IF you’ve stepped into any club over the last year, chances are you’ve heard a Wheats record playing.
In a very short space of time, this exciting new artist has gone from bedroom producer and hometown club resident to being signed to the some of the biggest forward thinking labels in the world Toolroom, Saved, Repopulate Mars, Madtech, Knee Deep in Sound, enjoying the support of DJs as varied as Solardo, Kerri Chandler, Alan Fitzpatrick, Hot Since 82 and Calvin Harris.
He was spotted by Toolroom boss Mark Knight from a simple demo submission. As soon as the team heard it, they knew he was going to be a massive success. With tracks like “Kassia”, “Warrior Wall” and “Original Rebel” tearing up dancefloors all over the globe, Wheats continues to impress with every release, showcasing a truly playable big room sound that doesn’t just copy current trends.
Earlier this year Wheats collaborated with Alan Fitzpatrick on the huge M27, and with further collabs confirmed with Hot Since 82, Mark Knight, Eli Brown and Gene Farris for 2019, we thought it was high time we caught up with him. He also recorded a special mix for The Night Bazaar Sessions which you can listen to below.
Attending Toolroom Academy was where you got your big break, but how were you producing and improving before being spotted by Toolroom? As a self proclaimed ‘bedroom producer’, it must be difficult to remain disciplined as you only have yourself to answer to a lot of the time. Did you ever set yourself targets to say, produce at least 3 beats a week? How can someone go from the bedroom to big room DJ?
At the time I had a group of close friends that loved house records so I could forward them my music that was in works and get solid feedback from them. I think you need to create a circle, find other producers that are in the same boat as you, work together and hopefully bounce of each other’s ideas and feedback!
You got into music through your dad, who is also a DJ. But what got you into producing? What is the appeal of DJ’ing and producing electronic music instead of say, playing an instrument, to you?
Shortly after my dad was teaching me to DJ, I wanted to go a step further and try and create something I could literally mix along with the other records my dad gave me. The first time I started I instantly got addicted to creating these tunes.. I think it’s worse now than ever as I have a picture in my head of how a crowd will react when I play them ha!
You said in other interviews that your dad played 90s house but can you recall any specific records that he would play and why?
He loves this one Camisra – Let Me Show You, always used to hear it and still do when he’s jamming away in our room we share. I think he heard FatBoy Slim play this back in the 90s then he tracked it down. Course Shazam wasn’t around back then so you literally had to hunt for these gems!
We know your dad has since retired from the DJ profession, but do you and your dad ever B2B for fun?
All the time!! For example I’d be testing some new tracks out and he’d appear out of nowhere start playing some vinyl, I’d then start playing into his choice, good fun!
Does Papa Wheats ever attend any of your shows? If he has, what does he think of them and does he offer feedback?
He attends as many as he can, he gets 100% my vibe! When I was quite new to the scene he’d always give me feedback or let me know when if the record was out ha!!
Can you tell us about your experience of the music scene in Portsmouth? Obviously you had a residency at Love Amplified for a bit, but what is it like growing up there as a young creative?
Portsmouth have had some great days, almost every huge act in House/Techno have played at least once down here. A lot of my inspiration generated from that residency, It was a huge buzz for me because I didn’t have much so to play in front of your home crowd and all your pals was mega at the time!!
You have a lot of collaborations coming up over the coming months. Is there anyone you are particularly looking forward to?
Yes! Recently worked with Alan Fitzpatrick on M27 which went on to do really well! Currently I’m working with Hot Since 82, Eli Brown, Gene Farris, Mark Knight and more so expect more collabs in 2019-2020!
You released your collaboration with Alan Fitzpatrick M27 back in March. Have you collaborated with anyone before? What did you take away from the experience?
Alan is a really down to earth guy. He’s quite local to me so it made total sense to get in the studio together! I think it made me realise that anything is possible. The worst any artist can say is no I can’t collab with you… You’ve just got to bite the bullet and ask them!
What can you tell us about tracks you are working solo on at the moment?
Currently working on a number of EPs for some great labels, I can’t actually announce anything but my next release will be out soon!
Do you use any hardware for producing tracks or are you based solely on a laptop? What is your reason for the preference?
I am solely based on a laptop, but I am looking at buying hardware as soon as the space is there for me to start!
Every artist is on a constant journey (professionally and musically) but what are some key things you have learnt so far?
I’ve learnt a lot, it’s a crazy industry! I’m still of course learning every single day but I think the best thing I’ve learnt is to not worry about what anyone thinks and just do what you think is best! Don’t get caught up in the whole “you can’t make these type of records it’s not you” otherwise what’s the point?
Where can we catch you playing over the next few weeks?
Very busy summer a head! I have quite a lot of shows in Amsterdam, UK, Berlin, USA, Ibiza for Toolroom. See you at the front.
Wheats has exclusive tracks on Toolroom Ibiza 2019 – out now. Click HERE to grab your copy.