With Arcadia’s tenth anniversary right around the corner, we caught-up with thirsty burgeoning talent Billy Turner. Ahead of his set at the Saturday night Afters alongside Eats Everything and Dense & Pika, we spoke to the Crawley-born producer to discuss his (seemingly) rapid rise to fame, inspirations and how he got signed to Skream’s label.
Hey Billy, how’s it going? What are you up to right now?
I’m great, thanks. I’m currently preparing some upcoming releases and remixes. And sorting through my Rekordbox.
You’re from Crawley in West Sussex, which has been home to some significant musicians, from The Cure, to 2D of Gorillaz and even Simon Jeffes of Penguin Café Orchestra. Has this varied range influenced your music making in any way?
I can’t say those artists have specifically influenced me. Perhaps subconsciously? I love some of The Cure’s & Gorillaz’ work. But Benga used to live in Ifield when I was a teenager. He used to live next door to a friend of mine. He’s definitely influenced my sound, because I’m really drawn to dark vibes. His tracks Night & 26 Basslines have stuck with me ever since I first heard them.
You’ve had quite a sharp rise over the past couple of years, playing in notable clubs like fabric. How have you found this experience? It must have been a steep learning curve.
I’ve loved every minute of it. But there’s definitely been a lot of hard work put in! From my perspective, it’s felt like more of a gradual rise because I’ve spent so many hours developing my music.
Playing in clubs like fabric, E1 & Digital have been amazing. When I play a set I always wish I could go on for longer! I can’t wait to eventually play all-night-long sets.
Having been backed by Skream, Art Department and Radio 1’s Monki, do you feel pressure to keep doing better with each new release?
I wouldn’t say pressure, but it’s really encouraging to have had so many great names shouting about me in a big way. It motivates me to do my best on every track I do. I know I still have a lot more to show the world, which is really exciting!
Some of your first releases were on Skream’s Of Unsound Mind label. Can you tell us how you first came in touch with him and how these releases came to fruition?
I first met Olly at DC10 in Ibiza back in August 2015. I got his email from him but I waited till February the next year to send him anything. He mailed me straight back saying he loved the track and he ended-up playing it at Patterns in Brighton that same night!
After that I was sending him loads of music each week and in April he asked to sign an EP. My debut EP came out that October, followed by my Rosebud EP.
At the end of 2016 we started making an EP together. He also asked me to remix his track Settled – one of my favourite tracks, for sure! Our Chronicles EP came out in December with the remix included!
Can you give us a little insight into your studio set-up? How does your creative process work? Do you give yourself a time frame or do you just work whenever?
I have a very minimal set up. It’s just my Maschine Studio, MacBook, HS8 monitors & HD25 DJ headphones to reference. I use all the built-in processors and fx in maschine, plus a couple from Waves. I prefer to work with Audio samples rather than virtual-synths. I create, mixdown & record a live take in Maschine. Then I cut that recording up & finish it off in Logic.
If I start a track in the morning, my goal is to have it club ready by that same evening. Most of what I consider to be my best tracks have been from working that way. I work pretty fast because if I sit on a track unfinished for too long then I lose the original vibe. I usually would scrap it and start something new. I don’t have a specific time allotted for when I make music. I just make it when I’m feeling inspired and when I can find the time!
You’ve got a hectic diary gig-wise the next few months. Are there any you’re particularly excited for?
I can’t wait to play Eastern Electrics festival in August. I went last year so will be good to actually play there. I’m opening the Edible stage in the Switchyard and I think it’s getting streamed on be-at.tv as well, which will be cool.
On the subject of shows, what have been some of your favourite club moments so far?
Opening RM 2 at fabric for Luke Slater in August and later closing RM 1 with Eats Everything on the same night. What an unreal experience!
A few clubs I want to play are Berghain, Concrete, Tresor, De School, Subclub & Amnesia. I’m sure there’s so many great clubs and festivals around that I haven’t even heard of yet, so that’s something to look forward to!
Lastly, what are you plans for the rest of the year and what can we expect in the coming months?
I’m gonna be making lots of new music and squeezing in as many shows as possible. And just enjoying the ride!
My next remix is Dense & Pika’s Casino, coming out at the end of April on their Kneaded Pains label. I also have a remix for Anja Schneider out in June on her new Sous Music label.
I have a lot of original music coming out this year. Some I can’t announce yet, but keep an eye out!
Billy Turner joins Eats Everything, Dense & Pika and A Sagittariun at The Steelyard for Arcadia Afters on Saturday 5th May.
Tickets are on sale now.