When it comes to LoKo and DnB - expect the unexpected, always

Rising drum and bass don LoKo gives us the low down on his new releases, love songs in DnB and the dirt on Viper Recordings (it's very clean dirt).
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Rising drum and bass don LoKo gives us the low down on his new releases, love songs in DnB and the dirt on Viper Recordings (it's very clean dirt).

They call him LoKo but he ain't crazy...you are though if you don't immediately sit up and pay attention to his two glistening new tracks out on Viper Recordings. Andy C himself couldn't help but take notice when the (then) 24 year old first peeped his fringe over the sub woofer with 'Bassline Secret' in 2012. Four years and a whacking wad of great tunes in the bank later, we at Magnetic are of the firm belief that LoKo's thermometer is on the cusp of a stratospheric rise in temperature. All hail the Glastonbury kid and watch this space.

Loko, LoKo, Lo Ko...

 Afternoon muggins!  

I've been having a mare with your name since day one! What is the story behind your chosen name and where do I put the bloody spaces and capitals?? 

 Hahaha, even I've given up knowing whats going on...think I'm too far down the garden path to change it? I was originally 'Loco', then there was another one of those in dnb so a friend of mine said, 'spell it with a 'K''. The capital K happened because it reads/looks better I think? I've literally stopped caring now hahaha, can't I just call myself Nathan? The Brazilian guy (Loko) actually emailed threatening to sue me but until one of us becomes a household name, or is established enough to have that kind of clout legally, then it's fair game. The drinks company can do one though.

Things are obviously starting to swell for you (behave) and people like TC and Pendulum are taking notice- who were you most thrilled to get props from and why?

Haha it's a funny old thing isn't it, I've had a lot of support from artists in the scene since day one really. I mean, you cant really get a better start than having Andy C pick up your music! Any support or positive feedback always blows me away. I get as much of a stupid semi-embarrassed face on whether it's from the likes of Pendulum and Sub Focus, or friends I've known for years saying they like a certain tune. It's really easy to convince yourself that you're the only one who likes the music you're making and that it's not good enough for other people to hear. So when you're getting artists that you've followed from when you were a kid tell you they like the tunes, it really does give you that extra little smile and motivation to finish new music or stuff you've been struggling with.

We had the pleasure of premiering your track, 'Who Are You', which you touched on being born out of heartbreak. Now we have 'What You Do To Me' and 'Time Flies'...any goss on the feels behind these two?

I always try to get emotion into my music. I mean you've got tunes like 'Time Flies', which is just a straight up roller, you're not getting emotion into that one. However it's kind of a throwback tune! I was listening to a load of the old late 90's/early 00's DnB and the fact that some of those tunes are approaching 20 years old is madness! Hence the 'Time Flies' title.

'What You Do To Me' was very much about having that strong vocal and dark bass though. It's neither a love nor a break up song - more about that dark and slightly all over place feeling that someone can make you feel (in both a good or bad way). It was a lot more rolling and not so in your face originally, but I felt that wasn't enough. It's a really hard one to explain, writing songs around love when you're making dirty technical dnb...it's hard. It's also dangerous as a lot of the 'headz' just think you're a dick - but ah well!

Out of all the tunes you've made - what's your absolute fave? Can you put an old one in the spotlight for us that we might not have heard?

I hate all my music so this is actually a hard question to answer, but I made a tune called 'Dubplate' that I'd love to still have the project file for so I could tighten the mix up and have a little tweak. In terms of vibe, I really like that tune...

There are also a shit ton of my tunes that I used in a GQ online mix but lost all the project files for. Some of them I'd really like to have back as, vibewise, they're some of the best things I've ever written.

Can you please give us the skinny on the Becky Hill collab biz? What's in the works there? Trade you a biscuit for it. A chocolate one.

I knew this question was coming! Ha! There isn't much I can say or confirm at the moment, but me and Becky have known each other for a longish time and a studio date has been on the cards for a few years. We finally got it together and sorted it last week, thanks to her and her amazing management (big love to Alex and Georgina). Essentially though, there is currently a tune on my desktop that's about 80% finished, with Becky's vocals on. Whether or not it stays as my personal dubplate or not - only time will tell!

(Half a Hobnob biscuit for LoKo.)

Which style of DnB (if any) do you associate yourself with? Is there a vibe you're trying to project in particular or is it just wherever the dnb takes you?

I really hate the idea of being pigeon holed into a certain sound or style. Couldn't think of anything worse than spending my entire career making the same style of tune over and over again - I struggle enough only making dnb at times! Don't get me wrong, as long as you're happy to do that it's all good, but for me...expect the unexpected always. I like to write melodic commercially sounding stuff as much as dark rolling tunes, and I'll never change.

What is it that drew you to Viper as a label, how did that all come about?

I think Brendan (Futurebound) has always seen something in me as an artist that no one else has and thats really meant a lot to me. When my contract was up with Ram, I was sending stuff to Bren and only him but did the two tunes on Ram afterwards as they were already locked down. What I love about Viper is it really does have that expected feel of a Drum and Bass label. It's a very close group of artists, no inflated ego's - it's just about good music. I see so many artists getting a chance at Viper and I think that's missing from a lot of labels in the scene these days; far too driven by what sells rather, rather than what's good. I'm not actually signed, everyone assumes I am but I'm not. We have a really good working relationship and at the moment it's working for both parties so why change that? 

Generic to a tee BUT what's coming up for you next? Lots on the cards I bet! Where can we see you and what are you most ramping up for?

I'm just working my ass off at the moment, putting the finishing touches to a couple of remixes for people that will be out later in the year (Sep/Oct) and trying to finish another single which I'd say is about 75% there. Gigwise, I've got a nice local one this weekend, headlining the dance tent at a little festival - so that should be good crack. Next week it's the Viper:Live Summer Slammers live stream with DJMag...that should be another sick night! Going to try and pull something special out the bag for that one, maybe a preview of my next release...

LoKo's new tunes are out now on Viper!
Roll up, roll up...
 https://viper.lnk.to/vprvip030

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