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An Interview With DJ Phantasy: New Album, Rave Scene, and more.

DJ Phantasy is Three Generations Deep in the music industry and is a key member of the extremely successful Drum and Bass Supergroup, SaSaSaS. Being heavily involved in dance music since its inception, Phantasy is still at the top of his game and at the top of the scene he has helped shape over the years. Gaining support for his music worldwide, he has produced some of the biggest underground Drum & Bass singles in the scene’s history and was one of the first DJ’s to release his own music at a time when it wasn’t the norm for DJ’s to release music.

In the spur of it all, the legend himself has just released his book “Three Generations Deep” alongside his highly anticipated studio-album “Generations.” The 10-track project is an homage to all he’s laid down for himself along with a frenzy of eclectic collaborations that simply stands out atop the drum and bass scene. To collect his thoughts, we’ve had the chance to chat with Phantasy about all things music.

How have you been spending your time in Quarantine?

As I’ve not been touring, I’ve tried to make the best use of this time by working on new music and I have been mastering all the tracks on my old DAT tapes ready for release later this year. I’ve also learnt to cook healthier meals, done more exercise and have taken some time to learn ‘After Effects’. You have to come out of this unprecedented time with more knowledge on at least one or two things, I think. Something like this has been a great focuser on what you want to do with your life and career. 

After many years in the industry, what reasons push you to continue elevating your legacy in dance music space? 

It’s all about that connection with your audience, the people who live for and love our music. When you enjoy something so much, it doesn’t feel like work. I always like to find new things, whether it’s new exciting artists with potential or new music, I want to do my bit to keep our scene to keep our genre exciting and healthy.  

Growing up, what influenced you the most to begin producing, and what was the rave scene like coming up in your teenage years?

When I found this music, it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. The different people from all backgrounds, all united as one by this beautiful genre. I said to my cousin Eamonn, “I want to become a DJ”, then when I started DJing, I  wanted to try to make amazing music like I played in my sets. So, I got into the studio I learnt, watched those around me and soaked everything up like a sponge. I never had a musical background, it was all done through passion and determination. The craziest thing is, I am still learning today, 30 years on and that is one of the most rewarding things, the way you just keep learning. 

How do you think drum and bass has progressed over the years from your perspective?

There are so many different styles of Drum and Bass and I love them all. I obviously have a sound that I play when I perform, but I try to combine a bit of everything in the set. When you think of how many producers there are across the World making this music, it’s crazy. All of them bring their unique flavours drawing inspiration from the music that has influenced them growing up. One of the main ways it has progressed is the quality of the music. People outside of our scene think DnB is easy to make but it really isn’t. As I said previously, I’m still learning and I’ve been doing it for years. You really need to be dedicated to the art. 

What about this album really stood out to you the most as you were putting it together?

I loved making this album. The link ups in the studio with my co writers, the laughs we had and the stuff I learnt along the way. It was so refreshing to be able to learn new tricks in the studio to add to my armoury. I am so happy with the overall product as there is a little bit of something for everyone. I also have seven tracks on my hard drive that I had made for the project that didn’t make the final ten tracks. 

Was there a statement you wanted to push forward with the release? 

I wanted to produce this album to celebrate a milestone in my career, 30 years in the business. I had an idea a few years ago that I wanted to celebrate this time by writing a book and creating an album. Both were meant to come out on 30th September 2019 but with music, it’s a lot harder to get all the ducks in a line and make sure that everything is on point. My music is like my business card, so I need to make sure when people pick up my business card, they remember it. I want people to come back to hear what else I’m doing in the future and what I have done in the past. 

What can we expect from you and SASASAS going forward?

The team and I are working on some really exciting stuff… I’m literally bursting to get it out there but with there being no shows at the moment, we decided to hold off on it all for now. One thing I can let you in on is we are working on a project to unite the different styles of Drum and Bass all under one roof. There has been too much separation and division in DnB for years and we want to bring that all back together. Plans are already in place with our management team, our agent and some promoters and it’s looking really exciting. I will give updates on my social media pages and via my website djphantasy.co.uk so definitely please keep an eye out for that.

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