Providing us with yet another excellent remix, Darren Williams, aka Star Slinger, takes Jessie Ware’s ballad “Wildest Moments” and turns it into a deep, sexy hip hop influenced track. Named by the Guardian “the best new act of the year by miles” in 2011, Star Slinger continues to produce polished beats using soulful vocal samples and a strong bassline. Influenced by J Dilla, Daft Punk, Armand Van Helden and Pete Heller, this Manchester artist has the ability to transform original tones into a completely different mood. He will be playing this weekend at Lollapalooza in Chicago, sharing the stage with profound artists such as Salva, Skream & Benga, Paper Diamond and Calvin Harris.
One of United Kingdom’s latest musical hypes is Darren Williams, better known as Star Slinger. Despite beginning less than two years ago, Star Slinger has already built up a well-respected, eclectic portfolio that has reached media across the globe with his sampling aurora of old and new school influenced work. Darren just recently arrived in the states and is currently making his rounds across the country on his very own tour. He will be playing at U Street Music Hall next Tuesday, October 25th along with Shlohmo (LA), Shigeto (NY), and Petworth (DC). You can expect a surprising thrill from each of these artists as they cover a range of genres from hip hop, soul, ambient, and electronic. This is Star Slinger’s very first appearance in the U.S. and, after selling out his first few shows, it’s definitely not going to be his last – be there to hear it first!
Hiya Darren, how have the stars been slingin’ these days?
Most certainly have.
I was bummed when I heard you had to cancel your plans to tour with Baths and Braids last year. It’s been almost a year since then and you’ve definitely grown your music work and fan base by the fact that you’re now headlining your own tour. What do you think has progressed or changed the most in your mindset of music production since then?
I’ve just started using more of my own sound design, and a lot less samples. I’m forming full productions now and I don’t ever want to be seen as a one trick pony.
Being a samplist, you’ve connected with many different genres in each of your tracks from the jazzy Trombone Shorty to Air France’s tropical chillwave, as well as the major influences of old school and modern hip-hop. What kind of feedback have you received from them?
I’ve received great feedback. I think its good to be eclectic, and just have fun with what you produce.
You became inspired by music at an early age and have even had some respectable experience with production prior to Star Slinger. What major influences or turning points have shaped your tastes and outlook on music as you grew up?
House music by Armand van Helden, Pete Heller – Big Love, De La Soul – Three Feet High and Rising are definatley things I heard early on in my teens that made me wish I was old enough to go to clubs, and also got me into the sampling side of things. I’ve just been listening to more and more stuff over the years, but these still have a strong influence on me.
If I’m not mistaken, you are working on a new album at the moment. Your first original single was released just this past month titled “Dumbin’”, which features soulful R&B vocals by Reggie B. What other artists or genres can we expect to hear in your new work?
Hip-hop , RnB, house, dancehall, juke, maybe another reggae junt. We shall see. I’m eclectic.
Which artists/songs have been listening to the most during the span of your tour so far?
I’ve been listening to Teki Latex. This dope dude from France who runs the Sound Pellegrino label, some world music CDs too I copped from Ameoba in San Francisco. I bought so many I can hardly remember the names of them.
To musical foreigners who haven’t dove into your work yet, can you define your music style for them in a few words?
Eclectic party vibes. I’m trying to create this big utopia I have in my head in my music, influenced by all sounds and cultures.
EDIT: Star Slinger is unable to make it to the show, his spot will be replaced by Blackbird Blackbird.
Even in the depth of winter, DC has been able to book a galore of musicians that will certainly melt you away with more than just the crowd’s stank. The Radio Dept sold out Rock and Roll Hotel this past week and Baths, Star Slinger, and Braids are bound to do the same next Friday. Solo artist, Baths, creates a unique flow of music with foggy vocals and instrument samples. Star Slinger produces a similar sampling technique, but compiles it into a funky, dance pop that pushes out a tropical and romantic vibe. Braids, on the other hand, mixes soft, hazy pop and complete vocals rather than sampling. These artists made their big debut last year, closely following the movement of this genre, and are likely to put on an interesting performance that’s not too common to hear around DC. Take a listen to what they’ll be performing below.
Friday, February 11
Rock and Roll Hotel (Directions)
Doors @ 8:30pm
Show @ 9:30pm
Get tickets here and I’ll see you there!