To have an ear for what the kids want takes a skill, and none know this better than UK spinster, Sinden. It’s this golden vestibule that has seen him not only score a coveted show on the UK’s number one radio station KISS FM, but tour with M.I.A. as her in-house DJ. Add to that remixing for the likes of Diplo and A-Trak, and the genre-smashing DJ has it set. With a penchant for high rolling street fashion and a fetish for the three-stripes, we take time out to chat to Sinden as he finishes off cuts for his new album with the Herve’s ,Count and readies for his Aussie tour, courtesy of Fuzzy.
So when did you discover the taste for steel and wax?
I got hooked on seven inches when I was a kid, mainly Def Jam rap and hip-house stuff mixed with metal jams like Iron Maiden. Now, like most, I’ve traded in the wax for the CD.
As a DJ do you prefer the analog sounds of vinyl or the less achy breaky back feel of digital downloads?
I converted to Serato about 8 months back and that has changed everything, so now I’m all about the digital downloads and upload links. Though my mate Jesse Rose would argue if you aren’t carrying your own records you aren’t earning your DJ fee!!
You pride yourself on being one step ahead of the game, especially with the limitless supply of promos thrown your way from your radio show on Kiss FM. What are you feeling at the moment? And where do you see music going?
So much right now, lots of bands like Animal Collective, Micachu & The Shapes, Telepathe, Phoenix and Passion Pit, some Southern trap hip-hop especially Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman. These guys hustle so hard on the mixtape circuit. Loads of UK urban dance music – Dubstep, Garage and Funky House etc. I’m really excited about The Dream’s record. I get off on a lot of global world style music too - this new Douster mixtape kills! I think more producers will embrace these sounds.
Let’s talk about the Kiss Fm show for a minute – how did you manage to score that gig? For all those that don’t know, explain just what an honour it is to have this show!
Switch and I DJ’d at a club that Kiss FM came down to do a live broadcast at. Afterwards, a bit pissed, I just cornered one of the producers and proposed the idea. There was a real niche for what I had to offer – no one was spinning Baltimore Club music, World music, Rock etc plus I brought in all the choicest cuts from the House and Electro scene - just good eclectic club music all the way. Kiss is the hottest radio station on the waves with DJ’s like Dave Rodigan (Reggae), Hatcha & Crazy D (Dubstep), DJ EZ (UK Garage), DJ Hype (Drum N Bass), Logan Sama (Grime), all really deep DJs in their field, so it’s a big deal.
Have you found working on the show the best source of networking as far as meeting artists to collaborate with, or even better, getting your own tunes heard?
It has been good to me in terms of meeting artists and DJs and stuff. I’ve definitely gotten tons more promos from being on the station and some good buzz. I don’t really use it as a platform hustle though – I’ve never been that pushy about DJ’s playing my stuff.
You’ve worked with and remixed so many mind-blowing artists in the club scene – do you actually get in the lab together or are you more remixing tunes after vocals have been dropped?
I do remixes in my lab once the artists have finished.
You pulled off a massive coup backing M.I.A. as her tour DJ – how did that come about, and how insane was it playing to such massive audiences?
I met her and Diplo through Switch a few years back, this was in the very early stages of Kala being made. When a gap came up for a tour DJ, Switch put in a good word for me. I seized the opportunity in an instant. The shows were mental and unforgettable – getting kicked off stage in Scotland for inciting a stage invasion, supporting Bjork to thousands in an old Roman Coliseum. It was bananas!
Do you prefer the craziness of festival crowds or the bubbling energy in the club?
I like both. I think clubs can be as crazy, if not crazier, than festivals. I like being closer to the crowd rather than being way up on a stage. You can also be a bit more experimental in the club; you can play subby tunes for example.
Does it get frustrating when people always want to hear the same bangers everytime you play out, or do you follow your own protocol?
Yeah it is frustrating. My problem is that there are too many DJs that play the same records. I’m not one of them, not to say that I’m snobby – I’d still rock a popular jam. You still have to entertain but you don’t need to be so obvious with it.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen from behind the decks?
Seen a lot of bad dancing and dry humping. On the way to Roskilde last year, I saw a couple fucking inconspicuously by the road.
You just recently played at the adidas 60 Years Party in KL with Sneaker Freaker’s own Hans DC – do you have a strong affiliation with the three-stripe brand?
Yeah I do, in fact I’m pretty brand loyal. I wear mostly adidas. I rock the classics like Gazelles and Stan Smiths but more and more, over the recent years, I've started getting into Torsions as well as the awesome Consortium range. Also big up on the Blaze Of Glorys – I snagged a Black pair.
Bonus!!! Rock them hard, mate. Will we ever see a Sinden x adidas shoe drop anytime soon?
That’d be insane! If adidas are reading, lets make it happen.
Music and fashion have always gone hand in hand and the club kids today are forging a path of creativity with designs and how they floss their gear– what do you generally like to rock when you’re out in the club? Any labels you are a fan of?
Yeah I agree the fashions in the clubs are inspiring. I used to dress more street with New Era a standard. Now I like to dress a bit smarter but still street. It’s changed a lot recently with brands smartening up their lines (or is it just me?). I’m a big fan of VSVM. Also I love Supreme, Head Porter, Neighbourhood, APC, Comme De Garcon, North Face, Stussy, W Taps, Original Fake, Mishka, Ralph Lauren and Lacoste.
You must be looking forward to getting to the hotter side of the equator in April with your new tour. How do you guys view Australia as far as the club scene is concerned?
British people perceive Australian clubbers to be crazy. The clubs out there have always been good to me. Some of the best DJing experiences I’ve had have been in Australia. People are generally up on their shit.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a massive song make the dance floors go bananas like your remix of ‘Beeper’ with Kid Sister…what will the new album (with Herve's Count) bring to the ears of club kids that they’ve yet to experience?
Even more genre-splicing thrills and spills. I can’t divulge many details but it’ll be a trip! There are some really cool colabs with some of our favourite rappers and singers.
What’s up next after the Aussie tour?
I travel back to the UK to hit the studio again via Singapore for a week holiday. I’m spinning at a corporate event for Heineken. Happy days!