British producer and DJ, Secondcity, just revealed his latest compilation courtesy of Cr2 Records. The mix offers 10 brand new exclusives and marks the launch of ‘Cr2 Live & Direct’, a new series from the label that will feature sessions curated and mixed by the finest electronic producers and DJs currently on the scene.
We had the chance to speak with him about the recording proccess and upcoming projects.
Electronic Groove: Firstly, we are loving ‘Don’t Strutt’ – the first single from your upcoming mix CR2 Live & Direct! What inspired the mix and is there a running theme throughout it?
Secondcity: I guess it’s a chance to showcase the music that I’ve been working on, music that I’m into and using collaborations to be able to branch out and have different styles.
For me, the music that I love is house, old house, stuff ranging from the 90’s, 2005-2006, not commercial, just house music. There was a bit more of an opportunity to be able to write some techno stuff, more tech house, deep house, more experimenting with different sounds and including my friends on it as well, being able to collaborate with them, which is really cool. It’s a good opportunity to not overthink too much or think ‘does this record really represent what I do’, and just be able to write music with different people and include other stuff I’m into.
It was a real privilege, I’ve done the first one and it was great. I have so much music, so it was a really good avenue for me to be able to chuck 10 tracks out at once, which is very rare to do. You could never do that on an EP, usually you release one or two tunes, it is brilliant.
Electronic Groove: You’ve got some great collaborations on the compilation, with Manu Gonzalez, Joseph Ochoa and Unorthodox – how did they come about? Have you worked with them before or was this your first time?
Secondcity: To be honest all the people mentioned on the compilation are my closest friends. Solarris and Unorthodox are two of my best friends. Joseph Ochoa is a guy I’m trying to help a little bit and get him out there musically, he’s a young kid but a really good producer. I just wanted to help him as I was lucky to receive help when I was starting. In the past some artists like Skream and Eats Everything supported me and it’s important to give that back when’s possible.
The compilation is almost like a Secondcity and friend’s compilation, I only did collaborations with people that I really like and work with on a daily basis.
Electronic Groove: Do you have a favorite track in particular on the mix?
Secondcity: I would have to say, probably the Guti remix of my track ‘Say It’, the reason being is because it was such a big moment for me that he was up for doing that, I really looked up to him in terms of his music, production and everything really. I had been going to see him play live many times before, kind of becoming friends with him, very gradually and eventually sending him a record and being like I want to remix this for you. I was like Wow!, that’s sick, it will always be a record that will remind me of that, massively.
Another record that I really love was the one I made with Sonny Solarris ‘Pensive’, which is kind of like a soulful old house one, which is all live drum, very swingy, everything is a bit mad and out of time, but sounds really cool. It really resembles what we both like to listen to, and what we both grew up listening to as well.
Electronic Groove: You have a Sankeys residency across their events – which date so far has been your favourite and have you been playing any of your new material that is on CR2 Live & Direct?
Secondcity: That’s really tough. Actually I brought my mum to Sankeys about 2 months ago and that’s my favourite one because she’s been hustling me for years to come see me DJ.
She’s always wanted to go to Ibiza and it was a really nice experience, she absolutely loved it. She’s a big party animal herself, more into house music probably than I am. Bringing her and seeing her experience it all, it was wicked!
“When I was really young all I used to hear was house music”
Electronic Groove: You spent a lot of your younger years in Chicago – how did it play a part in leading you to the music you’re making now? Do you feel a connection to the music scene there?
Secondcity: Probably not when I was a kid, the reason why I got in to Chicago and New York house, Detroit, that kind of vibe, was mainly because of my Mum. She was a fitness instructor in Chicago and her music of choice was house, mixes, radio show stuff and all kinds of things that had that genre involved. When I was really young all I used to hear was house music.
I guess it stuck with me and being that age in Chicago I couldn’t go to clubs and see people DJ. So it was a thing that I learnt much later on in life but it was the music constantly I heard as a kid. Later on, I got into it and starting looking at old CDs that my Mum had and playing them myself, she had records that I used to listen to, so it came down to her playing that music all day long. Then I took it over from her and learnt about it myself.
Electronic Groove: We hear you’ve got plans to visit the US sometime soon, including a date at Heart, Miami on 4th November. Have you ever played in Miami before?
Secondcity: Yes I have, was in Miami Music Week last year. I played a back-to-back session with Route 94 .It was a great week and a really dangerous one, as we underestimated how the city was going to be, we ended up just partying for five straight days and it was “horrible”. Haven’t gone back since…
I’m quite scared to go back, I’m going by myself this time, won’t be that bad 😉
Electronic Groove: How will your set in Miami differentiate from what you play in Ibiza and Europe? Does the vibe change depending on where you play?
Secondcity: Slightly, I don’t suddenly play completely different music, I would say I try and play a couple more records of mine that people would know and more vocal stuff and older vocal house. It’s not really any different, if I’m playing a basement at 4AM, I’d probably play a lot darker and focus on the groove. But if I’m playing an opening set in Miami, I probably wouldn’t be playing dark stuff and I would play a bit more uplifted and happy. I try, wherever I play, regardless of where it is, to just stick to what I love and play what I love rather than trying to make it different.
Electronic Groove: What can we all expect for the rest of the year from Secondcity?
Secondcity: Lots and lots of new music, because so far I’ve finished way too much. Also i’m planning different tours, US, UK and Europe ones.
I had a period at the begining of the year where I couldn’t put out any music, it really blocked my creativeness. Right now the important thing is to get my music out again properly. That’s what I love doing, I love making music and putting it out, that’s where my heart and head is at the moment.
CR2 Live & Direct Presents: Secondcity is already available, order here.