Find out what happened when Backto95 caught up with Mark Radford earlier on in the week.
As a DJ, Producer and esteemed Label Head, there’s not much that Mark Radford can’t turn his hand to. Alongside holding down a primetime Saturday spot on Rinse FM, Mark runs the established Audio Rehab label that continues to pump out some of the hottest House records of our generation. His influence on the House scene is not to be underestimated. Stepping aside from the original sound, Mark has helped champion and grow the bass driven House movement of today, which continues to grow and spread out across the globe. He also throws some of the hottest parties around at London’s world famous Ministry of Sound.
Ahead of his set at Backto95’s 15th Birthday, we caught up with Mark Radford for a quick chat.
Hey Mark… so a lot is going on for you at the moment – can you sum up where you’re at right now?
Hi guys, yeah there’s loads going on at moment for me and my Audio Rehab brand, we have just entered into our 3rd year of our residency at Ministry Of Sound, which is going really well - big shout out to all the guys over there, they are really getting behind us and it’s a great place to hold parties as you guys well know.
I’m about to reach my 5 year mile stone on Rinse FM this April, I will have held the Prime time Saturday night show for 5 years solid, a massive shout to G, Sarah, Rat & of course Tippa for putting up with me for that long!!
I also have my first release of the year out on the 7th March on Audio Rehab, which is a collaboration with my good friends the Mexican Duo 'Thee Cool Cats'. We had them over at one of our parties last year, spent a few days jamming gin the studio together and came up with “Something Happens”... so exciting times for me right now!!
Going back to your roots. Where did you grow up?
I grew up just outside London in the market town of Harlow in Essex, but from a very young age I was making the weekly trek to London to pursuer my love of music.
When did you first start taking music seriously?
Music has always been something I have loved. I used to DJ to my parents when is was around 9/10 years old - I would set up my fisher price turntable and tape deck in our living room and pretend I was a top radio DJ… lol.
Throughout my teenage years, I used to play out at college parties with a good friend of mine (big up Zumi) and it kind of just carried on from there. To be honest, I never thought it would turn into what I have today. The real turning point was around 2008. I used to be an Audio and Visual engineer, but had an accident at work resulting in a severe spinal injury that meant I couldn't carry on with that line of work, so I said to my self: right, it’s now or never, and then put every thing I had into making music work for me.
Did you start out playing house music or was this something you moved onto?
House music has always been the root of everything musical for me from those early days. Back in ’89, in the summer of love, when I was still at school, I became hypnotized by this crazy new sound, “Acid House” they where calling it, then as the music in London changed, I moved with it, from hardcore to Jungle & Drum'N'Bass through to UK Garage and Soulful House is the early 2000's. It wasn't until around 2008 that I found this sound within House music that I have been so lucky to help create.
Do you have a favourite MC you’ve worked with?
I haven't worked with an MC for a long time. It’s not really something that works within the house scene. Back in the early Jungle days, I had a few resident MCs on my pirate radio shows. First off was the legendary Weekend Rush with Chrunchie MC, Shabba D, Shocking and, of course, the one they call Dollars… and I have to say that one MC from that era that I always thought stood out from the rest and was someone that I would have loved to have on one of my sets was the one and only GQ… the way he compliments the DJ is exactly what an MC is supposed to do. His sets with Randal and the gang back in the days of AWOL at the Paradise Club in Islington are something that I will always remember.
What’s your favourite venue?
Hahahaha, you lot are going to think I'm being biased by saying this, but it has to be Ministry of Sound, from the first time I walked in there as a kid I fell in love with that box, no place like it.
Any new producers to look out for in 2016?
I'm lucky to be in a position where I get a huge amount of young new producers coming to me with their music before anyone else, so I know there is a hell of a lot of wicked new talent out there. For me, the ones that I can see blowing up this year are my guys Marcellus Wallace - these boys are making some amazing music and their production levels are so on point!
A few more names to look out for this year would have to be Joziff Jordan, Hott Like Detroit, Morpei, Jordan Joyce & the Soul Divide boys... all making wicked original sounding music. And I cannot forget my family, all of the Audio Rehab & Plus Recordings artists, loads of fresh new music coming from the camps this year so keep your ears peeled.
Three words to describe the house music scene right now?
Fresh. Exciting. Ground breaking!
Mark Radford will be headlining Arch Four of Great Suffolk Street Warehouse for Backto95's 15th Birthday on Saturday 5th March. Make sure you don't miss out!