Homegrown :: Rich Showell

Audio Tonic resident and our season closer warm up DJ; Mr Rich Showell get’s into the nitty gritty of Homegrown…

Where are you from?

Sunny Wolverhampton, England

Why are you a DJ and why Dubai? Tell us a bit about you and your sound…

I love music and love playing it even more.  My job brought me to Dubai and I’ve been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to DJ alongside this.  As for my sound, it’s house music in varying guises.  A promoter once dubbed it funky, sleazy, discoid house, which I quite like so let’s go with that.

How did you start DJing, vinyl, CD’s or software? Do you think those without vinyl foundations are true to the craft? Do you think the artistry of Djing has been lost?

I started with a pair of belt driven turntables when I was 16.  To be honest, I think people can get a bit anal about this whole vinyl vs cdj vs software debate.  Personally, I tried the pure software midi controller thing for a while and I found it a bit disparate when playing so I now use cdj/vinyl control.  There’s something a bit more raw and involving about actually mixing rather than just pressing a button and I do believe that every aspiring DJ should be able to beatmatch.  However, at the end of the day, DJing is principally about the tunes you play and the order you play them in – that artistry will never be lost.

Do you think DJ’s also need to be promoters these days or is that still solely the job of the promoter. Without local agents how do you promote yourself to venues and promoters/ bookers?

I would imagine all DJs have done some sort of promoting in the past to enable them to play.  I certainly have.  With so much competition, putting on your own parties is the best way to guarantee yourself a set.  I’m fortunate enough to be one of the Audio Tonic residents so that certainly helps as well as giving me a regular platform to play.  Even so, I still expect to play some part in helping to promote nights that I play at.

What does Dubai have that other party capitals lack? Is their room for everyone here to stake claim and have a following/crowd?

Dubai has some amazing venues and the climate is ideal for plenty of outdoor parties.  However, it’s definitely difficult to stake a claim here.  Dubai doesn’t seem to have the same sized musically inclined crowd that you would find in other major cities although I think this is improving.

Do you produce? If so tell us about your studio set up? What is your take on software production as compared to hardware and modular synths?

I’ve been learning the ropes and playing around with Ableton for a while now and I’ve put a couple of things out there.  It’s definitely an area I’m going to focus on further over the summer when hopefully I’ll have a bit more time.  And I’d love a studio full of analog synths if you’re offering to buy me some!

Do you think producers make good DJ’s and vice versa, or is it purely a new promotional tool to get DJ’s on the decks?

I think if you want to DJ as a profession then producing is almost becoming a prerequisite.  There are very few ‘famous’ DJs who aren’t also producers.  However, I don’t think there’s a direct correlation between a good DJ and a good producer.  Both require separate skill sets.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to for all the wrong reasons? 

I’m not sure about any wrong reasons but the best gig I’ve been to was James Brown in my hometown 6 or 7 years ago.  He was an epic performer, even in his final years.  DJ wise the best gig I’ve experienced was probably Jamie Jones last year at Amnesia in Ibiza.  Actually that took place the day after spending a week at Sonar in Barcelona so you could argue some wrongness there.

Check out his soundcloud page here then join us Friday July 13th for  iLL Communications Closing Party presents Mobilee Label Night; Martin Landsky & AND.ID

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