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Exclusive Jakwob Mix for Dazed

Student by day, Jakwob by night. We talk to the dubstep newcomer about his hectic year, his new album and his exclusive mix for Dazed

Kudos is definitely due for James Jacob AKA ‘Jakwob’. At 20 years old and a third-year student at De Montfort University in Leicester, he has already been championed by the likes of Annie Mac and Zane Lowe. For what? It might just be the two (yes, two) remixes he’s done for Ellie Goulding, indisputably having a catalytic effect on her newfound success. It might also be the remixes he’s done for Empire Of The Sun, Lily Allen and Yeah Yeah Yeahs… and Temper Trap. Kid Sister too. Most recently, he did a remix for Audio Bullys (it's awfully hard to keep track without a press release to hand). Now however, he’s focusing his dubstep / 2-step / experimental sound on his debut album. There is a reluctance to place him under the ever-growing umbrella of ‘dubstep’ and the like though. With the command of different instruments, Jacob played in a bunch of bands growing up, the genres of which ranged from Metal to Jazz. Before you go Google the hell out of him, take a listen to the mix he’s very kindly done for us below. Actually, feel free to Google whilst listening, we wouldn’t blame you.

Dazed Digital: So how is it that 'Jakwob' came to be? Where do you draw your musical inspiration from?
James Jacob: Jakwob was created during the first year of my university studies due to a lack of other musicians for me to jam with! I began spending hours making full tracks on my own and decided to give the project a name. My musical inspiration is drawn from all over the shop, from Reggae to Metal, Garage and Funk, I listen to as many styles as I can to make sure things don't get too dry. I like to travel and enjoy photography, which also helps me build more ideas. Amon Tobin, Venetian Snares and Soul Position are what I am on right now, along with a lot of Greensleeves releases.

DD: Is there anything you've thrown into the mix you've made for us that we should be taking particular note of?
James Jacob: Well currently I’m enjoying the drum and bass producer Commix again and I’m a huge fan of 16-bit, who are in the mix, be sure to check them out if you haven't heard already. Also Fabio Lendrum, massive vocals on that lad!

DD: I managed to catch your set at Wax:On, Birmingham and things were pretty rowdy - What's the most memorable set you've had over the last year?
James Jacob: Brilliant! That was a manic gig indeed, I just about got through the crowd in one piece to get up and play! I have two memorable times this year at gigs so far really, one being the first gig of the year in Cardiff - such an incredible crowd! The other was getting out of a taxi in Oxford to play the O2 and a kid coming up to me with his ear practically bitten off! Mental drum'n'bass rowdiness....

DD: Having done two Ellie Goulding remixes, has there been any discussion of another possible collaboration?
James Jacob: I absolutely loved doing those remixes and I'm so incredibly happy for Ellie in her recent successes, she's completely dominating at the moment! And too right! One outstanding album she's got! We had a studio session last summer and I don't see any reason why in the future we shouldn't cross paths again! I would absolutely love to work with her again!

DD: Some pop acts are seemingly edging towards dubstep as the 'genre du jour' - what are your thoughts on a potential, fully-fledged Dubstep crossover in 2010?
James Jacob: I think that would be brilliant, Dubstep along with its mother (as I see it) 'Drum and Bass' seem to be caught up in a lot of elitism which I personally find ridiculously stupid. It would be wonderful to see a dub influenced pop track and might even broaden some people’s musical horizons...

DD: What can you tell us about your upcoming original productions?
James Jacob: My original productions are a complete reflection of what I enjoy and who I am. You won’t be hearing any straight Dubstep, nothing 'filthy'. It’s a collection of music that can be played on a dance floor yet also be listened to in bed. You will hear heavily reggae and garage influenced music with hints of pop and folk. I would love the tracks to be accessible and enjoyable to as many people as possible.

DD: I find it remarkable that you're still at university in the midst of all of this! Has there been much of a conflict between your music and your studies?
James Jacob: Well, last week I received an ‘attendance’ letter from the university. It’s a completely understandable accusation that I haven't been going to absolutely anything at uni. Its 'all related' I say to them as I’m doing a media based degree. Seriously though, it’s going 'OK'. I’m currently doing my dissertation project and three other assignments and in three weeks, starting to revise for four exams. I'm telling you this so when I'm at gigs I really appreciate your offer of an 'afterparty', but I got a serious load of work to do! I really am enjoying uni and its lifestyle alongside my music but I just can't wait to finish... See you at the festivals!

DD: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
James Jacob: I had two crumpets, a banana and some mango juice - It was ruddy lovely.

1.    16 bit – Classical
2.    Giant – Rocker
3.    Caspa – Way Of The Dub
4.    Fabio Lendrum – Trouble (Jakwob Remix)
5.    Thunderskank - Lately
6.    The Others – Quantum Leap
7.    Bar 9 – Malicious Thoughts
8.    Distance – Misteral
9.    Youngsta – Deep Concentration
10.    D1 –BRB
11.    Penguin Prison – Animal (Jakwob Remix)
12.    Lily Allen – The Fear (Jakwob Remix)
13.    Caspa – Rock Bottom
14.    Commix – Japanese Electronics
15.    Commix – Emily’s Smile
16.    High Contrast – If we Ever
17.    Sub Focus – Could this be real D&B Mix