Chanelle Tourish talks to Sigma, the duo behind the hit ‘Nobody to Love’, as they prepare to perform in Dubai.
If you’ve been listening to the radio at all this year, then you won’t have been able to avoid Sigma’s number one, mainstream drum’n’ bass anthem ‘Nobody to Love.’ The pair are set to perform their hit at Level 41, Media One Hotel on Thursday August 28.
Remixing Kanye West’s track,‘Bound 2,’ the song with an infamous video that featured the artist and his wife, Kim Kardashian, frolicking on top of a motorbike, the pair have created a euphoric smash anthem with the mashup. The UK number one hit became one of 2014’s highest-selling singles to date, beating West’s original track by 55 places on the charts. But it wasn’t an overnight success story for the duo who met while balancing raving, studying, working in shops and promoting events to top up their student loans.
‘The success wasn’t sudden,’ says Cameron Edwards, one half of the duo with Joe Lenzie. ‘We met at university in Leeds. We were both into similar social circles and we soon discovered that we had a very similar taste in music. Music is something that is either ingrained in you or not and luckily we both love a huge variety of music. We’ve been DJing in underground drum’n’ bass clubs for years now. At the moment we are playing more at universities because of the success of ‘Nobody to Love’. We love to DJ so it makes no difference where we play.’
Not realising the success that the track would have, the pair decided to release it for free on their website. ‘We liked the vocal hook from the track and thought we would have a go at making a dub for the clubs. We gave the track away for free before we were told to take it down by our record label. We never expected it to do so well. We have been working for years and to finally get this level of recognition means a lot to us. It was all a bit sudden and the rest is history,’ says Joe.
Having grown up listening to everything from Dr Dre and Snoop Dog to Blur, Paul Simon and Pendulum, the pair don’t like to pigeon-hole themselves into one genre of music. Early releases with Hospital Records, Viper, Bingo and DJ Fresh’s Breakbeat Kaos, as well as their own Life Recordings, quickly marked them out as producers to watch, while remixes for Eric Prydz, Ellie Goulding, Stylo G and Sway began to take them to a wider audience.
‘Life Recordings is a label for us to still release drum’n’ bass in the that scene. We are signing some really good new tracks at the moment, but 3beat is a large label that are much better at working hits, so we are very happy there. We’d love to collaborate with lots of artists, especially Pharrell Williams, CeeLo Green and Ian Brown,’ explains Joe.
In Sigma’s latest venture, they pair up with Paloma Faith for new single ‘Changing’. The monster hit-in-the-making features a full orchestra and powerful vocals from the fiery singer and is due to be released on Sunday, September 14.
‘Paloma hasn’t done a feature before and we both love the sound of her voice. We thought it would be good to get someone with a true soul voice to sing on the track and it complements it very well. We like to have lyrics that people in certain situations can relate to. This is one of them,’ says Cameron.
Making good use of their studio time, the pair are working on an album inbetween a packed summer schedule with shows across the UK, Europe, North America and Australia. They’re also excited to perform in Dubai for the first time.
‘It’s so busy at the moment, we’ve got to take some time to put an album together because we have a load of new music. The gig in Dubai will have lots of fresh tunes, some oldies and some surprises. We do a lot of remix work, which we love, but we also love to work from a clean slate. We like to bring the party and as long as everyone leaves with a smile, our job is done,’ says Cameron.
Sigma’s remixes for Kiesza (‘Hideaway’), Route 94 (‘My Love’), Clean Bandit (‘Extraordinary’), DJ Fresh (‘Dibby Dibby Sound’) and DJ Zinc (‘Show Me’) have helped make 2014 their best year to date.
Dhs100. Thursday August 28, 9pm-3am. Level 41, Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).