Copyright - Inside The Track 'My Desire'
Copyright are Sam Holt and Gavin ‘Face’ Mills, the UK production duo that have emerged from the shadowy streets beneath the grey skies of London to beam rays of 4/4 happiness directly into the gratefully exultant faces of clubbers around the globe. And through this musical transition from rags to relative riches, there’s one thing at least that has remained consistent. “What do we love?“ asks Sam “We love songs”. Early releases on Joey Negro‘s Z Records ‘We Get Up’ and the legendary Soulfuric imprint “‘Good For You’ set the tone stylistically, but could not predict the tidal waves of success that would wash over the duo and all who followed in their wake in the years to come.
With their recent release ‘My Desire’ via Defected Records currently riding high in the Traxsource Top 100 downloads chart & Soulful House Top 10 downloads chart. We sat down with Sam & Gavin to get an indepth look ‘Inside The Track’ and more with this Exclusive interview.
- 1) You’re back on Defected with another quality vocal project geared towards the summer/ibiza season & it’s already rising up the Traxsource charts. How is it being received on the dance floor? & What are your expectations for this release?
Yes its great to see it moving up the charts. There’s so much music released weekly and its a fast moving environment, getting things in the charts is a great thing in its own right!
We’ve been in the game a long time and seen many different styles and fashions come and go, so to see your music still having resonance is great. And something we’ve never taken for granted.
We’ve found its just best to concentrate on the music, keep your expectations balanced. We’ve also learnt it’s never the records you expect that seem to do well!
- 2) Tell us more about the “My Desire” How did it came about, what was the main inspiration behind it & why was London singer, songwriter and rapper Donae’o your choice for vocals?
We were taking inspiration from Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers. We wanted to create a really old school square wave bassline track, with a soulful switch section. We hadn’t really considered a song until Donae’O, who was working in the neighbouring studio, popped his head round the studio door and started jamming away to the backing track!
We’d been talking about doing something for a while after he’d got in contact when he heard us play at Ministry of Sound. The best things that happen in life are often never planned. This was one of those situations. He wrote the perfect song, and we’ve loved working with him.
- 3) Production wise, what is it about this track that makes it work? (what machine, synth, plugin, etc makes it what it is?)
We just got our Roland Juno 106 back from being repaired, its been broken for ages and we got really excited about getting this back all working and sounding great. That’s one keyboard that ended up being used in most of the track including the bass, pads and some other incidental sounds.
We’ve got a lot of old vintage keyboards in the studio and sometimes we might use several of them but in this case it seemed to work just from the one synth, perhaps that’s why it has an uncomplicated sound.
We put the keyboard through some plugin’s to tighten the sound up; I remember the bass had a lot of EQ’s and compressors to get the sound how we wanted it. We really like the sound of the URS plugins currently which are Neve digital reproductions and sound very close to the real thing.
Also we’ve been looking at using more classic drum sounds. All the old Roland 707, 808, 909 and Linn drum, Dmx etc. Also it was a track we didn’t slave over and it came together really quickly, we just got a vibe and went with it.
The other thing that can’t go unmentioned is Donae’o awesome performance, that boy really has some soul in his soul.
- 4) What is the one Machine, Program, Sound, Drum machine, Technique which Characterizes the signature Copyright sound?
It’s pretty hard to put the whole Copyright sound down to one machine; if there was such a machine we could have saved tons of money. We love old analogue synths!!! As mentioned in the previous question we ended up using solely the Juno on this track but we have a studio bursting with old gear.
This list is some of our most used keyboards, The Prophet 600 and the Pro one also for pads and chords we use an Oberheim OBxa which incidentally is the keyboard that played the famous Van Halen ‘Jump’ chords. Other favourites we use regularly are the Sh101, Arp Solina string machine and the Roland Jupiter 6.
We use to program our beats on the MPC 60 then the 3000 back when we were doing the Soulfuric stuff then we started using the computer for a while but have recently returned to the MPC.
- 5) What is the one Piece of Kit that you both simply cannot do without?
Recently we were lucky enough to be given an AKAI MPC Studio by the guys at Akai.
Coming from using the older MPC machines we found it totally instinctive and it wasn’t long before we’d filled it up with our choice sounds and were making beats.
As soon as we programmed that beat we recognised that familiar super tight groove that the computer never quite seemed to match. We were talking to Dennis Ferrer about it and he would say it’s all about the internal clock. He goes pretty deep when talking about equipment.
Anyhow if we had to just take one piece of equipment and go make a track the MPC studio can do it all.
- 6) Any Advice for your fans on how to make it in today’s fast paced game?
The million-dollar question. Develop your sound, when you look at someone like MK, he has a signature sound, a sound that works whether he’s in remix or production mode. To me, that is the single most important thing to develop.
Secondly work hard, very hard. Once you have been noticed or had some success the hard work begins. In the early part of your career you may have to make sacrifices, life/work/family. If you want to be anywhere near the top of the game this is a minimum requirement! And lastly stay true to your roots and sound, try and seek out the label you think is the best home for your work, and try to build a relationship with them.