Il s’appelle Riton, le DJ/producer from Newcastle who does not watch Geordie Shore, has just established his own D.I.Y record label ‘Ritontime’ and is actually called Henry.
Adopting the alias ‘Riton’ (a nickname from his roommates) to release dutty electro-clash tunes to the masses way back when he was at college in France, Henry Smithson started off working in a hip-hop record store. Spending his downtime getting on it at any local rave he could locate, music has always been the primary objective for the Gucci sound system guru. Involved in a variety of underground and massively influential musical projects, Henry is partially responsible for the success of intelligent initiatives Switch Recordings, Grand Central records, Die Verborten, Carte Blanche and Eine Kleine Nacht Musik. Now turning his attention to releasing tracks under his own tag, Riton is proud to introduce ‘Ritontime’. Releasing a double a-side single every month using the 500GB worth of audio files he has accumulated over the years, Henry describes this self-funded project as “an outlet for all the music I want to make alone and with friends.” i-D online caught up with the serial spinner and scratcher to chat about Micky Moonlight and his love of making music just for the mother lickin’ love of it!
When did you first begin working as a DJ/Producer? Way too long ago! Nearly half a lifetime is all I’m saying.
How did you first come to collaborate with Ed Banger? The first musical job I did with Pedro was a remix for Micky Moonlight but I’ve been friends with the guys forever.
Tell me about your work as Carte Blanche? It’s just mine and Mehdi’s way of spending time together in fancy parts of the world… but nowadays we bring a 909 and a couple of rollerskating dancers with us, TRUE.
Tell me about your tattoos? I’ve only got one and it’s the Carte Blanche logo – me and Mehdi got them in New York last year as a kind of souvenir of having the best time ever!
You’re currently designing your own fashion line, what’s it looking like? I’m starting with some sunglasses. I think it’s early days though.
Who are your style influences? My sister is a legend so I have her to thank for that business, she’s currently designing for Proenza Schouler in New York.
And music? Currently Canblaster, Gaslamp Killer and Siriusmo are my heroes.
Who will you be collaborating with next? Shani Cuppcake is on my new single. I love her voice; it’s real RnB, very young and natural. Then I’ve made a track with this dope MC Scru Fizza – he’s incredible. And of course I’ve worked with the love of my life after Mehdi, Canblaster.
What are your plans for expansion? Well have you heard of WU Wear? But firstly I’m going for a single every month then dropping the LP.
Describe a typical day at work? Grab a flat white, make some music, put my pants on… or taxi, airport, dinner, drink and DJ with my pants off.