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Wilkinson: Need To Know Basis

Wilkinson: Need To Know Basis

Something tells us Wilkinson’s going to have an impressive 2013… Last year he smashed it with two massive releases on Ram and set up his own label with Cyantific. But this year’s looking to be well and truly next level. His debut album is a definite big release to look out for, he’s considering a live show later down the line and he might just take his first holiday in three years. We called him this week to learn more about this 23 year old headliner-in-waiting. This is what we found out…

I was about nine when I got my first drum kit…
“That was the very start of my musical journey. Discovering you could make music out of drums? I was sold straight away and it spiralled from there; I got involved in loads of bands and travelled around doing gigs and generally having a laugh! The funny thing is that one of my good friends Tom, who was in a lot of bands with me, played the guitar on Need To Know. It was a cool blast from the past. He’s musically amazing.”

I got into production when I was about 15…
“Before that it was a really cool little scene; we’d go to each other’s houses and write tunes and jam. No one really takes the drummer seriously though. No one asks you about chords or harmonies. So I got into production around that time to get more out of music. That was a real eye-opener. I taught myself the piano and how to read music and everything. It was a huge change in my life. I hated college; I even hated music lessons because it was classical. I just bunked off and made tunes in the studio.  There was one guy who I connected with. This militant guy from Iran. He’d been through some really harrowing stuff and I respected that. He put me on the straight and narrow.”

I’m an adrenalin junkie…
“Being a drummer is great fun; you get to play the most aggressive instrument in the world. It’s such a satisfying feeling, smashing the hell of them! I get the same feeling making drum & bass too. I’ve always been an adrenalin junkie. I spent my childhood on a BMX. From the age of 10 to 20 I’d BMX every weekend. I get that same rush from D&B too. I’ve never done any other adrenalin junky-ish but I am looking to do some things next year. I’m handing my album in in February and taking my first holiday in three years. I’m going to do some mad stuff; sky diving, bungee jumping, anything…”

The deadline for my album is February…
“I’m already into the album cycle; Need To Know is the first single from the album. There’s another single, which is coming out on March 1. Then there’ll be the final single before the album which will come out in May.

I’m already thinking about the second album…
“It’s a daunting prospect. I’ve been working on this album for two years as well as putting out singles. It’s been mental! I’m looking forward to sitting down and writing the second one with just the album in mind. I don’t sit down and write loads of singles, I sit down and think ‘I want to write an album.’ I’ve been heavily influenced by hip-hop. I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing artists. I’ve done a lot of things with P Money, he’s done some stuff for my album, I’ve done a lot of work on his album, it’s been great. The second album will involve a lot more work like that. I’m really looking forward to it.

I’m thinking about a live show…
I’m not going to do a half-arsed live show. I’m not interested in that. To me, live is all about having a band, having a wicked lighting show and really delivering. I write music with a live performance in mind. People have asked about hearing Need To Know live, which has been really encouraging.”

I consider myself very lucky…
“When I was 15 I knew I wanted this and nothing else. I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could on this, but I still consider myself very lucky. You get to go to these fancy places, it’s amazing. I got to go to Las Vegas so I took over a bunch of mates. They loved it. But half way through I had to go to the east coast and do a show. So while it’s a mad lifestyle you don’t get a chance to relax. My plan is to rent a villa in Ibiza for two weeks. Rent a boat. Rent a yacht. Live the dream for a summer, basically!”

Need To Know / Direction is out on Ram Records.
Listen and download

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.