Over the past few years, a new style of house has become a prominent force in electronic music, to the point that, especially in the UK, it’s difficult to imagine a time when low-end wobbles and hard-hitting drops weren’t a feature of the scene.
During its explosion in popularity, there have been a select number of labels and artists who have been front and center of the movement, and none more so than Simma Black and Low Steppa. Here we had the chance to ask him a few questions about the label, djing, and what’s new. Checki it out!
Electronic Groove: Congratulations on 100 Simma Black releases! Looking back at the label’s evolution, what do you think has made it stand out over the past few years?
Low Steppa: I think the music follows a very authentic path in a world that is swamped with too much of the same. I think the music for me is timeless because we aren’t chasing whats hot right this second, we are just putting out good music. Simma for me is about bringing back to life the music that I began with and that’s why it’s so special when we have people like Full Intention as I started out playing their music back in 1999 when I got my first set of Technics.
EG: Was running a label always something you wanted to do when you started your career?
Low Steppa: In all honesty not at all, it never crossed my mind in the early days, I just wanted to DJ. It was when I was making music and fans liked it and wanted it but labels only wanted certain sounds. It just made sense to build my own thing, I’ve always wanted to make music for the people, I’m not one to obsess about being on a certain label and changing my sound to fit, that’s just not me. I do my thing and that’s how it is.
EG: What has been the biggest challenge of balancing a label with your own production and DJing? Or is it more a case of them complementing each other?
Low Steppa: It’s just time, it’s hard to check demos, we get sent so much it’s just crazy. It’s definitely important to me having the label now too though, it feels like it glues it all together, my brand and the label.
EG: The 100th release is a record of yours alongside Alex Mills… would it be fair to say there’s been a subtle change in your sound over the last few months?
Low Steppa: Yeah, this year is for me the time when it’s all started to fall into place, it’s taken a long while to get here but I’m in a really happy place right now musically. I’m in love with DJing as much as I ever was: I’m really enjoying it all.
EG: Is this the direction in which you’ll be heading for the foreseeable future?
Low Steppa: 100%, I want to release music I want to play in my sets and I want to be able to play music the crowd doesn’t know if I choose because that’s DJing, anyone can play the biggest tracks and the bootlegs.
EG: You’re becoming an increasingly regular presence at Defected In The House events, what do you think has made them such a successful brand?
Low Steppa: Sticking to their sound, being picky with what they release, great branding, great parties. Now they have the Croatia festival which was absolutely wicked!
EG: And you’re just back from their Croatia festival, how was that?
Low Steppa: It was absolutely wicked: good vibes, great crowd, good mixed crowd too, all ages, 100% people there for the music, simple as that. All the top house names, what more could you ask for!? What I really love too is that Defected is like a family, the staff are all wicked people, everyone is friendly and they have all been really cool to me, and props to them for working so hard behind the scenes.
“As cheesy as it sounds too it brings us together and while the music is playing we can just lose ourselves and be happy and forget all the bullshit.”
EG: With everything happening in the world of global politics, it seems more important than ever that people have a little escapism in their lives. What role do you think electronic music plays in that?
Low Steppa: Yeah totally agree, music for me has always been an escape, helped me from being in bad places personally. As cheesy as it sounds too it brings us together and while the music is playing we can just lose ourselves and be happy and forget all the bullshit.
EG: What have you got coming up for the rest of the year?
Low Steppa: So much to be excited about, looking forward to ADE, Defected and Marshall Jefferson’s Freakin 909 party, more EPs coming on Simma, more collabs.
EG: Anything else you’d like to tell us about…?
Low Steppa: Myself and the team are working on a new project but that’s’ all I can say for now, but very excited!
Follow Low Steppa