HOT Creations is a melting pot of raw talent and one of the most consistent labels in dance music.
The imprint, co-owned by Jamie Jones and Lee Foss, has over the last half decade become notorious for it’s quality house music output.
Originally hailing from South Shields, Richy has become firmly established at the forefront of British house music in recent times, touring the world and playing a major role in the output of Hot Creations in an A&R capacity as well as releasing a slew of his own quality productions on a variety of other imprints such as Circus and Strictly Rhythm.
We caught up with Richy last year at the start of a very busy summer in this interview originally published on June 16 2016.
Can you tell us about the dance music scene growing up in South Shields and when you first decided it was something you wanted to do as a career?
There wasn’t really a dance music scene in South Shields when I started going out, it was more like happy hardcore was my kind of scene because the raves were open all night. But when I lived in South Shields I wasn’t even planning on being a DJ or even thought it was a viable option or something I was gonna do. It was more when I moved to Newcastle and Leeds and went to Ibiza for the first time that I thought about DJ’ing
You have said in the past that moving to London was integral to how fast your career has risen? Can you tell us what’s great about the scene in London?
Yeah it was very integral and it was one of the major factors as to why my career moved so quickly. For me the scene in London is always vibrant, fresh, its always ahead of its time. It does struggle sometimes with some of the politics for venues but people always find a new idea or someway of putting a party on. People that find stumbling blocks don’t let things bring them down and are always working through it to strive forward.
How strong is UK clubland at the moment, especially in light of the threat or perceived threat that hangs over it in terms of club closures and the success of festivals versus the club environment?
I think the English scene is probably the strongest one in the world. I think that people here always think the grass is greener, but if you go to places like Spain and Italy they always say that the UK is the best place to play, or the most happening. The one thing that’s really good about here is that it doesn’t matter where you go, be it cities like Bradford or even Stoke or whatever you still have really cool parties on. In Europe it’s always the big cities that have parties on, but here it’s everywhere, even small towns. It doesn’t matter what threat there is – people like to rave in the UK, I mean the weather ain’t great we don’t have a load of nice beaches or what have you, people just like to party and I don’t think it’s something anyone can suppress.
Your career has risen fast over the past 5 years in line with a new generation of great British artists. What’s it like to be part of a new vanguard of British talent who have helped remould the scene over the last few years?
I think it’s really good, it’s a thriving scene and I’m really proud of being part of something. When it’s put in a statement like that it makes you feel proud, I hadn’t really looked at it like I’m changing something but we have been. There’s so much good talent and so many different types of music coming out of the UK, I’m just just glad to part of it, doing my bit, working hard to improve the scene and do new things.
Hot Creations has been important to your development as an artist but you are also A&R for the label, as well as being a Director and resident and one of the curators for the line-ups for Paradise at DC10. Can you tell us how you got involved with Jamie Jones and what it’s like being part of the crew?
Being part of the crew is amazing because generally we are just friends. I’ve know Jamie for about 14 years now and when I started he could see I had a lot of talent and pushed me through, just like I’ve done with lots of artists like wAFF and others. It’s just a natural instinct to pick your mates and push them to drive for the future. It’s great! The company has developed organically, it’s grown from employing mates and playing music and helping each other out and bringing each other forward. It’s been a natural process and is the best feeling in the world and that’s why it’s going to last, because at the end of the day we are mates and always will be mates.
What artists should we be looking out for on the label this summer and who is inspiring you with their music at the moment?
We’ve got some great releases coming this summer from Jey Kurmis, Mark Jenkyns, Solardo to name a few. But as for people that are inspiring me – I’m feeling the stuff coming from Floorplan, ItaloJohnson, Denis Sulta, Man Power and Jansons, they are all smashing it at the moment.
Can you tell us about your 4thirtytwo event series? We understand the parties see you playing a real mixture of styles of music across extended sets in a variety of UK clubs?
The 4ThirtyTwo parties so far, we’ve had four, and I would say have been massive massive success. I’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm and the reaction – they’ve all been selling out well before the date, and I can safely say without a biased opinion that they have been four of the best parties I’ve ever done or have had the privilege of playing in my life. So I’m looking forward to the next series of events as we have big things coming up at the back end of the summer… So watch this space!
You are a big fan of hip hop, does that influence regularly weave it’s way into your sets?
The one thing I love about hip hop, especially old school hip hop, 80’s and 90’s hip hop, is the drums, the breaks and the grooves. All recorded on an MPC, all really organic, well made with excellent swing on the drums so they sound really, really solid. So sometimes when remixing or editing tracks it’s good to put hip hop breaks in, and it gives it that something else and really works. The crowd seems to love it.
What else is in store for this summer for you in terms touring and releases?
I’m back in Ibiza as a Paradise resident for another year, which is amazing. Love the scene there and playing alongside some great mates.
As for releases I’ve got lots of releases coming this summer, I’ve just had a new EP on Hot Creations which has done really well. I’ve finished the first two EP’s for 4ThirtyTwo, done and dusted both by myself coming out after the summer. I’ve got a remix coming out on KMS, one on Moda Black and another track on Circus, so I have plenty of music coming. Studio time this year has been great and I’ve been making loads of music and I’m really improving. I’m super happy with everything that’s in the pipeline soon to come out.
Can you give us 3 current favourite tracks our readers can get their hands on right now to download and explain what you like about them?
Floorplan Music, it’s awesome, just really amazing how he infuses old school soul and disco into a really raw techno beat, it works perfectly!
The new EP by ItaloJohnson, it’s breaky raw analogue drum beats are really, really cool combined with the synth line, works wonders.
Thirdly, pretty much anything by Butch. I think anything he touches is on fire at the moment. He’s definitely on a good thing.