For those in the know about bassline, Jamie Duggan is a pretty big deal. Co-commander of the Pure Bassline compilation that shook up the genre this year alongside DJ Q, Duggan is a key figure in the frenetic UK sound’s increasing popularity, earning himself slots at some of the biggest venues around.
Set to appear at Maltese festival Lost & Found as well in May, we thought Jamie Duggan would be a good person to engage In Conversation, so here’s what he had to say when speaking to Will Waldron.
Hi Jamie, how’s it going? Firstly, congratulations on a huge 2017. Pure Bassline sold over 20,000 copies and you played some huge shows across the world – what are your highlights?
Highlights would have to be getting to play in iconic venues like Fabric (London), Motion (Bristol), Sankeys (Ibiza) and also doing weekly sell out shows at Tank (Sheffield), as well as all of our larger shows like SpringFest, FearFest and BassFest, which all sell out.
Speaking of shows, your 2018 diary is already filling up nicely. You’re supporting Skepsis at The Marble Factory, Bristol on the 19th Jan – what can the people of Bristol expect from a Jamie Duggan set?
Always a mixture. I love the crazy instrumental stuff but I also like big vocal tracks. Getting the right balance of both during a set is always my aim.
Each show for you is different, you’re sometimes headlining, supporting or even behind the organisation of the event – do you have a preference?
Good question and hard to answer! It’s something I've never really thought about, I just like to work, play sets and put on big events so I suppose the answer is all 3! Ha.
How differently do you have to prepare for sets depending on your position on a line up?
It depends on set time more than anything and who else is on the line up. So, if certain producers are on the line up that I know about then I wouldn't play their music before them and would only play one of their records after they'd finished their set and I knew they hadn't played it. That's a rule I've always lived by. If you're playing a set after 10 Bass producers whose tracks you might normally play - it can be a fun game. So, I always have that in mind and have tracks ready that I know or think haven't been played that will still do the damage.
Having your own tracks and unreleased bits is always a good start!
Are there any gigs that you’re particularly looking forward to this year? Whether it’s a DJ set or an event that you’re putting on yourself?
There are lots of gigs I'm looking forward to to be honest. My new agent has made sure I'm very busy going into the new year, I have gigs coming up at Fabric & The Nest (London), as well as Motion (Bristol). Then I'm also making debut appearances at clubs in Ipswich, Norwich, Torquay, Bournemouth & loads more!
Then there's SpringFest at Magna which always goes off, as well as my residencies at Tank(Sheffield) & Freak(Leeds) which are always up there with the best of them!
In terms of music, you’ve just released Pure Bassline 2 with DJ Q, what has the reaction been like so far?
Very good again. Straight in at Number 2 in the UK Dance Album Chart and Number 15 in Overall Compilation chart. So just missed out on Number 1 this time but still a MASSIVE achievement!
With another compilation album under your belt, and dates confirmed at Fabric and other high-profile venues - do you feel bassline is now more popular than ever?
I was having this conversation with one of my friends the other day and it's fair to say it has a very strong case! 2006-2010 era of Bassline was phenomenal and was absolutely huge with chart success but seemed to stay a lot more underground in terms of the venues that would allow it. This time that's changed, the big chart success might not have happened (yet) but it's spread into cities, towns and venues that it didn't dream of back then and it's literally taken over the UK. So again, it's a tough one to decide!
Tell us a little bit about the release plans you have outside of Pure Bassline 2, do you have any original productions in the pipeline?
I've got a couple of things planned, an EP coming soon. We're going to look at getting a remix package and a proper release done with ours & Bru-C's 'Erryting Krudd'. Then there's something in the pipeline that me and DJ Q have been discussing that could be exciting, so watch this space on that one.
Looking ahead, what are you aiming to achieve by the end of 2018?
To totally take over Scunthorpe.
2017 was a great year for dance music, but what was the one track that really knocked you sideways last year?
That's a tough one so I'll stay within the bass genre to narrow it down. I'd have to say when I first heard Skepsis’ 'Goes Like' at the beginning of last year it made me chuckle knowing how much carnage it was going to cause – and it did exactly that.
Jamie Duggan heads to Malta in May to play at Annie Mac’s Lost & Found Festival, but if you fancy catching him sooner you can head to The Nest in London on Friday 26th January, where he’ll play as part of the Nazemi & Mates Bassline Special, or at Springfest in Rotherham on Sunday 1st April.
Photo courtesy of Jamie Duggan
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