Ceri Evans brought a rare and refined musicality to the UK Garage scene when he launched Sunship in 1991. As a Jazz pianist and former member of The Brand New Heavies, his sound evolved from spirited Acid Jazz releases to chart-breaking (and award winning) tracks that encompassed everything wonderful about UKG. Easily one of the most prolific musical acts of the era, Sunship has released dozens original productions and remixed at least 300 more; among them UKG classics “Cheque One-Two” and “Try Me Out,” Misteeq’s “All I Want” and Sweet Female Attitude’s “Flowers” (both #2 in the UK) in a career that continues to this day.
Sunship: A 5 Mag UKG Mix
Sunship: A 5 Mag Interview
So Ceri can I ask you, are you doing all solo stuff now or is there still the collective that is Sunship?
Sunship has always been me as a sole producer/musician. Chunky is a fantastic DJ and a great sounding board for honest feedback. James is a fantastic engineer/technical guru. They both are still active supporting me as a producer. They are both long standing friends of mine as well.
Sunship is now 25 years old…congratulations! Tell us what that ride has been like, your “Sunship Theme Tune” came out in January, yes?
Yes, my Sunship project is 25 years old this year. I am very fortunate to be able to have made music all of my life, for others to (hopefully) enjoy. The “Sunship Theme Tune” was just released. It actually features me singing, which I think is a first on a release for me. The vocal was recorded about 15 years ago, and is part of an unreleased album, which is about to finally be released on Sunship Recordings.
Your Boiler Room set was amazing! I see you still use CDs?
Chunky is the representing Sunship DJ, and he uses USB to DJ, but can use from anything from CDJs to vinyl!
So in those 25 years did you ever take a hiatus?
I took a small break from electronic music a couple of years ago to refocus on my piano playing, which produced two solo piano albums by myself, both available now on Sunship Recordings. I have never taken a break from music, as it is my life, my soul, my breath.
What do you have in store for your fans coming up?
Now that I have the Sunship Recordings outlet, I can digitally release a lot of back catalog that fans only had on vinyl. I also have an extensive unreleased catalog that will be coming, and some fresh new tracks featuring artists I have worked with before, and up and coming artists. My younger daughter Xanthe is a Garage girl through and through, and will be featured on Sunship and her own tracks, forthcoming on Sunship Recordings.
On March 5, Sunship Recordings reissued “Cheque One-Two” with original & Rockers dubs plus unreleased mixes. The third, previously unreleased Sunship album “Missing In Action” is forthcoming.
UKGx3: Originally published in 5 Magazine Issue 144, the last of our three issue series dedicated to the sound, the artists and the timeless influence of UK Garage and featuring Scott Diaz, Wideboys, Sunship and more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music for only $1/issue twice per month.