There have been many artists in recent years who have kept their heads down and worked hard both behind the decks and in the studio, carving out a place for themselves on the scene. One of these dedicated creatives is Jack Wickham, an artist who has quickly become a household name to those in the industry.
Jack’s career started in his hometown of Leeds, putting in the shifts at various local clubs including Mint Warehouse and distrikt, before spreading his wings and playing to crowds across the globe. Anybody who plays or collects records (or has commented ‘Track ID?’ on videos online) will have definitly heard plenty of this talented 24 year olds productions, which have been supported by many pioneers of the scene. This year has seen Infuse, Rowle, TIJN’s label In Haus Wax and of course the mighty Eastenderz release Jack’s work, which has a very distinct and signature sound of skippy rhythms with plenty of swing, and acid undertones.
We caught up with Jack recently to see what he’s been up to and talk all things music…
Thanks for taking the time out to have a catch-up Jack. What have you been up to recently? Whats keeping you busy between the bookings?
– Hi guys! Not a problem, thank you for taking the time to speak with me also! The usual studio time & digging for new music takes up a lot of my week. My little girl just started school this year which is super cool, so I’m doing the school runs daily which is so strange, I’m the youngest parent by a long way! I’m playing a lot of football during the week days at the moment as well. I like to keep myself busy.
This year has seen you playing in Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Gibraltar, as well as having many a gig in the UK. What have your highlights been this year, were there any places on the bucket list that you played for the first time, or any parties that really stood out?
– I’ve had the opportunities to play some great gigs this year but a personal highlight was playing Ibiza Underground for the first time, it’s a really special place and something I’ve wanted to do for so long. Just last week was one of my most enjoyable gigs of the year, alongside Barac in Birmingham. I played before him on the terrace area which was full when I arrived so I knew it was going to be a lot fun. It had the perfect set up & a new Res 4 sound system installed.
Going back a few years, your first gigs in Leeds had you sharing the booth with Anthea, Dana Ruh and of course Adam, Sub-ann and other members of the One Records crew, which you are now a big part of. How did you find it starting out on the Leeds circuit, before breaking into Ibiza and the onto Germany and other countries around Europe?
– I actually started really young on the circuit in Leeds. I think the naivety with been so young was a major role in me actually carrying on with music. At the time I didn’t have too much to worry about so focused solely on just that. Then as times changed, I got a bit older and more people started to hear my music, I’d already got years experience and met so many great people – I’m still only 24 (even though I feel 54). There were some unbelievable parties as well when I first started to go out in Leeds, parties that will stay with me for a long time and have influenced me a lot in what I’m trying to do.
Aside from buying the style of music that you play at gigs, what else do you dig for and listen to in your spare time?
– The only records I’ve been buying these past couple years are tracks that I would be playing at my gigs as it’s been my main priority but I tend to keep separate albums on my phone for when I’m in the car or travelling. I don’t really have any sort of house, techno etc on there however. It’s mostly albums right the way from Liam Gallagher to Jay Z to Method Man to Kasabian. I also have stuff from St. Germain, Mushroom Jazz etc, really easy listening and provides a lot of inspiration at the same time.
Many artists come from different backgrounds, be it Jungle, Garage or more band orientated music. Is this the sort of path that you took?
– I was listening to a lot of hip hop as I was growing up, mainly from the 90’s era, much to the displeasure of my parents as there was a lot of swearing in the tracks but I always found a way to carry on listening and its still one of my favourite genres today. As I started in high school and started to met new people, I was introduced to electronic music and it became some what of an obsession. Started with Jeff Mills, Luciano and a lot of others. The more I dug away, the deeper I got within that certain electronic sound and I’m still digging with that just as much today. 10 years later, the obsession is still as strong.
Now, in the world of production, you have really crafted your own unique sound which has received a lot of feedback and support from well respected artists, one being Mr. Villalobos. How did your journey in making music start out, and how did you get to the sounds you create today?
– I’ve spent pretty much the last 5 years working away at music, learning & developing my sound into something I’m now comfortable with. To have support from the likes of Zip, Ricardo, RPR etc… is really satisfying and a great feeling especially after all the hours I’ve spent in the studio. I have my One Records debut EP scheduled for January and some special projects coming up with my friends at Yoyaku.
I imagine there are a lot of producers who you see coming through, many of them coming from Leeds too. Who have you been keeping an eye on?
– There are some really talented artists/producers coming through in the past year or two. From Leeds, Matt Farrow (Kepler) & Jordan Magee are making some great music at the minute and their music has been supported a lot so that’s good to see. Further afield you’ve got the crews from Mannheim (be9) & Frankfurt, who are making some really forward thinking music and have created their own unique sound.
Who are your main musical influences, new and old?
– I take inspiration from a lot of artists who have had an effect on me in a certain way, people like Ricardo, Zip, Craig Richards etc. If someone plays a set or makes a certain track and I don’t know how or what they’ve done, that’s always something that stands out for me. I like to think, how the hell have they done that? No matter who the artist is. One of the first times I thought this was seeing Craig play in Room 1 at fabric. Nobody plays records like he does in there and its been a huge influence for me. But recently, I met a guy called Gene on Earth from the Ghost crew as we played together in Berlin and afterwards he sent me some of his new material and it’s 10/10. Really forward thinking fresh music and since hearing it, it’s gave me so many ideas for the studio. It’s so good to get new inspiration, no matter who or where it comes from.
What have you got planned to see you through until the end of the year?
– I have some other projects and plans which I will be focusing on until the end of this year, I can’t say too much on this at the moment but it should be clearer in the next few months and could potentially be some really great news, especially for the city of Leeds. But as I said above, my release schedule is already in motion for 2018 and I have a new label which I’m preparing for early next year too. I’m finishing 17′ with a bunch of nice gigs alongside some great artists too. Ending the year on a positive note.
Well thanks for taking some time out to have a chat with us, looking forward to seeing more of your progress!
– Thanks for talking with me guys, take care & hope to see you soon!
Below is an exclusive track that Jack has kindly given to us, with download enabled. Enjoy!
You can catch Jack at Apt: Christmas Party with The Willers Brothers + Residents on Decemeber 23rd at Basing House in London, as well as MODU:LAR on the 26th of December alongside Vera, Voigtmann and Andrew James Gustav which will be at a soon to be announced location in Liverpool. Keep your eyes peeled for all upcoming releases and gigs via the links below: