Sorley’s sound is best described as a one of infectious grooves, tantalising bass riffs, acute vocal hooks and signature stabs. Born into a family submerged in music, rhythm and groove beats through his soul. His Father, a key member in the late 90’s collective ‘Unique 3’ inspired a generation with his signature sound, with Sorley’s ambitions in sight to join him.
Hailing from the North East, Sunderland, His DJ career first began when founding club night ‘HAZE’ in his hometown. Sorley created a scene in the city, booking and playing alongside international artists such as Nic Fanciulli, Heidi, Deetron with the addition of further heavyweights such as Patrick Topping, Solardo, Dense & Pika and Roger Sanchez.
We had a chance to chat with Sorley about his latest remix for Smoove & Turrell out on Jalapeno Records!
Interview With Sorley
1.) Thanks for talking to us today. You remix of ‘It Ain’t Working’ by Smoove & Turrell is out soon on Jalapeno Records. You’re on the flipside of some heavy competition with Ashley Beedle 😊 But seriously, it’s pretty amazing for you to release alongside such a legend. Are you a fan? Have you got an Ash Beedle fave track?
Hey guys, thanks for having me, yeah, I’m a huge fan of Ashley and his work so its a “pinch me” moment being alongside such a legend on this release. It would be a dream to have career spanning as long and successful as his. Very tough to pick a favourite though haha, my cousin gave me a copy of an X-press 2 Remix of Missy Elliot – We Run This and I absolutely rinse this still so its maybe this but it could be any of the X-press 2 Records ! Big fan of reggae too so I love his “Standup Jam Rock” remix and I’ve also been itching for the perfect opportunity to drop his take on Week Become Heroes by the Streets. There’s so many but yeah I love his productions and this is a proud one for me!
2.) How did the remix for S&T come about? How did you all get together?
This was one of those that kind of came full circle, around 5/6 year ago when I first started producing I used to go to night classes after work and one of the tutors there was Smoove. I loved these sessions and learnt so much, never thought that a few years on I’d be asked to remix one from their new album. So yeah when this came in, I was a little nervous at first because I knew it was a big opportunity but I just really wanted to do the guys proud with us all being from the same region.
3.) You’ve taken the track on a very different turn. Can you tell us what your intention was with the remix? What was your production process?
I love the original and kind of just wanted to put my own stamp on it, put a nice baseline and my drums to it, something that I could play in my sets and something that you can listen to everyday. I think with the vocal being so powerful it’s got that effect. I tried so many versions and grooves with this remix though haha, maybe putting a little pressure on because I wanted to nail it, so I shelved it for a bit, came back to it with a fresh head, and managed to get a groove going that got me out my seat which is always a good sign. Sent it over to Smoove and the label and they loved it so I was buzzing.
4.) I hear that Danny Howard is a fan of yours. How did that happen?
I’d say it was by luck and chance haha but my family & friends say it was the universe aligning things up because of the work that I had been putting in for the last few years. I bumped into him at Hideout Festival, there was like 10,000 people on the beach and I caught him out of the corner of my eye eating pizza, was in two minds whether to go over so I just sucked it up and went over and introduced myself. His hands were full of pizza so we gave each other an elbow bump haha. I asked for his email, sent him over my music and he said it was really fresh and original. The relationship kind of grew from there, signing some tracks, inviting me on BBC Radio 1 and also asking me to play his First NeM showcase in London. I really owe a lot to him because he’s gave me my break, support and so much advice which I’m really grateful for and to top it off he’s one of nicest genuine people I’ve had the opportunity to meet so big up Danny haha!
5.) How would you describe your style and taste as a DJ/ producer?
This question is always one I have to think about because there’s so many genres and I don’t like to say just one but to sum it up I just make and play what feels good to me, and what I love. I love house, techno, disco and everything in-between that’s got a wicked groove and hopefully you’ll hear a lot of this coming across in my sets. In terms of productions I really love messing around with baselines, synths and vocals, you just can’t beat a good vocal, whether it be a full melody or simple hook, they just grab you and always stand out especially when coupled with a solid bass or synth line. I know I’m still in the infancy stage of my career and haven’t released much music, however I’m sat on quite a bit and I really wanna showcase my variety as a producer over the coming years because I really do love a lot of styles. I wanna put my twist on them but in a way you can still say that’s a “Sorley Production”
6.) Who would you love to hear playing your remix of ‘It Ain’t Working’?
I take a lot of inspiration from Derrick Carter and before lockdown I was playing loads his remixes and they were hitting so well in the clubs, so if I caught him dropping it, that would be a big personal tick for me. Truth be told though it’s such a rewarding feeling for me seeing people play and listen to my music, not just DJ’s playing it live but those who listen in everyday life. I get messages from people I’ve never met saying they love this and that track and their blasting in their car or house parties and I get such a buzz when I get these kind of messages. This is one of the reasons I love creating music seeing the joy it can bring to others.
7.) There has continued to be a lot of incredible music released during lockdown. Can you tell us a track/ artist that caught your attention?
I’ve been listening to so much recently but I’ve been going back more than anything, finding so much amazing music from the early 2000’s which I’ve never heard before and sticking them in crates ready to buy when the clubs start to open. I’ve been listening to older sets too and I found a Tiga Remix of Reckless (with your love) by Azari & III which gave me goosebumps the first time hearing, couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard this. Just realised I’m talking a lot about remixes here haha but its pretty fitting considering this is a remix I guess. From this period though I’d have to give a nod to Elliot Adamson, making a full album in dedication to his mother and then taking it down after 14 days, that for me is a true expression of Art.
8.) Who do you admire in the scene right now and why?
I really admire Patrick Topping, and have done since day one, especially being a local lad he’s been a big inspiration for me, showing what can be done if you stay true to your self and your vision. His productions always stand out in terms of originality and freshness regardless of what style he dips his toe into and that’s a huge aspiration for my own music. I really love Skream too, he’s another who’s absolutely nailing it, spanning different genres with huge collabs, so accomplished but still so young and an amazing versatile DJ, all round geezer too. He played for my event last year and it was the best set I’d seen in 6 years of throwing parties.
9.) How are you adapting to the changes in the industry that COVID has brought about?
Just trying to stay productive and positive, at the beginning it was a little tough because I’d literally just left my full time job to pursue my music career at the start of 2020 and got off to such a good start releasing with Defected, Repopulate Mars, signing to my dream agency and then Covid and the lockdown hit and put a halt to everything I had lined up. I think it was the uncertainty that I struggled with at first, and eating into my finances from the last few years I spent saving up to take the plunge. I’m used to it now though and I’m still in a fortunate position as none of my closest family or friends have been affected by this tragedy, and I can still wake up every day and create so I’m really grateful for that. I’ve used a lot of this time to read, learn and grow as an artist and person and I think I will definitely be coming out of this a better version of me.
10.) What’s up next for Sorley?
I’ve got another remix coming, which I’m super excited about from another massive legend in the scene, and this is also another pinch me moment haha, but I can’t say too much on this yet as much as I would love too. I’ve landed a release on another dream label, just waiting to set a date on that, and I’ve got another EP coming with Danny so a lot to look forward too. I’m also in the process of setting up a space for creatives in my hometown, its gonna be music focused, with studio rooms for production and practice rooms with CDJS & Turntables. My vision is to create a hub for like -minded individuals pursuing their goals, sharing ideas, making friendships and create a little community where no dream is too big to chase.
11.) It’s been an incredibly challenging year with so much loss, a global pandemic, the tragic killing of George Floyd and the race debate, so much uncertainty still to come. What is your message?
I know what a crazy time this has been, I really, really hope that we see serious change on the other side of this, because I don’t think it can carry on much longer, we need to reflect and look at our ways. We are all human at the end of the day, with a finite amount of time on this planet and we really should try our best to make the most of it and enjoy life. I think that’s why the parties and festivals are missed so much you know because at these events, everyone’s united, regardless of where you’re from or your background, people come together to share an experience and it’s such a special feeling in this spaces, I can’t really describe it. A message I’d like to share though is, I really urge people if they have a passion or something they seriously love to pursue that and stick at it and share it with the world, you never know how far you can get and you never know who that might inspire and that in turn could create a snowball effect inspiring countless others. If everyone’s doing things they love, in the moment, being positive and in a good state, I think the world would be a better place. These are really tough and testing times for everyone but I’m sure we will get through and be better on the other side of it. <3
Turn it up & enjoy!