Gearing up for the summer season Anton Powers has been a mainstay on the electronic music scene since his breakthrough track Alone no more in 2015. Now a father and head of A&R for 3 Beat Records, GIGsoup caught up with him to talk about collaborations, festivals and being a father.
What got you into Djing and producing music?
There used to be a dance radio show in the north of England by a DJ called Stu Allan, he played house music on the Saturday show and hardcore on the Sunday show. I was around 13 at the time and couldn’t get enough of this music that I hadn’t really heard before. It blew me away. I started to dig deeper and discovered a real love for this music. I always remember hearing Mory Kante ‘Yeke Yeke’ and that was the record that cemented my love for this music and made me want to become a DJ.
What type of nights did you go on when you were young?
All kinds of nights! Used to be a nightclub in Liverpool called Club 051, that was like a right of passage for all of us growing up at the time and used to go and hear music that was largely coming from Europe and no-where else played that style of music. The last Saturday of the month we used to go to ‘the Cream’ (as we called it) and see all the international DJs like Roger Sanchez, Armand Van Helden, Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold etc, which in hindsight makes me realise how lucky we were to have the worlds biggest club and DJs on our doorstep. Seeing them inspired me even more.
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Alone no more, was a great and a big track in 2015, do you have any thoughts on why it was so successful?
No-one really knows whats going to be a hit, even the best A&R will tell you that. You know when you are onto something special but so many special records haven’t become hits and it’s largely down to timing as well as having a great record and plot around the song. This one was when all the stars aligned and the combination of a good song, timing and plot worked in sync perfectly.
How did your collaboration with Pixie Lott on Baby come about? What was it like working with her?
Under the guise ‘Cahill’ I had remixed an old record of hers (Gravity) so there was a connection from back then. Then the other summer I was DJing at Cream in Amnesia, Ibiza and she was there and we had a good catchup and a while later, we got in the studio and started working on bits & bobs. I actually signed her to the record label too (3 Beat) and she has some great solo songs to come also. She was a real dream to work with. Hand on heart she is one of the nicest people I have ever met, absolutely lovely, sweet girl who lives in Pixie world and I tell you what, if we all lived in Pixie world, that would be one super happy, positive place!
How has being a father affected your career? Has it affected the type of tracks you produce at all?
Before my daughter came along, I had never even held a baby, not once, never mind actually be responsible for. It freaked me out massively at first, but it’s the best thing ever and puts everything else into perspective. She’s very lucky she’s been to a couple of festivals I have DJed and met her faves Little Mix and Tinie Tempah, so that has scored my cool dad points. And I do actually use her to test my new music, I don’t tell her it’s my demo’s, I just play them on Sonos and see what reaction she gives!
How have you found your productions evolved over the course of the last few years?
Always evolving – never stand still, you get left behind.
Over your career, you’ve toured a lot of cities and venues. Do you have any favourites? Are there any that hold a special place in your heart?
San Francisco was a fantastic city to visit and DJ in, really loved that place. Dubai is always a fun place to visit and DJ at, more locally I LOVE Djing in Ireland and Scotland, those guys go for it big time!
What have been your best and worst festival experiences?
Best was Creamfields in 2016. I had just finished my set in one of the arena’s & was on high from a brilliant reaction to a great & lively crowd. I then went back to the artist area to conduct some interviews. When Scott Barton who is the main man at Creamfields came over & said Martin Garrix can’t make his set time, we are shuffling the lineup around. Can you cover his slot on the Main Stage for 90 mins & its getting broadcast live on our Facebook channel, oh and btw you on in 15 minutes?! Naturally, I said yes & although I only had no time to prepare I winged it as best I could and it turned out to be one of the best sets I’ve ever had and the energy from the 25/30,000 in the crowd was off the scale. If I could bottle the feeling it gave me, I would be a very rich man!
Another highlight was Tomorrowland in Belgium. It was the first time I had played this festival and I didn’t realise the magnitude of the stage I was playing on. It was a huge open-air stage that held about 30,000 and was themed around a Vienna style Opera House. It was a sensational setup at a sensational festival and seeing some many nationalities united under the music I was playing was incredible.
Touch wood there hasn’t been a bad experience yet!
Is there anything you look for in up and coming artists as head of A&R? You’ve signed some big names in your time.
Total passion, dedication & love of the music & scene is so important. You have to be in it for the right reasons or it’s a waste of everyone’s time and you quickly get found out. And obviously a talent too. But hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work.
What can we expect next from yourself?
Listen to Anton Power’s latest track Heart for sale below.