A Skillz has go to be one of the best staright-up party DJ's around in the breaks scene at the moment, with his fusion of funk and hip-hop elements into traditonal breaks vibes tearing up dancefloors coast to coast. His latest release, 'Happyness/Got The Rhythm' features collaborations with both Krafty Kuts and human beatbox maestro Beardyman! A Skillz took time out of his busy festive schedule to chat to us here at Trackitdown about his 2008, and what's in store for him in the new year!
So as 2008 comes to a close, how has this year been for A Skillz and what does 2009 hold?
2008 has been loads of fun, mainly on the gig front, So many wicked festivals and I've been lucky enough to tour some of my favorite places in the world. I've had some great support on the booties and remixes this year which I love doing but 2009 is really gonna be the year of getting a lot more original music out.
What’s been your best gig of the year?
That’s tough one, Glasto was wicked as was The Big Chill and Bestival, I had some really cool gigs in Oz earlier in the year too, but I'd probably have to say Shambhala festival in Canada. There's nothing quite like being in a dj booth built into the branches of a tree, in the middle of a forest in the middle of nowhere. It's the most incredible setting you've ever seen and the sound system is so ridiculously over sized that it puts every other festival sound system to shame, not to mention having thousands of insanely up for it Canadians dancing in the trees, it's was amazing!
Best track of 2008?
You can't always get what you want - Rolling stones - Soulwax Remix
Have there been any up and coming producers that have really caught your attention this year?
I think I'd have to say Featurecast. He has been on fire this year putting out loads of wicked
releases on a few different labels like Bomb strikes and Good Groove.
How did this collaboration with Beardy Man come about? I guess it was an amazing experience to work closely with him in the studio?
We got both got booked to play this Barcardi event up a mountain in Switzerland as part of a collaboration concept the promoters were doing, where they put two artists on a stage together in front of a crowd (having previously never met) and see what happens. We were both like, "nah I just wanna do my own set", but when we met at sound check and messed around with some ideas, we were like "this is gonna be wicked". We rocked it then decided to do a track together.
He is like a machine in the studio - As soon as you hit record he just starts unloading everything that’s in his brain through his mouth and into the computer, He won't stop until you hit stop, but then he'll do something amazing when your when you’re not recording so you end up just leaving it on record and having a stupid amount of audio to go through! He is freakishly talented.
Your DJ schedule looks pretty off the scale at the moment with 12 gigs in December alone, is DJing your first love or do you prefer to be buried in beats in the studio?
They go hand in hand, the satisfaction from getting a crowd reaction from something you created yourself is the best of both worlds. I do love DJing, but with all the travelling it can take up a lot of time that I'd love be spending making beats. I'm just a one man band, there's no one behind the scenes finishing off the tunes or mixing stuff down while I'm away, If I don't do it it won't get done! I need to clone myself so I can do both at the same time!
What are you upto NYE?
I'm playing early at The Westbury in Kilburn (London) then the Goodtimes party with Norman Jay, also in London.
What have you asked Santa for this year and have you been a good enough boy to actually receive it?
First on my list is a new sat nav that doesn't lose signal in built up cities (where I need it most!) Second is a new car to go with my new sat nav, but I reckon I've only been good enough to get the first one. Also I don't reckon Santa will get the car down our chimney!
'Happiness/Got The Rhythm' is out now on Finger Lickin' - download it here now, along with other Finger Lickin' releases: http://www.trackitdown.net/recordlabel/103891/finger-lickin.html
Download A Skillz Trackitdown December Top 10 here: http://www.trackitdown.net/genre/breaks/track/790681.html
Download A Skillz tracks here: http://www.trackitdown.net/artist/115146/a-skillz.html