Lee Walker has already made some big waves in the house scene for a relative newcomer. His first foray in to the limelight was when his cheeky edit of DJ Deeon’s ‘Freak Like Me’ hit Soundcloud. Before he knew it Marco Carola had spun it in Ibiza and over a million YouTube views came flooding in. The track was snapped up by Defected and sat at the top of Beatport’s revered chart for six weeks, picking up a slew of accolades including “Hottest Record in the World”, “Essential New Tune”, and “Future Anthem” in the space of a week –and also took home ‘Best Remix’ at the DJ Mag Best Of British Awards. Not bad eh?
Hi Lee Walker, where are you living and how long have you been producing/djing?
Lee Walker: Now then! I’m still living in Middlesbrough in the North East of England where I was born and raised and I’ve been doing this for 10 years now!
What made you get in to dance music?
Lee Walker: There was this phenomenon in the North East when I was a kid called “Makina”, it was pure rapid, slightly camp eurodance sounding stuff. It got picked up by the ruffians round here (me being one of them), and there were entire clubs and massive nights dedicated to it and still are, it has MC’s over it usually, it’s that kind of thing. When I was about 13 I got into it pretty heavily, at 14 I got my first pair of decks and moved into producing it at 15. When I was 18 I was a really arrogant unpleasant kid and I joined Lee Pennington’s music tech course (*riffraff/Zoo Project), slowly but surely he got me into House and put me on the track I’m on now the little egghead.
Where was your first gig?
Lee Walker: A little dive in Middlesbrough where I live called Uncle Alberts, it’s since shut down but it was a wicked little shit hole, my favourite types of clubs and bars are all rough around the edges like this and Uncle Alberts was exactly that, I played there for a college night it was actually part of an assignment!
How difficult was it learning to produce in the beginning?
Lee Walker: Honestly, it was one of those kinds of things that just made sense to me, it took some learning as I refused to watch tutorial videos or get much tutelage of any kind when I was first learning as I believed it’d have made me the same as everyone else and opted to learn my own way, kind of glad I did, I do certain things in a really unorthodox way which surprises other producers when I get in the studio with them, putting my finger on the speaker cone to see if the kick and bass are sitting right together is one of them, Huxley had a hard time with that one as I was fondling his speakers and he didn’t know what the fuck was going on. Bass and kick sit quite nice on the tracks we did though, so there’s the consolation!
Tell us about your new release on Huxley’s label. What was the inspiration behind it and how did you get it signed?
Lee Walker: This EP along with a few others that have since been released were done very quickly after the whole “Freak Like Me” thing, that track was a great thing to go out for me and launched me in a way I never thought possible, but I knew I wasn’t going to be making that sort of stuff very often so I got to work very quickly on some new stuff to kind of “set people straight” on the kind of music I actually do and show that this was more of a one off special thing for me. This was actually signed with Hux around this time last year, maybe a little later than that. I sent them over and he loved them, that’s also how we got the collab stuff going initially.
What was it like collaborating with Huxley on the remix?
Lee Walker: It was really good, I’m not really a big collaboration dude overall so it was nice to get in the studio with someone who has a similar workflow to me and a similar brain when it comes to musicality. That and he’s got a mega little dog called Bert, which to be honest is much more of a pull for me than the music! I’m really happy with how the remix turned out and the four original tracks we did that we are keeping behind closed doors for now.
Which other artists would you like to work with?
Lee Walker: Every time I get asked this question I change my mind. Huxley has been ticked off the list though, then there are people like Enzo Siragusa who I’d love to work with, George Fitzgerald’s musical ideas are mind bending to me sometimes and I’ll finish up with Steve Lawler, there really are so many more that this would turn into an absolute essay of just how mint other people are so I’m going to leave it with those 3.
Recent years have seen you play at clubs and festivals, such as Sankeys and Space in Ibiza, The Garden in Croatia, and Egg, Studio Spaces and Studio 338 in London. What other gigs have you got
Lee Walker: In the coming weeks I’m in Ibiza a lot for Taste The Punch at Eden, I’m also at Hideout Festival playing for Elrow and also on Danny Howard’s boat party as well as Junk in So’ton and a few other wicked little gigs, a lot to look forward to!
What would you regard as your biggest achievement to date?
Lee Walker: Radio 1 trifecta for sure, Essential New Tune, Hottest Record In The World and Future Dance Anthem. Still can’t get any verification on whether that’d ever been done before? There are a lot of things over the last couple of years that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to achieve let alone actually achieve and hopefully things can continue on the up and up.
What releases have you got coming next and how can fans keep in touch.
Lee Walker: Release wise, there are a good few but they’re all *shhh* at the minute but it shouldn’t be too long before they’re announced so keep eyes on my Facebook page, my Instagram and my Twitter for that stuff, the handle for all is @leewalkermusic. PEACE!