Fresh from his debut set at Boiler Room we catch up with DJ/ Producer, Usher Lavelle who at only 22 is capturing our attention with his eclectic taste and remixes of classic tracks.
It’s not often that we come across people called Usher and in this case, we were fortunate to have a chat with Usher Lavelle as he delivers the 008 mix that appeals to all who are looking for the sounds of tomorrow.
Read the interview and find tracklist below:
How did you get into DJing?
My uncle had early versions of Virtual DJ and we would just sit in his room listening to CDs and Mini-discs that were converted into MP3, but we would be trying to mix them on virtual DJ instead of just using iTunes. I guess it felt like we were participating and involved rather than listening.
We thought there was only one Usher, Usher Raymond. What makes Usher Lavelle different?
Hopefully the only similarity drawn between us is the fact we both do music. I want to be able to communicate to an audience with different types of music and with different mediums. Whether that be, playing a disco or hip-hop club night to performing an intimate gig full of originals, somebody that is comfortable approaching music from all areas. Something like an Usher 2.0, more features and upgrades.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Between producing, club nights and radio, the best thing is I get to be a complete nerd, dive into the screen, the speakers or the knobs & faders and just play around. Of course, to some extent I know what I’m doing, but just experimenting with what I have around me and seeing where it takes me is probably the best thing about it.
You recently played at Boiler Room how was that?
Definitely my best set so far and best party in a long time. I haven’t released any music in over a year and to see people wild out to my Tatu – All the Things She Said edit was crazy. I love how open-minded the Boiler Room crowds are and that unrelenting trust no matter what genre I play, is the all-round aim I am trying to achieve.
What are your highlights of 2017?
Since I started radio, that has taken centre stage while I get up to speed with it and get better at it. So, keeping my show running for a year and see it progress is a highlight.
Many people may not know that I’m a resident DJ for a carnival type brand called ‘Shabba’. I’ve been part of it for over 2 Years now and this year, it’s had me play alongside Mike Skinner, Murkage Dave, Murlo, Rampage, Seani B and Donaeo. So, I guess it’s a highlight where you look back and realise you haven’t procrastinated the whole year and you’ve actually left your house to do things.
What’s one meal you can make forever?
Pizza, because I can make it different every time.
What’s your go to song to play in the club?
After the recent Boiler Room, it has to be my edit of Tatu – All The Things She Said. It’s a little plug but that’s had the biggest reaction out of my last few sets.
Name someone who has influenced you to be who you are today?
It all started from Pharrell and the original N.E.R.D movement of being comfy being an outcast or somebody that didn’t easily fit into each category at school. That’s my approach to music styles and cultures, I don’t feel like I belong in one place and prefer to absorb all the good bits from each one.
What can people expect from your mix?
Nothing. I want people to listen to it and expecting nothing except for unpredictable mixes that somehow all fit together. I don’t make mixes for people that like one particularly style, so if you like “everything” and have a broad taste, my mixes usually serve as a smooth shuffle button.
If you could have one magic power what would it be?
Any tips for budding DJ’s?
Once you master technical things like timing, what each button does and song selections are on point, just have fun. For the things listed above, I would just sit on my computer alone or with friends, practicing to DJ when I felt like listening to music.
You’ll definitely mess up a few times, but it’s how you recover and react that’s most important. There are DJ’s that only play for the people and there’s the DJ that plays for themselves. Try and find the middle.
Where can people find you online?
@usherlavelle on Soundcloud, Insta, Twitter and FB
@zone68radio on twitter and Soundcloud
Sampha – Plastic 100 C (Woodgrain Remix)
Dizzee Rascal – Stand Up Tall (Chlorine Remix)
NexXthursday – Sway
Mina – Pick Up The Phone edit
Mina – Sentah (KKing Kong Remix)
Vegyn – Bad + Boujee
rAHHH – Dog Days
Missy Elliot – Lose Control (Loves Theme Remix)
Alexx-A-Game – Braver(Swing Ting Smooth Edit)
IAMDDB – I Wonder
Kodak Black – Transportin
Rihanna – Work (Phantoms Remix)
French Montana – Unforgettable (J Hus Remix)
Metro Boomin x Travis Scott – Blue Pill
T.a.t.u – All The Things She Said (Usher Lavelle Re-Jig)
Esco/Skepta/D Double E/Chronik – 2 Cars
CEONRPG/Skepta – Excuse Me
Jorja Smith – On My Mind (Preditah Grime remix)