Skip to content Skip to footer

Arkley Talks About Launching His New Project, His Inspirations, Plans For 2022 & More!

Blazing onto the scene in 2021 with ‘Music (Over & Over)’ that introduced the world to the UK-based artist’s unique chopped n screwed, sample-loving take on house-meets-electro, Arkley is now back with another earworm of an anthem to welcome in the new year on ‘Rave ’92 (Everybody Dancing)’. We had the pleasure of speaking with Arkley on a number of topics which you can read below.

Hey Arkley, thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Please tell us how your project under ‘Arkley’ came to be!
I’ve been making music since I was a kid, playing in various guitar and synth bands with my friends. It has been loads of fun, but at the end of 2019, I decided I wanted to try a solo project for the first time and go back to the rave and big beat records of the 90s and early 2000s that first opened my ears to dance music.

Who are your inspirations when making the music you now make?
So many! For the first time, I’m using a lot of samples and that’s really inspired by The Avalanches and The Dust Brothers (who produced Beck’s ‘Odelay’ and the Beastie Boys’ ‘Paul’s Boutique’). I also love The KLF’s smash’n’grab approach to writing tracks stuffed full of big hooks. The overall sound is inspired by the first dance acts I discovered like The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy and early Daft Punk, as well as the 2mandjs ‘As Heard on Radio Soulwax’ mix series.

You were also one half of Deuce & Charger who made waves within the Drum ‘n ’Bass scene – tell us about how that project went and why you chose to move away from that?
Deuce & Charger was a lot of fun and I guess something I might come back to someday as I do still love drum & bass. We had so many great experiences playing clubs in London and the world’s biggest D&B festival, Let It Roll, out in the Czech Republic. We put out about 25 tracks in 4 years, including with some of the genre’s biggest labels like Viper, Technique and Liquicity, and met loads of awesome people along the way. But after all that, I really wanted to get back to the music that is 100% in my blood, which is what I’m doing now with Arkley.

So, you just released your own solo, sophomore single ‘Rave ’92 (Everybody Dancing)’, how has the support been so far?
Amazing, thanks!! I’ve had awesome support from press and radio like BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio and even the legend Judge Jules has given it a few spins on his radio show. Plus loads of positive messages and comments on social media too. I think the sound and style sounds really fresh and exciting to younger audiences, while also evoking a lot of fondness from older ravers – gives them something new to crank on the car stereo once they’ve dropped the kids off at school! Luckily for me, there seems to be a bit of a 90s throwback moment happening right now, so my sound fits right in!

We noticed you have a flair for taking a sample-heavy approach that nods to big-beat and hip-hop but you’re still firmly in the electronic scene. What is it that appeals to you about this process when creating a track?
I love stitching together really contrasting samples from diverse genres to create something unique and unexpected. The break in my first single, ‘Music (Over & Over)’, is probably the best example of this. It has a bon-tempi drum loop together with 70s soul strings and 80s Gary Numan-esque synth bass, plus southern US rap vocals and movie speech. I had no idea this is where it would end up when I started, so it was a really fun and exciting process for me. I have a whole folder of similar tracks that I’d like to bring together at some point into a continuous musical journey like the first Avalanches album. For now though, I’m going deeper into a modern take on 90s sampling techniques to make tracks to dance to!

You are based in the UK and are one of the new generations of up-and-coming artists with this moniker, but who would you love to collaborate with?
I’m very open-minded about collaborations as you always learn something in the process. I love unique voices, so working with people like Channel Tres or Kah-Lo would be very cool. Having said that, I’d also love to work with some of the older generation like The Chemical Brothers or Orbital. Utah Saints and Prospa are both in Leeds, which is just down the road from me in York, and working with either of them would be brilliant – so guys, if you’re reading 😉

What is next for Arkley in terms of your releases for 2022, as well as your live aspect? Will we see some gigs this year?
I’ve got loads of tracks that I’d love to release this year. A few more with an early 90s vibe like ‘Rave ’92’ and some others with a later 90s Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim influence. I put a lot of my unreleased WIPs in my monthly mixes on Mixcloud, so head there to hear them first! I’d love to do some DJ shows this year too. There are a few things which will hopefully come together as the year progresses, but I’m always open to offers – “have USB, will travel”!!

Thanks for taking the time with us and we wish you success for this year!
Thank you

Leave a comment