As a DJ, Fashion designer and Entrepreneur, Patrice is definitely making his mark in the music industry. Based in Manchester, his eclectic style which includes blends of house, grime and garage has seen him enjoy success across the UK, in Amsterdam and Croatia. He has developed his own unique flare to keep audiences on their toes and has performed at numerous festivals including Boom Bap and Outlook. After seeing him live at The V&A in London, Ohana Magazine caught up with Patrice to talk about kick-starting his career, returning to Outlook this year and his future plans.
How did your career as a DJ begin?
I saw Benga DJ at Bestival in 2009, that was the first time I’d ever seen a DJ set and I didn’t really understand how it worked before then. I just have a clear memory of being like “how is this guy getting such a big reaction playing other artists tunes? I could do that”. It was a very naïve first look at DJing but it really did get me inspired, I just wanted to have that effect on a crowd. Once I bought some decks, learnt about the importance of tune selection and general technical ability, it was just a case of spending hours on end mixing tunes in my bedroom, getting to a stage where I felt comfortable enough to play out.
Who is your biggest source of inspiration and why?
It’s weird because I don’t really emulate his style at all but Ryan Hemsworth, I think. He keeps his environment and sound versatile by creating honest music, there doesn’t seem to be pressure in taking a particular direction or meeting certain expectations and I rate that highly.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Apart from bouncers I’d say actually getting my stuff heard. There are a lot of bigger DJ’s who might not have time to listen to a folder I’ve sent them, or may have overlooked it because their inbox is rammo, and to be honest I completely understand that. The way I overcame that was just persistence, whenever I have new material, it is sent to anyone I look up to musically, if they don’t end up hearing it, c’est la vie, but at least I have presented them with the opportunity to listen.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Outlook festival last year is definitely up there. It was amazing for my career and just crazy to be playing in front of 2000 people at 5am in another country! I did my first headline show this year too in Exeter, love to Our House for making that happen, eternally grateful.
Which other festivals have you played at and have you got anymore lined up?
I play at Boom Bap festival every year, those guys were the first to put me on really so it’s infinite love to Ivan and the rest of the crew, doing some huge things for the UK scene as well. It’s just that and Outlook at the moment, I’d love to play more but it’s just a waiting game I guess. This is only my 3rd year playing at festivals so I’m happy with the progress so far.
What are you looking forward to the most about performing at Outlook this year?
There’s so many things to look forward to about Outlook festival to be honest, all their sound systems there are unbelievable so I’m excited to play some bass weight that might not have the same reception in the UK. They treat you like a celebrity out there as well, maybe they didn’t realise I’m not really that big a deal but I had an artist liaison every day and a guy side stage handing me beers when I was playing, perfection.
How did you get started with Emib clothing?
I started the company initially to facilitate my interest in streetwear, it didn’t really have a direction to begin with I just made stuff I liked wearing, keeping it honest (i.e. not making army print tees with leather sleeves). In the last 12 months I’ve acquired a business partner and the “no direction” thing has kind of been appointed as our direction if that makes sense. We’re not trying to address a target audience, we’re just designing clothes and letting people make of it what they want, that way no one feels isolated, the brand can develop as naturally as possible and the focal point remains at the creativity.
Have you always had an interest in fashion?
Yeah, I’ve been sporting ridiculous looks and hairstyles from an early age, believe. Around the same time I started the brand was when I felt I wanted some outlet to express my interest in streetwear. I look at fashion as expressionism; it’s what we use to give off impressions without talking.
Are you working on any other projects?
I’m trying to start up an online social platform for all my creative friends in Manchester and then hopefully branch out. It’s going to be a series of DJ sets from my living room where there’s no crowd pressures or expectations, I just want DJs/ Artists/ Creatives to play music they listen to at home, or maybe stuff they wouldn’t get booked for but would like to play. That’s all I’m going to say at the moment as we’re still developing the concept and getting a team together. Our first event is on the 12th of August.
What can we expect from you over the next couple of years?
Undeniable work rate, basically. I’ve just signed with an agency so hopefully some bigger bookings for the future; and I know there’s talk of another Amsterdam tour. One of my remixes is coming out on a free compilation by Fine Dining as well so that’ll be good. There’s also going to be some sort of collaboration with me and my good friend Dani Abasi who is the drummer for a band called “Neck Deep”, I don’t know what we’re cooking up yet but it’s going to be fire; he’s the guy I’ve become partners with in the business.
What advice would you give to aspiring DJs?
Stay humble, keep your networking strong and just be nice to the people you encounter. I’m very grateful for the opportunities given to me and acknowledge the people who support what I’m doing. Unless you’re on Diddy’s level there is no beneficial reason for you to act like you’re better than everyone else, we’re all here hustling and should be backing each other, not competing. I love the connections I’ve made through networking, whether its people I look up to musically or just someone messaging me on Soundcloud to say they liked a tune/ mix, it’s sick.
(Photo credit : Tom Costello)