After a rather quiet year production wise, Simon Patterson has set out to end 2016 with a bang as he prepares for a momentous year in 2017. His most recent release, ‘Vapour Trails’, was his first release since January and was received well by the Trance community. The British talent has remained busy, however, on the tour circuit with performances all across the globe including London and Buenos Ares. Most recently, Patterson touched down in Southern Califorania for Dreamstate SoCal where his performances was one of the most talked about of the weekend and he’ll look to bring that same energy to Esscala in NYC in a few weeks when he goes back-to-back with John Askew for a whopping 9 hours. We were fortunate enough to have a chat with Simon not too long ago in a discussion that covers his start in the music industry, plans for the new imprint he’s been working on, and details regarding his next release, which some lucky DS fans may have gotten a preview of.
First off, I wanted to congratulate you on signing on with Insomniac Records, how have they been to work with thus far?
It’s been a pleasure working with them.
Tell us a bit more about your new track ‘Vapour Trails’. What inspired you to make the track?
It was originally a demo Dave Wright sent to me with basic vocal structure and pianos. I fell in love with the ideas he’d laid down so we built it up from there…..
What was the production process like? Did it take a while to finish?
It took six months because there were a lot of complications we had with getting the vocals perfect. It was more or less finished after three months but something about the vocals weren’t working properly so I tried a female vocalist and that didn’t work, so in the end I had Dave do a fresh session re-recording his vocals with a slightly different approach and a wider range of harmony lines to thicken out sections and that nailed it.
So, you originally broke in to the Dance Music business doing A&R for a few labels, correct? What was it like working the business side of things first before breaking through as an artist?
It was great. I worked for Judge Jules, Ministry of Sound, Seb Fontaine and Universal in various different capacities so it was a great way to learn the industry. It gave me a bedrock of knowledge that I still refer to every day.
When did you first start producing and how did you get in to it?
I first started making music about 15 years ago with Richie Kayvan under the name of Dogzilla. Richie was Judge Jules’s studio engineer so we met that way and started working together.
Did you ever have that kind of breakthrough moment where you thought to yourself ‘you know, I might be able to make a career out of this’?
There have been loads of stand out landmarks along the way that have each helped push me up a few more steps – releasing key records, getting Beatport number 1s, landing slots at the key festivals and clubs around the world, having influential people play your records on radio, getting an Essential Mix and then my own show on BBC Radio 1…the list is endless but what I can say is that every day there is a little more progress and I’m lucky to have a great team behind me pushing hard on all fronts.
Who have been some of your major musical influences up to this point?
Astrix, John Askew, Coldplay, Underworld, Vertical Mode, Freedom Fighters, Electric Universe……
Do you have a favorite city or venue to play at?
Buenos Aires is my favorite city to play but there are several great festivals and clubs there so I couldn’t choose just one. Groove is amazing. That’s a 2000 capacity club in the venue that I love playing at.
How do you think Dreamstate has played in to this kind of Trance revival we’ve been treated to as of late?
I think they’ve played a substantial role – certainly in the US – where they’ve pushed our sounds to the legions of kids who are all moving on from EDM. Now that Dreamstate is going global with festivals and shows popping up all over the world I’m sure their influence will continue to grow. All credit to them. It was about time a major league promoter in the US started giving some solid presence to trance.
How did the VII project come about? What kinds of things do you have in store for that for the near future?
VII is a brand, label, collective of seven artists who are all friends and pioneers in their own right for the respective sounds they pioneer or represent within the spectrum of trance. Right now we are focusing on building up the label and the brand awareness. We only started in June but already the hype and buzz around VII is fucking massive. By the end of the year all seven of us should have released a single each and then we will start over again. The first seven releases are called the Black Chapter – and then in January a new chapter will start. We are also deep in talks with several key promoters around the globe about doing some select live shows in 2017 but I can’t really give much more info about that just now. You’ll just need to keep watching – but there are huge developments unfolding and 2017 is going to be a big year for VII that’s for sure.
Any big plans for the new year in the works? What kinds of goals would you like to accomplish?
This year was a good year but I felt, if I’m honest, that I didn’t release enough music. Although I loved the final track – I spent way too much time on Vapour Trails and as such it meant I only released four singles this year. Next year my goal is to allocate more time to studio and to release way more music than I’ve done recently. I have a killer new 138 single coming in January on VII called “Spike” so you heard that here first.