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DJ Champion Interview & XLR8R Podcast
Tuesday 6th March 2012
Rising UK Funky DJ / producer Reiss Hanson aka Champion burst onto the scene in 2009 with tracks such as ‘Tribal affair’ and ‘Motherboard’. The self-confessed Bass line freak has been heralded by the likes of Roska, Marcus Nasty, Terroh Danjah and Ben UFO included his recent cut ‘Sensitivity’ on the current Rinse 16 compilation. Head of his own label Formula Records, the East Londoner seems set to have a busy 2012 after an even busier 2011. We caught a few words with him ahead of his performance at this months Butterz & Hardrive party. We talk Formula Records, possible future collaborations and DJing undercover in Bashment raves!

2011 was a real breakthrough year for you, you hooked up with Hardrive and everything seemed to fall into place. Tell us about your musical progression in the run up to this?

Well on the production side, I'd started making my mark in the funky scene about 2 years previous to 2011 with "Tribal Affair" but as a DJ - i've been at it since 02/03 non-stop playing garage then eventually specialising in bashment up until funky came about.

Tell us about Formula Records, what are your plans for the imprint? Any dream releases?

I have mapped out the whole year already but at the same time i'd like to say bit by bit because I like to have a general plan but im open to & almost expect for the whole plan to change. I treat it like making a tune - I start with an idea and then go with the flow and let it take its natural course until its finished.

We haven't heard a Champion collaboration yet, what current producers would you like to work with?

Mainly because I'm not too crazy on ‘collabs’, very particular when it comes to music but I do have some interesting ones already wrapped up for this year! But then if i could work with someone else current, it would probably be Funkystepz - would be interesting to see what comes out.

You spend a lot of time with Butterz & Hardrive crew. Has this influenced your production? Do you feel the pressure to make 'harder' tracks to stay with their vibe?

I have been slightly influenced, I find I’ve nicked certain little production styles on my newer tracks when I listen back to them but no pressure to go harder, I think the fact that my stuff is different from there's is the reason we all gel together musically.

Your last performance for Butterz & Hardrive was one of the most well received at Cable. Did that surprise you, knowing the Grime audience can be really purist at times?

It didn’t because I’ve always had the thumbs up from the big grime DJs & producers and I’d been playing to grime crowds throughout the year before that night but it always still surprises me when you know the whole crowd has come out for grime and me & my tunes still get received really well.

You have track that’s about to drop on the butterz imprint. Is this the beginning of a new period as a Grime producer or simply a one off?

At the moment, it feels like a one off but then again, my first funky track "Tribal Affair" was supposed to be a one off so I cant really say. I'll just go with the flow and if I end up fully producing grime then so be it!

The Funky scene is much more vibrant than it was yesteryear with more and more acts surfacing every month. Who else is on your radar at the moment?

The scene's nice right now, feels like its been given new life. As for who I'm rating, its the guys I play regularly such as Roska, Notion, Funkystepz, LR Groove & Ill Blu.

Your only vocal bits so far have been courtesy of Ruby Lee Ryder and Princess Nyah, any plans to work with male artists or do you think the female voice is better for your sound?

I actually have a few male vocals in the process of being done! But overall my personal preference has always been female vocals.

You shout about your love of Dancehall? Could you see yourself playing Dancehall sets in the clubs any time soon?

I’ve started a few undercover ones haha - maybe I'll find a use for them this year & I've actually been in contact with Gabriel from Heatwave about a Bashment set at one of their nights, not 100% sure on the date yet but I'll be revealing it as soon as its confirmed.

Anything else you want to shout about?

My track with Princess Nyah will be out soon, the forthcoming EP on Butterz and a few surprise projects that I wanna keep on the low for now for the shock element lol!

Catch Champion spinning at the forthcoming We Fear Silence present Butterz & Hardrive event at Cable on Saturday 24th March


Also check out his recent XLR8R podcast here. Enjoy!
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