Since the early years of this millennium Low Steppa has been producing some of the finest bass music around under various guises, whilst touring the globe and rocking some of the world’s best parties – from EDC in Los Angeles to Womb in Tokyo. His own imprint Simma Black Records is going from strength to strength, with its releases becoming a staple in many a DJs crate, and with his own Simma parties bringing in the punters in their droves. We caught up with the man himself recently to find out what’s what…
How did you first get into dance music, where and when?
Those tape packs at school was where it all started for me. I fell in love with dance music instantly. I knew I wanted to be a DJ from about the age of 14. I remember getting my first set of decks, I didn’t have a clue how to mix but I was hooked!
When did you start making it, what tools did you use, how did it go?
I started in about 2002, using an Akai Sampler S6000 and an ancient version of Cubase and an old Macintosh. I was just messing around with disco loops back then, didn’t really know what I was doing back then. It’s still a constant learning process though.
How long did it take you to find your own sound, maybe you’re still searching?
I thought I’d found my sound numerous times before, but I really feel like this is really me and what I believe in. I enjoy making music more than ever now, always getting ideas and wanting to jump on the computer. The Low Steppa sound encompasses all the things I love about house music.
Are you hard of software man? Why? Have you got any ideal bits of kit you would like to buy?
‘m mainly software based, I’ve used my Virus TI lots in past, had a Moog Voyager too. Next on my list is the UAD satellite stuff and NI Machine. I am looking into more hardware though I think its time for some treats.
Does it take you a long time to make a track or are you someone who works quickly? Do you have a proper studio or can you work on the road?
Tracks can come together pretty quick when the vibe is there but then sometimes it can take weeks. Sometimes I work in my studio then other times I literally get beats going on my MacBook. Its definitely a good thing to be able to work on the road though, airports, planes etc, get ideas down wherever you are.
You’ve remixed the massive Route 94 track – how did you approach that? Was it nervy, were you scared about what to do?
I actually did that for a bit of fun, never realising it would become so big. Route 94 hit me up pretty much straight away saying he loved it and he start playing it. Now it’s just been pressed up on a Rinse Anniversary vinyl! I still drop it in my sets and always gets a cheer when the bass drops in.
What goals have you got now going forwards, what do you aim to achieve?
I’d like to work on an album at some stage and I also want to push the Simma Black label and some parties and keep finding new artists. Most importantly though for me is the drive to keep making better music and find new angles.
Tell us about your own label, Simma Black – what sort of music you looking to release there?
Obviously I want the label to have a certain vibe and appeal to my followers but I’m not scared to put stuff on there if its different as long as I believe in it. I really want to build a strong family of artists so that we can push forwards together.
What else you got coming up/are you excited about?
Really excited about some back to back sets coming up with Martin Ikin and some tracks we are working on for an EP at the moment. I have a few projects in the pipeline with some other artists too but can’t say too much for now.
If you could own one track no other DJ could ever play, what would it be and why?
Would have to be something like Strings of Life or Gat Decor Passion, something classic and timeless like that.