Tough Love chats to Dubzy about performing Pierjam, Float Your Boat Party and Amnesia. They also talk about playing Ushuaia and how their sound has progressed.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background? Stuff that people may not know too much about?
We’ve been going for 5 years. A little while with the soul that we both had some of our own stuff going on. I worked though several of aliases, some of the more the French electro type of sounds and more House; and then Stephen as well, he working a lot more of R&B and Hip-Hop. Actually Stephen has been in the states for a while, engineering for a few guys over there. So that’s probably where we get our (sort of) R&B influences.
How would you describe your style from when Tough Love first started & its progression over the 5 years?
I think we always had the mentality really still, like the big pumping house kind of stuff. It’s going to have a nice groove to it. The odd vocal chop, something catchy, those typical catchy house records that everyone could (kind of) get down to.
Could you give some advice for the younger artists that are looking to hopefully be successful as yourself?
Well… work hard, obviously! We always said, “Do as much as you can yourself” and listen to advice, “take the knocks”. I think a lot of people get seated, we got told ‘no’ on so many records when we’re pitching around for record labels. In the end, we believed in our own sound and that’s when we started our own label and our own path even. If you can’t get your own gigs than you’ll need to find a way to make it happen for yourself. I think that’s the key nowadays… you got to have more entrepreneurial skills if you really want to make it because it’s just so competitive out there, it’s really had to stand above everyone else.
‘Pier Jam’ part 3; you are playing there this Saturday. How are you feeling? Are you exited about the gig?
For definite, can’t wait! We know we exited about the journey out there. We’ve got our first anniversary in London, the night before. That won’t finish ‘till 8 in the morning! We got to do a 7-hour set and then head straight up, that will be good fun. Hopefully it won’t be as windy: last year we played it was so windy, we couldn’t hear anything on the monitors. It was mad!
You mentioned that you played there last year, how did you find it?
The crowd was wicked. The venue was unreal. When you’re looking around, you’re like “I’m really at the edge of the peer here”. The way like Alex said, “it didn’t help”.
I know it was good fun. It was entertaining!
I hope that they have a different technician, because the guy last year thought it would be funny to put the smoke machine on the whole side and the wind was just blowing in our face; It literally did not touch the ground. It was just in our face for (like) an hour-half. He (technician) thought it was finny though; he was having the time of his life.
Have you seen the line-up for this event?
We have, yeah! It’s decent.
We’ve got ‘Hannah Wants’, ‘Shadow Child’, and ‘Shiba San’. Is there anyone in particular that you want to catch his or her set?
Monki actually. We’re good friends with ‘Monki’, she’s a good girl and I really love what’s she’s playing at the moment so, It would be good to catch up with her. I don’t know if we’ve seen her for a while now; couple of months… yeah, it’s been awhile.
What’s planned for your set? Could you let us know yet?
Hahahaha! We literally see what’s in front of us and then go from there. We can’t really plan sets. You probably going to be able to adapt to what’s in front of you because you never know what the crowd is going to be like.
There is a couple we want to play though. We literally come back from a show in Swansea, at the weekend and we spent bank holiday Monday in the studio until the early hours and (actually) finished 2 new records; so we kind of look towards to test-running them. So some exclusive stuff, yeah for sure!
Would you be playing some of the classics as well?
Yeah…we’ll edit some! We’ve been test-running a few, looked at some of the new edits and some of the older stuff. It’s been going down pretty well.
One last thing from ‘Pier Jam’, what was your stand out memory from last year (of the event)?
Ermm… trying to think… I don’t know, just (like) losing my hat!
Apart from the wind, I think I was sh** scared of it. The amount of people that actually appeared was unreal. It’s definitely the environment you don’t get to often. So to actually see the amount of people in front of you, well like I said, “you’re on the edge of the peer”. It’s unbelievable. We put ‘DUSKY’s set on there, that was pretty cool.
What do you think of the venue ‘Amnesia, Ibiza’? Have you played there before?
Naaa, that was our debut. We’ve been there but never played there. It’s a brilliant venue. We were in the tents and it was heathen! He had the final step and it was still heathen at the end.
So you closed it yeah?
Yeah. So big up to everyone that came out and stayed ‘till 6AM. That was a really good party, we played the ‘float your boat’ parties within the day.
Ushuaia. You’re playing at ‘Tine Tempah’s – Disturbing Ibiza’ right?
Yep. Next week!
How are you feeling about that one?
Exited man! We’ve never played at Ushuaia. Again, we’ve been there a few times to go and party so we’re really really checking that place out.
So you had a couple of first plays in Ibiza this season then?
Yeah, it’s been good for us this season, trying out some new venues; it’s good fun, hop around a bit more. Ushuaia should be amazing. We’ve got a big crew coming out after that one as well. I think there’s about 10-15, friends & families so it’s should be a bit of a laugh. Messy mode up!
So are you going to “go in” on some edits and exclusives there as well?
Yeah. For sure. I think it will be a different set. It’s a daytime set and the line up is a little bit unusual for Ibiza. I guess half of the time. Tinie Tempah, Sigma, Charlie Sloth, Charlie Hedges, James Hype etc.
Where do you slot in? Are you after Tinie Tempah?
No Idea! We’ll treat it more like a concert, won’t we? …Like a live show (almost).
So would you bring any singers with you or anything like that?
Maybe! We’ll see what we can put together, there’s a possibility we can.
When you’re not on the decks, where are your favourite places to hang out?
There are a few beaches that you need to go and chill in. ‘Talamanca Beach’, between one of them. It’s like the back of where we usually stay. So to chill-out, that place is lovely. It’s been busy lately since somebody’s been telling someone.
What is going on with your production? Could you let us know?
The latest single is: “Like I Can” with ‘Karen Harding’. She just dropped it; it’s going really nice. We’re pretty exited about that one; the response has been pretty amazing. It’s getting battered on the radio and then we’ve got a wicked remix package coming on that one (actually) which we’re really exited about. After that, we’ve got a new record with ‘S-Man’, featuring ‘Boy George’. I’m telling you, we’ve been playing it for 18 months! It would be new to everyone else. You can go and check that one out. There’s loads of club material coming out, found a new record to sort it out. There are loads! We’re going back to our roots… between now and January-February (I guess) just going to put loads and loads of club material out for the DJ’s to start spinning again which we’re looking forward to.
Your label is killing it at the moment as well, ‘Get Twisted Records’. What are the plans there?
We’ve been building quite a nice catalogue of artists as well as tracks that are coming out. More label nights, totally going to the festival season next year with couple of ‘Get Twisted’ tents and of course that acts are part of it. We’re trying out hardest to push that. We’ve got a massive E.P. to come! Stuff like: Ray Foxx, we’ve got a huge E.P. coming soon, which we’ve been smashing on our club shows. There are loads! Honestly, there’s so much material. I think we booked up to about January-February next year at the moment (release wise). And there’s a massive crossover tune to come by a guy called ‘LiTek’ which is called ‘Uber’. It’s special, that tune is special!
He’s quality. He’s sick! He’s from Manchester as well! He’s a “Manchester boy” you should look at him.
We’ve got our first compilation as well, out this Friday. Tracks from: ‘MK’ (Marc Kinchen) to obviously ‘LiTek’ and there’s loads of people on there. It’s the first kind of adventure we’ve done into the compilation market. Everyone should go check that out (for sure!).