It’s been a busy few months for Archie Hamilton. From touring to deejaying, and right the way through to producing, the Welsh-born artist has an innate ability to take everything in his stride. On appearance, and through his outstandingly friendly demeanour, you’d never be able to tell he’d just got back from gigging in the states. Nor would you be able to tell that, later in the day, he’d be off to Tel Aviv, to bring his crisp, dubby selections to a suitably excited audience.
And, on reflection, that isn’t surprising. A true professional, the Fuse resident exudes positivity as we sit and chat in a bakery in London Fields. There’s mention of the party’s eagerly anticipated ten year anniversary, along with talk of what’s coming up for his own Moscow Records, but, perhaps most strikingly, is his candid openness surrounding the family feel at Fuse’s events. It’s certainly something special, and something that we hope stays for a long time to come.
“The loyalty of our following… is something that, I think, is really special to Fuse. We’ve got such incredible fans”
WWD: Right here we are, sat down with Archie Hamilton! Archie, feel free to say hello!
AH: Hello, how are you doing?
WWD: Yeah excellent mate. To kick things off we know you’ve been in the states recently. So what has been occurring in the world of Archie Hamilton?
AH: Just mad touring at the minute. Last weekend just went I was in America. In fact, I’ll start with the week before that. I flew out to Australia and did shows in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. And then I flew from there to Ibiza to the DJ Awards. And was lucky enough to pick up an award. And then from there, I flew to Seattle and then onto Denver.
WWD: Wow all over the shop then!
AH: Yeah. Then from Denver to San Francisco, and then I’ve just got back from there.
WWD: So it’s been a busy bit of touring then.
AH: Yeah somehow I’m still managing to find time to make music. I’ve been really productive at the minute and I’m not sure how that’s happened. I think I work better with pressure because, if I’m not busy, the music doesn’t really seem to flow.
WWD: Absolutely I can understand that. And I mean you briefly mentioned the DJ Awards. You won the best producer award, how does that make you feel? Were you glad you got it? Were you fussed about it really?
AH: I mean it’s always nice to be recognised for the work that you do. I wasn’t expecting anything I have to say. But the thing with the DJ Awards is that half of it is voted for by the public and then there are some special awards, of which one is the best producer, which is what I won. That one is voted for by the previous winners and the organisers of the whole awards system, so to have that kind of recognition from your peers is quite amazing because it makes it all worthwhile. The previous winners are so esteemed in my eyes, so to have that is really great.
WWD: Absolutely. And speaking of the award, in terms of producing tracks would you mind just talking us through your production process. Do you use software or hardware? And how do you go about building a record?
AH: Yeah sure it’s a mixture both of really. The more I travel I’m having to be a lot more on my laptop but I do love to use hardware. I share a studio with Enzo and Seb from Fuse down in Shoreditch and we’ve got some nice kit there. I came home yesterday and my room was full of boxes because I got given a pair of Shape 65 speakers from Focal who were sponsoring me at the DJ awards, and they are unreal. I just set them up last night, they sound amazing. So I’ve got a little set up at home which is where I make most of my ideas and then I’ll take that down to the studio in Shoreditch. It’s just a much bigger room with a Studer mixing desk which I run a lot of the stuff through. And then if there are parts which I think sound cool, but would sound better if they were done on hardware, then I’ll rerecord them. So yeah there’s no fixed rule really, it just depends where I start everything and it depends on my schedule as well. I’ll probably try and jam some stuff today but I’ll just do that from home. I need to catch up with family because I’m only home for a day or two before I go off again, so I want to try and do that rather than disappear off to the studio for two days.
WWD: Yeah I can imagine it’s important to prioritise.
AH: Yeah of course.
WWD: Okay so still in line with the production talk, obviously your recent Swerve EP with Benson went down an absolute treat.
AH: Good I’m glad.
WWD: We wrote a little review of it.
AH: Yeah I really appreciate that.
WWD: It was a pleasure! So Benson’s your cousin isn’t he?
AH: Yeah he’s my mum’s sister’s son.
WWD: Nice so how did that partnership come about in terms of making tracks with each other?
AH: Basically my mum and her sister were ravers when Benson and I were growing up, and they were going to loads of free parties and they used to take us with them sometimes. And I remember me and Benson were just kids running around these raves. And then as time went on, we both went to different schools and Benson got into bands. So he’s actually very musical in terms of playing instruments and he’s got a real ear for melody. I actually went and played the drums so my kind of background is more based around rhythm and groove. Then we went on a family holiday to Majorca and I’d just started deejaying in my bedroom and I was playing a couple of clubs, we must have been nineteen and sixteen respectively. I brought my CD wallet and headphones just in case an opportunity arose. We walked into this bar and I could see they had decks and I thought right let’s give this a go. I went up to the bar and slapped my CD wallet on the table and said: “We’re DJs from London, can we play?”
WWD: Hustling from an early age.
AH: Yeah man and the guy said: “Yeah alright.” Bearing in Benson had never deejayed in his life and I said: “This is how you do it, you press play and this is how it works.” And we then played every night for the rest of that week back to back. Then we came back to London and Benson was already making music on Cubase, but I hadn’t really started producing at this point. We used to live quite close by to each other at that time, so I was going round to his and he was teaching me how to make music on Cubase. I couldn’t afford Cubase at that point, so I had a really early version of Steinberg and I’d make stuff at home. Then I graduated and went to Point Blank music school, Benson went to Leeds, and actually studied music production there and then we came back to London. He had another music project with a friend going on, and I’d started my labels, but for some reason it’s taken us all this time, nearly ten years, to actually join the dots and make music together, which is really nice. Just purely because we’d been busy doing our own things. It’s mad because we’ve got so many of the same friends and our friendship groups in the partying scene overlap, but for some reason, I’ve always had my head buried in my work and my labels and likewise with him. And at one point we both said what are we doing we’ve got to make some music together.
WWD: And then boom.
AH: Exactly and there it was.
WWD: Wicked story. Okay, and in terms of Fuse, I’m sure everyone has seen that the ten year anniversary is coming up. A 24-hour celebration in London on the 24th of November, then Mint Club on the 1st of December and finally Motion on the 7th of December! Can you give us anything, any little pointers as to what the team has planned for such an occasion?
AH: All I can tell you is that it will span the year and it will span the globe. That’s all I can say. There will be parties everywhere, all year.
WWD: Perfect, and that’s that. Another question on the Fuse front, of course, it started as a Sunday afterparty, and now it’s grown into an internationally acclaimed party. What is it like seeing Fuse grow from such a small afterparty into a now globally recognisable imprint?
AH: Yeah man it can only be a good thing. So long as we can spread our message and our sound as far and wide as possible that’s great for us. I came much later, I joined the party about halfway through. Enzo is an ambitious guy and he’s always wanted great things for the party but I don’t think anyone quite knew the extent to which it would become critically acclaimed and how it would be critically received worldwide. And also the loyalty of our following, which is something that I think is really special to Fuse. We’ve got such incredible fans. I’ve never seen such a thing as this before where I walked through a party at Sonar and two separate people stopped me both with Fuse tattoos. It’s so nice to have that from people.
WWD: It’s quite unique as well.
AH: It is unique yeah.
WWD: I haven’t really experienced that at other events, where you can go to the same parties and see the same faces, and everyone in the crowd feels like your brother and sister.
AH: Exactly mate! And there are so many people that have said that to me. I remember I started playing for Fuse after quite a serious breakup, and I remember thinking to myself that there were friends that I’d made at that point in my career who felt like my other family. They felt like another support group.
WWD: Couldn’t agree more. I’ve mentioned that similar feeling to my mates as well, it’s such a positive thing.
AH: Exactly. And for that to grow far and wide it can only be a good thing, and I hope it continues.
WWD: Absolutely. Right so final question: are there any festivals or clubs that you’re keen to tick off?
WWD: I know Waha festival looks pretty mental.
AH: Yeah I mean if you’d have asked me this two months ago I would’ve said Sunwaves but we did that in August which was amazing. What else? Actually, do you know what I would have loved to have seen? That one in Ukraine where they set up their own city.
WWD: I know the one. I can’t remember the name either now.
AH: Kazantip, that’s it. I would have loved to have seen Kazantip. I see that a lot of the guys involved in Kazantip are also involved in this Epizode festival in Vietnam. So you know, perhaps that could be something similar. I’d love to see Burning Man, and I’m definitely going next year.
WWD: As a raver or DJ?
AH: Well let’s see. Simply because I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the US recently and I’m really enjoying it over there. It just sounds amazing, the whole visual and sonic spectacle sounds incredible. Club-wise I’m not too sure, I don’t think there are many more to tick off! Although, I can’t wait to play Kater Blau in Berlin for the first time.
WWD: Wicked! Well, Archie, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for talking to us today!
AH: Nice one mate take care.
Archie plays B2B with Enzo Siragusa for the FUSE takeover at LWE Presents Cuttin’ Headz, taking place at Tobacco Dock on Saturday 6th October. The Martinez Brothers, Loco Dice, Nastia, Tiga and more will also play. For more information and tickets click here.
Fuse’s ten-year anniversary celebrations have now been announced, with various parties taking place across the country. For all information and tickets, click here.
Archie’s latest EP, Swerve, is available to purchase here.