FEATURE: In Conversation with – Elliot Adamson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Eleanor Weitzer

Words: Mollie Denton

Elliot Adamson, the Newcastle born and based house producer and DJ continues to create a buzz within the electronic music scene, from his carefully created house tracks and catchy edits that have spread across all sorts of digital platforms. He continues to gain support from the likes of Patrick Topping and Eats Everything, and is now looking to expand his quirky creative side into different areas of art and music culture.

Elliot grew up in Houghton-le-Spring and his first experiences in the electronic music scene came from attending nightclubs when he was as young as 16, not long after he bagged a DJ residency with events company LOOP at the age of 17. This is where he befriended one of Newcastle’s most successful DJs, Patrick Topping. Elliot then moved to London to begin a course in music production at Goldsmiths University, but later dropped out and moved back to Newcastle as he “preferred going out in London than actually going to university”. Elliot then moved back up North and not long after he emerged quickly onto the music scene.

After experiencing DJing and nightclubs as a teenager, Elliot’s journey into nightclub culture could be somewhat described with an explosive beginning. The 23-year old has launched successfully on multiple record labels including Man Power’s ME ME ME imprint and Edible. After the fast-paced beginning to his musical career and a rollercoaster of gigs and festivals over the past couple of years, Elliot Adamson has launched his very own record label last month named IDEA, with an imaginative mindset behind it. 

Speaking about the project, he mentioned that before beginning any design project “you need to establish what kind of language that talks it and you need to work out the purpose for it. So I thought what is the purpose of this record label and how could it be designed to reflect that.” Elliot has released an inaugural EP onto the record label with the same name including three tracks. “My music as an artist is quite stylistically different a lot of the time, so I thought the purpose of the record label should be transparent, and what I mean by transparent is that it is not emotionally charged in any way. So it cannot be positive, or descriptive, or negative, or suggestive, it just needs to be fully neutral – so that’s where I came up with calling it IDEA. So far what we’ve defined with it is that it’s neutral from a design point of view, and then musically I think you should let it design its own music output itself and see what it becomes.” The EP has been given a top rating and praise, with DJ Mag rating it 9 out of 10, describing it as “3 stunning dancefloor jams’ and ‘so very good’.

Elliot said he hasn’t made any new music for a couple of months, due to being busy with moving to a new house and playing a lot of gigs. “I don’t really think you should force making music, if I increase my skillset and have more wider knowledge, when I come back to make new music I will have a wider language to incorporate into it – instead of using the same toolset I had before. When I can’t be bothered to make music, it makes more sense to work on my toolset so when I do come to do it I can be a better creator.” He added: “I think a lot of people think ‘if I make records all the time I will become better at making records’. That’s what I used to do every day for months – if you listened to all the music I’ve made that I have on my computer it would take you 27 hours, and the next progression for me as an artist would be to increase the toolset beyond what’s in the laptop.”

In terms of shows, Elliot has had a busy few months, especially now as he currently has a few gigs lined up playing back to back with Scottish DJ Big Miz, who receives a huge amount of support from Denis Sulta, and represents the record label Dixon Avenue Basement Jams. “The shows have been amazing, we both get on really well, we play together really well – we’re both young artists with a similar style and have the same agent, so it made sense for us to put shows on together.” When asked whether he particularly liked playing back to back with any other DJ in general, Elliot replied with a no, and explained his reason why. “In terms of playing back to back I’m not too keen, usually you get put with people you either don’t know or don’t work with, a lot of the times when you DJ the kind of enjoyment you get out of it is based around how good the set is, so if you’re having to accommodate with someone else, you kinda have to find a synergy between the two of you, because if it’s not working it’s not enjoyable for the crowd.” 

Leading into 2019, RINSE FM have recently made Elliot a resident on the radio show. He mentioned what he had planned for the show and what he was looking forward to: “I believe at the moment I have Paul Woolford on board for a mix, as well as Rex the Dog who’s typically a live musician doing a DJ set with me so that will be good, obviously I’ll be playing some records too. I kind of want to make it into something I’d want to listen to, so I want to include my own themes and languages I guess.” 

Elliot spoke about what other plans he had for the new year, and mentioned he was doing an art installation. He talked about how he had seen another artists work and was inspired to create something of his own and came up with the idea of installing mirrors inside of a nightclub, so everything is reflected. However, he explained how this wasn’t realistically going to work, but still has an idea in mind. He didn’t want to reveal everything about the idea, as it is still a work in progress, but mentioned that the installation would be something extracted from nightclub culture, so people can experience it in a different way than attending a club. “I’m trying to draw the parallel between music culture and art culture and then bringing it to the public.” 

After talking about the art installation, he revealed other things he’s been doing outside of his music, such as reading art history books and learning Spanish. Although he wants to continue making music, Elliot is looking to expand and experiment into different aspects of art culture whilst he still describes himself as ‘young and creative’. “You learn things that can inform your work as an artist that are seemingly completely different, if you understand the intent behind why you do things then you’ll be more aware of your actions and why you’re doing them and then re-program the way you’re thinking to do things that have more creative value or artistic values – that’s what I’m kinda heading for anyway, whether it works or not that’s a different story.”

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