Exclusive Interview with Sam Binga
Sam Binga (UK) has played clubs and festivals across the world, including world-famous Fabric in London and Outlook in Croatia. He visits Asia on the occasion of the forthcoming launch of his album ‘Wasted Days’ (to be released on 11th September). As a DJ, he has become known for his fresh & fearless style, blending juke and jungle with classic crunk and dancehall. He has released tracks on prestigious record labels such as Critical Music & Exit Records and is best known for his tracks "Lef Dem" & "AYO".
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Sam Binga, shortly before his performance at Glow Nightclub on 11th September.
Where are you answering these questions?
Hey, I'm just round at my friend's house, drinking tea and listening to music. It's raining outside so this is just about perfect :)
You are a Bass Music DJ & Producer from the UK, based in Bristol and signed to Kasra’s Critical Music. How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place and how did you get into DJing & music production?
I think growing up in the UK in the 90s, it was hard not be aware of dance music - there was such an explosion of sounds, from hardcore, to jungle, to techno, to garage and so on. Plus we're lucky here in that the BBC is really supportive of these kinds of sounds on Radio 1, which is broadcast nationally. So even though I grew up in a small village in Yorkshire, with some careful use of a tape recorder and the radio, I could listen to a lot of amazing underground dance music - and I fell in love with it.
At the same time, from a young age I was obsessed with synthesizers and the idea of making my own music from electronic sources, so as I got older I was able to gradually get hold of a few bits of kit and start doing my own thing. I ended up going to University and studying music, acoustics and recording, and then from there I started releasing music and DJing… Which I'm still doing today!
Your music is a fierce mix of Jungle, Grime, Footwork, Juke and Drum & Bass. You are best known for your “No Messin”, “AYO” and “Lef Dem”. What other tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
Well, I'd say those are a pretty good starting point, plus I'd say check out the tunes I've done on Exit with Om Unit, and the tunes me and Fracture did with Rider Shafique - they've got a real dancehall / ragga kind of feel. And the bits with Addison Groove might be worth a listen too - they sound fairly different from a lot of things out there, I think.
In terms of mixes, I'd say have a listen to the bits on mixcloud.com/sam_binga - there's quite a good spread on there, from straight-up dancefloor fire, to sets where I've been exploring my influences. I love MixCloud - it's a great way to check out different DJs and sounds.
What’s on your agenda for the near future and what are you currently working and focusing working on?
Well, the day I arrive in Thailand is the day my debut album, 'Wasted Days', drops on Critical - so I've been doing a lot of preparation and promotion for that. I've also been doing some really early work on the second instalment in the BUNIT series of records that I do with Om Unit. I'm also working on building an EP for Redders, which is taking shape nicely… And I've just picked up a bunch of new kit for the studio, so getting that all working right and sounding good is a something I'm looking forward to!
What was the best and the worst gigs you ever played and what were the funniest things that occurred during any of your performances?
There's been lots of good gigs over the past few years - but generally any situation where I'm in a small dark room with a crowd who are ready to catch the vibe is really good fun. The bad ones I try to blot out - although I'll never forget performing with Redders in a freezing cold, empty room in a grey town in the midlands… It was grim enough - and then one of the speakers fell on Redders' foot, at which point we could only laugh at the absurdity of it all! There's also a crazy venue in an old factory in Milan, which I love, and because it's run by anarchists, you often have dogs wandering around the dancefloor - that always makes me smile.
On 11th September you will perform live here in Bangkok at Glow Nightclub, alongside the PHATFUNK crew. Have you visited Thailand before? What can Bangkok expect of your upcoming performance?
Well, I try to keep things kinda spontaneous when I play, but in general, I like to bring a good mix of energy, excitement and groove - and I'll do this through playing a mix of new tunes that no-one's heard before, classics that you haven't heard for years, different genres, and a few curveballs to keep things interesting. I've never been to Thailand before, so I'm looking forward to it - see you soon!