The legendary house producer talks about his influence over today's garage and grime acts
Dazed Digital recently caught up with one of the biggest names in garage and house music, Todd Edwards. The American producer has been around for many years and has influenced the creme de la creme of the UKG scene, such as The Grime Minister DJ Logan Sama from Kiss FM and bassline master DJ Q from BBC 1Xtra, to name but a few.
Dazed Digital: What track/remix of yours are you happiest with?
Todd Edwards: Each track and remix brings a new challenge; the Gintare ‘Transnavigation’ remix was the first non 4x4 time signature track I had to remix. The song ‘Tomorrow’ that I wrote and produced for Kim English was the first attempt to create a disco sounding song using 90% samples. ‘As I Am’ is a remix that has had the most impact and it was before I really developed as a producer. As I said, each project brings new growth and challenge.
DD: What kind of equipment do you use to make music?
Todd Edwards: I’ve been primarily using the same equipment that I have had for over ten years. I have an Akai S6000 sampler (the work horse of the group), a Roland 2080, JP 8000, Juno 106, an Emu Mo Phatt, Vintage, XLR, a MicroKorg keyboard and Digital Performer for recording audio and sequencing. Honestly, the Akai S6000 sampler gets the most use.
DD: What are your thoughts on the various forms of UK garage?
Todd Edwards: The UK in my opinion has always been at the heart of experimenting with different sounds, they were open to mine. I love dark sounding music; I don't prefer negative messages because there is enough negativity in the world. However, dark sounding musical elements are an expression of what we feel and go through every day. It is necessary.
DD: Were you ever a fan of UK funky at all? Being a house music producer as well, you must have something to say about it…
Todd Edwards: Honestly, only in more recent times have I been listening to more dance music. For a long time I would make club music, but not listen to a lot of it. It's difficult to want to listen to something that you've been working on all day, I need balance. When I’m not working on music, I put my focus on other things. On the other hand, the internet has been instrumental in my growth over the last year. Being able to discover music that inspires me without leaving the house is perfect for me. I never enjoyed going to record stores digging for records to buy, I was always so self-conscious. To add to this, I was very picky, so to have to go through record after record after record, and find only a few that I liked was frustrating. Now its click, click, download. No crowds, no noise, just music. Love it!
DD: Everyone in the UK (and some parts of the US) seems to love everything about dubstep music right now. What are your thoughts on dubstep? Because it’s a very different sound to what you’ve ever made…
Todd Edwards: To be honest, I love dubstep. I wish there were two of me so I could give proper attention to the different genres of music that I like. There is only so much I can take on, but if there was time to develop some dubstep sets, I would.
DD: Are you still in contact with the likes of fellow legends DJ EZ and Matt Lamont? They’ve really supported your work over here…
Todd Edwards: I mostly always go on EZ's show when I am in the UK, he is my brother. He is the nicest guy in the industry as far as I'm concerned and his genius DJing goes hand in hand with how genuine he is as a person. I am blessed to know him and be supported by him. I owe Matt a phone call; he is a great guy too. I honestly didn't realise our collaboration ‘Waiting For The Light’ track wasn't officially released and I would like to get that out to those who want it. Don't forget Karl Brown either, I have been in talks with him about our ‘Fully Loaded’ collaboration and future productions. These guys are my UK family and I am where I am today due to their support.
DD: What can we expect for the rest of 2010 and beyond?
Todd Edwards: A lot of new music. I will be putting together another album, there are remixes on the horizon, I will be doing as much DJing as physically possible and hopefully some good collaborations as well. I still want to make an MJ Cole/Todd Edwards collaboration happen. All I know is that the momentum is building!