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Interview/Mix: Introducing Kent-based DJ and producer Conor Grant

Conor Grant

At just 21, Kent-based DJ and producer Conor Grant is already making a significant impact on the UK music scene. With notable performances at premier London and Brighton venues, including a residency at Egg, Conor is quickly becoming a name to know. His production skills have earned him support from industry heavyweights such as Marco Carola, Jamie Jones, and Lost Frequencies.

Conor's latest track, "No Competition," showcases his collaboration with respected House music artist OFFAIAH. This vocal-led house cut, which features a nod to the Salsoul classic "Doctor Love" by First Choice, is released on the London-based indie label Perfect Havoc.

Join us as we delve into Conor Grant's journey through an exclusive UNDRCTRL guest mix and interview:

At just 21, you've already achieved a lot in your DJ career. Can you tell us how you first got into music and what drew you to DJing and producing?


Being around music from a young age because of my family has been a big part of bringing together what I do. Growing up surrounded by friend’s and family’s old raving vinyl from the 90s, from house to even happy hardcore, I was always messing around with the maddest of sounds from a young age. I naturally wanted to mix all this stuff, evolving to organising and playing friend’s events at around 15 to where my mixing got noticed by a local promoter at 17. They tried to sneak me into the local club to get a gig but got caught and had to wait until I was18. After a year of playing gigs out live, I knew a sound was missing in these sets, so I picked up production as thought, why don’t I just do it myself!


Your latest single, "No Competition," features the renowned House music producer OFFAIAH. How did this collaboration come about, and what was it like working with him?


Having the opportunity to work with an artist like OFFAIAH blew my head off when I first received a message pitching the idea. This came through me sending the original track to Nick Halkes (Positiva/ The Prodigy) who played it in one of his sets on Soho Radio, which was mad enough. From this, OFFAIAH’s management got in contact asking if he could do a collaboration on the track, as he loved the idea. At this point the track was very much in demo stage and from here we worked on it together and finished with what you hear today. Keep your ears peeled as this is not the only track we have now worked on together so get ready for more to come.


What was the creative process behind "No Competition"? Did you and OFFAIAH have a specific vision or concept when creating the track?


The creative process wasn’t thought out too deeply. I had a few acapellas kicking around on my laptop and the ‘Dr Love’ track was one of them. I had a little mess around on the train and knocked up the first demo in less than half an hour; it just came naturally. Some may call it luck and if so, I’ll take it.

How does "No Competition" reflect your evolution as a producer, and what new elements or techniques did you explore in this track?


It reflects my production as I have always gone for the heavy punchy basslines filling out my music. The vocal itself was already a diamond, with its own melodies, so ended up working wonders together. When you get to hear my upcoming releases, hopefully this sound all makes sense.


You've gained attention through your residency at 'Egg' in London. How did this residency influence your music career and help you grow as an artist?


I wouldn’t like to pinpoint just one residency as I’ve had a good few over the years and worked with many promoters from the bad to the good. But playing across clubs and venues,especially around London, has helped me to pinpoint where I want my music to be heard moving forward. And having the opportunity to meet great people and take inspirations from their sounds has been interesting.


Your productions have received support from prominent names like Marco Carola, Jamie Jones, and Don Diablo. How does it feel to have such influential figures backing your music?


It feels mad, like the fact that last year I was at Marco Carola’s event Music On and at Jamie Jones’ Paradise, having it off, and now I’m hearing that they’re liking my music and playing it out. It has got me thinking what it’s like up there for them and maybe I might get a chance at that. Now that’s something I’d never turn down.


Tell us about your upcoming residencies in Ibiza and Amsterdam. What are you most looking forward to, and how do you think these experiences will impact your career?


I am most looking forward to playing in Ibiza for the first time in July as I’ve wanted to get myself out there for way too long but never had the opportunity, so to be getting pulled out there by promoters is a great ticket in. Hopefully my music is given a platform from these international events and more opportunities can arise.


You've recently launched the online radio and community social media brand 'Granted.' Can you share more about this project and your vision for it?


‘Granted’ is a new platform which I just set-up with the help of a few close friends. After a lot of work, it has recently opened for streaming sets and events via Instagram and YouTube. We are currently doing a lot of filming with great upcoming talent from across the UK to begin a multiple series on YouTube. My favourite element being the ‘100%’ which has an hour set for a producer to play all tracks produced by them, released or un-released. All I can say is if you haven’t already checked this out, get on it as it’s getting exciting.


As an emerging artist, what challenges have you faced in the UK music scene, and how have you overcome them?


I’d say the biggest challenge in the DJ community today is standing out as everyone and their nan is now a DJ, so bringing something new to the table is what is needed, and the first step of this, in my case, comes with production. 


What advice would you give to other young, aspiring DJs and producers looking to break into the industry and make their mark?


Think I might be a bit early in my career to give out advice, but to get to where I am now, I’d say just make sure you speak to everyone, be nice and never look down on anyone’s work and think you’re better, as this is art, not an essay. You will deal with some not so nice people but if your confident in your work and believe in it, go for it. If you’re too worried about messaging that promoter or label or radio station, just do it! The worst they can say is no, that only made me want to work harder.

Conor Grant

Perfect Havoc


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