Thursday, 13 March 2014

Big Poppa Lockah, The Story So Far......

It seems like Aberdeen producer Lockah came out of nowhere and has suddenly started playing hip clubs in Brighton and making appearances on Boiler Room but its actually been years of hard work both for him and his boutique label Tuff Wax

With debut full length album "Yahoo or the Highway" dropping in April it seems like a good time to take a look back at Lockah's impressive output so far. So here's everything Lockah has released in chronological order from Tuff Wax to remixes and guest mixes, the whole shebang in one concise blog post!

So first up the Aberdeen Truth 7" Series with Mr Wizard. A low rumbling track of finger clickcing beats and air raid sirens, complete with some trademark screwed up synth. B sides Choppy Cands and Tonkl Fongrs are worth a listen as well, more hip hop influenced. You can buy the vinyl or download here.



I think the first time I heard about Lockah proper after his bootleg of Lana Del Rays 'Video Games' went viral and brought a huge amount of attention Lockah's way. Rumours of record label law suits and cease and desist orders were flying about but luckily some people don't care about such things and the track lives on youtube for all to enjoy. The heat from this remix lead to a mix for Indie Shuffle which you cant get anymore but you can check out the tracklist here and a remix of Ashanti's 'Only U' allowing Lockah to stretch his production fingers.





June 2012 brought an official release for Mad Decent records subsidary Jeffries. 'When U Stop Feeling Like A Weirdo And Become A Threat' showed an evolution but still retained a trademark Lockah sound and undoubtedly brought him a horde of new fans. Bear in mind this is kicking off while he works full time in an office in Aberdeen! 'Only The Sour Drink From The Ocean' was picked up instantly and shared across the blogsphere, tweets flew in from Mike Skinner aka The Streets and helped secure Lockah a place in the "Up and Coming UK Producers" racket with gigs in London, Brighton and Aberdeen! Check out a sketchy interview with Tom here, I think his facial hair has improved a lot since then.

 
I was lucky enough to be in London town for Lockah's next highlight, playing The New British take over on JustJamTV along side a host of up and coming producers. Lockah certainly held his own and had the room dancing from the start. JustJam recently made the headlines after their planned Barbican party was shut down by the London Met due to safety concerns and in true JustJam style the re organised the event and streamed it online from a tiny room in central London, as they said "you can shut down an event but you can't shut down the internet!" Check out Lockah's set below.



Next came an EP for New York's "Mishka" fashio and music label. 'Please Lockah, Don't Hurt Em' featured some of the funniest art work to date and also brought a change in BPM going for more euphoric synth wave than previous releases, cop a free download here. It might have been the influence of leaving the drab Aberdeen weather to visit new places with sunnier climates or perhaps just an urge to make some club bangers for his dj sets, either way it seemed like a good way to round off 2012.

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2013 was a busy old year with a new EP for Brighton's Donky Pitch label in the for of 'Only Built For Neon Nights'. I think Lockah should win some award for his song and EP titles. 'Only Built For Neon Nights' continued in the euphoric vein of 'Please Lockah' and took things a step further with a smooth DRIVE inspired video and also a limited edition cassette tape version, now sold out but you can still get a digital download from the site. 



2013 again brought a host of remixes for Jaw Jam, Chrissy Murderbot and a split EP with Taste Tester which you can check out snippets of below. A rather special remix also appeared this time of a Lockah track by DJ, producer and sometime mentor Offshore. This release became the first in a series from Tuff Wax called Tuff Trax, you can find out more about em here. Tom has often sighted Offshore as being a huge influence and is sadly missed by many. More gigs in Europe and more collaborations this time with Pixelord in the form of Aloe Дива, another Tuff Trax give away. Plans were already in place and some big news was coming for Lockah's 2014 World Domination!


 



So 2014 kicked off with a move to Brighton. There are many reasons why 20 something's men move to Brighton and Lockah's came in the shape of Donky Pitch. Although other labels had helped elevate Lockah along the way its Donky Pitch who've shown the most love. 2014 kicked off with the release of 'If Loving U Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Wrong' which comes as a limited edition 12" vinyl and digital download, I need to pick up my copy from the post office later! A perfect way to start the year and also the dance floor, I watched Giles drop this into a DJ set a few weeks back people were going mental!



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An appearance with Donky Pitch on the Boiler Room (see above) a few weeks back has hopefully secured Lockah as Aberdeen's most successful musical export, ever! April is the next highlight in the Lockah calendar with the much anticipated release of his first full length album 'Yahoo Or The Highway' again with Donky Pitch (artwork below). It'll be interesting to see how Tom's tunes work over the course of a full album but "synth driven melody and pop tendencies being weaved into a rich mix of influences" sounds pretty good to me! The album will be available from iTunes on the 14th of April, for a taster check out 'Contact High Wit Big Lockah' and catch Tom with some Tuff Wax and Donky Pitch comrades at the release party on the 4th of April at Green Door Store in Brighton. 


So that's the Lockah story so far but who knows where its gonna end! My bets are on Bones & Money getting their own comedy tv show, fingers crossed!