A newcomer to the Crosstown Rebels posse, Russ Yallop used 2011 to prove himself as gifted producer – but 2012 will hold a lot more for the Brighton-based artist. It was his remix of Louie Fresco’s “So Good” that got mybeatFix looking his way, but Russ has been making music for a good chunk of the last decade, and DJing for even longer.
With a forthcoming remix for Jamie Jones and Art Department, Russ is being pushed into the limelight. This summer he’ll be hitting up clubs from Ibiza to Japan, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he swung back in this direction too.
After playing a string of sweet parties over Winter Music Conference in Miami, mybeatFix caught up with Russ to shoot him a few questions. Check out the interview below.
You’ve had successful releases on some of the most reputable labels on the scene at the moment. How were you introduced into the niche?
Well to be blunt, to be introduced to any niche you really just have to come up with the goods. The best labels only care about the music, not where it’s coming from, so if you can make a track that flicks their switch, they’ll sign it.
Getting their ear in the first place can be tricky. I was lucky enough to have an intermediate pass my first EP to Damian Lazarus, which helped in that he trusted their endorsement to give it a spin.
Before you got cut a break, what were you doing? Have you always been pursuing a career in music?
I’ve been DJing in clubs actually since I was about 20, playing everything from house to hip-hop and RnB. It enabled me to have enough spare time to spend in the studio, yet still have enough pennies to eek out a meager existence. When I was about 25, I started putting on parties, again providing me with an income and allowing me to spend my days in the studio.
I started making music about 10 years ago, though only took it on full time about eight years ago. Before then, I always thought I’d end up in some math-type job as that’s what I studied. Ibiza helped me realize my calling!
Your productions have impressed the lot of us. How does it feel to be getting such great feedback for your work?
Getting great feedback is what makes you the happiest. Record sales and subsequent gigs are of course important for you to survive, but they don’t touch you personally as much as direct feedback. Whether it’s someone in a club approaching you out of the blue, or other artists you respect playing your music, that’s what spurs you on to put that extra day’s work in.
So tell me about your upcoming release with Jamie Jones and Art Department. How did you land the remix? What were some production elements you focused on to make it different from the original?
So yeah, my next release is a remix of one of my favorite Jamie tunes, the epic “Our Time In Liberty”. To describe the remix I’ve done, it doesn’t pull any punches, nothing subtle, just all out wham-bam. The original is very grandiose, and I didn’t want to try and be too cool and strip it down, so I just went all out and came up with quite a thumper.As for getting the remix, Damian called me over Christmas and asked me, which the answer was obviously a big fat yes underlined!
As for the remix itself, the original is a very unique track in that it’s an evolving groove with an improvisational feel to it, that builds, winds and develops as the track progresses, but never really pauses or stops for thought. I knew I wanted to capture that brilliance but also include a fixed groove, so the result is just that — a groove that every now and then unleashes the music of the original.
What do you have coming up as far as other productions and touring?
It’s all about me for a while now, as everything I’ve done over the last year has either been a remix or a collaboration. Touring wise, I think I’m going to be going back eastwards in the next few months revisiting Japan and Australia, which I’m very excited about. And of course Ibiza kicks off soon which is my home away from home, so expect to see me a lot there.