I first encountered Alex Prospect while in Spain for HTID In The Sun, a weeklong hardcore festival that takes place every year at The Colossus in Lloret De Mar. It’s a heck of a festival (I’ll be there again this year) but I have to admit, after seven days some of those tunes can really start to blur together.
That’s why it was so refreshing to hear some great new upfront sounds during Alex Prospect’s set. Five years on the decks may not sound like that much, but at just 22 years old that’s a significant percentage of Alex’s life spent spinning. Despite his youth, he’s already been signed to Lethal Theory (one of happy hardcore’s top labels) and besides his performance in Spain he’s also toured around the UK and North America. I emailed Alex some questions to learn a little more about this up and coming rave prodigy, but before I share those with you, I want to let you know that last time he was here he gave me the most unusual answer I’ve ever heard to the question “if you could have any superpower, what would it be?” Check out his interview below, and I’ll let you know his answer at the end.
London and Southampton UK.
Tell me about yourself and your background:
I’m 22, from London originally.
Tell me about the music you’re into:
I’m into all kinds of dance music however I’m known for producing and DJ-ing Bassline-led UK Hardcore.
How did you get into this music?
I got into Hardcore by accident. I bought a CD thinking it was something else, I was hooked instantly.
What do you use to produce in the studio?
Ableton live. Native instruments VSTs.
What is the single most important thing you would tell an aspiring new producer?
Be different and develop your own distinct style.
On what labels have your tunes appeared?
There have been a few small ones but Lethal theory is the main one. I’ve recently released my Like It Loud EP with them.
Describe the sound that defines your tunes and sets them apart from somebody else’s.
My music is always Bassline-led and draws influence from bass heavy genres like Electro House and DnB. I guess my music is a mix of those sounds with the energy of Hardcore. I always aim to make my tracks catchy and not just a full-on bass assault.
If you could pick just one track of yours that you’d want everybody to listen to, what would it be and where can people hear it?
Prospect & Becci – Like It Loud (Gammer & Prospect remix) I think this track best defines where I’m at musically at the moment
Where can you usually be found performing?
I’m all around the UK at the weekends. I also occasionally have bookings in the USA, Canada and Spain.
What are your musical influences?
What motivates you to perform?
It’s my passion. It’s the biggest part of my life. Making music, DJ-ing, building my brand. It’s what defines me.
What differentiates you from other performers?
I always have new exclusive output from my own studio and I tend to make edits and mash-ups of the tracks I play by other people. A few years back I made a deal with myself that every set I play will have something brand new to play, even if its just a cheeky mash-up. It keeps it interesting for me.
I like to think I bring something different to the genres I produce.
What’s next for you?
For my live show I have found a way to link my DJM-900 mixer up to my Ableton in a way that is solid enough for club use and I have been experimenting with this setup. The possibilities are really interesting.
I’m also building a team of people to work with me so I can utilize their key strengths. It makes sense for me to focus on my producing while having the other people on the team focus their expertise into Filming/editing, Graphic design, Marketing or whatever their strengths are. I orchestrate it all but the professional edge all comes from these guys.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
My ultimate aims are to play main stage at Ultra or EDC, and to produce cool stuff for big artists like Rihanna. It is a big aim, however I am confident I’ll be able to do it because 5 years ago my aims were to play at Hardcore Heaven and Uproar and make tunes with Gammer, Styles and Joey Riot.
What story do you try to tell with your music?
At the moment the music I make is purely for big systems/people on a night out and not for home listening therefore I wouldn’t say I consider storytelling when I’m producing maybe one day, but at the moment I just want people to dance.
How would you rate the strength of the rave community in 2012?
I would say it is healthy and definitely on the rise in terms of good new events, the BBC Radio1 coverage recently is also immensely positive.
What’s your favourite on-stage memory?
2011 to 2012 NYE I played after Kevin Energy’s final ever set in Toronto, this was a great honour for me as he was one of the very first Hardcore DJ’s I ever heard that got me into the music in the first place.
How have you evolved over the years, as an artist? What, if any, were the catalysts of that evolution?
I started out making really, really fast and happy music, almost like arcade dance machine stuff. I then toned it down to more standard UK Hardcore but still with lots of pianos and fast melodies. Now I do less major key stuff with much more focus on the bass line [but] the energy is still there! Music has always been an extension of me and my personality. The reason I produce is to make my own favourite tunes. As my tastes change so does my music. I always try something new with every track I make so evolution is inevitable
Of what achievements are you particularly proud?
It’s hard to choose just one but I am proud I got to work with Darren Styles as not many hardcore artists get to. We have also got another collaboration planned.
What’s your favourite song (by somebody else)?
I really don’t think I could choose just one.
What makes a song stand out for you?
If I get that feeling from it! I guess that is triggered by having elements that are new, exciting and inspiring.
What other interests outside of music do you have?
I was really big into my skateboarding before music commitments but I still go shred now and again. Been going rock climbing recently which has been fun.
Something most people don’t know about you:
When I have a drink from a can I always subconsciously put the ring pull to the left.
Find Alex Prospect’s music on his Soundcloud, and keep up to date with him on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest on his adventures. Oh, and his superpower? While exploring the CN Tower, he explained that if he had any superpower, he’d want to be able to turn into a building – any building – on command. Never heard that one before.
Words: Tim Ellis
Photo credit – Tinks Bedford Photography: http://www.facebook.com/tinks.bedford.photos