If there’s one producer who’s always going to get our attention it’s Draper. There are so few people who can bridge the gap between dance and indie-pop the way he does, enlisting carefully-curated collaborators to help him do his thing. The consistency he’s achieved in a short time is remarkable so, on the day he releases his Luminous EP – which you can order here, before seeing him live at KOKO on 3rd Feb – we caught up with him for a quick chat…
Most important business first: what do we need to get your number, because those promo pics are a bit of alright.
Bring me sweets!
But seriously: where did it all start for Draper? What was the moment or the record you heard that made you pursue music?
I think it may have been “Blue” by Eiffel 65, I was thinking how did they make the vocal like that and probably the first dance track I ever heard…? Around the age of 16 was when I wanted to learn how to make music but had no idea where to start! Step by step I figured it out, I didn’t know any producers so thankfully I had google!
Describe your vibe to us in three words (but then go on, maybe elaborate a little).
Super Draper Fire. I like intricate melodic music without being too “muso”. If it excites me then I will run with it.
There’s a sense that producers are the new pop/rockstars. Discuss.
Producers are now taking more of a front seat in their work. With the technology available it’s so easy to create the next biggest sound from your computer and be the face of it too. Skill in using a computer to write/produce has become as much of a skill as playing a guitar or piano.
What advice would you give to younger people starting out?
My biggest piece of advice is take your time. We live in a fast paced world where it seems like if you don’t release something asap you’ll miss your opportunity. If you spend time crafting your sound and fine tuning it to the best of your ability then your sound will be what other people reference for inspiration. The stigma about being a “nerd” if you use a computer a lot is disappearing, I think more girls growing up with tech now will pick up garage band and start the learning process to be a producer.
Given how much new music there is online, is there ever a sense of fear among producers that some next kid in a bedroom in Bognor Regis could be the new Calvin Harris?
I don’t think it’s a fear, I think it’s exciting. Producers are always looking for inspiration and if a new kid has the next new sound then so be it and it happens a lot!
You’ve done loads of collaborations. Are you allowed to pick a favourite?
From this Luminous EP everyone delivered a stellar performance so I wouldn’t pick a favourite but out of the singles, Jealous with BB Diamond is the one that gets me the most excited.
We loved the Prides one in particular. Was the Glasgow band / CHVRCHES vibe coincidental? Not that we’re complaining.
Coincidence! They fit the track jvst right!
Which names can we expect in future? Who’s your dream collaborator?
For the future there are some names but you’ll have to wait and see! Dream collab is Jonsi from Sigur Ros. I’m a massive fan of his.
What’s next for Draper? Tell us about your new music.
The music I’m writing is really reflecting my mood which is excitement, the live shows are my focus and creating a performance that gets people pumped and moving.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Love some Mura Masa, Honne and The Japanese House.
Finally, the question we ask everyone: favourite Beyonce song?
Run the world.