Leeds-born, London-based Wittyboy has a background in grime and gained respect as an MC featuring on BBC 1Xtra. He’s remixed for Roll Deep, Craig David and Estelle on his way to making a name for himself in the baseline scene. We caught up with Wittyboy as he releases double A-side ‘Working With’ and ‘Burning’ on label Bingo Bass.
The songs represent the two sides to my sound. Almost like a Jekyll and Hyde situation.
Tell us bit about yourself - what were you doing before getting heavily involved in the music industry?
I started expressing my musical interest in my early teens, so I guess just typical teenager stuff, video games, movies, girls and hanging with mates.
What was the first style or genre of music you really got into? Was their a particular song or artist who inspired you?
I was a massive hip hop fan growing up, specifically Wu Tang Clan. I had pretty much every album and was pretty much obsessed with them.
How did you learn to DJ? Any famous teachers?
My friend from school’s brother had some turntables at this house and when he went out we would sneak in his room and have a go. His record collection was really eclectic so it helped me get a feel for different tempos and sounds.
What’s the first club you played in?
The first club I played in was called Harvey’s, which was a really popular spot in Leeds. It was the only place playing urban music too at the time. I was only 16 and got offered a residency. The owners thought I was 18 though!
What was the first tune you wrote? What did you learn most from it?
The first proper track I ever made was a tune called ‘Seduction’ It was like 145 bpm which is crazy when I think of it so I guess I learned that for the style of music I was making 145 bpm was just a bit too fast. The tune however did really well and got me my first BBC play.
You’ve remixed for the likes of Craig David, Nitin Sawhney, Estelle and Toddla T. What have been your favourite remixes?
They all have a place in my heart, but from a musical standpoint I think the Craig David remix was a personal favourite. It was also featured on one of his greatest hits albums too which is crazy.
Your latest release is coming up on DJ Zinc’s Bingo Bass label. How did that link up come about?
I started sending music to Zinc along with my usual DJ mail-outs. He responded and asked if I would be interested in releasing on Bingo. Being an early fan of the label which helped influence my sound I obviously jumped at the chance.
Tell us about ‘Working With’ / ‘Burning’. How does each represent your style?
If I had to put it in simple terms… the songs represent the two sides to my sound. Almost like a Jekyll and Hyde situation. ‘Burning’ is melodic, orchestrated and emotional. ‘Working With’ is dark, heavy and in-your-face.
What support have you had from DJs ahead of the release?
The support has been amazing. The likes of Chris Lorenzo, Sinden, Vato Gonzales to name a few have been supporting and had good things to say about the track. The support on social media has also been really good.
Have you had any memorable drops for them in the clubs yourself?
I played in Cambridge last month and the response to Working With almost caused a riot, haha.
What are your hopes for ‘Working With’ / ‘Burning’?
I just hope it shows people that I’m not afraid to be different and experiment in my sound. Hopefully it might open up the doors to more remix work too.
What’s else is coming up for you in 2018?
More releases, more live shows and hopefully start my album.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I would go back to school and tell myself to enjoy every minute of life and not worry about small insignificant things because it will all be ok and life passes you by so quickly!