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Getting to Know: Just Kiddin

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There’s a lot of commercial house music doing the rounds these days, but there are few who are doing it with the panache of Just Kiddin.

From the small, middle England town Kettering (shout out to James Acaster), childhood friends Laurie Revell and Lewis Thompson started making early disco edits in 2011, before much later coining the Just Kiddin sound, which Laurie describes today as “feelgood, emotive house”.

The pair have morphed into accomplished producers, signing to a string of such major playing labels as FFRR, Nothing Else Matters, Asylum, and Perfect Havoc, earning a stack of Future Anthem and Future Star accolades from Radio 1, and hundreds of millions of global streams.

There’s something rather seamless about their production, and not speaking technically – although it is that – rather in the end product; a wholeness of sound that can only result when two creators, so suited, work together in harmony.

Here, we get to know Just Kiddin.

Welcome to DT, guys. Where are you from?

Laurie Revell: What’s up, thanks for having us. We’re both from Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Lewis Thompson: Big ups Kettering!

How was Just Kiddin formed?

LR: Just after we finished Uni, we both moved back to Kettering for the summer and we were back to hanging out a lot. We threw some disco edits we were working on separately together and [our EPs] Seriously Part One and Two were born.

How did you find yourself working in music – was it something you worked towards or was it by happenstance?

LR: We’ve both always been into creating music, we were in bands before we started producing. It was just something that we both continued exploring which eventually ended up becoming a career.

LT: It was definitely a case of persistence, I’m not musically trained or anything so it’s been a lot of throwing yourself in at the deep end and hoping for the best!

Describe the Just Kiddin studio sound.

LR: Feel good, emotive, house. 

And what does a Just Kiddin DJ set sound like?

LT: high energy, emotional dance bangers.

Which of your tracks are you most proud of?

LR: It constantly changes, probably the most recent one I’ve made every time.

LT: I love Risk it All, Body Talk and Thinking About it. The latter one defo changed our lives, allowed us to quit our jobs and focus on music full time.

As a duo, what roles do you adopt in the studio or is it more fluid than that?

LR: We’ve both evolved over the years to be pretty multifaceted. We both like to be hands on with a song from its beginning right till the finished product.

LT: Totally, it’s a lot of sharing projects and going back and forth on each other’s ideas. We’ve grown up together and have very similar taste which always helps.

After a long-standing relationship with Perfect Havoc, you’ve signed to its Management roster and have a multi-single deal with the label too. As a breaking talent act, what things did you consider to know this was the right home for you?

LR: We’ve known the PH guys for a while which helps build trust, and we continually see how hungry they are.

LT: Yep, they’re a great team and we’ve both been big fans of each other for quite some time.

You’ve put out numerous collaborations with the likes of Ella Henderson and House Gospel Choir, Sonny Fodera, and on your latest single Moonshine River with DiRTY RADiO. Do you have any others in the pipeline?

LR: We’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing talent over the years. We are constantly collaborating, but whether they will end up being Just Kiddin releases, who knows!

Lewis, you’ve produced many hit records for other artists. How do produce a track for another artist without having your Just Kiddin ‘hat on’. What’s your approach to keeping the sounds separate?

LT: I’m just focusing on writing the best songs tbh. I’m not writing a song thinking “this is a Just Kiddin record”. That usually comes after, or once the song is almost formed. I’ve actually found the approach of specifically trying to write for a specific project being quite limiting. I just follow my ears and see where creativity takes me on that day.

What signifies success and what are you aiming for. Is it streaming numbers, radio play, chart success, a significant DJ booking, etc?

LR: Over the years the memorable moments are playing the shows with those high energy crowds that sing all your songs and go crazy for everything you play. But I honestly just follow the music. I’m not too fussed with how the rest of it looks. I’m on a journey of creative exploration, so as long as I continue to grow, the rest will take care of itself.

LT: Like Laurie said, just to keep enjoying the ride and being grateful for whatever comes.

Where did you first go clubbing – were you a regular anywhere?

LR: Probably Junk Club in Southampton where I went to Uni, they were putting on all the best events during those years. I’ve always been into going to gigs and festivals to connect with new music too, and I still do. It’s important for me to remind myself that I’m first and foremost a fan.

LT: Mine was Superfly in Leicester. I owe that place a lot. Education right there.

What would people be surprised to learn about each of you?

LR: In my spare time I listen to loads of music, but very rarely is it dance music.

LT: In my spare time I never listen to music hahah!

Are you as close outside of the studio as you are in it?

LR: Absolutely, we always have been. Although whenever we’re hanging out with our mates, we do try to avoid talking music, I think this probably helps.

LT: It defo helps!

What gets your creative juices flowing?

LR: Anything that makes me feel something and I can imagine it to be something. Doesn’t matter if that’s someone’s vocals, an atmosphere in an old record that I can re-create, or a few chords that evoke something in me.

LT: A great sounding vocal that’s needing production to support always gets me outta bed early!

What’s next production wise?

LR: We’ve got a couple of records that feel really special, but we’re not resting on them… after that it could be anything.

And where can people catch you DJing next?

LT: We’re back in Ibiza for our final show of the summer with Joel Corry in September, it’s gonna be emotional. See you there

Just Kiddin ‘Moonshine River’ is out now on Perfect Havoc. Stream via all platforms here.

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