Hailing from sunny(ish) Scotland, this year Sei A, AKA Andy Graham ventured south and relocated to the big, bright lights and the golden pavements of London town ready to push his career to the next level.
Despite a consistent output of very respectable electronic music that combines elements of house, techno with a bit of bass, the producer has remained under the radar throughout most of his career. Hopefully we here at i-D online can do our bit towards thrusting the talented beat-maker into the limelight with this in-depth chat and an extra-special i-DJ mix!
Tell us about growing up in Glasgow… I feel really fortunate to have grown up in Glasgow. It’s quite a small city, it has a slight industrial feel to it. With it being pretty small you see the same old faces but you have your own ‘crew’, if I can call it that. I studied music technology at college then university. During that period I was with guys who were producing music and DJing. I went to their nights, we all hung out. I started to get a proper feel for clubbing during that time and that was when I started to buy records. Usually on Fridays after uni I would go to a small record store called Kushi, which moved from it original location to the basement of a Japanese restaurant. It was perfect – you could listen to new tunes and chat to the local DJs who hung out there. Getting that connection with people I then started to produce.
How does the electronic music scene there now compare to when you were younger? It’s stronger than ever. So much talent constantly pours out of the city, it’s amazing. I’m not going to go on a mega list of everyone, but the scene always had small crews who ran nights. There are a lot of nights for one city but every night has their own following. One night in particular which says it all is Numbers. Jackmaster and his mates have been pushing that for years and over the last couple of years they are really taking it to the next level.
Do you miss the city? I don’t miss the weather, constant wind and rain. I miss the social side of Glasgow, my close mates. I miss proper homemade cooking for sure; my Mum is on par with a Michelin star chef. I really miss my old studio – moving to London has downsized it dramatically but it still works!
How’s London treating you? What are the key differences between the two cities? London is amazing. I love it. I never thought I would but I do. The weather is like a tropical climate in comparison to up north and traveling is easy. In London there’s so much more scope for taking something to the next level if you do it right – the people you meet, the more opportunities you get are much greater. It all works perfectly.
What effect has living here had on your musical output? It’s been a massive positive for my music. As soon as I moved it clicked straight away. Without really knowing, I was listening to different styles and getting properly excited knowing it was coming from where I was at. My recent RA podcast I think shows the slight change in sound. Trying to find the right balance now, between old and new, is coming together but it is all down to living here.
What’s the one thing that would make living in London better? Having the space and room to have my old Technics 1200′s setup and being able to listen to music really loud again. Simple.
Sei A’s next single Frozen Flower is released on Turbo Recordings on November 14.
Text: Marcus Barnes
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