5 Steps with Shadow Child
Shadow Child is a mainstay of UK club culture and has been at the forefront of house music both in Britain and worldwide for over a decade. Launching his current guise on Claude VonStroke’s Dirtybird imprint with ‘String Thing’, gaining strong support from the likes of Annie Mac and Eats Everything, the producer has carved out a huge new status in the new era of house music.
Most recently, in collaborative productions with Ben Pearce, he has remixed for the likes of The Prodigy, The xx and Hot Natured, and with his weekly resident Rinse FM show and Food Music label, both of which are inspired by the low ceiling clubs and warehouse raves of the underground scene, Shadow Child has continued as one of the house scene’s most prolific and most respected.
With his latest track, titled ‘OOH Tune’, out on Food Music at the moment and upcoming dates at the Warehouse Project, Bristol in:Motion for Gorgon City on Friday 10th November and Printworks London for Relentless on Saturday 11th November, we asked him to look back the 5 pivotal points of his career so far.
Radio 1 & Rinse Residences
I have my weekly Rinse FM show, which has been a huge thing for 4 years, even now. That is definitely up there for me, together with being asked to join Radio 1 back in 2009 in my former Dave Spoon guise. It’s a while back now but was a huge ambition to step inside that building, let alone end up with my own radio show there. Both massive moments for me, but my 18 month residency at the BBC taught me so much about broadcasting which I carry with me today on my Rinse show. Forever thankful.
Remixing ‘Reverse Skydiving’
Remixing is probably a key strength of mine. I don’t know what it is but I had a huge sweet-spot in 2013 where I did some of my best work. The original mix of ‘Reverse Skydiving’ that year was already becoming an anthem for Hot Natured, but my remix seemed to take the record where it really needed to go at the time. It’s still something that gets plays today, Josh Butler told me he heard Joris Voorn playing it a few weeks back.. it’s definitely a defining remix and a real moment for that particular sound, which seemed to pave the way for a lot of other people’s music that followed.
Late 2013 I was supposed to tour Australia, but couldn’t go after suffering extreme exhaustion and anxiety from not taking any time off all year. It was a huge low point personally, and something I learnt a huge deal about myself from. But my return to DJing was a month later in the modest yet full-on Source Bar in Kent, and I’ve never experienced a feeling like it. It was partly due to the low events a month before, but the pure love in the room that night was emotional for me and will stay with me forever. I love music, I’ve put my whole life into it but this one was about something else way above that.
Meeting a hero
Some say you should never meet your heroes, but I’m so glad I did. In 1993 I went to see The Prodigy and met Liam Howlett. I was just 16 and was making Rave music at school, which at the time was extremely unique at that age. I chatted to Liam most of the night, and met a person that came from a similar background to me who was flying so high having captured the vibe of the whole country in his music, but remained so real and down to earth, as did the whole band. We kept contact for a few months and he encouraged me to send my music to XL Recordings. I didn’t get signed but I remember feeling so privileged and also feeling that ‘I can do this’ too. This might not have defined my career but defined me and my direction.
There’s so many musical moments which helped define this project, but one was Flying Lotus selecting ‘23’ for his FlyLo station on Grand Theft Auto V. The amount of love the record got via that being the first track you hear on the game was, and is incredible. I think the tune would probably have done well on it’s own, but the profile I got from that back then was immense. I can’t think of a better thing at that time to help cement what I do.