English DJ and producer Andy C, widely regarded as a pioneer of D’n’B, has hosted countless sell-out shows and finds himself headlining a multitude of massive festivals this summer.
Alongside a tight schedule and hard work, he’s also travelling the world doing what he’s dreamed of since the age of 13.
TheFestivals caught up with Andy at Birmingham’s MADE Festival last month. We find out what feeds his energy, how he manages his time, and what he’d advise young people aspiring to pursue a career within the industry.
Andy C stunned revellers last weekend as the secret headliner at Boomtown’s closing ceremony, taking place at their domineering Sector 6. Since we spoke at MADE, Andy has also performed at Ibiza’s Amnesia, Romania’s Untold Festival and in Spain.
Andy C returns to Birmingham this October as part of a new MADE Festival project, Made for the Weekend.
Andy C Interview at MADE Festival – 28th July 2018
Hi Andy, so you’ve been doing this for quite a while. How do you cope? What feeds the energy when you go onto the stage?
Well, you know what, I woke up this morning, I went in the studio and had a mix. That gave me the vibes, you know? Finding new mixes, listening to new tunes, just getting excited.
And it’s always lovely when you come out to a festival, tents rammed, everybody wants to have a good time, that’s what keeps the energy there.
It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, that’s generally what happens. Last weekend we were in Toronto and Los Angeles, same vibe. It’s beautiful.
So now, we’ve come back, Birmingham, it’s raining, but everyone’s in the tent and everyone’s jamming so you know, it’s a beautiful thing and that’s why we’re raving.
Do you remember when you decided that this is what you want to do? What inspired you?
When I was 13, I had a night out and I dreamt of doing this. I used to stand in my bedroom on Velcro turntables and pretend that I was DJ’ing at all these amazing raves, and it came true!
I left school at 16 and it’s just always what I wanted to do. You spend your late teens and your twenties just going along this ride of enjoyment, and you kinda turn around at one point, and you think “hold on, this is what I do now, this is a career now?!”
You’re kinda like “okayyy,” so I think when we decided that, and then we tried to do all these mad crazy things, that we’ve been able to do and been fortunate to do, things got very serious.
Now we host tents, we do festivals, we do big parties and it’s insane!
I just love it, how can you not? You’ve got down here tonight, everyone’s buzzing. That’s what makes me excited.
Somebody said to me last night, “Do you get nervous?”
I was like “No, I don’t get nervous, I get excited!”
I love turning up to a festival, and everyone’s here. As a DJ, that’s what you want. It’s like hosting a party. Literally, it’s like having a party round your house.
Alright, the crowds are a little bit bigger than what you might get in your front room, but we all love music, and we all love saying to people “check this new tune out!”
Fortunately, I’m a lucky lad, I get to do it on stage in front of people. And it’s kinda made my life vibe.
What would you say are your most and least favourite things about being a DJ? Do you ever get so tired you just can’t be bothered to go out?
Well, of course. Like last weekend, I think I was in Ibiza on the Tuesday, then Friday flew to Canada, no sleep. Landed, went to the gig straight from the airport. Played, no sleep. I was at the airport for 6, flew to LA, five hour flight.
Then you’re like, “I’m really tired,” but then you check yourself and you’re like, “hold on, it’s palm trees, it’s sunny, I’m in LA!”
And then you get to the gig. As soon as you get to the gig, all that stuff’s forgotten.
How do you manage your time, alongside running RAM Records?
Well, I don’t run RAM. There’s a lot of people, Jim and the crew, a lot of people behind the scenes that make it all happen.
I’m kinda like the front of it, my job is to get the music and listen to it.
Do you take on younger people at RAM, develop their skills?
Well, we’ve done that over the years. If you check the artists we’ve brought through, we signed Sub Focus when he was a younger lad. Wilkinson, same, Chase & Status.
We take people on, you know. René LaVice is on right now. I hunted him down. He sent me a tune, I didn’t even know it was from him. I hunted him down on YouTube, found out he lived in Toronto and gave him a call.
Now he lives over here, and this is what he does. That’s what we do.
What would you advise young people,teenagers, people who aspire to be like you?
It’s a tough, tough ride, but I just love being a part of this. I love everybody that shows the passion. I love the buzz of the backstage vibe.
I love playing, DJ’ing. I’ve done everything. Distributed records, worked in record stores, handed out flyers.
You’ve just gotta do everything. You can’t just make a tune and be like “I’ve made a banger, I’m it!”
You have to live and breathe every facet of it. I think everybody that you’ve seen that’s risen to the top; it’s hard work. It’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
Especially with our scene, because we’ve been there for so long now, I’ve been doing this for 26 years, but we don’t rise above the top for doing big commercial stuff.
Everybody that loves drum’n’bass, loves it. It’s all about the drum and bass.
Andy C returns to Birmingham this October at ‘Made for the Weekend,’ a brand new MADE Festival project at the city’s Genting Arena. Andy C will be performing on Saturday 13th October, alongside Chase & Status and Gorgon City.
Tickets are available below through the Made for the Weekend Skiddle page.
Image credits: MADE Festival