Alexis Raphael talks new release on Hot Creations ‘It’s Kinda Jazzy’

Alexis Raphael began his career in electronic music by playing at underground pirate radio stations in North and East London, taking his versatile sound onto labels such as Jackathon Jams, Culprit, Leftroom, Get Physical, Nervous and Hot Creations. Alexis has also been nominated by DJ mag for ‘best breakthrough DJ’ and secured a residency at The Warehouse Project in Manchester.

Alexis’ latest track combines 90’s UK House and Garage, Jungle/Drum and Bass, House, Techno and, of course, Jazz, securing ‘It’s Kinda Jazzy’ as perfect dance floor filling material.

Hey Alexis, how’s it going?

I’m good thank you, just about getting over the Glastonbury blues! The best party on Earth is followed by the most worn out week on Earth! It’s worth every minute though. Playing the VIP rabbit hole where Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler and David Beckham were partying was super funny!

So you’re releasing a new track at the beginning of July, ‘It’s Kinda Jazzy.’ How does your new release differ to previous tracks?

I think my music is quite versatile and I think ‘It’s Kinda Jazzy’ is unlike anything else I’ve done! I guess it has the big drop which I’ve put into some past releases like ‘Assault Weapon’ and ‘Into The Light’ but there’s no sweet vocals and the beats have an almost breakbeat feel to them, although actually it is strictly 4/4. I guess it sounds quite different to anything out there right now. I think it’s important to try to be different, there’s so much copycat music being made at the moment, I find it gets quite boring.

Was there any inspiration behind ‘It’s Kinda Jazzy’?

Well the name is a dedication to my oldskool drum and bass past, that I grew up on. There’s a track called “It’s Jazzy” by Roni Size that I’ve always loved. The music itself takes influence from everything from house to hip-hop to jazz. It’s a real melting pot of sounds, so I guess everything has inspired me and that’s what came out.

There’s also a remix of the track being released, by Dan Ghenacia and Chris Carrier. How did this collaboration come about?

Jamie Jones who runs Hot Creations said that he would like a remix for the release and gave me a short list of possible remixers. Dan and Chris were on there. I love their sound and that whole French crew. I’ve actually booked Dan, Shonky and Dyed for Créche, which is my party here in London on several occasions. They are great guys and they produce some of the best house music in my opinion. They’re also great Djs, with their long vinyl sets.

How did you come to DJ and produce in the underground scene?

I started listening to rave music very young. I was 10 and it was 1991 when I began to listen to what was known at the time as Hardcore, here in the UK. It then evolved into Jungle Techno and finally Drum and Bass. I fell in love with the magic of the raves and bought a set of decks when I was 14 in 1995. I actually lied to my dad to get the money to buy the decks, I told him I needed money for a music programme to study electronic music!

I then started playing mid 90s US soulful house and garage music and got known in North London for DJing at house parties. From there I was playing pirate radio stations in North and East London, then onto legendary London clubs such as The Cross, Turnmills and The End. I studied sound production when I left school but had a big gap between that and actually producing my first release. That was, funnily enough ‘Spaceship’ on Hot Waves, the Hot Creations off shoot! From there my international DJ career began. It’s all I’ve ever done really, it’s just what I love.

Are you planning any upcoming tours in the near future?

I had a bit of a break for the first six months of this year. After losing a best friend last year, things have been set back a bit. It really knocked me, so after getting everything back in order, I’ve got a shed load of releases planned and we are in the process of organising tours going into the second half of this year and next year. You can catch me in Ibiza over the summer and I’m sure an Australia and South America tour are on the cards for 2018. Watch this space!

Anything else exciting about the future you can reveal to us?

Really looking forward to all my upcoming releases. I have a release on Relief with the legendary Green Velvet, we’ve also been working on a collab together which I’m really excited about. I also have an EP coming on Santé’s AVOTRE label and something on Mihalis Saffras’ Material Records.

Thanks and I hope everyone enjoys the music!