By Bill Rah
The London based DJ from Edinburgh is perfecting his craft in the studio preparing for another summer release on SKINT Records. On the dance floor Theo has been providing a unique Italo Disco sound.
The Scottish selector has a passionate flair for Italo Disco as he immerses himself in deep house and cosmic disco to soundtrack his sets. He has an upcoming Italo track on Munich based label Permanent Vacation which is coming this summer. “I’m really happy about it because I’ve wanted to do something for them since I first started producing. I sent it out to them, they got back to me straight away.” In his career Theo admits he has attended “too many afters” and reminisced about the greatest afterparty he ever attended
The wildest afterparty that Theo recalled was deep in a Mexican jungle. “One of the most surreal afterparties was when I played at BPM Festival. It was a half an hour car journey into the jungle. Turned up to this mud hut that could fit 150 people. No lights or nothing, all the stars were shining. I think DJ Tennis turned up, Gerd Janson was there. We danced all night. It was amazing.” The natural jungle environment was beautiful yet bouncing. You can imagine it was incredible. Being amongst a legend of Gerd Janson’s status makes it all the better.
Theo shared one of his fondest dance floor memories from Sonar Festival, when he first heard Gerd Janson play his summer hit Turning Around. “First time I heard him play Turning Around was on the dance floor at Sonar last summer with my mates. I heard the kick drum come in straight away before everyone knew. I was shouting aw it’s my tune, it’s my tune.” When someone else plays your music it’s a unique feeling which is indescribable. “He didn’t even know I was there so I just ran to the front shouted at him.” Gerd supported his music by regularly playing his tracks and remixing Turning Around
Theo’s admiration and respect only grew after Gerd had taken the time out of his hectic schedule to produce a remix. “Respect to him for that. He’s a DJs DJ in my opinion. I absolutely love him. Now we’re working together, that’s class.” A similar incident occurred in February when they both played at Panorama Bar. “He played it again and he saw me on the dance floor and he came out of the booth to give me a cuddle on the dance floor. It’s been class. Him remixing me has been amazing.” Being championed by a DJ of Gerd Janson’s calibre is a reflection of Theo’s elite production and validates his status as one of Scotland’s premiere producers.
Only upper echelon DJs receive invitations to spin track in Berlin’s prestigious Berghain and receive the honor of playing in the Panorama Bar. “Unbelievable, the atmosphere was amazing, it was packed. You just receive so much love from the crowd, super energetic.” Theo performed between 4am-8am at the renowned P Bar. “Probably my favorite gig I’ve played so far.” Theo spoke candidly about his love for Berlin. As the harsh reality sinks in that none of us will be dancing anytime soon, he discussed his lifestyle altering.
Every morning after Theo wakes up, he goes for a run then heads to the studio. “My lifestyle hasn’t drastically changed. My studio is at home now. I’m still in the same routine.” Despite the ongoing pandemic he has composed himself with a positive outlook throughout this turbulent time. “In a bad situation being self employed.” Theo has dealt with two tour cancellations in Australia and Asia. “It impacted my release on Beautiful Strangers because a lot of record shops are shut down so I’m just trying to stay positive. All my gigs have been wiped out.”
Due to the current escalation of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent government enforced shutdown many artists’ revenue has been impacted substantially. At times of turmoil it’s imperative to provide artistic support. “I don’t think a lot of people understand how important it is to support artists. A lot of people are illegally downloading which is fine, it helps promote you. At times like this it massively helps so keep streaming.” Due to being classified as self-employed it’s impacted him substantially. The devastating impact of coronavirus has left the music industry in a perilous position.
However throughout this unprecedented situation we can still enjoy the little things. Such as new releases. Theo’s upcoming May release on SKINT Records is a follow up to Turning Around, a disco sample projecting summer vibes. “More of a festival track I would say, open air vibe.” Theo prefers not to play his music when he’s DJing however admits to dropping his upcoming material throughout his sets. “So that must be a good sign” as he laughed we discussed the direction he has taken. “Moving more towards that Italo sound. Very energetic, big snare drum, nice bass line.” In the wake of the lockdown we must do what we can to support artists.
Check out his latest EP Nothing to Lose