Sam Divine has become a favourite DJ of SpamellaB and I for a few months now. I rekindled my love affair, lasting nearly a decade now, for Defected towards the end of 2012 and shared the brand’s distinctive, upbeat, summery house flavours with SpamellaB as part of my attempt to convert her from DnB / dubstep over to the other side of the dance music fence! (Quite successfully I may add!) Sam’s own take on Defected’s sound has provided us with some brilliant, varied sets over the past few months, a highlight of ours being the “Live from Defected at Minstry of Sound” set on SoundCloud, which is included at the end of the interview!
You’ve come a long way from DJ’ing in Bristol nightclubs to mixing huge compilations, residencies in Poland, Naples and Ibiza and playing huge festivals as part of Defected. How much of a difference did it make to be signed by Defected and how did this come about?
It’s made a huge difference in comparison to quality of gigs. I was just as busy before I got signed but I was doing everything myself. 80% of my gigs came from MySpace and I was lucky enough to have a constant flow of work. Defected signed me to the agency rosta in 2009 after I worked as promotions manager for them in Ibiza. I played a few warm up sets at Mambo and stepped in for Junior Jack & Kid Crème when they missed their flight. After the summer Simon signed me and I haven’t looked back since.
You recently played at the musical institution that is the Ministry of Sound in London for Defected in the House. How was the night, knowing that in the near future it may be closed for good?
Defected always pulls off great parties and Ministry is no exception. I love the club, its one of the only big clubs I still go to, the atmosphere and sound is incredible. I’ll be really sad if Ministry closes, its part of London’s clubbing history and one of the only decent big clubs left besides Fabric.
Your mixes have recently become a favorite at DMM HQ, alongside fellow Defected DJ’s, Franky Rizardo and Copyright. Where does the inspiration come from behind each set, to provide the variety? Is there a special routine when preparing for a gig or mix?
Thank you I go into every gig blind, I spend the week listening to promos that I get sent, sometimes from labels and sometimes from people that contact me through twitter and facebook. I take the time to listen to everything, you never know when you’re going to come across a gem. This takes up a lot of time but its important that I keep my sets sounding fresh. I have my favorites that I play in pretty much every set, one because I love them and two because they work the dance floor every time. Every country has a different sound and you learn this from experience so I learned not to plan my sets, I have a rough idea of what I would like to play but that can instantly change as soon as you walk in a club and read the crowd.
You have been called up for duty on the new Nikki Beach 20th Anniversary album on Defected. What flavors and sounds should we expect from the compilation and do you know when it will be available for our listening pleasure?
This is a really cool project for me and I’ve been given total free reign with the tracks. The first CD is day vibes so I’ve kept it quite Soulful and vocal, the kind of stuff I would want to hear laying round a pool or at a cool beach club. The second CD is more edgier and tougher, 2am vibes. The compilation is dropping in March as single track downloads and 2 full mixes, you will also be able to buy a physical copy.
When DMM saw the lineup for We Are Fstvl in May, we were immediately drawn to the Defected in the House area with Noir, Flashmob, Copyright, FCL, Hot Since 82 and yourself on the bill. How excited are you for the festival and why should festival lovers head down to Essex?
I love playing outdoors full stop so playing Festivals are one of my favorite gigs to play. Defected has a solid line-up, in fact We Are Fstvl’s whole line-up is pretty ridiculous but it terms of sound and what Defected will bring in terms of production and merchandise giveaways it always feels like an Ibiza vibe. I love the fact its in Essex, people travel miles even abroad to see the line up that We Are Fstvl have put on so that fact that its in London its sure to be a complete sell out.
The #DMMDanceOff is clearly a huge highlight of any festival! Will you be joining us and what is your killer move?
Hell yeah, I can cut some serious shapes when needed.
Ibiza is around the corner, how would you summarize last summer?
A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I’ve been working on the island as a DJ for 7 summers and last year it felt like everything clicked into place and all the hard work had been totally worth it. I’ve been resident at Ushuaia for 2 years, its my favorite place in the world to play, not just because of the satisfaction I get as a DJ from playing there but also everyone involved from the directors to the bar staff, to security and even glass collectors. It’s one big family and I feel part of that now.
What are you hoping for from the White Isle this year?
All I’m saying is watch this space, if I get what I’m hoping for then it’s going to be the summer of all summers
What item travels the World with you, wherever you are? My laptop
Guilty pleasure track? Mmmm hard question
If you were an animal, what would you be? A Cat
The term “EDM”. Love or Hate? Love, it divides shit music from the good, good being proper House music
Any plans to head up to Manchester any time soon? I’m in Manchester quite a bit, we should meet and have tea and biscuits in the Northern Quarter
Live from Defected, Ministry of Sound:
Sam Divine – Deserve Me ft. Rebecca Knight (Free download)
You can catch Sam Divine, playing at We Are Fstvl, May 25th in Upminster, Essex. We’re heading down for the day and highly recommend you join us! Tickets are available here