Samy Nicks & Rekwest – Interview
The new single from Samy Nicks & Rekwest was just released this week so we decided to catch up with the guys to find out more about them, how they met, get an insight into their production techniques and much more.
This year has already seen them releasing on Jaydan & Tyke’s labels as well as showcasing their DJing skills at events across the UK & Europe, we’re sure they have a bright future ahead of them, but where did it all begin?
How did you both get into D&B and what lead you into producing??
SN. I go into the beats around 2007/2008 when pendulum were the hot topic. From there it went to clipz, to hazard, then generally had the urge to soul search for every new tune out there. Reason i started producing was because anyone can DJ all tunes that are already out there. It was a case of having something unique that no one else can play – hence making my own tracks.
R. I grew up playing all sorts of music in bands for example drums and guitar in rock bands. when I started college at the age of 16 I learned Logic Pro and realised I could produce the electronic sounds I’d been listening to all my life.
Where did you both meet? Have you ever had solo production careers or have you always a duo?
SN. We started off individually, I used to run a few events in Woking and met Tom (Rekwest) at one of those nights. After that he came down to Bournemouth a few times when I was at uni there. When I switched courses and went to Brighton I invited him down to take the same course as me. So me, him and Marx (our other avid D&B housemate) were in competition with each other day and night churning new bits out and battling every other evening on the decks.
R: So yeah for a while we were releasing individually but the more we collaborated, the harder it was for people to track tunes down from us as they were all over the place. So we combined the names and branded everything under one title. We’ve thought about changing our name to make a joint one, but there’s not really much point as people know us as ‘Samy Nicks & Rekwest’ and we have all our back catalogue over the years improving and building towards what we are doing now.
What’s your working method in the studio, do you split the workload 50/50 or is one guy on the buttons while the other supplies the ideas?
SN. Very much 50/50. You could say Tom is the drum master and I focus on synths. Sometimes he will start an idea individually and bring it over and we’ll finish it off together and vice versa. We used both macs so whilst one person is working on something, the other is preparing the next bit.
R. Basically Sam has a very good understanding on how a drum & bass tune will work, whereas I have a very musical background and can incorporate that into the drum & bass sound in order to create a soulful blend of music. We have a good work flow going which means we can get the occasional tune pretty much finished within a night. We are active on the beats weekly. We don’t tend to upload much material online, but believe me, we are building it up.
Your popularity seems to be on the rise at the minute following recent releases on Jaydan & Tykes labels, what do you put this sudden interest down to?
SN. I’ve spoken to Tyke on and off for a few years and sent odd bits over. He played one of our tunes in his Fabric Live mix so we started speaking more after that and proudly, we kicked off his label with the debut release.
R. We’ve been sending Jaydan a lot of tunes this past year due to the fact that he was one of my inspiring producers as a teenager. Thankfully he’s given us support and encouragement to keep sending bits. So at the end of last year we compiled a bundle of tracks that seemed to round off an EP that he supported and signed. That is now known as the ‘Unchained EP’ which was released recently on his Smokin Riddims label.
The tracks on the new single Animal / Masquerade 52 are sounding awesome. How did the link up with Direct Recordings come about & why these tracks?
SN. A close friend of mine used to work at Innovation along side Lloyd and DJ Ollie. You may know him as DJ Rapture. He doesn’t work in the scene any more, but after recent nights out we got chatting and he suggested I get in contact with Ollie.
R. We’ve been listening to a lot of the beats Direct Recordings has been putting out and felt that we were nearing a similar style. Both tunes include full drums and rolling percussions, each one being slightly different. You have a classic old trance sound on one (Masquerade 25), and a funky but gritty tune to compensate (Animal Instinct). You can tell we like our variety in drum & bass.
Do you guys have a favourite piece of studio equipment or plug in? If so what is it & why do you like it?
R. We have a basic studio set up; Mac Computers, KRKs, Midi Keyboards and Logic pro. Therefore, we try to utilise our resources to the best of their capabilities. Our main aim within the near future is to acquire a decent bit of hardware to experiment with, in the hope of enhancing our sound.
Finally we know you have your own label in development, tell us about that and what else people can expect from you both in the foreseeable future?
SN. The label is purely to add another string to our bow and demonstrate tunes that are personal favourites of ours, that we have held back from wanting to send out. We want to be able to release under our own brand along with tracks from other producers. We won’t be releasing every week, but will definitely get fresh bits out to the world once a month.
R. I would like to think we will eventually throw a few parties from Amusement Audio, but that’s quite far away. Until then, it’s all about pressing on with the beats and working our way up in the world.
Animal Instinct / Masquerade 25 by Samy NickS & Rekwest is available from JunoDownload. It will be released via all other download stores next week. The single is currently being supported by DJ Marky, Nicky Blackmarket, Grooverider, Liondub, Blackley & Probe to name a few.
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