Billy Turner has been on our radar for a couple of years now. With charted releases on the likes of Skream’s Ofunsoundmind, as well as Jonny Wite’s Social Experiment Records, it was back in December that Art Department mentioned Billy as one to watch next year, in our Annual 2017.
Fast forward some months, and it’s all systems go for the UK native. With Eastern Electrics festival just ticked off, what’s next for Billy Turner? We caught up with him straight after his set, find out what went down below!
“Now it’s come to the point where I can take all the influences I’ve listened to over the years, and form my own sound. It’s a good thing.“
WWD: Hi everyone it’s Olly here from When We Dip, we’re sat down with Billy Turner, here at Eastern Electrics. Billy say hello!
WWD: So to kick things off, you and Skream, I know you’ve released quite a bit on OfUnsoundMind, how did that come about?
BT: I first met him in Ibiza, when I went out there for one night with my brother Harry. We were literally just flying out there for one night, then coming back the next day. And, on the flight, I met Alex from Dense and Pika. And when we were on the flight, Harry asked him, “Can we jump in the car with you, because we’re on the way to DC-10?” He was late for his set.
WWD: Yeah I have heard this story!
BT: Yeah so he said “But we’ve got to run”. So we ran through Ibiza airport, got to the front. Then we got in a private car with Alex, and I mean none of this was expected! We were just two guys, no one knows us or anything. So we get to the back of the entrance, and he lets us through with him. Then Alex left because he had to go to his set, and it was later that night that Skream was playing in the terrace. I basically blagged my way in and said, “I’m mates with Skream”, I didn’t actually know him at the time. Then when we got in there I just asked for his email really! I waited till February 2016, because this must have been August 2015.
WWD: So a good few years ago now then!
BT: Yeah it was three years ago! So yeah, I waited till February to send him a track, which was called ‘Midnight‘, which was on my first EP. And he loved it, and he played it that same night in Brighton at Patterns. We just built a relationship from there really. I sent him about forty tracks over the next few months, and yeah that was that!
WWD: Well I can remember Monki’s Radio 1 show, when she had Skream as a guest, and I can remember him saying something about how you can make wicked tracks at a rate that’s hard to keep up with…
BT: Yeah I make tracks quite quickly. Usually I’ll make a track in a day, sometimes it’ll be two in a day. Its crazy, but obviously sometimes I won’t make a track for a few weeks. It can just go like that.
WWD: Do you use hardware for producing?
BT: The only hardware I use is Machine Studio by Native Instruments, and, for me, that’s the best bit of gear I’ve ever had. It’s changed my game completely. I was using Logic before, sitting in front of a computer and clicking a mouse on a keyboard. Now, I can turn my screens off and make a whole track on my machine if you know what I mean? So yeah, that’s my way and it’s great.
WWD: Bang on mate! And in terms of your productions, you’ve got quite an industrial, stripped back feel to them. At what point did you realise that this was your sound, and that this was what you liked?
BT: It’s a natural progression. Because, when I started getting into music, I was listening to a large variety of dance genres, as we all do when we are much younger! And then it just slowly went down the avenue that lead me to discover Marcel Dettmann, all those guys from Berghain, and I loved it.
WWD: That’s it mate once you catch the bug, there’s no looking back is there!
BT: Exactly and that was it! All those artists beforehand were a gateway, and now it’s come to the point where I can take all the influences I’ve listened to over the years and form my own sound. I love it! It’s a good thing.
WWD: Definitely mate. Now obviously, you’ve released some bits on Drumcode Limited very recently. How did that come about?
BT: Basically I sent four tracks to my manager, to send over to Adam Beyer, because he’s quite a hard guy to get hold of. I didn’t have a direct email or anything like that, so I sent him the tracks. I didn’t hear anything back for a while, and I wasn’t actually expecting him to go for it. The tracks I’d picked I felt really fit Drumcode Limited, which is obviously their vinyl only offshoot, with a bit more of an underground sound. Then a few months later my manager text me in the morning saying “Congratulations Adam Beyer wants to sign the four tracks you sent to Drumcode Limited”…
WWD: And then boom!
BT: Yeah man I woke up to that as well! It was such a good feeling. And then that’s just how it came about.
WWD: Love that mate. And in terms of plans for the future, is running your own label something that you’ve given much thought?
BT: I’m actually launching my own imprint near the end of August, it’s called ‘Nocturnal Subconscious’. At the moment it is exclusive to Bandcamp, and I’ll be doing a free giveaway of a track called ‘Razorblades’, which has been working very well in some of my sets. The first EP is called ‘Orbit’, and that will be out in September. It’s nice to have another outlet for putting some of my own tracks out!
WWD: Lovely Billy we’re looking forward to it! Anyway it’s been a pleasure!
BT: Take care!
Eastern Electrics will be returning for its 2019 edition. For all info and tickets, click here.