A dream came true when he joined his favourite record label “Deep Medi”. In 2013 Compa released two songs on the famous record label, tracks “Alpha” and “Narabeh”. He runs the North UK club-night previously called ‘Wax’ (Because he and his friends only play vinyl, and he has a radio show on the well-known Sub FM, every Monday from 6pm to 8pm UK time. His own record label WX/WL has just made a new step towards releasing music other than just his own, and Compa recently took a big step forward in his career, touring North America and Canada, and although it was a big struggle to get his U.S visa, he finally got it, and he kicked off his tour with his first show in New York on 21st November.
How did you come up with the name “Compa”? And what does it mean to you?
When I started making music it was on a laptop which was made by a company called ‘Compaq’. I got one on my first gigs and they asked what name do you want on the poster. So I was like looking around trying to think of a name and I looked at the back of my computer, saw the ‘Compaq’ and I thought it sounded good without a Q. That’s the story, a pretty shit story, but that’s how it’s happened. It was just there in front of me, it just clicked and i’ve stuck with it.
How did you get involved with music? Why are you producing Dubstep and Dub music?
When I was about 13 years old I started going to a youth club in my home town, Clitheroe, and they had two things you could do, play video games, or learn to DJ. I started learning to DJ, and this was back when I was 13 years old. I played drum and bass primarily, and in the following years at one point I was at a record shop buying drum and bass records and an assistant found me a record by Mala. They talked all about dubstep there and then and I ended up buying some dubstep records and that’s how I got into it really. I was playing drum and bass and accidentally found a Mala record and absolutely loved it and it all went from there. When I was at college when I was 16-17 I was studying video production because I wanted to make documentaries as my career. I found out one of my teachers was a hip-hop producer and I asked him some question as I really wanted to make music. I said to him I was dj-ing all the time and I wanted to take it to the next step. He told me how to use software on my dinner breaks. Then I just started to make music all the time, and when I finished college I was hooked on music and I was like, forget all the video stuff. I decided to go to university to study music production and sound engineering. And it all went from there. I got signed by a label called “Boka Records” when I was in the first year of university, ended up getting an agent and everything just clicked into place really. Thankfully. I’m blessed.
I make a lot of music. Loads of music. It felt amazing to be able make music at first. I couldn’t tell you the first song I ever made, but the first release that I ever did was on Boka Records which was my first 12″ vinyl too. I remember I was having a hair cut one day and I got an email by Boka Records “do you want to sign these two tunes and do a release?” And I was like wooo shit this is getting serious, like my songs getting really released on vinyl. On a proper record label I felt absolutely amazing. I thought woow I can exactly do this people want to buy my music people want to listen it. This is crazy haha.
If you had to describe your music in three words, how would you describe it?
Dark, Heavy and Atmospheric.
What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
Getting just to travel everywhere, being on my own and being thrown into these crazy situations. Flying around the world, it’s not something that I was used to, I come from a small town, a dead-end town. I never travelled anywhere and all of sudden it was like, come to Sweden come to Belgium come to America come to Turkey and I was like oooowh shit this is pretty crazy. I was only on 2 foreign holidays when I was a kid, that’s it. It was hard getting used to staying in hotels all the time, time alone, flying all the time and not knowing anybody. It’s kind of in and out. It’s hard. When I’m dj-ing for that hour or 90 min or 2 hours it’s really really fun really crazy fun but when I’m finished I’m back to normal. And I go to sleep in the hotel and get back with the airplane, very tiring. I only getting used to it now. I have been traveling for 2 years now. I’m doing 15 shows in the next 6 weeks in 5 different countries, lots of hotels, lots of flights. It’s busy.
If it’s possible to change anything in the music industry what would it be?
If I could change anything I would probably remove facebook and twitter. Because before the Internet you heard music properly and don’t get music thrown at you, no advertising or anything. You went in a recordshop or listened to the radio and you where taking in the music more. So without the social media and the Internet even though the Internet is brilliant, it’s absolutely great and it helps, I love it myself, It takes away something from the music, it’s not the same. There is too much music thrown in your face. Before that there was more of a connection.
What does you family think of your performance and do they support you?
Yes they support me. They love it. My dad used to drive me to gigs, all around in England. Because he loves it, he loves to support me and want to be there for me, very supportive. I might not have come this far without him actually, I mean that.
Are they any other musicians in your family?
Nope they are not. I’m the first musician in the family.
If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive or broke-up who would it be?
A back to back set with Mala, that is a top achievement for me.
Why do you think your music is unique from the other artists?
Because it my music, it’s nobody else’s. All music that I make it’s from inside me, no one can make my music because no one can be inside my head. Everybody is unique. When you start making music you can’t be amazing and original straight away. You develop your own sound. My music is unique, because my music, it represents how I feel and the person that I am.
What is your best experience in your music carrier?
Playing in New York, that was amazing I always wanted to go to NY, ever since I was young. To be asked to go and paid was just mind-blowing. I was really interested in graffiti and had lots of friends that write graffiti and always wanted to visit NY for the graffiti and the music. I played there in November 2012, played in Brooklyn at a night called “reconstructed”. That was one of the best gigs I ever done.
What is your best collaboration and why do you like to work with this team, group, or person?
You made a single with Ipman called ‘Let Them’ that you mention above, and you released it via Boka Records on cassette tape, why cassette in 2014?
The person that owns the label loves cassettes and he ask us “do you want to do something slightly out of the ordinary, do something oldschool?” We both collect cassettes so we were like yeaah, sick, let’s release it on cassettes. Why not! I love the format.
You joined the Deep Medi label in 2013? How did you get songs released by Deep Medi records label?
Well I was sending Mala music for about 2 years. I was playing a show at Cable club in London for Get Darker album launch, and the next morning I was driving back to Manchester. Got a text from Mala saying can you give me a ring. So I rang him and he was like “Do you want to do a release a record?” I was like yes please! haha. Dream come true man.
You’re playing with 10 inch dub plates, how do you get them? Do you print them yourself?
Well I make my music, I finish 2 tracks and send them to a studio in Bristol called “Dub Studio”. Which is where they press the dubplates and then they send the dubplates up to me in Manchester. It’s a cutting studio where they manufacture records.
What is your favourite crisps [aka chips]?
Doritos! Nacho Cheese the orange one with salsa dip. Getting hungry now!
If you had to choose wiskey or rum what would it by? And would you drink it pure or what kind of mix you like the most?
I love rum. I like Havana Club 7 Anos, with cola, no ice.
How long are you in the studio to produce music?
Normally about 8-10 hours a day.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I just listen to music, mixes, radio shows, and just wait until the ideas come to me. Sometimes when I get into the studio, I start making music and just see what comes out.
Do you have a standard radio show what you listening to?
Yes, Smooth FM. It’s like 80s and 90s music ,it’s sick, Beatles, Beegees and the old music. That, or Rinse FM.
If you didn’t make Dubstep and Dub music, what genre would you produce otherwise?
I don’t really think of the music I produce as ‘Dubstep’. To me, it’s all just ‘Music’. Whether I make a 3 minute track of only pads and atmosphere, or a 6 minute track with full sound scopes, drums, bass and effects, it’s all one, it’s all a representation of my sound, however it’s perceived or labeled.
Do you have a website of any type where we can listen to your music or mixtapes?
Last but not least is there something you would like to say to our readers?
I hope that they enjoyed the interview and that they learn something. Thank you very much for letting me do this, it was my pleasure. Thanks a lot for coming to tonight’s show too man.
Photo gallery Patronaat 1 November Sonic Boom : Compa + Proxima + Dubbacle + Brutuzz