The incredible young DJ/producer, blk. – began his journey in 2017. For the past 5 years, he has been creating tracks, pushing the boundaries until eventually finding what he liked and was happy with his sound, specifically the harder style of techno. With one of a kind melodies and bass, you instantly know from listening that they are his own productions.
Already having an action packed summer, blk. is locked in for a lengthy list of clubs, shows and festivals across Ireland and Europe for the remainder of 2022 and 2023, including Scotland’s Terminal V Festival this Halloween.
To celebrate him playing at this huge techno festival, we sat down with blk. for an interview
How are you, how has your year been so far?
I’m doing great, thanks. I think I have also found my balance in adjusting to a hectic travel/show schedule, so I have no complaints. Plus, this year for me has been amazing to say the least and I’ve loved every minute of it!
You got into music as your father ran a record shop – how long was it until you found your own taste and sound?
Yes I’d have to say that my dad was a huge influence on me in earlier years, but it was around when I was 13/14 I started listening to hard dance music artists such as Dark Oscillators, Showtek, Isaac etc – which eventually led to me producing my own sound inspired by the likes of these artists.
What drew you to harder techno? What elements of this specific genre bring you a feeling of solace?
The draw to harder techno is a hard one for me to describe, I would have to say that the feeling of this type of music for me just hits different. For instance, the sound just slaps in a way that no other genre does, and the feeling of playing out that sound to a crowd creates a vibe and a feeling that you just don’t get with anything else. The kick carrying the vibe of the track is like the feeling I get when making the majority of my music. I try to place myself in a busy space in my head, picturing a crowd’s reaction to certain parts of my productions, and making things based on how they would go down in a club/festival setting.
Your appearance at Terminal V is rapidly approaching – what have you heard about the raves? They’re pretty large scale and epic!
Terminal V has always been something I’ve wanted to be involved in. Over the years I’ve seen so much amazing footage and always hear great things from friends/promoters over in Scotland. So for me this is a really big one, and to be back over with my Scottish family and the incredible fan base I have there will be sick. I can’t believe it’s so close already, been waiting on this one for time!
Do you ever prep/plan/pack certain USBs or record bags according to specific gigs?
Not exactly – I travel quite light when it comes to playing out. I have a bag full of USBs, all of which get updated weekly as per what show I have coming up. I also always carry my laptop with me as I like to produce as we move around from place to place, as I tend to get big inspiration from certain cities we travel to.
Are you concerned with your environmental impact as a DJ, and what can you do about it if so?
I’m not just worried about it as a DJ, I’m worried about it as a human. We all should be. Everyone should do their bit and make a difference to our planet.
What have been the most significant moments and milestones in your career thus far that have brought you to where you are today?
Over the last year I’ve played 30 plus shows, all which have been more or less sell outs. The vibe of each one has been unique and very special to me, but specifically my set at Electric Picnic last month has really stuck with me as my big moment, as there was a crowd of around 15k people, one of the biggest ever at the stage I was playing on. The crowd included many of my friends and family so emotions were high, and I’m still not over it! Other than Electric Picnic, any shows I’ve played in Belfast with my Shine family or Scotland over the last year have made memories for me that will last a lifetime. I’m so ready to return to an amazing Scottish crowd in a few weeks time for Terminal V.
What advice would you give yourself as a young artist that you have learnt since you started?
My advice for anyone starting out, or younger producers kicking things off, is to keep creating your own music and sound and what feels right for you. Keep pushing it as much as you can and try not to lose focus, even at the worst of times. I was producing for around 5 years before I even played my first show, and my style changed completely from when I first started. I feel like I’ve finally found myself as an artist, so holding out is definitely my best advice, as you never know when things are going to come together for you.
You have had high profile support from the likes of Richie Hawtin and Goldie – what’s that like? Does it feed back into the creative process?
For me to be gaining support from some of the most prominent and inspiring artists in the industry is something I never thought would have happened, and I’m still taking it in if I’m honest.. I’m extremely humbled at the support I’ve been receiving over the past year from many artists I’ve looked up to for more than half of my life. I can happily say that it definitely drives me to create more, and gives me more hope that I can further my career as an artist and achieve more of my dream goals in music.
What else have you got coming up?
Between now and the end of the year it’s quite non-stop in terms of both production and shows for me. I can’t complain as this is what I’ve dreamt of, and it’s all coming to fruition!
I have a release coming out on a sick V/A for the no mercy records crew at the end of October. I am also currently working on a collaboration with the GOAT Ben Hemsley, which is really coming together on a level that both Ben and myself are very in tune with – so super excited about that. I also have a very special remix of Enter the Dragon dropping at the End of October too.
In terms of shows I have a headline show with the Teletech crew in Manchester next month, which has been on my list for some time now. I’ve also got a mini tour in Australia, some more UK debuts, and another show taking place further afield which I can’t say too much on just yet, but keep your eyes peeled!