Alexis Raphael is quickly becoming, if not already, part of the new-breed of UK house music artists transforming the musical landscape and bringing a breath of fresh air to dance floors across the globe. The Underground caught up with him…
How did you get into music?
It’s not something I could pinpoint to any one moment in time. It’s just something I’ve always loved since I can remember as a child.
You used to DJ on a pirate radio station, can you tell us more about that? How did it come about? What was good? What was bad? Etc?
I’ve DJ’d on a few pirate radio stations over the years. Well where I grew up in central London, back when I was in my teens, that was kind of what you aspired to do really as a DJ and as a first step. London’s scene back then was driven a lot by what was being played on those stations so to be a part of them was a really important first step. My first slot was in Harlsden and it was just through a contact I knew, I was 16 I think. In fact I found a tape recording of my first show recently, its hiliarous.
Who or what inspires you?
Wow, everything from my parents to my friends and all the great music out there.
Who’s throwing the best parties at the moment?
That’s a really difficult question. Obviously I promote Creche so I’m biased! Ha. No but the Krankbrothers are currently throwing some of the most exciting parties in London in my opinion. Obviously the Hot Natured parties are really cool with some amazing music. I really dig the Visionquest nights too, I went to DC10 for their Wednesday night back in July, some amazing music being pulled out of the bag.
What was the first event you played at?
A club in Finsbury Park when I was about 17 called the Powerhouse. I didn’t realise I had to bring my own headphones. A girl I went with found some for me somewhere. I still don’t know where she got them from to this day.
Out of all the tunes you have, which one ‘never fails?’
There are a few. One is Let’s Get Busy (Pump It Up) by Club Land . It’s a classic house track from 1990 that always gets people smiling and dancing around.
What’s your current music production set-up like?
I work with Logic and use as much hardware as possible. The studio where I go has things like the Juno 106, Native Instrument’s Machine and loads more.
Your productions have done really well and especially so for a new artist, what’s your secret?
I don’t have one and if I did I probably wouldn’t tell you. Ha! Im just lucky I guess that the right labels have picked up on my tracks. It’s helpful already being involved in the scene through promoting and DJing in London. It means some contacts are already in place.
Where were you the first time you heard someone playing your tune out and who was it?
God I’m not too sure to be honest. One memory though is Jamie Jones playing Into The Light in DC10, which is coming out on Hot Creations soon. That’s the first time I’d heard a track of mine on such a large system!
Are there any other producers out there that you would really like to work with?
There are loads. Most importantly it would be people I know on a personal level so we could have fun in the Studio, people like Cozzy D, Richy Ahmed, Wildkats, Lee Brinx, Robert James etc etc.
What has been your favourite gig and why?
I really enjoyed playing the main room at fabric for WYS! That sound system is something else. It was packed and the set went really well. It’s a whole different experience playing on such amazing set ups.
Do you get to go out clubbing still or are you too busy DJing now?
I’m out partying, sure. I don’t think anyone should just be a DJ and not go out and live it. How can you play the music or produce it if you aren’t feeling the vibes yourself? In Ibiza last month I was out for about 3 nights no sleep. Got up to all sorts of madness.
If you could meet any DJ past and present who would it be?
I’d like to meet Jimmy Saville and ask him to fix it for me to headline Circo Loco…lol!
With so many producers moving to London right now, how influential has the city been on your success?
Well London has inspired me massively. It’s my favourite place in the world, even though you definitely need breaks from it every few months as it can wear you down. Growing up here meant that I’ve been surrounded by music culture throughout my life. You can hear that influence in the music I make and the music I play. If I had grown up somewhere else my sound and style would be totally different.
What else can we look forward to from you later this year?
I’ve got a remix coming out of a track from a band called The Starlings. My Hot Creations EP should be out this Autumn and I’m currently working on a fresh EP for Lower East which is planned for December/January time. On The DJing side ill be playing around the UK and abroad a bit. Creche continues in London, we’ve got some amazing parties lined up including one at the Brick Lane festival on the 18th of Spetember with Miguel Campbell. We’ve become good friends since playing together in Ibiza a few times and I invited him down to play. His Hot Creations EP drops just in time for the Creche and we’ve got extra outdoor sound, I cant wait its going to be something really special sexy wonderful…..!