With tropical house gaining some steam back in 2014, it was only natural that deep house came along with it, adding variety to the drop-heavy dominance of big room and progressive. Riding that wave, Secondcity – born in the U.K. and raised in Chicago – released “I Wanna Feel” at just the right time. With that track since amassing over 100 million streams and receiving support from Skream, Annie Mac, and Zane Lowe, Secondcity has continued that momentum with a stream of EPs, collaborations, and, in October, new track “All I Want,” a collaboration with Paul Woolford.
Following the success of “I Wanna Feel,” which eventually netted Secondcity a No. 1 hit on the U.K. charts, he released The Story, a four-track EP, collaborated with Route 94 for an edit of “Freak Like Me,” remixed for Carl Cox, produced an EP for Nic Fanciulli’s Saved Records, and released a mix compilation for CR2 Records. As well, he’s released music through Sasha’s Last Night on Earth Label, Circus Music, Toolroom, and Green Velvet’s Relief label.
With “All I Want” taking his sound to the next level and featuring vocals from Andrea Martin, known for working with singers Toni Braxton and Monica, we had a chance to speak with Secondcity about his latest release.
Let’s talk about “All I Want,” your just-dropped track with Paul Woolford: How did you end up working together?
Me and Paul got chatting on Twitter about a year ago, just really catching up and stuff, and I mentioned to him about an idea I had written in New York and if he would be up for working on it. He literally was like yeh, and I sent the parts over that day and he started on the record that night. I was absolutely buzzing, as I had always been such a fan of his.
Andrea Martin is the singer on “All I Want.” How did you two select her for this track?
I was in New York last August and had a reached out to her manager to see if she would be up for working on this idea I had. It was all very last minute but she came in that night. She was amazing; she recorded the whole initial vocal idea in literally 20 minutes
From your first major hit “I Wanna Feel” to “All I Want,” your sound has a clear ‘90s house feel. How would you describe your sound?
I guess that real classic house sound, just really uplifting, groovy house basically. I grew up listening to lots of early dance stuff, lots of the old Kerri Chandler, Lou Vega, Frankie Knuckles etc. I was absolutely obsessed with the way they made music back then – so much soul in it, which I what I try and get across in my own music.
You were born in the U.K. but grew up in Chicago. How has this influenced your sound as a producer?
To be honest, I was so young I really didn’t get a chance to experience any of the music side of stuff until I was a teenager. My mum was an aerobics instructor, so I learnt about music from her as she would always be playing music around the house and at all her classes, too.
In the six years since the success of “I Wanna Feel,” how has your sound and approach to producing evolved?
My approach is exactly the same: I really try make what’s true to me and what I love to play out in the clubs rather than what’s current or cool.
You’ve worked with or remixed for legends like Carl Cox, Sasha, and Nic Fanciulli. How has working with them influenced you as a DJ and producer?
It really is amazing to have had the opportunities of working on music with lots of different artists, and you can learn so much from them all. I have seen Nic and Carl DJ a few times, and the energy they bring is just amazing to watch and is really inspiring to see how much passion they have for the music
As a DJ, you’ve performed in Ibiza and toured the world. Where has been your favorite place to perform thus far?
I have loved every part of being able to tour the world and play in places I might not have ever had the chance of visiting – every place you play is unique in its own way. Two parties that are really close to my heart are Ants at Ushuaia in Ibiza and Lost Beach Club in Ecuador. They are just amazing.
Considering you have a few EPs under your belt already, what can we expect from you as a follow-up to “All I Want”?
I’m always making lots of different stuff to play in my sets, but I tend to take my time with releasing music. I have a few very exciting projects on the go and a few collabs in the works, too, that are amazing, so I’m feeling really positive about the music that I’m making and can’t wait to share some more records soon.