Although Ikonika is considered a dubstep artist, Contact… includes R&B and garage, and marks a departure from the genre’s wobbly-bottomed template.
‘Dubstep gave hope to a lot of people; for producers it meant freedom. I remember feeling a part of something special that was unpretentious and didn’t rely on elitism. I don’t think I will ever see a genre quite like dubstep again: we’ve seen it grow and blossom and we also understand that it can mutate into something entirely new. As a whole, my music is something that shares some elements of dubstep, house and garage.’
Like fellow hot producer Labrinth, Ikonika is influenced by old-school video game soundtracks, especially the work of composer Yuzo Koshiro.
‘It started off being a general sonic aesthetic, but the more I started to investigate, it became very clear that I started listening to music the same time I got into games. When I started work on Contact…, I really wanted to look into why I felt so comfortable with the sounds I was using. I was trying to digitally translate all these memories I had about R&B and UK garage, my sisters’ rave experiences, games consoles and stuff like that. It was really important for me to have a debut album like that.’
Before turning her hand to electronic music, she was a drummer in various bands, which influenced her decision to use a deliberately limited sound.
‘When I was a drummer, it was up to me to make use of the kit. Hit things differently, tune bits, use the wrong hand, those kind of things. I wanted that same idea with production. I really wanted to concentrate on
a certain musical palette that meant a lot to me during a particular time. I like to experiment and progress and this year has been very inspiring for me. I’ve been going out to clubs more, hanging with like-minded people and I just want to capture these vibes I’m feeling – kinda sweaty, melancholy stuff.’
Ikonika originally hails from Hounslow, London’s most noise-polluted suburb.
‘Three years ago I moved away from Heston, which was directly under the flight path for Heathrow Airport. It was so loud, every two minutes a plane would go over and would interrupt the Sky TV. I’ve been DJing abroad a lot this year and planes freak me out a bit. It’s weird – they fascinate me, but they do genuinely scare me.’