“It’s always good to try new things creatively and writing Addicted was a very natural process and didn’t feel forced” – Max Chapman & Jacky

Max Chapman and Jacky, two of the UK’s fastest rising underground DJs, bring their bold electronica sounds to FFRR with a brand new single ‘Addicted’ featuring Charlie Sanderson. ‘Addicted’ calls on a classic 2-step beat with a deep and soulful bassline next to vocals from Charlie Sanderson whose smooth, radiant voice supplies the track with an old-skool vibe. Brimming with an underground aesthetic ‘Addicted’ is primed for success across clubs, radio and playlists.

Hot Creations, elrow and VIVa artist Max Chapman has been causing waves with his heavy-rotated dance-floor productions. Picking up two Beatport number ones in the last 12 months and winning support from BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong and Danny Howard, the London artist also spins a residency on Pioneer Radio and has garnered critical acclaim for his debut album ‘Catch Me If You Can’ with DJ Mag and Mixmag both awarding the record ‘9/10s’ scores.

A packed 2018 is on the horizon for Max too with shows across the UK, remixes for the likes of Gorgon City and Disciples, as well as a special appearance at Paradise Ibiza among many other dates yet to be announced.

Teaming up with Max is Jacky. Hailing from Newcastle, Jacky’s ever evolving house infused sound has seen him become a regular with a number of seminal international promotions including Barcelona based institution elrow. His own event series – Jacky & Friends – has left its mark on clubs across the UK and Ibiza including Sankeys MCR, Fire London, Digital Newcastle, Mint Warehouse Leeds, Eden Ibiza and Benimussa Park. Having launched in summer 2016, Jacky & Friends has quickly proved itself as a key platform for new underground electronic music.

Releases on VIVa MUSiC, DFTD, a residency at Defected’s infamous Ibiza parties, and support from Steve Lawler, Skream, Marco Carola, Nick Curly and more have kept Jacky firmly at the top of everybody’s ‘ones to watch’ radar for 2018

Hi guys, how’s everything going?

MAX: Yeah good, thanks! I’ve just got back from a run of dates in the US and trying to fit some studio time in before I head to Barcelona this weekend, and of course Addicted is climbing the charts nicely too…

JACKY: I have to second what Max just said about ‘Addicted’! Sat nicely at #3 on Beatport genre chart so can’t complain there…I only got back from my Australian tour a few weeks ago which was ace, and have my North and South American tours to look forward to soon! Brighton this weekend which is always fun.

Things are off to a great start with Pete Tong spinning your new single ‘Addicted’. How does it feel to have the track out? What sound were you going for?

M: It’s obviously very different from anything that either of us have ever done before, which was kinda the aim really. It’s always good to try new things creatively and writing Addicted was a very natural process and didn’t feel forced. To have it get picked up by Danny Howard and Pete Tong so quickly on Radio 1, and then signed to Pete’s label, was totally unexpected!

J: Nail on the head there from Max. We were really wanting to think outside the box with this one and with us both being excited about the latest Bicep album it was a no brainer what influenced our direction. It was a lot of fun making this track and I would definitely be up for doing something similar with Max in the future.

Is working with vocalists in this way something you’ll keep doing in the future?

M: I’m definitely keen to do more of it, and I’m actually working on a couple of new tracks with Charlie right now as it happens. It’s always great finding that one vocal sample to write a track around, but having a vocalist in the studio really allows you to work in a different way and gives you a lot more freedom.

J: I love working with vocalists. I did a lot of this when I was studying Music Production at university and I learned a lot. My DFTD EP last year included vocal work from Amelia Sear which was also really fun to make, so definitely expect more of this from me going forward.

What are your musical backgrounds like? When and how did you get into producing music?

M: I’ve always liked dance music but I was a bit older when I first got into producing. I remember being at a mate’s house and his housemate had a bedroom full of studio equipment – I watched him writing a track and I literally couldn’t believe that you could do it with equipment that you could have in your own house. After that, I went out and basically bought every bit of kit that he had and started watching YouTube tutorials about how to use it. It was definitely a case of ‘all the gear, no idea’ at the beginning!

J: I was into music from an early age, but dance music wasn’t an influence for me until I was around 18. Throughout my early years I learned to play drums and was in bands, listening to heavy metal and punk rock. Throughout my teens there was more of the same but never started producing until I was around 20 when I decided to go to university and study music in depth. I learned so much about production throughout higher education and it definitely set me up for my career in the electronic music industry.

Can you outline your respective studio set ups? What kind of gear do you use? What’s the one thing you can’t do without when making music?

M: My set up is pretty much 50/50 – half hardware, and half plug-ins and software. I do try and use as much hardware as possible because you can’t beat the physical side of using real equipment, and the one bit of kit I’ll always use is my Moog Little Phatty – I’d be lost without that one.

J: I am mainly software. Whilst at university and learning how to produce I could hardly afford a takeaway never mind any hardware so I adapted to my surroundings and learned to make music with my laptop and a keyboard. I now have an Akai APC and Mini Key as they are easy to travel with. I like to make music on the move as I find influences from my travels and like to get ideas down quickly whilst they are in my head!

You’re both seasoned DJs playing up and down the country. What are your views on London and electronic music? Is it the epicenter?

M: Two of my favourite clubs in the UK are Fabric and Studio 338, but I’m going to be controversial and say that it feels like Manchester is becoming the go-to place for house music in the UK. There are some great clubs up there and you’ve got things like the Warehouse Project delivering insane line-ups every week through the winter. It’s healthy though – you can’t have everything focused on one city, it’s definitely important to have strong scenes all across the UK.

J: Well, I have lived in London for almost 4 years now and I do love it down here but I can’t say that it’s where I feel the true clubbing epicentre is. I don’t want to sound biased saying this (even though that alone already does!) but I have to agree with Max to a certain extent. Manchester has always been my favourite city to play, with this being the home of my ‘Jacky & Friends’ series at Sankeys, and it being where the majority of my friends live, but there is something about playing there that isn’t the same as anywhere else. It’s the people. There might be way more clubs and parties in London, but playing to a packed-out club in Manchester is something else.

Can you list a few of your biggest influences? Both DJs and producers who have had an impact on how you play sets and make music?

M: As a DJ, it’s got to be Loco Dice, but as a producer I’d say Jansons. I’ve known Mav for years and his was the first proper studio I ever went in when he mixed down one of my tracks back in 2012. He was amazing then so I can only imagine how good he is now. He’s behind so many great productions himself, but also productions for really respected artists.

J: For me, DJ would have to be Carl Cox. As a producer, it has to be Eric Prydz. Those two have influenced me since the day I bought my first set of snide belt drive turntables. Went to see Carl at Space in 2010 and that blew my face off. Then coming back from Ibiza and buying Cirez D and Pryda records was my first memory of being in a record shop. I remember learning to mix with ‘Pryda – Rakfunk’ and to this day is still one of the most crisp dance tracks ever produced in my opinion.

Perfect all-time favourite summer tune?

M: Probably ‘Pjanoo’ by Eric Prydz – I heard him play it Global Gathering years ago and It’s a memory that has stayed with me. One for when the sun’s out!

J: Similar background story to Max here. I heard Reboot play his track ‘Caminando’ at Cocoon In The Park back in 2011 and that’s a memory I will never forget.

What factors make a great party?

M: You’ve got to have low ceilings and good lights for starters. Something different or unique in terms of production, like Co2 – or something that isn’t in every venue at least, but most of all the sound system. Lots of places seem to think about this last but it’s the focus of the night so if you get that right, you’ve already won half the battle.

J: Max nailed it. For me, the Spektrum in Sankeys Manchester was my favourite room to play. Low ceiling which was made out of LED’s, ace sound system and only about 600 capacity. Best.

Finally, as label heads, DJs and producers, what have you got lined up for 2018?

M: So much stuff – but lots that I can’t talk about yet! Just keep an eye on my socials for some big announcements soon.

J: I’ll second that! I can tell you I have plenty of music, including my ‘Jacky & Friends’ album dropping on CR2 Records in April which is HUGE, including collaborations with the likes of Huxley, Russ Yallop and even Max blinking Chapman! More big stuff to be announced for later in the year so keep your eye on my socials for those!

Jacky & Friends
15th March in Leeds: Tickets
30th March in Manchester: Tickets

Credit: Oli Cruttenden – Neighbourhood PR

About the Author

UK based former DJ and promoter, co-owner, director, writer & creative at Decoded Magazine. Studied at the University of Wolverhampton graduating in Graphic Communication & Typography (BA Hons). In house video editor and avid MMA follower with a keen ear for dark, twisted, hypnotic, tribal progressive house and techno.