Interview: Del Prez

We’ve been fans of your music for a while and are excited to hear about your latest single ‘Self Destruct‘ due for release on 14th January. What is this new song about & what is the story behind it?
Thank you, I appreciate it! 
Lyrically ‘Self Destruct’ addresses the global climate emergency and takes aim at those primarily responsible, the worlds leaders and financial elite. The song reaffirms the same conclusion that science has drawn time and time again, only an immediate and comprehensive overhaul of our economic system can prevent the impending environmental catastrophe. 

I’ve been interested in politics, particularly regarding the environment, since school and I joined the Scottish Greens in my first year of university. With COP 26 taking place in Glasgow where I live, I got particularly frustrated with the resulting wave of empty promises or straight up denial from world leaders, which didn’t even begin to address the root cause of the problem. Humanity cannot survive on this planet in the long term with an economic system that demands GDP growth at all costs with no regard for the ecological or social ramifications.

Writing this song was a way of channelling my frustration in to something creative and productive that could properly articulate what I was feeling.

We had the pleasure of seeing you support Twist Helix in Newcastle. How does Newcastle compare to gigs you’ve played in Scotland? And what was it like playing to a live audience in such an intimate venue?
I had a class time playing in the Toon! I really loved Little Buildings as a venue and it’s always a joy to play a gig with Twist Helix, they’re lovely people and always put on a killer live show. I was very grateful that so many people came down early and watched my set despite not knowing my music and everyone was very complimentary, even after my cables packed it in after the first track and me and the sound engineer had to scramble to sort it out. People in Newcastle have a very similar warmth, humour and appreciation for new music as people in Scotland, so in a lot of ways it just felt like playing a show back home!

It’s certainly taken me a while to adjust to being the only person on stage as I’d never played a solo show before last October, in particular I’m still getting used to talking between songs. The bands I’ve played in before have all had super entertaining and charismatic frontmen, and I always quite liked being behind the drum kit or playing guitar at the side of the stage where not as many people were paying attention to me. Usually a few songs in to my Del Prez set I loosen up and get a bit less self aware. Pints always help too!

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
I guess Electronic Dance Music would be the blanket term. With the EP that I’m releasing in March each track is a different genre within EDM. My debut single ‘Self Destruct’ was drum and bass, my second single Heart Eyes was future bass, ‘Self Destruct’ is dance pop, and the last track on the EP is synthwave.

There’s such a wide array of music that I take influence from. From some of the biggest dance producers in the world like Martin Garrix and the Chainsmokers, to the more eccentric artists in EDM like SOPHIE and Alison Wonderland, to the electronic production elements of bands like The 1975 and Bring Me The Horizon.

I’ve been loving the resurgence of disco elements in pop music recently and it made me want to write a track around a funky bassline, which is what I did for ‘Self Destruct’. I was listening to the new records from Dua Lipa, Zara Larsson and even Kylie Minogue a lot when I was putting this song together.

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
Right when I was starting out I was able to do a remix for one of my favourite Scottish bands Hyyts which was some buzz. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of remixing so many incredible Scottish artists. It’s always so cool for an artist to trust you with a song they’ve put so much time and effort in to making, and then to hear what they think of the version you’ve come up with. 

Putting out my first original track that I’d written and produced myself was a great feeling. It was even more special that it was my old Kendama bandmate Stuart who did vocals for it, and that was the last bit of music we made together.

I’m really looking forward to playing my first headline show for my EP Launch on the 16th of March and I going to make that as big as possible. I’ve got loads of ideas for it, from having a live vocalist perform with me to making a crazy light show with some mad projector visuals.

I’m sure every Scottish artist ever would have this on their bucket list, but it would be an absolute dream to play the Barrowland Ballroom. There is also a great music festival called Party at the Palace in my small hometown in West Lothian which was my first experience of working in the music industry, so I’d love to be able to play that as Del Prez.

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why?
One of my favourite artists is a producer called San Holo who I’d love to play a gig with but also just hang out with for an evening. All his music is super emotionally charged but still has that big dance music euphoria, I love how he incorporates live guitar in to his shows, and he just seems like the most genuine and lovely person.

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
I will always be a pop punk kid as long as I live, so I’ve had Neck Deep, The Story So Far and Stand Atlantic on heavy rotation recently. As usual there’s so much amazing coming out of the Scottish scene at the moment so I’d highly recommend you check out Swim School, Club Beirut, Oaklnd, Lizzie Reid and Kleopatra.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, what are your plans and hopes for the next twelve months? What would you like to achieve during this time?
I’ll be releasing the full EP in mid March and then playing my first headline show in Glasgow which I’m equally excited and nervous for. Then I’ll be playing as many shows and festivals as I can, including one in Newcastle for sure. I’ve got some plans to do a collaborative EP with one of my good friends who is an incredibly talented Scottish producer which could be a lot of fun. I’m also hoping to start producing other artists original music, so if you or anyone you know wants to make some tunes then please hit me up!

Del Prez: Facebook | Instagram
Original Photography: Rory Barnes

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