“Hello, Champion!”

14.09.11 Words by: Charlie Jones

Lighter, the title track from the latest release from east London funky producer Champion, is deadly. From the hollowed out percussion at the beginning, swiping synths, that funky, flexing, clean-cut rhythm, the ripples of bass, and those gruff yelp-along vocals, it’s sharp and angular dance floor devastation at its best. Lighter VIP, off the same record, is an eerie, darker take on that track, while Bongoshot sees Champion unfurl his skeletal funkiness with a distinctive lightness of touch.

His first release was the ‘Motherboard’ EP on Terror Danjah’s Hardrive label, the first indication that here is someone taking the sounds of early grime and UK funky somewhere different. He’s also a pretty masterful DJ – definitely give his set at the Butterz and Hardrive label party a listen. Link him to Lil Silva or Roska perhaps, producers playing intriguing games with the big and bashy club track template. The ‘Lighter’ EP comes as the first release on his own Formula Records, an essential way to kick something off. His track Sensitivity is also included on Ben UFO’s soon-to-be-released Rinse:016, a slick female vocal worked up against rough-edged rhythms. All in all, we thought it time we got to know him a little better.

Name?

Champion.

Age?

21.

Current location?

East London.

Your sound?

I suppose its ‘Champion Sound’ because the only thought process when producing is to make what I like!

How do you record?

With my baby FL studio 10, do my mixing in Logic all running through my RME Babyface soundcard.

Previous experience?

Done a couple Grime tracks and I’ve been deejaying since i was 11.

Heroes?

Naturally my dad and a close family friend who both taught me how to DJ but production wise, Wookie, Sticky, Terror Danjah, Dave Kelly, Timbaland and the list goes on.

Last release?

The last one was the Lighter EP. It was released on my own label Formula Records on the 5th/12th of Sept.

Next release?

The next one is the War Dance EP coming out on Roska’s Kicks & Snares. No confirmed date yet!

Next playing?

I’ll have to check with my agent lol, my memory is crazy!

How did you first get into making music?

It was when Grime first came about back in 2001, I felt like I could relate to the music so much that one day it just drove me to give it a go and haven’t stopped since.

How do you think the UK Funky and Grime scenes have changed in the past few years?

Quite a lot, funky has gone away from the tropical sound and got harder and grime has gone back to being more dancefloor driven and naturally the gap between the two is closing! I love it!

Formula Records released Champion’s ‘Lighter’ EP on 5th September 2011

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