An exclusive interview of Lee Follon. DJ and Music Producer from England supported by Ben Nicky, Corey James, Curbi, Chuckie, Ravitez and many others.
-How did your career begin (and when)?
My career to be honest has only recently started over the past couple of years. Ever since I was around 13 years old I had different decks but never had a clue how to use them until the past couple of years.
After taking some lessons from one of my friends and started to get the hand of things I bought a pair of Pioneer RX’s so I could record mixes there and then. I started to send them to different local events/promoters, it took a good few mixes before they started attracting any attention. So around a year & a half ago I sent a mix to the current event I am now a resident on (Lock Out Events) & they seen I was improving and gave me chance on their Ben Nicky show, I had played 2 events previously but nothing like supporting big names in the industry or anything like that. Since that gig I have been lucky enough to play on each show & have a few more lined up before the years out.
-Which is your first track ever released and from which label?
My first track I released was actually Fuwaka which was released on Alveda with a good friend/artist of mine called Adam (BOWMAN). We managed to gain support on the track from the well-known Chuckie when he played on a Lock Out Event I was supporting him on. Versus another artist & friend of mine who has releases on Revealed also supported the track when he played alongside Quintino in New Jersey. It’s always crazy to see the countries and places your music ends up, from the bedroom to a main stage in America is quite crazy. I always check on Soundcloud on the stats to see were in the world people are listening or downloading my mixes/music, its mad to see were your music ends up.
-With which labels and artists have you worked & artists you’d like to work with?
As I’m actually fairly new to the producing side of things I have only worked with a couple of labels Alveda being one and I have had feedback from other labels on stuff I have been working on as I want to try and progress as fast as I can.
Bowman who’s actually my girlfriends cousin I love working with as we both like the same music and he has great ideas & knowledge which helps as one of my main struggles is getting the sound/idea I have in my head to sound that way in my DAW, so he’s helped a lot in the adaptiveness on that & I’m okay with melodies/breaks but struggle with powerful drops were as he is the other way round. He is seriously talented and there’s not much he can’t produce so over the next few years you can definitely expect a few more collabs between us, we are actually finishing a new one up at the moment.
A while back I and a local producer / friend of mine Bassjacked sent over an idea which I think we may / would love to pull from the shelf and work on.
Also I’d love to work with my brothers TNY & LUQ, Next Generation Noise & Corey James one day who are also making big waves in the dance industry.
-What do you think about your favorite artists?
I have a lot of respect for artists not just my favourite ones as it is really hard work and it really isn’t as people make out ‘Just Pushing a Button’. When you play your literally 1 button from ruining an amazing set, cause I’ve seen it happen a DJ can play an amazing set but if they make 1 mistake they will always remember that moment of mistake more than rest of the set. Touring every day, playing sometimes more than 1 show a night, having a family and the expectations to keep releasing music every few weeks must really be demanding and hard. Also it is quite nerve racking when you play but the feeling you get is incomparable so there’s another challenge you have to overcome before and throughout the time you play.
Apart from my favourite artists if you take up producing you will realise how hard it is and regardless if you like the music genre or not a lot of hard work has gone into their pieces of work & these are really talented people.
-Do you have any dreams and plans for the future?
When I first started my djing/producing my realistic end goal was to play in Victoria Warehouse, which is a venue in Manchester I have been visiting over the past 5 years which hosts some of the biggest names/events in the business with events covering all genres. Luckily after a year and half in my career shall we say, I have managed to get a slot on the Don’t Let Daddy Know show on Oct 6th 2018 in Manchester supporting huge names like Laidback Luke, Don Diablo, Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman, Jay Hardway, DVBBS, Headhunterz, Third Party, Sem Vox.
So as far as dreams go now, I still really don’t know. My dream of course is to do this day in day out & be able to quit my day job & travel the world playing my music, and seeing some amazing things. But honestly my main dream now is to play abroad, gain more support from big artists & improve my producing skills and try get signed to a big label in the future.
But also one of my favorite acts at the moment is Vini Vici and that was a dream of mine to support them one day & the next Lock Out Event I will be supporting them in December so I can’t thank them enough either for that opportunity
-What drew you to the music industry?
I remember visiting V Festival which was my first festival in 2012, I used to love pop music and artists like example, Wiley etc. But I remember Titanium by David Guetta being out at the time and he played on the main stage. This was the first time I had really heard dance music, I remember watching that set and completely falling in love with dance music. Ever since then passion I have for music has just grown and grown. No matter what time of day it is, if I get the chance to play some music I will, haha.
-Have you been in competitions?
I have never been in a DJ competition but I am currently working on producer competition for the Afrojack & Armada remix contest that they put out. So keep an eye out for that.
-Who are you inspired by?
I have been inspired by a lot of artists over the past few years but mainly I’d definitely say the likes of Swedish House Mafia, Alesso, David Guetta, Avicii, Hardwell, Kura, and Armin Van Buuren to name a few have had a huge impact.
Also a now good friend of mine Corey James has inspired me hugely as I have personally seen him progress from playing on events like myself now to being signed to Steve Angello’s SIZE label, having releases on the biggest labels on the planet, and playing at amazing venues all round the world. So seeing someone around you & someone you know making a huge impact in the industry, makes you realise that with hard work it is possible to create a whole new life for yourself and it is possible to achieve your dreams.
But finally my main inspiration is my Grandad, unfortunately I never had the chance to meet him, but he was in the Navy for a long time and when he left he made his own music in the shed that used to be at the bottom of the garden. He went and played his music and double bass on cruise ships round the world, so yeah I’d like to do something with my music for that sake as well.
-Please explain your creative process?
Creative process, to be honest I have always been one for trying things out and just trying to see what sounds good together. I have recently been using a technique which Corey mentioned at his masterclass were he would play one of his favourite sets from a huge festival and on the drop turn the sound off on the set video and seeing whether your drop/track would have the same impact, I think that has been a game changer for helping me.
Also I watch a lot of Zen World tutorials, if your starting out you need to check them out they will help massively
-What’s an average day like for you?
Currently at the moment an average day for me consists of me being sat at a computer for 9 hours a day (unfortunately it’s not using Ableton) it’s a day job, so going home after work, sitting in the studio for several more hours on a computer, trying to find inspiration & having a social life is quite hard but at the moment you just have to bite the bullet. Luckily when im off on the weekends I try to get as much studio time in possible. It’s quite good at the moment having a show every 2 months to play on as I can crack on with my producing in the mean time
-Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Currently I am making stuff that I like and enjoy making. I have a number of unfinished projects which have some great melodies they’re the ones that have a lot of meaning to me and when I get round to finishing/releasing them I think people will get the picture.
-Which DAW do you use to produce music?
I currently use Ableton Live 9 Suite, Ableton is quite a tricky one to get your head round until you take a look inside it properly or watch some tutorials. I like Ableton as a lot of the plug ins, audio effects, Eq etc. that come with it are really good which is always a good thing as plug ins can set you back a lot financially.
-Do you play any instruments?
I have never really played an instrument as such, when I was in younger I took some saxophone lessons haha but I never pursed with that side of things. I am currently completing an online keyboard/piano course on a website called playground sessions which is around £15 a month but is worth it.
-Do you perform in public as a DJ?
Yes, as mentioned I have played some great events & have some massive shows lined up supporting some huge names like :-
Chuckie, Curbi, Ravitez, Corey James, Ben Nicky, Vini Vici, Ruben De Ronde, Dimitri Vangellis & Wyman, Headhunterz, Third Party, Sem Vox, Jay Hardway, DVBBS, Laidback Luke, Don Diablo & im sure there will be many more to come.
Massive thank you to Alveda for asking me to do this interview, it’s been a new & great opportunity.
If you wish to find out more about me, my music, mixes or my daily life, you can follow me on:-
Soundcloud – follonlee95
Instagram – leefollonmusic
Facebook Page – Lee Follon Music