From humble beginnings to dizzying heights, selling records to topping record charts, Sigma have lived on both sides of the industry coin.
It seems only fitting that the duo, consisting chiefly of members Joe Lenzie and Cameron Edwards, began their journey in 2006 in Leeds, the Drum and Bass hub of the North. From Leeds, they moved to London, where in a world where dance music was not the cultural force that it is today, the welcome may not have been warm. Hard work paid off, however, and Sigma made the headlines in 2017 as the first Drum and Bass artist to grace the stage of the Albert Music Hall.
Their rise to fame has not been limited in the sphere of music, both Lenzie and Edwards praise the influence that education had on the development of their passion, and Sigma have previously been involved in engaging young audiences in music education. One of their more prolific achievements may have been being invited to Cambridge University to give talks on the industry and their experience as DJs.
Although at times their music may not fit into an umbrella genre, one thing that can be said about Sigma’s discography is the endlessly uplifting nature of their music. The message is clear; make like drum and bass, get up after the drop.
One of the dynamic duo’s more recent forays into the multi-genre world of chart topping music, this unexpected marriage between relentless breakbeat and the soft vocals of prodigious singer-songwriter Birdy is surprisingly enjoyable. ‘Find Me’ has something for everyone; delicate piano chords spooning unabashed synth noise, ethereal lyric melodies snuggled up to sharp, auto tuned vocals, all the while being enveloped in a feeling of lifting towards the sky. The no bass in your face nature of this tune is a nod towards Sigma’s recent shift from classic DnB into a more listener accessible genre.
Nobody to Love
It would be rude, perhaps even blasphemous, not to include ‘Nobody to Love’ in a Sigma Essential Listening. Without a doubt one of the more widely recognised Sigma creations, ‘Nobody to Love’ was originally a bootleg remix of Kanye West’s horny love ballad to Kim Kardashian. After showcasing the remix in various rave caves across Britain, the boys received the go ahead from an impressed Kanye to make it their own.
Although the official music video is questionable, the song itself will undeniably go down in UK Chart history as a banger, and with good reason. The drums are fast, the bass is loud and the vocals are suitably exultant.
Fenech-Soler – Demons (Sigma Remix)
The Sigma remix of indie anthem ‘Demons’ is a relic from the era of 2011, a time when hordes of young dubsters fresh out of the wub womb would flock to UKF Dubstep in seek of spiritual guidance from the likes of Rusko and Flux Pavillion. Featuring more than just your run-of-the-mill drop, the multi-layering of different sounds within the melody maintains the calm ambience of the original, whilst seamlessly blending in roaring baselines that would keep even the keenest of dub enthusiasts entertained.
Sigma’s newest release is a far cry from their drum and bass roots. For die hard fans, this may come as a welcome breath of fresh air or as an unpleasant kick to the face. ‘Forever’ requires extra merit as it was done completely through their own label, Life Recordings. In between the building synths and an unmistakable trap beat, rapper Quavo delivers punchy lyrics lines about entrepreneurship and the positive ethos that Sigma themselves aim to live by.
Paloma Faith’s powerful vocals add a heartfelt, almost mournful edge to the fierce, unrelenting drum beat on this Platinum certified tune. Another worldwide chart topper, there is nothing outwardly surprising about the mechanics of this track. What listeners should note, however, is the fervent message in the lyrics to keep moving forward, don’t allow life to drag you down.
Sigma are bill-toppers at a variety of festivals this year, including London’s South West Four, and new EXIT family addition Festival 84, which gets underway on Thursday 15th March.
Photo courtesy of Sigma and SJM
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