Shadow Child knew at age 12 that he wanted to be a musician. Since then, he’s made a name for himself as a producer, branched out into a DJ career, and launched a music label, Food Music, with friend Lewis of Kry Wolf. The 10,000 caught up with him to talk early UK house and what it takes to stand out in today’s noisy industry.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My real name’s Simon, I’ve been producing house music for 12 years now. [My] first project, Dave Spoon, had a lot of international success. But in 2010, I decided to move away from that sound and move toward something that was more based around my roots in music, which is very much the UK sound–early Rave music, Jungle and house music. That’s when I started the Shadow Child project.
Have you always known that this is what you wanted to do?
I started secondary school just after the first acid house rave explosion in the UK. I went to a school which had a music studio in ‘89, which was very very unusual…At the same time I was hearing all this underground music, I was able to go into school and play around in the music room and sample beats, play with the synths, and [play] the drum machines, too. From the age of 12 really, I knew that this was something I wanted to do with my life.
I didn’t live in London or anything like that, so I wasn’t surrounded by opportunity. I grew up on the south coast of England but met Liam Howlett at a Prodigy gig when I was 16. I’d never seen anything like it before, it was incredible. He was one of my heroes and it kind of gave me a little bit of confidence to send some music in to the label that he was signed to, XL Recordings. I didn’t get signed at that time, but it made it very real to me that I could actually do something in music.