With his first release in 2017 with Drum & Bass heavyweight Turno on his award winning album the Power LP, Essex based Paul Wilkinson, better know to drum & bass heads as Hadley, has quickly established himself as one of the producers to watch. Hadley has since gained support from the likes of Skeptical, Foreign Concept, Noisia, Phaction, Doc Scott, DJ Marky, Kanine, Teebee and Hedex to name a few.
Following a very busy end to 2021, consisting of his ‘Dirty Things’ EP release, featuring on RAM Records’ 2022 annual and launching a new radio station, Studio 808’s owner Hadley took the time to chat about all things music and his plans for 2022...
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Firstly, how are we? Obviously Christmas and New Years is always a strange period for artists – some are winding down for the year and taking a break from projects, while others are smashing out the releases and events in the run up to New Years! So just in general, how was your end to 2021?
I’m all good thank you! Christmas and New Years was actually a really busy period for me.
As you may be aware I own Studio 808, the music studio based in Essex, and have spent the festive period building a new radio station which has just launched called Culture Radio. We also landed a partnership with Pioneer, so overall we are very excited about this project.
And that’s not all you got up to over the festive period, as you also released your ‘Dirty Things EP’ on Balearic Breaks?
Yes I did! It is a two track EP, the first being the title track ‘Dirty Things’, and then there’s ‘I Don’t Know You’ featuring the vocals of Sahala.
It’s actually a funny story about how this EP came about. I was in Ibiza and a friend told me to meet up with one of the owners of Balearic Breaks – we had a beer and I passed him my USB featuring some of my tracks. Later that day I got a call from him saying he had been playing my tracks on Ibiza Radio 1, but he didn’t realise they were mine! After that he invited me back to meet co-owner of the label Darren Jay.
From there it got the ball rolling, we immediately clicked and it was the start of a solid friendship.
They asked me to write a couple tracks for their EP. In all honesty it was during a tough time – it was during lockdown and my business was forced to close. As far as music went my inspiration and motivation was at an all time low, and it was often hard to focus. But I ended up delivering something that both them and I were happy with, and I’m very pleased with the response it has received.
And for those who don’t know, Balearic Breaks is Ibiza’s first drum and bass label?
Yes it is, I really respect what Alex and Darren are doing with the label out there, as they are educating the people of Ibiza about drum and bass.
Personally I think the scene is lacking in Ibiza as people don’t know how good drum and bass music is! The sound has moved on a lot from the old days of jungle, and the new age is so versatile – which is what I love about it. And this is what Balearic Breaks is trying to bring to Ibiza, so it’s great to see the work they are doing.
Back to you, the Dirty Things EP was not your only release in December, as you also had ‘Sleepless” on the RAM Records 2022 annual?
Yes, the full annual dropped on December 17th featuring my track ‘Sleepless’.
Jim Gash who runs RAM Records actually hit me up a couple of years ago asking for some tracks for the sister label ProgRAM. They were due to be released before lockdown, but were put on hold.
Fast-forward a year, and he emailed me asking for the latest versions. I sent them over, and just threw in Sleepless along with them. He absolutely loved it!
‘Sleepless EP’ was released in July on ProgRAM, also featuring the tracks ‘Dreamstate’ and ‘So Good’. ‘Sleepless’ ended up being the most played track on the EP, and hit over 100k plays on Spotify very quickly. It was a very special feeling seeing this response. Then when it featured on RAM’s 2022 annual, that was a proud moment to say the least.
Huge shout out to RAM Records for bringing me in!
On top of this you also played at the RAM Xmas Party at XOYO? How did it go?
It was such a vibe! XOYO is a cub I have always wanted to play, and it did not disappoint. The crowd were really up for it and that is what makes a night. I met a lot of artists that I have spoken to online, so it was nice to have a chin wag in person.
I would like to give a special mention to my agent, James from Earth Agency for landing that gig for me. He was the one who had been following my music from the early days and gave me my shot, which I am very grateful for.
Hopefully this year I’ll be able to do more of the same and do some damage on dancefloors!
Now onto 2022! What can we expect from Hadley?
Right now there are a lot of projects on the go. I don’t want to give too much away about who I will be working with, as I want to keep it a surprise! But I can tell you that I am working on an EP for RAM Records, which I am putting a lot of work into.
This EP is my best work to date, and I have tried to show my versatility in the music with different vibes in every track. I just can’t wait to get it out there!
And as an artist, have you set yourself any New Year’s resolutions for 2022?
Yes I have, this year I have made it my mission to give myself more time for music.
As I own a business, this takes up a lot of my time. My studio has a recording and production room, a teaching room and a radio station, so there is a lot of work. But I have now got more staff to pick up the work and lighten my load, allowing me more time to focus on my music.
So you heard it here first, you will be hearing a lot more music from me this year! Keep your ears open!
Listen To Hadley On Soundcloud
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