On this very week in the year 2000, vocalist Lifford was sitting pretty at #4 in the charts with Artful Dodger. ‘Please Don’t Turn Me On’ was the last of four consecutive top ten hits for the act, starting with the Craig David featuring ‘Re-rewind’. Sixteen years later, Craig David’s career is proper bo again, and Lifford’s featuring on new 1Xtra favourite Conducta‘s track, ‘Still You’.
We caught the pair in conversation following a sold-out show at London’s XOYO.
Lifford: Can you remember that defining moment when you knew you was going to produce garage music?
Conucta: My precise defining moment was when I came across the Organ M1 sound used on songs like ‘I’m A Dreamer’ and Grant Nelsons remix of ‘R U Sleeping?’. I remember years of searching for that kind of sound, then once I added it sound my sound library (legally!) I got to work on making my drums swing and making 2step garage
L: Fair enough!
C: Since the days of your track ‘Don’t Turn Me On’, garage has dropped from the limelight and now Craig David has played in the rise of garage over the last year or so, why are the public listening again?
L: Garage music is a unique blend of simple catchy melodies, beats and heavy basslines. Garage was defo a movement but mixed with seriously good music. People are listening because it’s feelgood, you can escape, dance, throw you hands up and forget. Garage is needed right now.
C: Can’t argue with that…
L: What are your top three garage tunes and why?
C: MJ Cole ‘Sincere’ . The pizzicato strings always make me feel a certain kind of way and the tune always holds memories of when my parents used to drive in and out of london when I was a kid.
Todd Edwards ‘Saved My Life (Large Joints Remix)’. Production-wise, Large Joints (now Mike Millrain) is often over looked for his contribution to the genre. The sub on this tune is immense and the whole song typifies to me what garage is about.
Tuff Jam ‘Tumblin Down feat. Xaivier’. Tuff jam are one of my biggest influences in music. The mix of a soulful vocal and a bubbling bass are always something I aim for and it’s executed to perfection here.
What about yours?
L: Thee fave garage tunes? Hmmm… Roy Davis Junior ‘Gabrielle’, Architects ‘Body Groove’, Sia ‘Little Man Wookie Remix)’. ‘Gabrielle’ gave me that feeling for the first time that garage gives you. Something new and exciting was about to happen. ‘Body Groove’ – feel good smash. ‘Little Man’ was just a club banger – everytime that bass and vocal dropped together it used to drive people mad in the clubs. Good times.
C: Strong choices there
L: When do you get your best ideas for tracks?
C: I usually get inspiration from old r’n’b or garage tracks hunting around on youtube. A lot of the time i’ll be out and I’ll have a melody in my head that i have to voice note, or repeatedly hum till i reach home. Also DJing out I hear certain tunes and I’m like rahhhh – I need to up the levels.
L: Haha! What’s the weirdest place youve DJ’d ?
C: Most random place I’ve DJ’d is in Vilnius, Lithiuania in an old soviet bunker. Probably one of my best DJing and experiences, and was my first booking overseas!
C: What’s the weirdest thing to happen to you on a live PA?
L: Falling on my face. A club in the Midlands. An arkward maneuver from the bar to the stage on beer crates meant I fell on my face. I want to forget. Next.
C: Hahaha. What inspires your writing at that moment? What have you got planned for the next year?
L: Life and the music I’m listening too at the time. Lyrics usually come from a place of honesty and melodies from the music itself. Plans? To drop more tunes for 2017, more collaborations and do an EP – my debut EP. What can we expect from you?
C: My plans for next year are to just keep dropping the best music I can, maybe look at doing an EP if there’s a demand for a body of work; otherwise it’ll be singles showcasing what I can do.