Route 94 is a gigantic name in house music. After the success of his track ‘My Love’ back in 2014, he has gone on to play sold out shows around the world, play alongside with artists like Second City and Skream, as well as starting his own label. Jonathan Kiely caught up with him about his roller-coaster ride to the top.
Q. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, how are things? How has 2016 been for you?
A. I’ve been in the
the studio a lot recently, finishing lots of new music so everything has been pretty busy at the moment, but it’s all good. The year as a whole has been really good. I have played quite a lot of shows, travelled a lot and been kept really busy.
Q. What was your stand out moment of 2016?
A. My standout moments of the year… I would say playing in Acapulco in Mexico for Corona for 10,000 people is one for sure. Also playing at DC-10 for Paradise, their parties are always a lot of fun.
Oh and also Strafwerk in Amsterdam.
Q. We’ve been following you from day one and it’s fair to say that your sound has evolved quite a bit as a DJ and as a producer over the past 2-3 years. Do you feel it’s been a natural transition to a more underground sound or has it been something you consciously have focused on?
A. I’m always finding and looking for new things that I like and that helps me progress and inspire me.
It has been natural in terms of my surroundings and environments are taken in a lot. From going out a lot and spending most of my time listening to new music, it has been a natural progression for me.
Q. You had massive success with some of your first productions, in particular ‘My Love’ which was a UK number 1. Did you ever think that track would become so successful when you first produced it?
A. I had no idea. The track was made in my boxers in my bedroom when I was around 18-years-old. It wasn’t until I got some vocals on it that it truly blew up. It was great that it happened and has got me to where I am now.
Q. When in the studio, can you talk us through your process for producing a track?
A. My process usually starts with the drums, get a good groove going and have a mess around with the basslines. I would then layer on chopped samples and vocals and some synthy stuff. Lately, I have been playing around with drum machines and recording that into Logic, and experimenting a bit.
Q. Do you ever go into the studio with an idea of what you are going to produce or is it improvised?
A. Quite a lot of the time I will have an idea in my head of a track and it’s always at the most inappropriate times so I would get my phone out and record myself humming. When I listen to that back, I would get a bassline or a top-line out of it. It all really depends on how I am feeling that day, sometimes I go into the studio with no idea in my head of what I want to produce and come up with something wild.
Q. You’ve had a crazy few years of touring, do you find it hard to balance a hectic touring schedule, with finding time for the studio?
A. Absolutely! The last two years have absolutely thrown me off. The reason why I got into the music industry is because I like making music and then discovered DJ which turned my world upside down. It has left me with no time to make music and got out of touch with producing. But I am getting back into it now. I’m not playing shows for money now, I’m not here to make loads of money so now I have the freedom to immerse myself in production again and have less focus on touring. It was just the sudden change of my life with shows every weekend and knackering myself out so I lost track of everything.
Q. You have a huge following over here in Ireland and you’re quite frequent visitor to these shores. Is there anything in particular that stands out for you about an Irish crowd above other crowds around the world?
A. Yeah they are absolute nutters. They are very shouty and love to get into the ‘WOOOP THERE IT IS’. Literally like TAPPPSS OFFF. But I absolutely love it out there, it’s always a lot of fun and everyone seems to be really into it.
Q. Its been a while since we’ve seen a release from yourself. Are you planning on releasing new music in the near future?
A. I have lots of music coming out. There is a release on Crosstown Rebels in March. Also, I’m working on a new label that I’m not really going to say much about for now but it’s pretty exciting. I’m not putting my name to it, it’s something I’m doing as a separate entity.