Artful – UK Tour Preview & Interview

Tour Photo

Artful Returns to Brighton again! Previously known as Artful Dodger, Artful was one of the fore runners of UK garage, being the producer and co-writer for Craig David’s “Born to Do It,” along with a stringer of other classics, including “Moving Too Fast” and “Woman Troubles.” Very few people have done what Artful has done for UK Garage and he takes centre stage at The Green Door Store on the 17th of June to showcase his return and where music has taken him over the last few years.

As part of a Tour which is spanning across 10 cities, including Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham and London, Brighton is the first on the bill. Lead support on the night comes from grime veteran DJ and producer; Rude Kid. As one of the most influential grime producers working in and around the scene at the moment, Rude Kid has produced some of the most popular grime anthems to date, including “Ghetts – Sing For Me” and “Get Busy (ft. Skepta.)”

One of our interviewers, caught up with him for an in depth interview about his upcoming tour!

Obviously with the success of the Craig David projects, you have become one the household names in UK garage, how do you feel that has affected you personally as a producer and as a writer?

It’s quite bizarre, as I had the long break. When I got back into it a few years ago, I was quite keen to drop that style of production completely and try something new, still dance based but just something new. I ended up getting in touch with Ed Sheeran and we decided to give the new stuff a whirl and it was quite interesting. I started thinking after though why am I trying to push this new sort of sound when I know people still love the old school kind of sound. The newest projects sort of faded and I just decided to go wherever my music was taking me really.

What would you say is the main idea behind this tour, is it to promote new music, re-announce yourself etc?

It’s a mixture of both really. I really didn’t want to get back into the idea of running old school garage nights and getting the same names all back again. I felt the point of me coming back was to be myself but working with new artists and writers. I was working with the guys at XY before and I was really happy with the crowds who were turning out and I wanted to kind of keep it at that level. I felt it would be the best way to reconnect with old fans and I didn’t want to wait around to start getting bookings again. I would much rather play the much more intimate venues as I think it will be better for connecting with the fans, both old and new.

What sort of format will the show be taking, will it be DJ based or do you want to try something a bit different?

I have thought about it a lot. For this tour I think that DJ based sets with a live remix element along with a bit of technology thrown in would be better for the size of the venues. I think this would be better than working with a live band at the moment. We are talking about doing a completely live tour later in the year though so keep an eye out for that.

We can see from the flyers that Rude Kid is the lead support for the tour, how did that link up come together?

A lot of it came from Bobby to be completely honest. He drew me a list up of the people he felt would work best, and I listened through different tracks I could find on YouTube and thought this is the sort of sound that would really compliment mine. I didn’t want to put on a night with a load of old school garage names; I wanted to keep it new artists making good new music.

Obviously the name on the tour posters is Artful, are you still going to be working for stuff under Artful Dodger or have you completely left that name now?

No it’s completely Artful now. I actually sold the name on so I have officially left the band. It’s been passed on to some other guys who have been DJ’ing under the name and stuff like that. Coming back into it, I very much wanted to do it on my own, on my own label. I didn’t want to completely severe the link with Artful Dodger but I wanted something new. Bobby thought It would be great to have a reference to the old name. It will be great for people when they realise and the penny drops as well.

What do we have to look forward to music wise under the new name?

Yeah definitely, I actually put out an EP at the beginning of the year which is available for download off the Facebook Page. I’ve been working with loads of songwriters and producers as well. There is loads of stuff on my SoundCloud page and I’m just working on as much music as I can.

Recently we are noticing that there has been a massive increase in interest in underground house music.

Yes definitely, especially the deeper, more soulful stuff?

Exactly, what do you think about this? Obviously we have had the rise of Dubstep and Drum & Bass in the public eye, so is it a good thing for electronic music?

I’m really pleased. I mean I love Dubstep and all the cool new EDM stuff, It’s become a lot more electronic and obviously there’s been people sort of jumping on the bandwagons. But no I think it’s great, we had that Duke Dumont record which did really well, obviously all the stuff Disclosure have been doing is fantastic and Bondax and all those names. Then there’s the new Daft Punk track which has become absolutely massive. I think with all the harsher electronic sounding stuff people are happy to have a bit more of the soul back in it to be honest.

What else do we have to look forward to from yourself during the tour and afterwards?

Just more and more music really, the more I’m doing it the more I love it at the moment. I’ve got loads of people throwing ideas for collaborations at me at the moment so it looks really positive. There’s loads of exiting stuff going on behind the scenes as well. I actually had a track top the Hype Machine chart in America which is amazing. Hopefully with the tour it will just grow and grow so we can eventually get it going around Europe as well.

Keep up to date with news about the tour and any projects artful is working on on his Facebook and Twitter and be sure to get down to the Green Door Store on the 17th of June to catch the first leg of the tour!

Written By Jay McDougall

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