Exclusive Interview w/ Ridney
Southampton born Paul Ridney is a 3x winner of the prestigious ‘Essential New Tune’ award on Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 Essential Selection, he’s worked with most of dance music’s major labels Defected, Azuli, Ministry of Sound, Hed Kandi, Size, Spinnin, Pacha and Strictly Rhythm. As a DJ, he has travelled extensively across Europe with highlights inc Ushuaia, Eden, Hush Space in Ibiza plus Ministry of Sound, Pacha & The 02 in London.
1) Hey Ridney, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us. Tell us where you are and how are you feeling right now?
You caught me working in my new studio, which I recently finished building – going through some music to get ready for the weekend gigs and tonight’s radio shows.
2) The release on everyone’s lips today is ‘Missing You’, back for a 2014 release with brand new mixes and out now on traxsource. Tell us about this special release…
Thank you! We’ve worked hard to put together a special package of new mixes, from Eric Kupper (providing his ‘Director’s Cut Tribute to FK’ mix), plus Nineteen96 (I’m a huge fan of their stuff right now), and Artful’s amazing Ibiza sunset re-work which will be getting an official release.
3) Originally scheduled for a Director’s Cut remix, Eric Kupper decided to do a tribute style mix for his contribution, it must be very exciting to be apart of a tribute for the late great Frankie Knuckles?
The terribly sad news of Frankie’s passing has left the dance music community with a heavy heart over the last few months. Both Artful and I were honored when we saw Frankie supporting “Missing You” in his DJ sets & Traxsource chart last year, and when he added that he wanted to remix the record – it was just an amazing moment! It’s a great honor for us that Eric still wanted to go ahead with the remix as a Director’s Cut tribute, and the paragraph he sent us encapsulates how he saw the remix…
“I have been regularly playing the original version of this amazingly beautiful record since I first received it last year and I was originally scheduled to do this mix with my musical partner-in-crime, Frankie Knuckles. After his untimely passing, I still really wanted to remix this record – in the Director’s Cut style we had carefully honed over the years – with his guidance from above. “And I’m Still Missing Him”…forever. I love you Frankie” – ERIC KUPPER (JUNE 2014)
eric’s mix can be found here on Traxsource
4) What was the inspiration around the original project?
The original track was something Artful had been working on in his studio with Terri Walker & Donae’o as a UK Garage track. I’d popped round Artfuls studio (a couple of weeks later) for a coffee, listen through some tracks and work on potential beat ideas when Artful played me the demo.
I could hear something in the track straight away, I just thought it was an amazing riff and I pestered (I mean pestered!!) Mark [Artful] to let me take the parts away and work on a mix.
At the time, I had a little box room to make music and I started importing the stems into Ableton. I could hear straight away a David Morales type mix. I went through my vinyl collection and it was his mix of Jamiroquai “Space Cowboy” that inspired me. So, I started reprogramming the track to 4×4 with some classic sounds, stripping it back to Mark’s piano and only part of Terri’s vocal (there is an extended bridge and outro if you ever see Terri perform it acoustically live!)
Eventually, (after a few days in the studio) the re-work was finished. The issue remaining, was I only had demo vocals from the original session (recorded on a Shure handheld microphone), so I had to stick with them to begin with. I flew to Ibiza for a few DJ sets and decided to road “Missing You” at Cafe Mambo in Sept 2012. It sounded so good on their system and was getting a nice reaction. When I flew home, I called Artful to tell him how good it sounded and we decided to call Terri. She drove from London to Southampton (UK) where we used River Studios to re-record the vocals for the release in 2013 (which is the studio in the original teaser video).
original teaser video
5) How did you team up with Artful on this release?
Mark and I are both based in the same city in the UK of Southampton (although he’s originally from Wales) and I’d known of him and Pete from the Artful Dodger days. We’d exchanged emails a few times and eventually hooked up to talk beats. After some messing about in the studio we produced a few collaborations, although in the case of “Missing You”, the track existed as a working demo before my involvement.
6) How does a collaboration with Artful differ from producing your solo work?
Mark is classically trained, has sold millions of records (as half of Artful Dodger & producer of Craig David’s first album) and has oodles of classic riffs that he busts out without thinking twice.
I’m very much from the DJ/Ableton chop/sample side of things. Re-editing records for my DJ sets and sampling old tracks into something new.
So he’ll play something on the piano/guitar which he’ll think is just throw away, and I’ll be like “PRESS RECORD!!!”, I need to sample that!
7) Any funny or interest studio/production stories (you can share) that you experienced with Artful on the making of?
I guess the most interesting part to “Missing You” is that it was originally a UK Garage track (which I don’t think Mark has ever finished!!)
Mark is also addicted to coffee, and makes a mean mug of Java! A definite must if you ever spend time in the studio with him. He used to have an amazing sit on lawn mower at his old studio (almost go-kart esq) for cutting his huge garden. Again, I had to pester him … and he eventually let me have a go!
8) Describe this new release in three or four words?
Classic house for 2014.
9) Where does your artist name come from and how did you choose it?
As a kid I used to enter my name on video game high scores as RID (a shortened version of my surname) and this became a nickname in school/college. A friend at the time had a dog called “Sidney” and when he sadly passed, he started to call me Ridney. Naturally I hated it … and in true friendship style – your friends start calling you it, just because they know it annoys you!! Not to mention, if your in a club, at the bar, and someone shouts “Paul”, 5 guys turn round … but if you shout “Ridney” – only one lanky guy turns round and ends up buying the round of beers! So it stuck and I love it as it’s unique.
10) What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t follow the crowd, follow your heart and make the music that you love and inspires you.
11) Any special summer plans?
I’ve just finished a solo track where I managed to clear a replayed Fleetwood Mac sample – “Oh Daddy” from the album Rumours! It took many months of tracking down Christine McVie, but she’s approved it – look out for “Everything You Do” soon!
12) Best gig of 2014 and why?
Back in June I went out to Ibiza for 3 days and played back to back gigs. A selection of intimate club gigs and a sunset set at Savannah. I don’t know what it is about that place, but it instantly inspires you. You can be locked away in a your studio space for months and then really feel a track breath when you road test it. Even with “Missing You”, it had it’s first ever road test when I played at Cafe Mambo. It’s just the perfect place for me.
13) Any secrets from within the industry you’ve learned along the way? If so, what?
It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
14) Where does a music store like Traxsource fit in your musical agenda?
For the last few years I’ve found Traxsource to be such a reliable store when it comes to finding something a bit special for a DJ set. I’m not looking for what everyone else is playing. I’m looking for whats right for my set. Very much like the traditional experience of going into a record store and finding the right vinyls.
The user experience is a lot easier than other sites too, with music categorized perfectly.
15) What’s next on the release / gig front for Ridney? PLUG AWAY!
We’ve teamed up with SoSure Music – a new London based label – to present limited red vinyls of “Missing You” (2014) which we’re really excited about. I think as a producer, the best thing is seeing your music cut to vinyl. I think there’s only going to be a limited run of about 300!
As mentioned above, “Everything You Do” will be the next solo Ridney single, followed by a collaboration with DJ Roland Clark called “I’ll Take You There”; which also features an amazing remix from Cafe Mambo resident Jason Bye.
You can also check my Global House Party radio show – available weekly around the world, on: Voice FM (UK), Radio One Mallorca (Spain), Cubase FM (Germany), Fuddle (Amsterdam), 54House.FM (Germany), Immense Radio (Manchester, UK), XLTrax (Canada), Scottsdale Nights Radio (USA), Paul FM (UK), Crucial Radio (UK), Clubland Online (USA), Energy FM (UK), Vibe Radio (Northern Ireland), and Triangle Radio (UK). You can listen again and pick up track listings at http://extradry.tv/radio