WE spoke with producer & DJ Frazer Campbell about his latest release, ‘Counterfeit Soul Vol.2’, his highs & lows of 2018 and his plans for 2019. Check it out below.
Hi Frazer, thanks for having a talk with us. You’ve just released Counterfeit Soul Vol.2, how has the reaction been so far?
I am so happy with how it’s gone. I hit the top 10 chart in Juno from the second day following the release and have been floating from 6th to 3rd place during the first week and now into the second! . Pretty chuffed to be sitting up there with the super pilots; Ricardo Villalobos, Steve O’ Sullivan and Roger Gerresson.
I didn’t really know what to expect so I feel pretty chuffed that it’s doing so well. It’s nice to see that happy vibe house music still strikes a chord with people. It’s just good vibe tech house music. A big thank you to Juno for my distribution, Paul Mac and Guy Davie for their first class mastering!
Do you have a personal favourite from the EP?
‘Glad It’s All Night’ is my favourite. I just love the picture it paints. It’s positive, housey and super catchy. This track in particular got huge support from some major heads in the industry too which is mind blowing. I of course love them all but this track really sums up the whole counterfeit soul signature.
Who would you say is the sole biggest influence on your music?
I don’t have a sole influence to be honest. I take inspiration from so many artists and genres so to pin point it into one sole person would be impossible. I could maybe say that I influence myself the most….I don’t mean this to sound narcissistic…the music I buy and DJ with is obviously selected by me and from this collection I become influenced. So perhaps I play a big part in the music I create …. the DJing influences the producer in me. I had never really thought of it like this before until today!
You are based in the UK. Where are you actually from?
My Mum is Irish and Dad is Scottish – that’s why I look like a Celtic man! It’s quite obvious when you think about it. Ginger hair and pale skin…hahahah
I grew up in West London with my Mum and lived in that part of town until my mid 20’s. I then finally left home and lived out in Surrey just on the outskirts of London. I have moved around a couple of times but still enjoy living in the suburbs as it is nice and quiet. I also love the fact that I live In a very leafy area. I like to have nature close by. Growing up in the city was cool as a young guy but the attraction soon wore off for me. I feel more comfortable in quiet places with not so many people around me. That sounds a little miserable but the hustle and bustle of London doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Funny thing is that my wife really didn’t want to move out to Surrey but I kept the focus and slowly chipped away at her to finally move out this way… She did and I married her so now she can’t leave! Hahahah…
What has been your highlight of 2018?
There have been so many highlights during the year. Getting to travel to different countries to play is something that I always wanted to do so to get the opportunity to do it is a huge highlight in itself. I actually just got booked for a Secret Sundaze event today and this is something that I had my heart set on from the outset of my musical career. I am smiling from ear to ear right now!
But if I was forced to single out the ultimate highlight that would have to be playing at Gazette in Romania. It was such an incredible experience. The club gazettte is in Cluj which is a beautiful place, artistic and interesting. The people are so warm and the club itself was incredible. It’s an old weapons bunker with a beautiful sound system and the booth at dance floor level with the crowd placed around you at 180 degrees. It’s such a magical place and they welcomed me with so much love. The atmosphere was so intense in a good way and the crowd were so willing for me to take them on my journey. I was quite apprehensive before the gig as I love to play Detroit styled house music and was concerned that the crowd may not want that type of vibe but they danced and danced and let me take them on many different rails. It was so beautiful. I can’t wait to get back in January again…I love it so much. I am just travelling back from Berlin now and some of the crew from Cluj came over to see me play….that just shows the love..words can’t describe it! Cluj I love ya!
And the lowlight?
Hmmm..being so passionate about something will always mean that the highs are super high and the lows will be super low. My own self-doubt is the lowest thing that hits me and is a regular visitor at times. The shoulder demon.. you just have to brush yourself off and keep at it after all being in love with something will always have its ups and downs … it’s a relationship after all.
I pressure myself greatly and this can sometimes work out well if you thrive under pressure but other times it can really weigh you down… You just need to try and look in as a third person and be thankful for what you are doing, thankful for the supportive people around you (my wife and my good friends – you know who you are!) and remember ‘you can do this’… pretty deep but I mean every word.
What do you have in store for 2019?
I have so many plans for 2019. I will launch Elliot project black which will be a digital label with more experimental music, still in the electronic genre but not so dance floor orientated. I hope to have a release each month and will release lots of my own music but also have guests such as S.Crosbie (Dark Arts) and a few others too. Counterfeit Soul will also have releases with some guests too and of course Elliot project will continue to release throughout the year. I have collaborations coming out with Captain Steve O’Sullivan, John Osborn and Ivan Kutz as well as releases on some other labels. I am rebuilding my studio at the moment so I am really excited about how it will tweak my sound. I feel that I am closing in on where I want to be so the anticipation is burning away inside…time to release the fire!
Gig wise I am already taking bookings which is great…New Year’s Day I am in Manchester for NoDrummer, mid January I play for Secret Sundaze, late January in Romania (Gazette), March I return to Berlin for DRED Records (Renate). I even have a booking for Platform 18 in August up in Scotland which I am so excited about . It’s a big street party so it’s going to be epic. I am also in talks for some tours so fingers crossed it all happens.
I hope the momentum keeps going and I aim to keep working my ass off in the studio and also behind the turntables. DJing is something that I always wanted to do and it feels good that my hard work seems to be paying off … You have to work hard at anything you do. Always stay focused, keep an eye on your goals and keep your mind open. It’s a slow burner so being impatient doesn’t help. I am impatient so that’s another demon I need to fight off sometimes! – haha I sound like I am a mess!
Are you more in the digital or analogue corner?
I am more leaned towards the analogue corner. I love records, I love buying them, collecting them and above all playing them. Studio wise I use a lot of hardware but I also use soft synths and Ableton. I don’t take any sides on the digital / analogue arguments … it’s cool to like what you like and use whatever makes you feel inspired and comfortable. But for me playing records is when I feel totally energised but recently I am using CDJs more due to travelling and receiving great promos… use what you want to do your thang just make sure you express yourself!
What’s the most important piece to your studio? Is it a Drum Machine or Synthesizer?
I am asked this question quite often and my answer is always the same … my Roland 909 is my number 1 key piece. It’s the first thing I go to when I switch everything on. I get a groove going on it and then start jamming on the other gadgets. Synth wise my Korg MS200B is the first synth I touch when jamming as its nice to use and can sculpt some serious addictive basslines. It’s a perfect hands on piece of kit with everything laid out clearly and not too complicated.
As I mentioned before I am rebuilding my studio at the moment and installing a big desk so it’s going to be fun to see what avenue I take when all the machines are singing together! I am currently running the studio on 3 smaller desks so it has become a bit of a mess. The re build will assist my flow for sure. I went crazy picking up hardware whenever I saw a good deal!! Totally addicted! Time to tidy up!
I just want to say a huge thank you to Feeder for the interview it was a real pleasure to chat with you! Big Love .x. Frazer .x.
Frazer Campbell – Counterfeit Soul Vol.2 is out now.
Buy it here.