Spinner Instagram SXSW 2013 was exciting. Usher played with Afghan Whigs, A…
- Posted on Oct 5th 2010 12:30PM by David Dacks
"It's coming out in February," says the self-professed motormouth with in his thick Yorkshire accent. "I did a single, 'Sky Surfing' [released this August], and I've never had so much radio play in my life. It's a great way of letting people know what I'm all about, and letting people know I'm with the company."
'Sky Surfing,' which features dancehall vocalist Wayne Marshall, blends ragga, grime and aggressive synths in a super-charged party vibe. Toddla T's jump-up vibe is ideal for Ninja's recent dancehall-oriented explorations. His loyalty to Ninja Tune is impressive in the context of his independent mindset. Despite his much ballyhooed next-gen status, he's very respectful of the label's history and his place within it.
"I worked with Big Dada, which is a sub-label of Ninja Tune, a couple times on different projects. I remixed Lotek Hi Fi a long time ago and I ended up doing a lot of production on Roots Manuva's last album, 'Slime and Reason.' So I already had a relationship with them," he explains. "When I came out of my record deal with Sony, I just met up with them and had a really good vibe with all the staff -- it just felt right. [They signed] my little record label called Girls Music for not only my own stuff, but other peoples' music, as well. It's an amazing scenario I've got going on."
Indeed, there's a lot going on. Toddla T's often described as a new voice for Sheffield, famed as the starting point for Cabaret Voltaire and Warp records in generations past. He plays out locally and internationally every weekend, and has been a remix machine for artists from Hot Chip to Tinchy Stryder, but he's forced himself to focus on a few choice projects.
"I was doing too many, and I wanted to get my record done right now," he says. "I'm just finished [a remix] for Gyptian -- that 'Hold You' rhythm -- and another one for this American bloke, Theo... Theophilo... f----in' hell... Theophilus London."
As for his own as yet untitled record, he promises a deeper sound: "I went to Jamaica twice," he enthuses. "There are a lot of authentic Jamaican sounds on there, but I'm currently working with a lot of British people so that the sound isn't totally reggae based. Roots Manuva, Matt Star, J2K, Donaeo, Roisin Murphy and Jamie George are on there. I'm working on it all the time, and it's nearly there, hopefully I've got enough time to really get it right. Because I've been traveling so much as a working DJ, there's a bit of a wider influence on it: some R&B soulful vocals, hip-hop stuff, pure reggae vocals."
Toddla T's far less known in North America than Europe, but his showcases in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of Ninja Tune's 20th anniversary celebrations should help change that.
"Every weekend I'm DJing, but I'm coming to America and Japan with Ninja Tune to celebrate as much as possible. It's hard but I'm having an amazing time right now."