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Copyright © 2017 On the 5th Day

Interview: Pris

On Saturday 16th June, Berlin based Pris will make his first London appearance since 2014 and as someone who originates from The Big Smoke, we know this is a pretty major occasion for this massively exciting DJ and producer.

 

True originality isn’t always easy to find; being able to draw inspiration from whichever sources you’re pulled towards and then craft something that is identifiable as yours - full of character and purpose and always leaving the listener gagging for more is not an easy task (major understatement).

Step forward Pris - someone who seems to have nailed the task!

 

Over recent years, Pris has been absorbing inspiration and receiving close support and guidance from three major big guns on today’s scene - Sigha, Shifted and Svreca, all of whom, fortunately for us, know a good techno thang when it’s in front of them! Pris’ music has thus been brought to life on the likes of Avian and Semantica - solid credibility stamps right there - together with his own imprint, Resin (to name but a few). His outputs are consistently gritty - their very own beautiful blend of quirky, rhythmic and intense - perfect for a truly immersive raving experience!

 

For now, it’s best to let Pris do the talking. Ahead of his appearance for On the 5th Day, he kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his journey so far. We’re massively grateful for his openness which gives a beautiful insight into the mind and motives of one of the most invigorating artists on today’s scene.

Thanks so much for chatting with us Pris! Following your musical journey so far has been a very intriguing ride. Can you tell us about who has played a special role in things for you, artists or otherwise?

Well, I’ve been at this music thing for longer than some might realise, coming up to 8/9 years now. Along the way there have been key moments and people that have truly helped to shape and influence me and my approach to music. Being from the UK, I guess I started off making music that fit with my surroundings, but there was something about what I was doing that wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be, or what I wanted to be doing. It was when I played my first ever gig abroad – I think it was at La Machine in Paris actually.... I saw a different side to dance music, not just how people danced to it but the whole approach to club music was really inspiring and helped to convince me to start a new project, Pris.

 

When it comes down to it though, I would say there was one person who kicked things off for me and that was James Sigha. I sent him some early stuff I was working on and he got me very excited about it and introduced me to Guy (aka Shifted), another one of the biggest influences and most important people to enter my life. It took me moving to Berlin to really see how big a part of my life Guy (and also James) would become. I owe so much more than just where I am musically now to Guy. His total belief in me and my abilities, from pushing me to work on my productions on a sound level, to helping me recognise the bigger picture, and having the faith in me to work as Avian’s label manager for a brief period –  right down to his suggestion that I seek out Enrique (aka Svreca) because he thought my sound would fit well on Semantica… Guy went from being not only someone I respected musically, but to one of my best friends in life. He continues to push me and to keep me in my place when I need it!

 

I also want to mention Enrique properly because in the past two years that we have been communicating, he has helped me take what I learned from Guy and progress my sound, distilling it to a sound that I’m very happy with, looking forward to takings things even further. I feel Enrique’s approach to music has helped me visualise where I want my sound to go. Working with Semantica is a very personal experience, one where Enrique puts you in the driving seat and will never tell you WHAT to do, only guide you, and with someone like Enrique… well I fully trust his opinion on things, the man has impeccable taste!

How about your earlier experiences of music and, say, your first clubbing experiences? When where, etc?

Well I went through many different genres of music growing up. My earliest memories of enjoying music were weekend car journeys to my Dads when he would put on electronica compilation CDs - The Prodigy’s ‘The Fat of the Land’, Underworld, etc. From these early days I always had this desire for an electronic element to the music I was listening to. In my teens, I was really into hardcore, noise rock like Lightning Bolt, but anything with an element of electronic music to it really spoke to me. I can’t really remember exactly when and where my first club experience was, but I used to frequent Fabric back in the day with my best friend, who also makes music now. We used to go to there, or to Hidden in Vauxhall back in 2010/11 to hear new music and meet the people in the scene at the time. I have a lot of fond memories of those days, the community was so strong, and music felt very new and exciting at the time.

 

Where would you say you are in terms of having artistic self-confidence? Would you say you have an artistic identity? Is this something you’re striving for?

I think that my answer today is very different to what my answer would have been last year, so I guess it is an ongoing process of discovery. Last year I would have said that I think I know what I’m doing and what direction I want to go in, but that has changed a lot over the last year. 2017 was a difficult year with a lot of factors outside of music affecting my output and how I viewed the music scene in general but I’m very happy with things now; I feel I have a new view on techno and the scene that’s a lot more positive than it was last year. So much amazing music is coming out at the moment – and you can hear it’s the product of people actually taking time to stop and really think about what they bring to the dance music table, and I feel I’ve been doing the same - finding what it is about my sound that people seem to like and building upon that. But in terms of direction, I guess I want to continue to find ways of injecting real and organic emotion into my music. For a lot of people, I guess it’s hard to imagine how you can have emotion and character in such a classically linear genre, but I think I’ve started to find my way of doing it and injecting some of my own nature into my music, but let’s see!

Boiler Room Berlin 2017

We’re going to be using the On the 5th Day platform to have more of a conversation about mental health - a topic that means a lot to us, and something that affects hundreds of thousands of people in the UK alone. What are your thoughts on the industry and its impact on mental health? Have you had any struggles with this yourself (that you’re comfortable to share)?

I think its dangerously important - we’ve only just started to scratch the surface of the negative effects of the touring DJ but also for the “not-so-touring DJ”. I would be lying if I said I’ve never had issues myself, it can get really tough sometimes in any creative industry I think, putting your soul into a creative output only to feel like you’re being pitted against others in a contest for attention… this undoubtedly has an effect on one’s mental health but I’ve personally found my own ways of negating that. I try not to pay too much attention what others are doing, enjoying the output of others but not getting caught up in what they’re doing to the extent where you compare your own story with that of another. I definitely don’t have the answers and I try to stay in my lane when it comes to commenting on experiences that I can’t really speak on behalf of.

How hard do you think it is to reflect your truth in artistic terms in today’s world (what with social media etc)?

I guess the hard thing about starting out in techno now is the fact it’s such a crowded market so it’s not just about making tracks that bang on the dancefloor, it’s about creating a complete package for people. This can rub some people up the wrong way because this is a pretty new concept. I guess for me personally, I’ve started to try and approach music honestly. What I present is myself, not somebody that I’m not and if that’s something people enjoy then great, but if not then at least I know I was true to myself.

What’s your take on social media in general?

I’ve never been a huge fan of it. I don’t even really like using it personally beyond communicating with actual friends but at the start of this year, I came to realise that I don’t want to become an old man yelling at a cloud because I can’t accept that the world has changed. Society changes with technological advances and this is, whether you like it or not, how humans communicate with the things they love now so, as I mentioned before, as long as what I present to the world is the authentic, real me then it doesn’t affect me so much and it’s overall better for one’s mental health

We know that next weekend’s gig at Corsica is a pretty exciting one for you as it’s your first time in London for some time… how are you feeling ahead of it, what do you have in store for us? Who will be there to support?

 

Yeh, I haven’t actually played in London, maybe even the UK, since before I moved to Berlin back in 2015, so probably around 4 years! I was born in London and spent a good part of my childhood growing up in Hackney so its home, even if London doesn’t always feel so welcoming at times, it’s always been the people in London that make it what it is so for me, this show is a homecoming of sorts. The show is also the same day as my best friend’s birthday so it will also be a celebration of sorts. I have a lot of close friends I’ve not seen in a long time (some of which haven’t even seen me DJ before) coming so I’m going to be bringing my absolute A game to this one!

What’s coming up for you - what are you working on, what’s next for Pris? We’re excited already!

Well I’ve had an incredibly productive year so far with regards to making music. Last year I was in a dark place and hardly put any of my energy into my music so now I’m testing myself to see what a full year focusing on my craft can produce and so far I’m really happy with the results. I’ve got an EP coming up around the end of September that I’m very excited to get out into the world. It’s basically all fresh music made this year that focuses more on the direct dancefloor side of my sound; there’ll be more info on this release out soon so I don’t wanna say too much. On top of that, I’ve got my follow-up EP on Semantica at the end of the year which is a progression of the sound I was going for with Faith & Honor. I’m very excited about both of these EPs, but apart from that there are some remixes, some tracks here and there… I’ve also written a collaborative EP with another artist who I highly respect; I’m so so happy with how it sounds so I’m looking forward to getting that out into the world too!

I’m also working on a project with a friend of mine that’s currently in the fun stage of experimenting and seeing what we come out with. My main aim for this year is to just create as much as I possibly can, for as long as I can, whether it be alone in my own discovery of my sound and learning more in general about production, or with others as another sort of learning process. I don’t have plans to do anything like “Pris Live” any time soon but I would be interested in turning the project with my friend into a live show if it keeps going the way it is, but I’m trying to stay in the present more and keep my attention focused on the music.

Thank you, Pris!