Interview with Si Tew
Si Tew's first Phat Elephant release "Not My Fault" is coming out on the 11th of January, we had a short interview with Si, learn about his inspirations and tips and tricks for new DJ/producers.
Did you / do you have a mentor or someone who inspired you?
Yeah, I’ve been lucky enough to work with Martin Atjazz for the last 6 odd years. I was introduced to him after being involved in the BBC urban music bursary back in 2005. I started doing sound design for video games with him and then we started the Mist Works project. He’s been like Yoda, always hooking me up with advice and introducing me to people. It’s always good to have a refined second opinion on things and it’s really helped me out over the years.
What was your first payed gig and how did you get it?
I can’t remember to be honest? If you count being paid petrol money and beer then I guess it was a free party back in Warwickshire when I was about 16. A few friends ran different sound systems and they put on a party in a really nice location with a few other rigs. It was a great night, but half way through my set the police came and closed the whole thing down. I don’t think they liked my tunes!
What is it in what you do that keeps you inspired every day?
Because writing music is such a big part of my life I guess I get inspired by everything in some way. I try to start each day by taking my dog for a walk through the fields. It feels like a nice way to reset the balance of sitting in the studio all hours, and I always feel more relaxed when I start writing.
What is your greatest lesson learned?
I quite like little one-liners and pearls of advice. My mate gave me a book called Damn Good Advice for creative people and that is full of stuff. But I think a college tutor gave the best bit of advice to me years ago. He said that ‘As soon as you think you know everything about you’re craft then you need to stop because you’ll never know everything. An experienced musician can still learn from someone who started yesterday’
I used to teach music tech to kids and they would show me little tricks I wouldn’t have thought of, or just a quicker way to do something. It’s made me always on the hunt for more information which isn’t a bad thing.
How does your dream line-up look like?
That’s a hard question, too many to choose from! I always like to see Modeselektor live. I’ve never seen Jon Hopkins or The Roots so definitely them. Then maybe Fourtet and Flying Lotus to top it off.
Any tips for starting dj/producers?
Try and break sounds as much as possible and just do any weird stuff you can think of to make noises. I like happy accidents and I think they make music sound more organic but to get accidents you have to experiment with weird routings, or sample noises from somewhere unexpected.
Check out Si Tew's latest release on Phat Elephant