There is not one Copyright song that I do not like. My music library is filled with tons of Copyright’s music, and English-born Sam Holt and Gavin Mills without a doubt deserve the title bestowed to them of House Masters. In the course of their 11 year career, they have released over 20 singles and EPs, churned out innumerable remixes and appeared on over 100 compilations and mix CDs. And each and every one of their songs is quality to a T. “Late At Night”, “Bulo”, “He Is” and “Wizeman” are but a few of their celebrated hits that elicit immediate nods of recognition.
Tell us how the two of you met and the genesis of the name Copyright.
Sam: We first met when I hired Gavin’s studio… many years ago! We had a great session and decided to work together from that point on. The name Copyright comes from a small party we used to throw with us and Shovell where we would just hire a small venue and invite our friends. Happy memories…we had some great parties, playing all kinds of music.
That is amazing that a partnership can last as long as yours has in the music world! Have you ever ventured out into solo projects? What is the secret of such a long lasting working relationship?
Sam: Not since we’ve been working together as Copyright. What’s the secret? We are great friends and we have a healthy respect for each other’s strengths. Having travelled the world together many times we’ve had a lot of fun along the way too.
You truly are one of my favorite producers of all time! And I read somewhere that you often characterize your sound with melody and lots of vocals. Why do you think so many producers rarely use vocals nowadays?
Gavin: Well thank you! The process of writing songs can be a long one, so I guess people just end up developing a sound without them! I mean in terms of the shift in music towards a more trackier sound – that’s been great for us, because it just means our sound is more unique these days. We play a lot of songs – main room beats and soaring vocals!
Sam: We are always writing tracks for an EP and then saying, “Hey this would be dope with a vocal on it!”
Tell us how your working relationship with Shovell came about.
Sam: I’ve been friends with Shovell for many years, stemming back to playing with him in clubs in the North West of England in the late 1990s. As soon as I started making music with Gavin as Copyright, we used to get Shovell to do percussion on all of our stuff. Then one day he started jamming on the mic and the drum warrior was born! BULO BULO!
Based on the promos I’ve been getting I’ve noticed that the sound of London seems to be changing – I haven’t been hearing much of the garage sound anymore. What sound has been getting popular at the clubs there and how has it been evolving?
Gavin: London is in constant change – that’s why it’s a great place to live and make music. To be very honest, I feel like we are more in tune with the scene in places like Holland, Portugal, Spain… We play there so much that playing or even hanging out in London is a rare thing!
Gavin, I read somewhere that you like to take Salsa classes with your wife. What else do you and Sam do outside of the electronic music world that would surprise our readers?
Gavin: Haha! Sam exposed that on a radio interview once and it has never gone away. My latest project is to grow a Bonzai tree at home. It’s not as easy as it sounds! And Sam has bet that I can’t keep it alive for more that six weeks.
Sam: I love to go fishing. I mean I’m kind of obsessed! In fact, I love it so much I’m involved in a couple of fishing TV projects outside of House Music. I know Dennis Ferrer loves his fishing too. It’s like a secret band of fisherman… or not so secret anymore!
I know you said you guys like to pass on what you’ve learned to the younger generation, and I believe you did a producer workshop at the Roundhouse in London. Outside of the technical aspects, what are some of the major points you like to stress to newcomers?
Sam: Ah the Roundhouse was great, around 100 people came to check it out. We were more nervous about that one than the gig later that evening at the iTunes Festival.
One of the main points we stress to newcomers is to try and find their own sound, and develop it. These days the results that can be achieved with a little effort, dedication and a laptop is amazing.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the relationships you strike up with labels. If you can find a great partner you can focus on the main task in hand – writing and producing.
Also to try and work with some artists and develop a writing relationship with them. We’ve made 10 records with Imaani, and the latest one is the best ever, and that came as a result of working together over a long period of time.
What’s next for Copyright? Can you tell us about your upcoming releases, parties, etc?
Sam: Well we are about to embark on a South American tour, then heading to Amsterdam, Pacha Ibiza and finishing off the year in fine style at the Defected in the House Party in Dubai on NYE.
Our next single, “Nobody”, is about to drop on Defected, and we have another single with Shovell almost complete, plus several new artists we are working with… So it’s exciting times at the Copyright HQ in North London.