite a bit but the flipside is a footwork track which no-one’s heard yet.

On the current state of UK nightlife…

The funny thing with London is, without that focus and attention, everything was thriving and there were plenty of people buying the records, plenty of people in the clubs, plenty of great artists, it just didn’t have that media attention but everything was healthy. The spotlight kind of kills things. London is under the spotlight with regards to Festivals and events and things like that, bringing a lot of people from elsewhere, and a lot of the people giving London attention aren’t necessarily London artists. So it’s not a London scene, it’s an International scene. It’s an International conveyor belt that’s going on at the moment. As good as it is that everyone is getting paid, it can also be dangerous in regard to coming in and out of vogue. It’s heading very much into a commercial venture as well, the emphasis being taken off the music and the atmosphere, the event itself, and it’s becoming a bit of a circus.  

On his time at Rinse FM…

If I’d stuck it out for another three months it would have been nine years. When I got offered a trial, which by the way was a trial forever as I was never officially told I had a show. Every week I’d ask if I had a show yet and I always felt like I was on a trial. When I first started, I got super freaked out because it came from hanging around at Plastic, I used to go to any night at Plastic really, but obviously going to Forward I met Sarah and G. I was giving out a lot of mixtapes at the time, and then another good friend of mine, who’s name is Nomad, he does a lot of work for Rinse also, he was pushing it to them saying they should give me a shot and get me on. They did, at the time they asked me to play more broken beat, I said ok, but essentially I’m going to play whatever I want at that moment in time. At that point in time Rinse was still a pirate, underground thing.

On doing less…

Like I said before it’s better to concentrate your energy on a few things rather than try and juggle a load of things at once. So with the releases from Shafiq and Fatima and Steve Spacek, that’s enough for the year. When you spend too much time constantly trying to dig stuff out and chase new stuff down it can become very, very time consuming. First of all, to find new music you have to find a new artist that’s unheard of. Now, if you put out a dope track online it’s going to get hunted down straight away, if it’s really going to stand out amongst all that stuff online and people are going to start paying attention to it, within a week or two you’re going to get someone offering you a record deal or something like that, but I really don’t want to get caught up in that game.

On Soundwave Festival…

I feel lucky and it’s a privilege to go out there so often because it’s not often you get to do it every year in a row, usually you do festivals one year on one year off, we must have been going out to Soundwave for five or six years, easily. We haven’t always done a straight up Eglo label orientated stuff but yeah, last we did a great set with Scruff and Chunky for like five or six hours, we’ve also done an Eglo boat party every year and then this year Fatima is out there with the band, we’ve got Henry Wu out there too, it’s going to be wicked man.

Maybe it’s just the festival itself but it definitely feels special, a hundred percent, it never feels like just another party, it has a very electric atmosphere, there’s a great feeling in the air whenever we’ve done it. Maybe it’s the case that we are a little bit different as well, with the label we are kind of coming from the left and it is a little bit of an oddity in the scene, I think things have geared up a bit closer to where we’re at now with things being so eclectic, I’ve always felt that soul has always been an aspect of our music, whether it’s a house release or an electronic release, dance music, R&B, hip hop, whatever, it can be easy for music to become functional and serve that purpose, paint by numbers, making people dance but I think our backbone has always been is it soul music? Does it touch the soul? We don’t want to be functional, we also want to have classic releases that serve the test of time, inherently by making soul music you kind of achieve that. That’s always come across quite well at the events we’ve done, at Soundwave and Dimensions, I hope we can continue to do it.

http://www.soundwavecroatia.com/

 

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