Sam Reeves aka Ownglow is an 18 year old set to hit the dnb-sphere with a gigantic tsss-boom. Growing up in the US, he was surrounded by a culture enraptured by EDM, but an unrelenting passion drove him from Arizona in pursuit of the drum and bass dream. Everyone loves a happy ending and Ownglow has landed in the best possible hands - the genre's capital - London. It is with great pleasure that Magnetic scores a chance to talk to Ownglow amidst the hype of his new releases 'All Black' and 'Change Your Life' on UKF founder Luke Hood's label, Pilot Records. Watch this space, boy is an up and comer and we'll be there every step of the way.
Yo! Thanks for the chat OG. First up - what’s behind the name Ownglow?
Back when I was 15, I’d just left school and hit a stupidly depressing and hopeless looking spot in my life – I was chatting with my homegirl Jessie and was brainstorming names, she just told me really to look for my own passion and what drives me, the changing moment was B-Complex’s Beautiful Lies VIP. Drum and bass was my passion, my glow. Hence, Ownglow!
You braved a move over when you were pretty young - how did you find the move and why Bournemouth for settling down digs?
I found it particularly rough if I’m honest, being away from home, without family – trying to juggle both academic commitments along with music! I have luckily found a way to make it work however and having now moved to London, I’m even closer to the scene, more intertwined with it. It’s super fast paced here. Flagstaff (Arizona) was a super chilled out, almost counter culture vibe – so moving was a bit mad. It's fast paced and productive, but I love it.
Did you make the move just for the drum and the bass, and if so, have you found what you were looking for here?
I totally did. I figured after leaving studies that if I was going to pursue music seriously that I should be in the place where I can benefit the most and London is the capital of drum and bass. It’s exactly what I’ve been hoping for.
Annnd that quick sign to Pilot Records! How did that happen?
The signing with Pilot was super unexpected. I wrote this album named Nightlife in 5 days. It was the tale of a night out with one of my best friends at a sketchy suburban house party and the emotions that came during each stage - the pre-drinks, the hype of stepping in, the deep chats, and the sobering walk home. I sent it to my buddy Sam and he shot it over to Luke Hood who instantly hit me up and signed two of the tunes from it! 6 months later it was released and the rest is history.
How would you describe the dnb scene in the US? Do you think it’s beginning to take off a bit more there now?
I actually wrote a long winded comment/post about this subject as it seems to be a very touchy one among American junglists. I come from a very odd perspective as I've now relocated to the UK, but grew up as one of the main targets of consumers for the whole “EDM” scene. Personally, I think drum and bass is getting stronger and stronger as newer heads are getting into it. There was this massive deep house and dubstep craze in the States and I feel it opened some huge doors to dnb. It’s wicked to see because a lot of the older heads are really starting to vibe the new stuff, and the newer kids are loving it too. I think the EDM scene is growing mad tired of the same stuff and starting to branch out a bit into finding a new sound. I was at my mates before I came back to the UK for a house party and somebody dropped a Taxman tune and it had to get a wheel! 2 years ago that would never have been a thing so it’s wicked to see people getting more open to the faster sounds.
You're legal this year! Have you been hitting up the raves or are you too busy making tunes? What’s your scene if you’re heading out?
YES! I’m not too keen on raves really, I’d rather have a drink and write tracks, but it’s nice to go out and see everyone! I’ve really been loving the Soul In Motion events, and really, really want to scope some 1605 or Chestplate events!
Best gig /festival/night you’ve attended since being over here?
Hospitality Bank Holiday BBQ was next level, I’ve never experienced a vibe like that before. I played at 2:30 am but had been raving since about noon! It was a wicked wicked time. Big up the Hospital fam!
UKF this past weekend with some big hitters - who do you look up to in the industry? Anyone in particular who has influenced your style from the start?!
Big up! I’m super stoked for it – Dimension, Danny Byrd, Netsky, Brookes Brothers, Ulterior Motive & Logistics would be my top 6, everyone has had such a dynamic and unique sound that has influenced me in one way or another. It’s actually unreal to be able to call a majority of them my peers, absolutely surreal!
Who are you digging at the moment? Doesn’t have to be DnB, we’re all friends here- chuck some names out!
Just off the top of the head – Pola & Bryson, Nothing But Thieves, Ivy Lab, LSB, Nancy Wilson and Krakota! All of em kill it.
And finally, what’s up next for you? Are you loyal to the liquid side of life or do you plan to switch things around a bit sometime in the future?
I’ve got a ton of new stuff in the pipeline, I try to produce new styles all the time, keep a watch for some dirt ;) I wish I could share more details...Hopefully some remixes and another single coming out in the next six months, should be a busy, busy year!
Ownglow has just released two new singles on Pilot Records - All Black and Change Your Life. Check one below and the other, on our Top 10 D&B Chart this week!