drumandbassarena

5 Minutes With: Etherwood

5 Minutes With: Etherwood

Etherwood

Few artists have climbed the d&b ranks as quickly as Woody, A.K.A, Etherwood has. Bursting on to the scene with the heavenly “Give It Up” on Hospital Records in November of 2012, his name has become synonymous with breathtaking production and a goosebump-inducing signature vibe. Fast forward to November 2014 and he’s working on his highly anticipated second album, and is once again nominated in this years Drum&BassArena Awards. We caught up with the man himself to see what’s new and got his top picks for this years awards…

Yes Woody, cheers for joining us! How you doing?

I’m doing great thanks. Just got back from the gym so feeling pretty ready.

The Drum&BassArena awards are upon us again! You won two awards last year.. What was the first thing that ran through your mind when you heard you had won?

‘Really??’ I was mega shocked. I know people always say that but the competition was stiff. It was great knowing the public were behind me and the only thing I’d ever won until then was a primary school spelling test.

Drum&BassArena Awards

You weren’t able to join us last year as you were playing a gig in Exeter, will you be heading to the awards with the Hospital/ Med School crew this year?

Yeah I hope so. It’s great to get all corners of d&b under one roof.

Indeed! You were voted Best Newcomer Producer last year, as well as Best Newcomer DJ, do you feel you’ve evolved a lot as a producer since then?

Yeah definitely. The awards came just after the release of my first album. Since then, my sound has matured a lot I’d say. I went straight back into the studio to start preparing album 2 and took a slightly different approach in terms of production and direction.

What is the biggest difference you see in your production style now compared to last year? I’d imagine it’s an art that you’re always perfecting? Forever evolving, etc…

I think confidence is the biggest change. The success of the first album showed I can do my own thing to it’s fullest. I feel now as though I have complete space to produce the music I really want to produce which is an artist’s dream. Med School are fully on board as well so can’t ask for more.

How old were you when you first started DJing, and at what point did you move in to production?

I actually started producing first. Then as the momentum picked up, I figured I ought to learn how to DJ. That was about 3 years ago I think. I love it!

What’s the best advice you could give to up and coming producers looking to get their big break?

Keep producing track after track to begin with until you find your voice. Then ask as many of your mates as possible to listen to your tracks who aren’t scared to give you truthful feedback. When you’re happy, send to your favourite labels and producers but don’t force it. If you don’t get a reply, keep producing until you do. Don’t be frightened to do it the old fashioned way. I met a guy who gave me a CD at a Med School event and his track landed on the New Blood 014 comp. Props.

Who’s your pick to take out Best Newcomer Producer this year?

Joe Ford, Keeno or Kimyan Law for me.

And Newcomer DJ?

Dimension. ‘Crowd Reaction VIP’ should be in the best track category. I heard DJs drop that more times this year than anything else.

Any other top picks for the other categories?

I’d probably vote Tape Pack best track. Another corker.

Did you expect to be in the Best Vocalist category this year?

Not at all. It’s nice that people voted though.

Have you always been into singing?

I never considered myself a vocalist until recently. I sang a bit as a kid but never a front man. Just in the shower and while I was eating my Weetabix, that sort of thing.

Do you plan on lending your vocals to any more of your own (or others’) tracks?

The new album will feature a lot more of my own voice. It helps to write a song if you’re in charge of every element and that’s what I love most about it. I’m always up for singing on other people’s tracks. When the album is finished, I’d love to work with other projects and a few duets perhaps; Adele, Elton, Rihanna, Beyonce, whoever really.

Ha! Make it happen! Do you think we’re missing any cool categories in the awards, like biggest party animal perhaps? Who do you think would take out that particular award? 

Ha! Dynamite would take that one for sure. I’m not sure he even slept when we went to Snowbombing last year. I like to think I can hold my own but he’s a regular member of the all night breakfast crew. Best remix would be a nice category as well I think. I’d give that to Nu:Logic for their Birdy ‘Wings’ remix.

Top pick! What’s cooking in the studio lately? We hear a collab with Logistics is in the works?

Yeah we’ve been working on something. Sounding really nice. It’s mad to be working with one of the artists that first got me hooked on d&b. I’m blessed.

Any ideas when we can hear it for the first time?

It’ll be early next year at a guess but we’ll see 😉

How’s the second album coming along? Do you have a concept or particular framework in mind?

Personally, this album is shaping up with more of a focus than the last one. The debut contained tracks both very new and very old. I set out with a goal to take what I loved from that album and move forward with it. I’m pleased with how it sounds so far and I’ve really dived into it emotionally.

Can’t wait to hear it! You recently supported Wilkinson on his Lazers Not Included tour – any wild antics on the tour you’d care to share? 

Yeah that was great. Glasgow was probably the best afterparty. We went to Sub Club then everyone ended up back on the tour bus dressed in horse and panda masks. We ended up leaving without one of the crew so had to go back and find him. Somehow he’d ended up with just his pants on. We sang 00s classics for the rest of the night, dulcet tones of ‘I’ll bring you floweeerrrrsss, in the pouring rain’ then somehow it was 10am and we were back in London. Good times.

Ha! It’s not a good night unless you lose your pants i always say… Moving on… You’re playing at the next Med School event at Corsica Studios in November – Last time we were there we witnessed the entire room singing along to ‘Begin By Letting Go’.. Must’ve been a really humbling moment! What is it that makes Med School nights such a special occasion?

It’s an indescribable feeling hearing people sing your songs. That particular song means so much to me so it’s amazing that it transcends to the fans and the crowd. I’ve got to say, the Med School shows are probably my favourite of the last year. Mainly because everyone single person in the room is totally immersed in the music from start to finish, raving from 10 till 5. I can’t say that about any other show I’ve played.

Got any tricks up your sleeve for the event?

I’m going to road test a load of new material and possibly work on some acapellas from the first album. You can play what you like at a Med School show which is always wicked. I might dress up a bit too…

(Note: The Med School event was buzzing from start to finish! Woody donned feather earrings… One might say he was Featherwood for the night.. ahem, sorry. We had to. Needless to say he played a flawless set as always!)

What’s next on the agenda for you?

It’s all about the new album for the rest of the year. I have a few cool shows coming up but I’ve locked in loads of studio time to focus and stay in the zone.

Final shout outs?

Everyone nominated at the Drum and Bass Arena awards, everyone who voted, and the staff at Rowan’s Bowling lanes in Finsbury Park.

Bowl

Big up Rowan’s! 

If you’d like to attend the Drum&BassArena Awards for free register for your tickets here.

You can follow Maja C on Twitter, @_Maja_C
Head of content and curator of Drum&BassArena's YouTube and SoundCloud channels, Maja also works across UKF's editorial pages.

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