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DJ interview: Jakwob

By River Reporter Apr 2, 2012

By Lucy Sambrook

Jakwob, real name James Jacob, was catapulted to fame on the dubstep scene in 2009 after turning heads in the blogosphere with his bootleg of Ellie Goulding’s song ‘starry eyed’.

The remix, which combines the singers haunting vocals with bone shaking bass lines, went viral, and has now notched up over 17 million hits on YouTube.

The 22-year-old dubstep producer was given his first airplay on Radio 1 in 2009 whilst still at University, when Zane Lowe played his remix of Ellie Goulding’s ‘Under The Sheets’ as his ‘hottest record of the world.’

Since then Jakwob has earned himself a reputation as the King of remixes, working with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Lana Del Ray, MIA, and Lilly Allen.

His collaborations with mainstream pop artists and eclectic musical style have earned the DJ a reputation for producing more ‘accessible dubstep’.

Jakwob talks to The River’s Lucy Sambrook about juggling DJing with lectures, and what to expect from his forthcoming debut album.

Can you describe your sound for someone who has never heard your music?
Ambient, energetic and cinematic.

Most people will recognize you from your remix of Ellie Goulding’s song starry eyed. How did it feel to have your song picked as Zane Lows ‘hottest record in the world’?
It was overwhelming. Zane is a great guy, a huge influence and I’m so grateful to have his support.

Was it hard juggling your music career and university?
Yes and no. The university’s resources helped me greatly in progressing my production techniques. But I did miss a few lectures to make a few remixes.

Some people have called your sound ‘accessible dubstep’ do you take that as a compliment?
Yes, it’s great to know that more than just ‘the [dubstep] scene’appreciate my music.

How did you get into DJing and producing?
My dad and my uncle’s combined history of music-related antics and paraphernalia were a big influence on me in my early teens.

What can we expect from your new album, strictly dubstep?
Not at all. It’s a very varied record with everything from dancefloor bangers to headphone chill-out records. Something for everybody.

Do you have any advice for other budding student DJs?
Keep as up to date on your music knowledge as possible. Research all the time.

How do you feel about the dubstep scene at the moment, who inspires you?
Electronic music in general is moving really, really quickly. There have been some brilliant collaborations in the past year or two and I’m sure things are just going to keep on getting more interesting. Bass music in general has taken a bit of a crazy turn though.

Is there any kind of dubstep you don’t like?
I’m not a massive fan of face-melting/twenty-basslines-in-one-bar dubstep.

Who would your dream collaboration be with?
J-Dilla on drums, Chilly Gonzales on piano, and me producing.

What are your plans for the summer?
UK live tour (including festivals), American DJ tour, and an album!

Jakwob’s new single ‘Electrify’ is out now.



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