Exclusive Interview: DJ LoKo
Coming from the city of Glastonbury, United Kingdom, LoKo is one of a kind. From Djing his first gig at only 14 years old to starting his own label Screwloose Records. He has earned the support of Matrix & Futurebound and Crissy many more artists. He is a phenomenal producer and we have him here today in an exclusive online interview!
When you were producing “What You Do To Me”, did you get chills hearing the final mix? I know I did a few times, I have it on repeat as we speak!
Ahhh glad you’re feeling it! Thats exactly what I want to be hearing from people, makes the hard work all worth it but unfortunately its one of those things as a producer where I’ve heard the tune so much I’ve kinda had to detach myself from it for a bit and not listen to it at all. I’m sure in a week or so I’ll be able to listen to it with fresh ears and appreciate the tune as a whole. When I started the tune though I remember I did get those chills, thats one of the reasons I persisted with it and made sure it got finished and released!
Being 14 entering the scene, who was your main motivation to put yourself out there?
It was never really about putting yourself out there at that time, we actually figured out a way to get around being too young to go to clubs and that was putting on nights ourselves and Djing at them. It’s crazy looking back on it now but we were filling nightclubs and booking artists like Mampi Swift when we were still all at school, I think the main inspirations of trying to actually achieve something and get good came from two or three factors, firstly being the younger one of the crew and always being in the shadows of everyone else and having to prove myself all the time drove me to want to be better than everyone but equally a couple of producers locally that were doing pretty well at the time (Interface & Eveson) also gave me and the others something to look up to but I think the main person one of my best mates Dan, who pretty much taught me how to make music, we used to make music in his mums spare room which had some huge P.A speakers in, and I mean like floor to ceiling, and we used to mess about making tunes together for hours, I’m sure his mum hated us both at the time but I definitely think I had the bug for it at that age, I knew it was something I really wanted to do and I used to go home from Dans and sit awake all night making music on my mums desktop computer on some absolutely shocking headphones, not sleeping, going to school in the morning and passing out on the desk in my first lesson hahaha, but at that time it was just about friends hanging about together, making music and having fun but also competing against each other with who had the best mixes and who snagged that white label on Chemical Records and who didn’t hahaha. I always dreamed I’d be able to fly places and DJ and have other producers support my music but I never thought it would become a reality one day, none of us did and unfortunately most of the guys who used to DJ and make music from back in the day have stopped for life reasons, It’s nice to see Sam (Interface/Jus Now) still really well and Alex (Eveson) also doing really well.
What do you do when you find yourself stuck creating?
Cry??? hahahah, no seriously, I’m the worlds longest person when it comes to getting my music over the line, I suffer from really bad confidence issues when it comes to my music, I struggle to send it out to people when I have releases forthcoming and I’m even worse when its stuff not finished. I get writers block a lot, still not figured out a way to overcome it yet. I’ll probably spend 2 weeks firing out ideas and smashing tunes then 6 weeks hating everything I’ve made and not wanting to ever open Logic again. It’s a real odd one, I’ve started working again and luckily its sporadic work so I get a few days off here and there and I find I’m a lot more on it when I don’t have much time as I treat that time as valuable but my job is kinda a summer job so the winter will be a struggle again no doubt unless I find something similar to do.
“Time Flies,” has a little bit of a different sound emphasizing different sounds and high hats, what inspired the feel of this track?
This was just a proper throwback tune for me, I wanted to make something that was of that old BC, Ed Rush & Optical, Ram Trilogy era, just a big roller but with hopefully a modern production standard. People forget when tracks like Roll On, Sick Note etc were made, these guys were limited to such a small amount of sampler memory/computer memory and variations within the tune had to be made by adding or taking away elements pretty much one at a time throughout the tune and I kinda wanted to go for that, its like simple/complex. It’s also the time in Drum and Bass when I started hearing tunes and those kinda vibes were what got me into the music so it was an homage to those days I guess.
Have you ever encountered interesting conversations with your fans?
Not really, I’ve been lucky with fan interaction to be honest, I’ve genuinely never been in a situation where I’ve been like “oh god, here we go”… I did accidentally smash a fan in the head with a door though and cut his head open, that wasn’t great. I did apologies a fair amount and it definitely sparked an interesting conversation backstage.
Talk a little bit about the collaboration album with Viper Recordings and Bassrush that you were a part of.
I’ve done a couple of mega mixes for Viper in the past and they asked me to get on board with this one which I was really happy to do and be a part of, a lot of people get a bit shitty about mega mixes but if they had any idea how much actual work goes into doing one maybe they wouldn’t get so funny about it, I mean I can hit record and mix two tunes together all day, recording an hour set would literally take an hour but doing a mega mix can take weeks, my Viper 100k mix took me about 10 days working on it every day for a good 4 or 5 hours a day.
What was something you got out of the collaboration album that you weren’t expecting?
Just to be asked to be a part of it really, I always try to stay grateful for being included in projects like that. I do genuinely love what I do even though it is stressful sometimes.
LoKo, what is that short for?
Nothing really I wish there was some deep a meaningful reason for it all, it means crazy in Portuguese and that was a pretty reflective of me in younger years I think, a lot more laid back these days though!
Do you play any instruments?
Not really anymore, was a keen drummer when I was a lot younger, I still like to have a bash every now and again, I prefer to play percussion now though if I am going to play. I’ve semi taught myself how to play piano, I think that will be reflected a lot more in my releases in the future.
If you can describe your life in five words, what would they be and why?
Obstacles overcome by sheer determination, don’t really think that needs much explaining to be honest hahaha.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I don’t really get much free time at the moment to be honest, my down time is prominently spent making music. I’m a keen film watcher though, I really do enjoy watching a film after a long session making tunes. I’ve become a bit of a dab hand in the garden this year, I’d consider that a good way to take my mind of things but the problem I have is I want to do a lot more to my garden but time and weather are really not helping at the moment hahah.
What was it like, performing your first gig at 14?
Super f**king scary, there is no other way to put it. I still get super nervous before I go on stage now, doesn’t matter if its 10 people or 1000 people the I get the same nerves. That feeling though you get when you come of stage and you’ve smashed it is like no other though.
Where is your favorite place to eat?
Totally depends on the situation really, I’m a bit of a romantic at heart so if it’s with a lady friend, I’m all about water, by the sea, a river anywhere out in nature with a beautiful view with mates, the garden, you just cant beat a BBQ and beers in the sun with good company and some tunes playing!
Do you have anyone you’d like to thank, someone you couldn’t do this without?
Ahhhh here we go hahaha, genuinely couldn’t live without my mum and dad, bailed me out situations more than enough times and have put up with me telling them “one day, it will all be ok” for the last 15 years, Joe Nebula for giving me my very first break in the scene, Ross for putting up with me at college and while running Screwloose together, Andy C for giving me the platform he did to further my career and obviously Brenden and everyone at Viper for sticking with me this last few years and constantly pushing me for new music and releases. I’d genuinely be f**ked without these people, also to anyone thats bought or listened to my music and finally people like you at 247 EDM for taking your time out to interview me and help me on my journey.
Where can we follow your musical journey?
All the standard socials really, I post a lot of other stuff as well so be prepared hahah, I’m not one of those people who only posts when I have a release or gig. However, snapchat followers normally get clips of stuff I’m working on that I don’t post anywhere else so thats probably the best place to follow me if you’re interested in what I am working on, I also post pictures of my cats a lot. Win lose situation really if you follow me on socials hahah
Facebook – lokouk
Instagram – lokouk
Soundcloud – dj-loko
Snapchat – lokouk
Think they’re all right? Might wanna check them first haha
What made you decide that this was the career path you wanted to pursue? Was there an epiphany?
I’ve always know it’s what I wanted to do, even before I started Djing Drum and Bass or making music I knew I wanted to be involved with electronic music. I actually remember being about 10 or 11 and being sat in the bath listening to Daft Punks – Discovery album and just knowing I wanted to do something like them, I think that was probably the moment I realised a career in music was going to be something I aimed to do. I still don’t believe its a reality hahah
Close your eyes, what colors do you see for Time Flies and What You Do To Me?
It’s funny because I always see purples, blues, greys, white and black in my music. I think thats about the only defining point of my production to me, the colours have to match. I’d love to have chromesthesia for a day just to see what it was like but the colours of these two tunes definitely reflect the colours in the artwork and thats the only brief I put forward to the design when the artwork was being made.
Where is your favorite place to go to create music and find inspiration?
I don’t really have one to be honest, I like to be in a dark room and on my own, I find that between about 12 and 5/6am are when I am most creative and I think it’s because I know there is very little chance of a distraction between those hours, I can just get my head in the zone and go. I’d like to be able to have access to a fully treated, soundproof room though. I think being able to absolutely smash your monitors is good sometimes, its hard to really get that vibe going when you can hear the music at a very loud volume sometimes.
What was growing up in Glastonbury like?
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