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Interview: Seb Zito Talks Seven Dials, His Latest Work, the State of the Industry & More

Seb Zito facing the camera on a black background

Seb Zito continues to make waves in the underground club scene with his releases on some of the most respected labels in the game, such as Black Book, Eastenderz, Coco, and Hot Creations. His unique sound has transcended genres, incorporating elements of UKG, electronica, minimal deep tech, and tech house to keep audiences captivated and grooving.

His latest release is an impressive single on his Seven Dials imprint with talented UK DJ/producer James View titled ' Give It Some'.

Seb is also looking forward to bringing his Seven Dials brand to London's revered Studio 338 venue in a couple of weeks, which boasts an undeniably cultured and refreshing lineup, including Bluetoof, Flowdan, James View, Lukas Wigflex, Oneman, Smokey Bubblin' B, Special Request, Todd Edwards, 1-800 GIRLS and 338 resident Andrew Kay alongside Seb himself.

With a busy few weeks in mind, we thought it was the ideal time to catch up with Seb amidst his hectic schedule - yes, we are aware of how lucky we are even to get a slice of his time ;) - and took the opportunity to get to know one of London's most impactive electronic music figures a little better. Here's how it went:

What inspired you to start Seven Dials Records, and what sets it apart from other labels in the industry?

The area that I grew up in as a kid had a Pub/Youth club that all the parents went with their children in the Seven Dials of Covent Garden. The adults would drink whilst we played next door at the youth club, it was a social meeting point for everyone in the area. One of the youth workers was from South London and he would play Jungle, House & Garage mix tapes from raves that he'd go to on the weekends. I had no idea what the music was but I was hooked and it lead me to discovering pirate radio stations that played US House & Garage. Few years later I got some decks and the Seven Dials youth club was the place where i'd mainly practise to mix records. Guess the rest is history from that moment and when the day come to naming my label it only made sense to reference it to those moments.

Id say its a hybrid of House, Garage, Tech House, Minimal & a little bit of Jungle. The label takes inspiration from all these styles and its everything I play in my sets. When I discovered this music it was. known as House & Garage, the two genres were played together at raves and on radio but over the years the two separated into different genres I guess I wanted to bring the two together through my label and for me that's what makes the label a little different from others.

Your latest release is a collab EP with James View titled 'Give It Some.' Talk us through the release and any standout characteristics/ideas behind it.

It's another homage to the House & Garage days that I grew up on, the main Vox is sampled from a classic garage track which I think is the stand out point of the track but the other main characteristic is the massive bass lines that James reworked masterfully. He really injected some energy into the original version which was some what deeper. He absolutely nailed it first time, I can't stress enough how talented he is.

Your Seven Dials event is coming up at Studio 338 in London in a few weeks. What can people expect from the party, and can you talk us through your curated lineup/vision for it?

I know that trying to be different is some what difficult these days as everything has been done like 10 times over but I really didn't want this event to just be another same old line up. Just like the labels ethos I wanted it to be a melting pot of styles that could be mixed and played seamlessly and not feel too disjointed to the raver. I'm hoping to achieve the feel of a mixed crowd, garage ravers mixing with tech house ravers and jungle with House and so on. That's what I was so used to growing up raving in London. Now everything is so pigeon holed and boxed off. With 338 we have the beauty of combining day & night which helps with wanting to do a multi genre party. My vision was for bouncing, upbeat day time vibes in the garden then as it got darker we move into the more warehouse vibes in the terrace. Obviously the line up had to represent that and I think we've nailed it. In the Garden with have a more Garage lead line up with James View, Oneman, Smokey Bubblin B, Todd Edwards doing a classic Todd set and myself closing the garden with a rare Garage set. On the Terrace we have Andrew Kay, 1-800 Girls, Bluetooth, Lucas Wigflex, Flowdan (MC Set) Special Request & Myself.

How do you balance your label boss, DJ, and producer responsibilities? Which one do you enjoy the most, and why?

I'm a DJ first so that will always be number one choice, passion and love. I started this game through buying records and connecting with like minded people on the dance floors, I continuously seek this till this day and that's why I love it so much. I'm always seeking music and through this comes discovering new artists and new signings, the two kind of work hand in hand. Then there's my producer head, from being inspired by the music and artists I find helps me create my music and sound. Its all combined and equally important to each other.

Can you walk us through your creative process when producing music?

I don't really have a set out process, I just sit down and mess around and see what happens, sometimes I have an idea in my head but it never usually pans out the way I want it. So I prefer to just trial and error with different sounds and what every comes out the other end is the final project. I find this way of working creates more variation in my sound and style, its a little manic but its the way I work.

How do you discover new talent for your label, and what qualities do you look for in an artist or their music?

Its got to make the dance floor move, if it doesn't go on my usb then I don't sign it, that's the first test for me. Then I try and balance the release with maybe a deeper track or even a left field, less dance floor vibe. There isn't really one style that I hear for and the more varied it is the better. Its difficult to really pin point what it is I like but I know exactly when I hear it because it generates a feeling from within.

What advice would you give aspiring producers and DJs looking to break into the music industry?

Don't watch what others are doing and if you're inspired by a style and sound then always try to make it your own. Get savvy with your marketing and socials and try to connect with other likeminded producers and DJs, its so much more fun working as a collective.

What's your take on social media and streaming numbers, and how do they contribute to an artist's success and bookings?

I'm old school so I hate it because numbers don't mean that you're good because guess what numbers can be manipulated, quality can't. But if you have the quality then obviously the numbers can also come with it. Use marketing as your tool to achieve this and it will help with bookings and popularity. Its just the way it is right now and I can't see this changing.

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in music production, and how do you incorporate them into your work?

I'm always learning online so that keeps me up to date with things, working with others also helps in this process. But mainly searching online, YouTube tutorial etc.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in your career so far, and how did you overcome it?

I think the whole social media part of things has been a difficult transition and honestly it still is because it's not natural for me to be filming every waking moment of my life. Its like anything, if you repeat it enough then it becomes second nature... but im not quite there yet!!!

Can you share any exciting upcoming releases or projects that fans should look out for from Seven Dials Records and yourself?

I'm going to be releasing a large bulk of music towards the end of the year, not an album but a variation and sequence of EPs that's mirrored with an all night long set at some of my fave clubs. Also going to be collaborating with more artists from the label, I really want to be more then just signing music, if I can help give the artists a leg up in this overpopulated market then I will. There's some amazing releases coming out this year but you're just going to have to wait to hear it all ;)

Seb Zito & James View's 'Give It Some' is available now on Seven Dials Records. You can grab your copy HERE.

Seb Zito presents Seven Dials Records - All Day & All Night (Outdoors/Indoors) at Studio 338 on Saturday, 10th June 2023. For more info and tickets, visit Resident Advisor.

Seb Zito

Seven Dials Records

Seb Zito Studio 338 Lineup


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