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18 Aug

DJ KETTAMA on the perks of pig slop and

Evan Campbell, aka KETTAMA, is the stuff of Irish legend. Just a few years ago he was living at his mum’s house in Galway, mixing tunes on a tiny Bluetooth speaker given to him by an ex-girlfriend. Now he’s on the worldwide stage, pumping his distinctive, hard-hitting type of house-adjacent dance into enthralled crowds. With a carefree and genre-bending attitude, he’s an artist pioneering recent directions for electronic music.

KETTAMA attributes his rapid ascent to dumb luck. “It only takes one person to play your song”, he says—and in his case, that person was Mall Grab. Now best friends, KETTAMA gave him a USB when he was touring Ireland, hardly expecting a response. But shortly after, Mall Grab began playing one in every of KETTAMA’s tracks, ‘B O D Y’, during his sets. The web loved it, and the remaining is history.

Or so KETTAMA says: that’s a simplified narrative of success which embodies the 26-year-old’s low-key attitude. Sat with me in a London café, he’s wearing a FedEx cap and Stella Artois polo shirt (he loves Guinness just as much, he says, but their merch is “dogshit—all crap vinyl prints and crap colors”). Plus, he’s all the time true to his Galway roots. KETTAMA’s own label, G-Town Records, was named after his and his friends’ ironic nickname for his or her hometown, and he’s excited to return and play there for the primary time in 4 years this month.

Much beyond that, though, and KETTAMA’s unsure what he’ll be as much as. “I genuinely take it week by week”, he says. With a studio under London’s Fold nightclub, per week off from performing, and a recent MacBook that he doesn’t yet know learn how to use (he was, up until yesterday, a Windows person), he has no idea what he wants to supply next. Catching him in his rest period, I chat with KETTAMA to become familiar with the spontaneous, dynamic world of this exciting rising artist.

Hey, Evan! First off—how was Glastonbury? 

KETTAMA: I mean it’s Glasto, it was so sick! I used to be so glad to be there. But at the identical time, this 12 months was a bitter pill. Folamour and Jayda G played before us, and the place was rammed out. However the minute me and Ewan [Mcvicar] played our first song, everyone left because Arctic Monkeys and Fred Again were each on at the identical time. It was unattainable competition. The group that stayed were great, and we actually enjoyed the last 40 minutes especially, but to see people leaving before they even listened to a song was a knife within the chest. 

What are you doing along with your week off?

KETTAMA: I never get to cook. So, I’ll just chill, cook food, eat food. Easy.

What do you prefer to cook?

KETTAMA: You don’t need to know! Pig slop—I eat actual pig slop. I cook beef mince with veg in it after which rice. Five per cent fat beef mince, twice a day. And eggs within the morning. It’s type of funny, and it’s easy. However it’s definitely nothing special!

It’s often said that your sound pushes house music in a more extreme direction. Why choose house?

KETTAMA: I don’t know, really. I began off DJing techno—really shit techno. After which I attempted to make it, and it was just bad. I all the time liked chords, piano, stabs…that’s why I used to be more drawn towards house. But principally, I just made a house track once, and it ended up being good, so I assumed: why don’t I just carry on doing this?

What’s your weirdest influence?

KETTAMA: I look up orchestral samples non-stop. Thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands of YouTube videos of Twenties abstract sounds are only sat there in my library. I would like to go vinyl digging for some more orchestral stuff soon. Also, if I get a talking vocal, it’s normally from old Irish television. But I’ve only done that 2 or 3 times.

What were you want as a youngster?

KETTAMA: A pisshead. I used to be shit in class, but I didn’t get into trouble. My principal hated me, but I wasn’t awful. I used to drink quite a bit on weekends, and hearken to music. Not good music, mind (MC Pat Flynn—look him up). Galway had far more clubs once I was younger. Once I was 17 I used my brother’s ID to get into the clubs. There have been 4 or five then, and now there’s one and it’s terrible.

You’re an artist who got here up entirely through Soundcloud. What’ll be the following big revolution for upcoming artists?

KETTAMA: I believe Soundcloud will last for a very long time. Lots of people still don’t have it, they simply go on Spotify and even YouTube. Soundcloud is where it’s at though. You get more of a fanbase there, and also you get easy feedback. I’m going back to it an increasing number of. On Spotify, you only get placed on different playlists and other people flick through. I’ve never found a recent tune on Spotify, ever.

Your Spotify Wrapped should have looked slim, then…

KETTAMA: Actually, my top song was Snowfall by Øneheart, do you realize it? It’s the background to each sad TikTok ever. Every time I get on a plane I put it on and go straight to sleep. It’s great.

Fuck, marry, kill: Mall Grab, Partyboi69, Mella Dee. 

KETTAMA: That’s fucking funny, I’ll provide you with that. But I can’t answer it, not on record. In actual fact not off record, either. Not for anything!

Would you ever do anything apart from music?

KETTAMA: I need to be a UPS driver. I do know I’m wearing a FedEx cap, but I’m not taking the piss. Their drip is mad. They’ve got the entire brown fit and that crazy military-style van with the doors open. That’s genuinely what I need to do in retirement. Or perhaps… I’m not good at cooking but I’d like to be a chef or something. Pigslop anyone?!

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