'Crew mentality is the best': Goldie on the true meaning of independence in music

'Crew mentality is the best': Goldie on the true meaning of independence in music

Earlier this month, Goldie was honoured with the Pioneer Award at the eighth edition of the Association Of Independent Music Awards.

The drum’n’bass pioneer and AIM are a perfect match, as Goldie pointed out during an impassioned acceptance speech, reminding the crowd that his Metalheadz label – founded in 1994 with Kemistry & Storm – began with him flogging vinyl from the boot of his car.

After Goldie had posed for the camera backstage, Music Week caught the ever-entertaining artist for a chat that covered independence, the importance of demos, yoga and why he’s more productive now than ever before.

Read all about it below, and catch up on the full winners from the AIM Awards 2018 here. Click here to revisit the best moments of the night.

Metalheadz has meant a lot to you and in many ways defines what independent labels are all about…

“It was just going to a club and watching these kids fuck it up, a 21-year-old destroying it, who’s grown up on the music and that’s all he wants to do. Giving them a place where they can voice their opinions is amazing, because it’s music that a lot of people don’t understand still. I don’t mind that, Metalheadz is a place for it.”

What does being independent mean to you?

“Freedom of creativity man, you can’t tell us anything. The difference is that the independents are becoming the heroes. We’ve got these platforms like Believe and Downtown and they can reach people digitally who wouldn’t necessarily get the records, people who aren’t gonna buy white labels out of my fucking car! Do you know what I mean? This is going global now, it’s important.”

I listen to every demo, I have to


Are there enough independent operations around at the moment?

“I don’t think there’s enough. Crew mentality is the best, it spurs competition within the hierarchy we have and people know the pecking order. It’s about the strongest survive kind of vibe. I’m about the artist on their second, third EP, let’s see what they’re doing. Can they get into an album? Can they do eight tracks, yes? Can they make 12, I’m not sure. It’s a big jump, those four tracks, I always say to artists that those four tracks have to push the envelope, electronically, it’s about music and breakbeat and how they can move it. It’s hard to keep people’s attention span without adding ear candy of some sort, whether singers or live instrumentation, and that’s what I try and push people towards.”

What else are you up to at the moment?

“Subjective [a new project with engineer James Davidson]. Album one is done; album two is done but not mixed. The first one is out this month and the second one will come out next year. I’m already ahead. An artist to watch out for is Greentea Peng, we just produced her, me and James. It’s fucking amazing. Subjective has spawned a whole other production company called Fallen Tree; we’re just making so much music right now. I’m probably more productive now than I’ve ever been.”

What do you put that down to?

“A fuckload of yoga, for sure. It gives me a lot of energy. You’ve got to think of it from an album perspective [previous album] Journeyman was made in eight weeks, Subjective was made in two weeks. It’s just ridiculous. The ethos of learning so much, I know what I’m doing when I’m in the studio, I know the picture, the shapes, I see it. Without becoming an MD or CEO, it’s music, kids stop me in the street and say, ‘Did you listen to that demo?’ I listen to every fucking demo, I have to. I can’t afford to miss something. I listen to them, they’re not all great. But when you call someone up in South America and they hang up because they don’t believe it’s you, you blow their mind, then you know you’re doing their job.”

Subscribers can read Music Week’s 2017 Goldie profile here.

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