Alex Ross – Exclusive GIGsoup Interview

Hailing from the small-town Huddersfield in England and a product of the prominent bootleg culture, Alex Ross made his name from bootlegging pop releases in fine re-works, while building his name up as a producer across clubs across the country.

The last few years have seen him rise to prominence, and he made some of the biggest official remixes of the last few years including Craig David’s ‘One More Time’, One Republic’s ‘Kids’ and ‘False Alarm’ by Matoma & Becky Hill. As well as his own release,’ Dreams’ which features Dakota – who featured on Jonas Blue’s track “Fast Car” and American rapper T-Pain, who needs no introduction, also lends his voice to the track.

His new single, “Deep In Your Heart” is already making waves across the community having garnered the support of MistaJam on his BBC Radio 1 show already and seems destined for the charts.

We caught up with the Yorkshire based producer to chat all about his musical upbringing, new music and what to expect later in the year.

Did you have musicians in your family that helped spark your passion for music growing up? Or perhaps were you brought up in a household that played records often?

Kinda, My grandad had a karaoke company and on a Saturday when I’d visit my Dad he would take me up to my Grandads shop and id be in awe of all the amps, speakers, soldering irons and wires. My grandad lent me my first PA setup to do a disco at 15/16 years old. Apart from that my older brother got me into garage music from a young age. As soon as my mum was out he would crank up his hi-fi and blast anthems like “Flowers” “Tell me that its real” and “Jungle is massive”. If I can’t blame it on either of those, it’s my mums DR Hook & Motown albums in the car! Ha.

Could you quickly summarise your beginning into releasing music? Up to the point you released ‘Dreams’?

Ooof, where do I start? I started bootlegging (unofficially remixing records) as a means to play top 40 records at that point in time – in my sets. I used to add drums to them, then instruments, then it spiralled from there! After20 or so strikes on Soundcloud I’m still here, (it took a lot of hustling to get around the SoundCloud strikes) but I still do it now if I like a record I hear in the charts and I can’t find a good official remix I’ll do my own. People may know me for “That’s Not Me Intoxicated” mashup, that was a big one, and literally took half an hour!

How did reworking ‘Dreams’ with Dakota and T-Pain come about?

Again It started out as a bootleg I was playing in my sets, it didn’t have Dakota or T-Pain back then, but Gabrielle’s vocal instead. It was going down a treat in every set and then next thing I know Ministry is offering a record deal for it! We worked on it some more and the rest is history.

You have an impressive catalogue of originals and remixes from working with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Dakota, did you start off working remixes or was it all originals?

I started out bootlegging first, then I think labels took me more seriously because they noticed I was getting a lot of airtime on the radio with bootlegs, so then I decided to stop bootlegging and start doing it the proper way! It also helps keep food on the table!

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Are there any unlikely music influences you have that have had an impact on your music making?

I guess this sounds like a vague answer but because I like such a vast amount of music I cant say. I listen to House, Rnb, Trap, DnB, classical and even jazz sometimes. So it all just mushes in my head and I pull inspiration from anywhere I guess. I’m not entirely sure, even I don’t understand my head sometimes.

Your new single, ‘Deep In Your Heart’ has a distinctive retro feel to the track like the vocal was sampled from a 90’s track. Was there any intention to write the song in this way?

Does it? I hadn’t realised ha, We just did what we felt fit with the vibe we were feeling, being a 90’s kid I guess its always gonna be programmed into me! And I guess I did use an M1 organ and piano (Famous for Show Me Love & I’m A Dreamer In The 90’s) so it was always gonna have that feel! I just make what I like and try not to pigeonhole it too much! I always enjoy listening to how people perceive a song through its great!

How did ‘Deep In Your Heart’ come together? And tell us more about how this collaboration with Futureclub happened?

So Future club came to me with a concept that he had started already! I instantly loved it and then together we worked on it some more back and forth, I added my signature stamp to it and we got a record deal! It originally sampled Mary J Blige so we got the vocal re-sung and released!

Are there any artists you would be interested in collaborating if you had the chance to work with them?

I’ve worked with so many cool artists already my list is half ticked! But I’d love to work with Nile Rogers, Calvin Harris or Bruno Mars! Musical geniuses.

What’s next for Alex Ross, an EP or perhaps an album that fans can expect?

I’ve been working on various singles for the last few years and could definitely release an album soon! I’ve got so much music im eager for people to hear so who knows! Keep an eye on my socials and you may be in for a surprise!