Behind the Beats: SE1DavidE
First and foremost, how long have you been making beats?
I've been producing beats since the spring of 2007 where I was introduced to the software FL Studio by a friend of mine. When I first started to make beats they were pretty poor to be honest, I had no knowledge of EQ or mixing and my only real taste in music was mainstream chart music. I took up studying music at GCSE level and A Levels as well and that really helped me with my production techniques and improving my "ear" for music. At home I used to just basically research the hell out of various genres of music and spend countless hours downloading and listening to music. Since July of this year I've focused my productions on sampled hiphop as well as branching out towards ambient and downtempo.
Where do you reside?
I reside in the small borough of Bermondsey, based in South East London, hence the "SE1" in my production name. There is nothing fancy about Bermondsey, but, that's what I love about it. Decent pubs, decent open spaces such as Southwark Park, and home to the best football team in London (Millwall FC).
Describe the hip hop scene in London?
Here in Bermondsey I could count the amount of rappers and producers on one hand, there's not much of a scene and it's a shame really. I've been attending a studio in the borough of Camden which is on the "other side of the river" and it's a very different environment to the studio in Bermondsey due to the fact the "grime" genre is focused on more and also the rappers and producers are more established. For example, artists who frequently attend the studio include Dusty who recently appeared on Channel AKA here in the UK and also Awate who has recently supported Lowkey for the "Soundtrack to The Struggle" tour.
In November, you released Once Upon a Time in SE1. How has the feedback been for the project?
I don't want to toot my own so to speak, however, it has been all positive, enough to motivate me to produce the second EP a month later.
In December, you released the London Lights EP. What was the concept behind this EP?
I wanted to create a collection of compositions entirely focused on Jazz and Soul.
How does London Lights differ from Once Upon a Time in SE1?
London Lights heavily focuses on Jazz and Soul whereas Once Upon a Time explores Ambient, Chillout and Downtempo.
Who influenced you in regards to beat making?
I'm influenced by J Dilla, Flying Lotus, DJ Premier, Massive Attack, Portishead and Brian Eno. I try to fuse all of these influences together when I'm producing.
What are the benefits of releasing an instrumental based project?
I believe that instrumental based projects showcase my production skills and versatile music interests. Also, I think that these kind of projects are the best way of getting your sounds heard and your name "out there".
What are five things that you enjoy outside of beat making?
I love football, I frequently attend Millwall FC and Fisher FC matches on a Saturday afternoon. It's always a well earned break from a busy week of making music with a few pints of beer and football.
I'm a massive vinyl addict, you will always see me browsing through the second hand record shops here in London, especially on Berwick Street with places like Sister Ray which you can see on the album cover of Oasis 1995 album What's the Story Morning Glory". I first started listening to vinyls in January 2010, I think the audio quality of vinyls attracted me to develop a keen interest in them as I've become quite an audiophile. The first ever vinyl I purchased was at a now defunct record shop in Berwick Street called Vinyl Junkies and it was a Chicago House compilation featuring the classic "Your Love" by Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle. The most expensive vinyl I ever purchased was the Urban Hymns LP by The Verve which was forty English pounds.
Photography is a keen interest of mine, although I have to use the low quality itouch camera when I'm out and about in London. I'm so lucky to live near the river Thames as it's a real hot spot for fantastic shots of landmarks, especially at night or during the summer as the sun sets.
Of course I love listening to music as well, anything from bands such as The Jam and The Verve to singers such as Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole. I never listen to the mainstream pop you hear in the charts nowadays, it all sounds the bloody same! I only tend to follow the Shoegaze genre nowadays with bands such as Widowspeak and Big Troubles. I pretty much listen to anything and everything and I could spend days talking about music I enjoy!
Lastly, I love to cycle, it has been my only form of transport around London since the summer of 2010, it led me to lose 50lbs!
How many beats do you make a beat, a week, etc?
I tend to create three or four beats a week, it all depends if I'm in a creative state of mind because sometimes I have to tackle fatigue and personal issues such as depression. I remember back when I first started I made three to four beats a day!
How can the masses get in contact with you?
If you're a rapper wanting to collaborate please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to some of your previous work. If you're a fan please feel free to follow me on Soundcloud, Twitter or like my Facebook fan page with the latest updates on what's happening!.
Any final thoughts?
A massive thank you to everyone who has supported me and music, can't tell you how grateful I am.
Be sure to look out for my future projects, I'll be sampling anything and everything!
A word of advice to anyone inspiring to be the next Eminem or Dr Dre, just stay humble and just be yourself.