Of the original foundation core of DJ’s pushing drum and bass music since it began, very few have managed to remain as relevant in today’s scene as DJ Phantasy still is. In fact he seems to be busier now than he every has been! As well as performing his regular DJ bookings, he is also touring the world as part of the SASASAS collective, working on chart topping albums, and pushing the buttons on record breaking singles! We thought it was about time to check how he managed all this and to find out what else he’s up to…
You seem to be everywhere at the minute with SASASAS, how do you find time to still get in the studio & have a family life?
It’s all mad at the moment, SASASAS are breaking ground by getting into shows that would not normally be available to our style of drum & bass such as Creamfields & Redbull Culture Clash, so juggling all that with studio and family life is hard but when you have great support from your family and a great team of people around you, it helps massively.
Tell us more about your return to production. You’ve been working with Dextone, Macky Gee & Harry Shotta, what’s your working process? Do you know what you’re going to make when you start a tune?
I fell out of love with the studio for years. I wasn’t making music from the heart, I was making music for others and not myself. When I decided to go back into the studio, I decided that I would make music for me, that I would be proud of, rather than what I thought another DJ would play.
I linked with Charlie Dextone and we just hit it off massively in the studio. He understood where I was coming from and we proper caught a vibe in the studio. That guy is so talented and one to really watch out for. We worked together on the Harry Shotta Show album, which was a massive learning curve for us as producers, with all the different styles of music we were writing.
Macky Gee & I became friends from being out in the circuit, which led to us becoming the DJ’s for SASASAS which in turn saw us hitting the studio together. I have to say this, Macky is one of the quickest guys I’ve ever worked with in the studio. When we link we will have 2 or 3 tracks on the go, both of us on laptops doing bits & bobs on a track and then, blammmm!!! Out comes something banging. He is one of the most forward thinking producers I’ve ever worked with. He has a serious knack for catching a vibe and he works so hard, it’s a pleasure to work alongside him. Everything we’ve made is just absolutely destroying dance floors and we’ve been getting some great support from radio which is great. We have a bag of tracks we’re working on so watch out for some of the stuff we have coming real soon, both together and with SASASAS, it’s all MaaaaD.
The ‘Animal’ track with Harry Shotta actually got into the Guiness Book Of Records, how did you hear about that? I’m guessing Chris Akabusi & Cheryl Baker didn’t come round to tell you about it?
Haha, Chris & Cheryl. We are always looking to push boundaries on everything we do, so the idea was born out of an idea we had after a show we done at Westfest. The track went out and the video went viral causing this massive debate about who’s the fastest rapper, who’s the best rapper. Something that goes global like that is going to attract attention.
We released the music video via SBTV and literally overnight, everything went absolutely crazy.
I had A&R guys calling me up Saturday morning asking if we could have meetings etc, it kinda all went a bit mental for a while.
Guinness notified us months before the book came out that we would be in there but they swore us to secrecy so even though us and our families knew, we weren’t allowed to tell anyone. Which made it all go mad again when we announced it when the actual book came out….
It was mad seeing our record sleeve in the book, confirming our entry. Love that!!!
And the Harry Shotta Show album then charted high in the album charts
Yeah, we couldn’t believe that. No Major Label, no big PR campaign, it was literally just support from the DnB army along with artists from other genres sharing it and posting it. We got to number 35 in the midweek charts which was mental, and to end number 5 in the overall dance charts with big names like Craig David, Annie Mac, and Ministry of Sound above us, it was quite an achievement… A big, big massive thank you to everyone who supported. Grab your copy of the album on iTunes. And here’s an exclusive for you, Harry and I spoke over the weekend and were now starting to work on the follow up album but our plan is release in 2 years time, take our time and come up with something really creative.
I would say, I try to play a bit of everything in my set. I like to take people on a journey. There are some sets of mine on my soundcloud page if anyone wants to go check out what I do and also, there are some free downloads on there as well for you to go and grab…… There’s a big ol’ party over on my soundcloud page haha!
Are you looking forward to Innovation In The Dam? If so why?
Of course, Innovation In The Dam is one of the highlight shows of the year. This year I’ll be playing on the Saturday night alongside my SASASAS family but I’ll be there till Monday as it’s such a great place to go and party with Drum n Bass fans coming from all over Europe. If you’ve never been, I strongly advise to go and if you’re not a smoker, don’t worry, neither am I but I still love it there, the vibes, the culture, the music.
What’s your favourite memory from previous In The Dam events?
Way too many to mention but when I lost my voice at the podcast couple years ago due to second hand smoke, that was pretty funny….. poor Ollie had to do everything whilst I stood there with no voice haha… trying to talk into the mic. Lol. But I suppose someone has to be the eye candy haha
You & DJ Ollie are hosting the Innovation Podcast on the Sunday at Bulldog. Can you announce what special guests will be joining you? Trigga & Shabba smashed it last year!
You will have to be there to witness who will be there as our special guests, but we do have a few lined up. The podcast is always such a great vibe, I’m really looking forward to it, being stuck in that bloody small jukebox in The Bulldog lol
Can you recommend one thing for the Inno ravers to do while they are in Amsterdam?
Errrr, is this a family interview? Lol. There is so much to do in Dam. It depends on what you’re into, there is the culture, the red light, the coffee shops, really something for everyone and it’s one of the most chilled places in the world, you just have to go and what better time than when were all there playing DnB.
Finally anything else you want to tell us about?
We have a remix competition right now on D&BArena for our track refused, Macky & I have ‘Space Hopper‘ coming out at the start of 2017, and if you’ve seen the videos flying about from Westfest, you can see and hear the crowds reaction to that track… it’s MaaaaD!!! ‘Transition‘ is on the flip which has been getting loads of love as well from BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra which is great to see, underground Drum And Bass breaking new boundaries.
Next years diary is already full with some big shows, one I must tell you about is On March 24th in London, look out for more info coming real soon and SAVE THAT DATE.
A massive thank all the people out there supporting Drum and Bass, I believe 2017 will be a massive year for the underground DnB scene.
Follow Phantasy online:
Phantasy will be playing on the Saturday night of Innovation In The Dam 2016 with the SASASAS crew. Tickets are very limited, so go grab yours now if you want to join us in Amsterdam https://innovationevents.co.uk/in-the-dam/
Also watch out for SASASAS at our London show on New Years Eve!