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Sigma Interview: 'Nothing beats hearing 18,000 people singing your songs'

We caught up with chart-conquering drum n bass duo Sigma to discuss gigging, fabric's closure and a dream collaboration with Adele.

Becca Frankland

Last updated: 24th Oct 2016

Image: Sigma

When you turn on the radio on these days, it's hard to ignore the dance undercurrents present in most songs. Whether its a 90s club classic sample or an underground track which has crept up the charts, there's a lot of crossover music being championed by the likes of Radio 1 and Capital FM. A duo who know all about the power of creating accessible dance tunes are Sigma - the biggest UK drum n bass producers around at the moment. 

After meeting at Leeds University, Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie went on to create tracks like 'Glitterball' with Ella Henderson, 'Changing' featuring Paloma Faith, 'Higher' alongside Labrinth and the massive 'Cry' with Take That, all boasting a feel good DnB flavour which is as suited to mainstream airwaves as it is clubbing spaces. 

As assured with their live sets as they are with high energy DJ performances, Sigma have played at festivals like EDC, V Festival, Parklife and many more whilst also completing their own headline tour. We caught up with them ahead of their Halloween gigs to talk about productions and clubland.

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You two DJ separately most of the time, how do you decide who does what gig? Is there ever times when you both really want to play an event and you have to flip a coin?

We play all of our live shows together but one of us lives near Manchester and the other closer to London so that decides a lot of the UK DJ gigs for us. It rarely happens but if we can spend a bit more time around the shows abroad, that helps us decide as we don't usually get to spend enough time in other countries to really experience them. Of course if there is DJ gig that we both really want to play, we'll both be there!

You guys met at Leeds University at a drum n bass night, were you both massively into the scene even back then?

Yeah it was a huge time for us with some of our biggest influences dominating the scene, Roni Size, Fabio & Grooverider and so many more really inspired us and got us into it. Those nights were great to be a part of and shaped us as DJs and producers. Being able to draw on that first hand experience as a fan is a great way to keep yourself motivated when things get tough too.

You've shown your support for fabric on social media over the past few weeks, mentioning that you spent a lot of your teenage years there. How did you feel when you heard the news? Do you think that the scene has suffered a massive blow?

We were gutted when the decision was made. There's no doubt about it, the scene and British culture, will suffer because of this. It's not the first great venue to be shut down over the years but it was a huge moment. It's where we and many others learnt our craft and had some amazing nights out with top people. It's a real shame that another generation won't get those experiences. We just hope something can be done to sort it out as it's only going to get worse at this rate.

You've toured the world and experienced clubs from across the globe, how does the UK compare to elsewhere?

Everywhere's got that something that makes it a little bit different but the UK has that history of being at the forefront of music that makes it such a great place to be creative in. Also, the top festivals here really are world class, for crowds and the line ups. We played the BBC Radio One/NME stage at Reading and Leeds with our live band this year, nothing beats hearing 18,000 people singing your songs back to you.

How did things change for you when your music hit the charts?

The expectations are a lot higher but in terms of our approach to music, we still go about it the same way. Now we're making the music we've always wanted to and working with some hugely talented people. In fact we're enjoying it more than ever! We've never gone in for the fame side of things but it's great that we're now able to reach so many more people. 

Although you primarily produce more accessible dance music at the moment, do you feel like in future that your productions might be more underground again?

We've actually been working on some more underground tracks. We'll have to think about how these are released but we are writing album number two as we speak so watch this space.

Is there a particular genre of music that you like which we'd be surprise to know you're a fan of?

Jazz, Cam loves jazz. 

You guys have collaborated with loads of high profile name, Take That probably being the biggest. How did it come about and what was it like working with such a massive band?

Good fun! They're all cool guys and were very easy to get along with. They were fully behind the project and we spent a lot of time working on the record. They performed at Radio 1 Big Weekend with us and joining them on stage at Hyde Park was a special moment too. 

If you could collaborate with any artist from past or present, who would you pick and why?

Past, it has to be Michael Jackson. Obviously he's a huge inspiration for so many genres and people, we've spent countless hours listening to his albums. Present, Adele. You got to aim big with these things!

Sigma play at the sold out Together Halloween event on Friday 28th October.

You can also catch Sigma at Bass Jam in Bolton on Saturday 29th October. Tickets are available for that date below.

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