Two years ago I watched Todd Edwards (twitter | soundcloud) charm the pants off his Chicago audience. Armed with the biggest smile and glow cross necklaces to give away, he danced through his entire set and had the infectious charm of a kid in a candy store. When someone loves music and life that much, you can’t help but get on board.
He’s since won a Grammy Award with Daft Punk for best Dance/Electronica Album and Album of the Year, and proves that Todd the God will continue to minister the sound of Garage.
Can you give us a list of 5 of your favorite up and coming producers and how they are influencing the current course of music?
OK I know they’ve been a household name for the last few years now, but I still feel Disclosure is one of the groups that has had a major impact on the resurgence of UKG. They are more polished and organized in their sound than the garage before them, but there is enough of a connection to the past with their music to help bring UKG into the light of the pop market.
Aside from them, I can’t specifically tell you who is changing the course of dance music. I only know what I like to put in my sets, and what works when I DJ at clubs and festivals. I’ve been looking out for tracks and remixes by Devolution. Tracks like theirs have a good balance between House and UKG and fit well into the sets I play, both overseas and here in the US. The tracks I play in my set are more House, but have the bounce and swing of UKG. I want to be able to match the energy with my own tracks as well. As I’ve been developing my sets, I’ve actually been developing my sound as a DJ. The response has been very good, so I guess I’m doing something right.
I’ve also been listening to NVOY, Timanti, Billon, and Ricky Tinez of Velcro. Listening to the works of younger producers helps me hear areas that I can continue to grow as a musician.
You never stop learning unless you choose not to.
How about 5 of the top songs in your playlist (not necessarily a DJ one)?
I love Alex Metric’s “Hope”. It ALWAYS gets a great response.
Avan Lava – “Last Night” (Copy Paste Soul remix) – Epic bassline!
Herve Feat Zebra Katz – “Tear The House Up” (Jay Robinson remix) – His voice works so well over the track.
Anna Lunoe – “Breath” (Cosmo’s remix) – I’ve been playing this for a bit now. Always gets a reaction.
DJD – “I Can Make It” – A great example of the bouncy sound I love.
[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″] I’m not a fan of being in huge crowds with little room to move. There isn’t enough tequila in the world to relax me in that environment. [/quote]
Festival culture… how has that been with your career and what trends do you see with them? Have you been playing a lot of them?
To be honest, I don’t play an excessive amount of festivals. It’s great to play them though. Big crowds with a lot of energy. But I’d definitely rather play them than attend them. I’m not a fan of being in huge crowds with little room to move. There isn’t enough tequila in the world to relax me in that environment.
You and DJ EZ recently played in New York yes? That would have been incredible to have witnessed that! Tell us more about it!
Well, through the haze of an excessive amount of cucumber margaritas, I remember it being great! The crowd was very responsive to my usual bouncing around like a madman while I DJ. I always leave happy when I’m playing to a crowd that is open to music they might not have heard before but are willing to give it a chance and dance. By the time I was finished, the place was packed and ready for the master himself DJ EZ. As always, he generated many shouts of excitement from the tracks he dropped. It was so good to see him. He is like a brother, and I haven’t been able to see him a lot over the last couple of years.
I think Zed held back a little as to not overwhelm the crowd. He has an insane amount of technical wizardry on the CDJs, playing them almost like drum machines. His set at PS1 was slightly calmer… only slightly. I’m just glad I went on before him. I’ve learned early on, I never, NEVER want to go on after DJ EZ. I can’t follow that type of energy. 🙂
[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″] I’ve been through many peaks and valleys. The key is to realize there is no controlling what will happen or is to be. You just go with it. [/quote]
You’re now working on a vocal album from what I hear? Has the resurgence of the UK Garage scene propelled your career even more and I do believe you have quite a few collaborations with some of the newer artists on the scene…
Over the last year I’ve collaborated with other artists for their own tracks, folks like Billon, Nick Hook, and Jesse Rose to name a few. My main focus though has been working on my new album, it’ll be a mix of instrumental and vocal tracks, and I’ll be the only vocalist. Thomas from Daft encouraged this. Of course, that inspired my direction on the album. I think working with Daft Punk once again, winning a Grammy in part with the resurgence of UKG has all had an impact on my career.
I’m very blessed to have had things go the way they are. I don’t take it for granted. I’ve been through many peaks and valleys. The key is to realize there is no controlling what will happen or is to be. You just go with it.
Todd Edwards is playing the 5 Magazine 9 Year Anniversary on Friday, August 29th at Primary (5 W. Division, Chicago). Tickets are available via ticketfly.com; RSVP via Facebook here We hope to see you!