Introducing: Star One (Interview/Exclusive Mix)

Today we’re very, very excited to present to you Star One, the production team of brothers Phaze One and Blacksta. The minute they sent us the incredible single “Respect“, we just had a gut feeling they were incredibly talented. One exclusive mix later, we were proved 100% correct. In all honesty, its one of the best we’ve heard. 53 minutes long and featuring an astounding 39 tracks, Star One deliver an incredible mix that will keep you dancing non-stop as your mind tries to keep up with their fast-moving transitions and perfectly timed loops. Check it out below, and keep scrolling down to see what they had to say about the UK scene, Skrillex, and the DJ/producer dynamic!

Originally from Kent, the duo combines a variety of UK genres including Bass, Garage, and Grime to make some stellar music that makes you wonder how they aren’t already on every iPod around. Having found patron saints in such institutions as BBC Radio 1, Ministry of Sound, and the Red Bull Mixtape Project (not to mention DJs Yoda and Oneman), Star One is sure to be taking over the airwaves soon enough.

Upside Sounds: First Question: Give us a one sentence description of your own sound 

Star One: The best elements of Hip Hop and the UK Underground scene blended together with love and delivered with attitude!

US: Your sound is distinctly UK, melding together garage, UK Funky, and grime to make some fantastic bass music. Who are some of your favorite up and comers right now in the UK scene specifically? 

Star One: There are so many good producers at the moment and the scene is really healthy.  The 3 ‘Hidden Gem’ producers that we play a lot on the show are GS One, T Vicious and Philly & Jazz. They are all coming with some incredibly fresh sounding stuff.  Also love what Moony is doing at the moment as well as Sibling who produces all of Margers stuff, he’s very eclectic.  Other than that Swindle, Dom HZ, Jamie Grind.

US: How does being brothers affect the production process? Do you guys fight more easily than most production partnerships, or is it generally smooth sailing? 

Star One: I don’t really know if we fight more easily than other production partnerships but it is generally smooth sailing.  We can probably be more frank about whether we like a particular song without worrying if the other will take offence.  We squabble as most siblings do but when it comes to the music we are normally quite in agreement so it seems to work!

US: As artists who clearly have a background in post-garage movements and make bass-heavy music, what do you make of the current metal-esque incarnation of dubstep? Do you think it’s going to continue to prevail, or do you think it’s on its way out already?

I think its definitely starting to prevail – You just have to look at Skrillex and his Grammys to see that. It’s not too my personal taste and I personally don’t really listen to it but I admire the way the way the new breed of producers have come in and completely switched Dubstep on it’s head. I am actually really feeling the new Skrillex and Damian Marley track! I think there will be many twists and turns in the Dubstep scene – The New kind of ‘Euphoric Dubstep’ that I’m seeing emerge is quite interesting.

US: You two started out on a relatively small label called “Carrot Records”, yet have still found critical attention pretty quickly, getting hype from influential DJs like Oneman and Yoda. What’s it been like getting love from these major DJs so early in the history of Star One? 

Star One: The label is like a family to be honest – The Carrot Records owners act as our managers foremost and the label is just a way to start getting our music out. It’s all very tight knit and we all work together to push the music together. I think thats the main advantage as we retain control and have a say in everything.  You have to start out somewhere and if no one wants to release your music then you just have to do it yourself!

To be honest I think we were abit lucky.  Our first couple of remixes were picked up by a lot of big names.  Mistajam played the Rastamouse remix on Radio 1 and then Yoda put the in his live visual set which he toured the world with so that was a bit mad. Oneman dropping the Jamie Woon ‘Lady Luck’ Remix in his Boiler Room set was a big moment and we got a lot of love when Luciano dropped a Lady Luck remix which was very similar to ours so everyone thought it was!

We have found it harder pushing our original material and getting recognition from that but I think with Respect single and the follow up tracks we can put that right.

US: I think “Respect” will do exactly that.  Phaze One – You established a solid reputation as a DJ playing a lot of Funky and Grime before coming to the Star One project. What kind of influence/importance does having such a substantial DJ background have on what you’re doing now? Do you think its vital in the music world as it is today to be both a DJ and a producer?

Phaze One: Dj sets are where producers get a lot of their money, and as such is a growing trend.  The worlds biggest and most renowned DJs aren’t actually the best DJs- they are just the biggest producers. It was knowing this that drove me into producing and the Star One project – I thought I was better than most of the producers-come-DJs that I used to warm up for and get paid twenty times less than.  This was quite frustrating so I knew that production was the next step. I think it is a natural progression from DJ to producer though – As a DJ you are always picking out what sounds go together and what tracks work in your mind. So the next step is to take that abit further and start creating the sounds yourself.

US: What’s next from you two? Tour plans/EP releases/any more Freemixes?

Star One: We’re focusing a lot more on original material this year and leaving the remixes behind a little. We will still do remixes if they feel right but not as many as last year.  We’re gonna be putting out couple more singles and videos and then hopefully an EP at the end of the year as well.  We have a few bookings coming in which is nice – We’re due to hit Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester over the summer so are just looking to spread the Star One sound as far as possible!  We have alot of exciting new material to showcase in the rest of the year and depending on how many remixes we do we may put out another edition of The Freemixes at the end of the year.

US: Last Question – How would you summarize/encapsulate your approach to making music into one sentence?

Star One: Very hard question as our approach changes depending on our mood. To quote from Moonys latest track Mona Lisa (featured on the mix) “Music is emotional..it’s purely creative’ so I think your mood and other music that you are listening to inspires you. We just try to make music we like regardless of genre.

A HUGE thanks to Star One for sitting down with us and giving us one of the best mixtapes we’ve heard in a while. Do yourself a favor and check out their facebook and soundcloud, and you can find their old Freemixes here. Also, check out a preview for their upcoming EP and keep reading for the tracklist of the mixtape!

Tracklist

1.    Star One – Recognise {intro}
 2.   Star One – Take Me There- 14th {star One Remix}
 3.   Sleepin Giantz – Badungdeng
 4.   Ossie – Peace&love
 5.   Matt Jam Lamont & Scott Diaz – Make Me Feel Good (2010 Mix)
 6.   Geeneus – Gypo Ting Vip – Mastered
 7.   Hardhouse Banton – El General
 8.  Ssswitch X Andrea Martin – I Still Love You {Star One Remix}
 9.   Rudimental X Shay – Get Your Number
 10. Star One – Respect
 11.  Skittles Feat Fallacy – Shut Ya Mouth
 12.  Moony – 1 Mona Lisa
 13.  Star One – Slow Down
 14.  Tlo – Untitled
15.  Beyonce – End Of Time (moony 2step Remix)
16.  Trc – Burn (Instrumental)
17.  Faro – Mad Ting (Preditah Circles Dub)
18.  Preditah – Circles
19.  Star One /juliette – I Don’t Wanna Know
20.  Gs One -I Was Just Thinking
21.  Scott Garcia – Scott Garcia – 212 V 2020
22.  Royal-t – Inside The Ride
23.  Jme – 96 Fuckries
24.  Gs One – Expat
25.  Compa – Dem A Talk
26.  Moony – Pluck Off
27.  Ace Hood – Hustle Hard
28.  Sx – Woo Riddim (DJ Q Remix)
29.  Jamie Woon – Lady Luck (Star One Remix)
30. Star One X Toddla T – Power Riddim
31.  Sbtrkt – Wildfire (Drake Remix)
32. Dexplicit – Bullacake Dutch Dutch Rmx
33. Cleo Soul – High (Swindle Remix)
34.  Faze Miyake – Take Off
35. Sleepin Giantz Feat Fox- Burnin
36. Redlight – Redlight – Planet X
37. Aaliyah – Somebody (Hudson Mohawke Remix)
38. Dj Khaled – I’m On One (sinjin Hawke Remix)
39.  Ed Sheeran – Lego House (star One Remix)