Coming from the far away United Kingdom, we have Imajika (Lewis) in interview with Dirty Beats, with the lucky number six. He was born in Leeds, UK. Juggling with Dub, Bass and Dubstep, he was created an impressive Ep named Hauntolgik. About his life and his new Ep we will find more in the following.
Raluca: Let’s start by knowing eachother a little better. Tell us something about your childhood and how you discovered your passion for music.
Imajika: When I was younger, my dad had always played in bands all of his life and he started to share the music with me. So, I was listening what he was listening and that got me into music. I guess I could say it was a “like father like son” thing. He listened to a huge variety of music. We had a huge book case with a more music than i never realised existed at that age. Everything from The Stranglers right through to the Prodigy.
Raluca: Taking us after the expression “Tastes are not discussed”, let’s discussed about yours. Why did you turn your head on dubstep, dub and bass? Why and how do you feel connected with these musical genres?
Imajika: When I was probably about seventeen I was working as a chef and we had a new stater called Will (Snare) came into work and we all knew he was a Dj and producer. So we got talking and I was sort of in between what I wanted to do musically. Before, I was playing in Metal and Hardcore bands and I eventually realised that being in a band is not for me, if i had something i wanted to achieve musically i realised it made me incredibly egotistical and didn’t work well with others when i had a creative vision. I guess it why producing became much more appealing to me as it allowed me to be in much more control over what I make. Anyway, Will began showed me jungle music, garage and some dubstep bits. One day he showed me “Midnight Request Line by Skream. Shortly after he directed me towards Wire (Leeds) on a Deep Medi night, I believe the line up was like Jack Sparrow, Mala, Kaiju and Silkie. Hearing all this new music on a great rig really set in my head what I wanted to do.
Raluca: Now about your career. Tell us how it all started and if you want it to, make a mini map of your evolution as an artist.
Imajika: To be honest, I have not had a massive output in my past, but that is set to change in the very near future.
One thing I would like to highlight on my last EP on Locus Sound, Oh Big up Archie and all the Locus Sound MCR Famila. Anyway, one of the tunes on that release was written in the Isle of Wight with my dad we just locked ourselves away in a little studio for like a week, He recorded all the guitars and help a lot with the structure and chords and melody, and I just sat there did all the percussion and bass and FX and we sat there and mixed it together, Was a great experience and a joy to share that with people.
As far as highlights go, opening for Coki and J. Sparrow at Exodus at wire has by far been one of my favourite shows I’ve ever played great energy and vibe good beats from everyone all night and a pleasure to be playing at the club it all started at for me. And the fact it was Exodus which has been a staple in the Leeds Dubstep scene for around 20 Years. Was a truly an honour.
Raluca: I know you’re about to unveil your new EP entitled Hauntologik. How it was the creative process and why din you choose this name? How is the name identifying with the EP?
Imajika: The initial concept of the idea was that I had a couple of tunes half finished, leading to be “darker and scarier” , like the movie sounds. My house mate while I was writing all this music showed me an article by a guy called Mark Fisher and how it related to the way Burial made a lot of his tunes and how it almost incorporated this ‘Ideology’ and about how different things are used to create an emotion of fear or alienation, which is exactly I wanted to do with this EP. so just kind of all fell into place.
Raluca: You are featuring some remixes from the likes of Rufus and Ether. Why them and how this collaboration took place?
Imajika: Well, the Rufus remix is broadly because he is a local guy and he is only from the next city across so he is not far at all and he is being putting out constantly great music, constantly playing great dj sets. I just sent him a tune and he really liked it so he was like “Yeah, let’s do a remix”. And the Ether came in because, I think I just messaged him one day and I was like “I really like your music, it’s really great”. Or something just as lame. Either way what he is doing is incredible, I simply can’t wrap my head around his stuff. So I showed him Hauntologik and I sent the stems and was super proud of the end product.
Raluca: How music selection took place? Tell us three favourite tracks not necessarily from your EP but in general, that inspired you.
Imajika: The selection just came naturally, I never had really a selection process like which tunes are good together. and because they where already half written they all just fell into place naturally which is good because ‘if it don’t flow it a no go.’
About those three tracks, one of them is “Burial – Archangel” because the sound just resonates with me on some lame deeper level and was quite a large influence in curating this ep. The next one has to be “Submotion Orchestra – Angel Eyes”, a band that basically reproduces everything from Drum and bass elements, garage and dub elements all on live instruments, they have a live sound engineer (Ruckspin) which i believe controls all the effects live, never really understood how it works but they are really something different, and the third one is “Author Ft. Rider Shafique – Keep Moving”. Purely because it is so life affirming and is written by the Leeds lads (J. Sparrow and Ruckspin)
Raluca: You told me that besides music, your are passionate about anything that involves self expression. Tell us a little about other hobbies that you have.
Imajika: As a hobby, I like oil painting, but I can’t do this anymore because is a very expensive hobby. I used to create very bizarre characters… I don’t really know how to describe, is all very dark. Some are funny but always they have shadows or misery behind them. I used to dabble in ‘Urban Exploring’ Its amazing some of the buildings that get left behind and the history thats within them, however i did have n accident where i almost fell through a floor and after that have been way to scared to go back. Would not advise doing it if you have a fear of falling through a floor. It aint worth it.
Raluca: If you could make a world tour, which are the countries targeted and why? Would you come to Romania too?
Imajika: I’d love to come to Romania, I have heard a lot of good things about it. I actually work with a couple of Romanian people as well and they made it sound hella appealing so I definitely would like to check it out. But besides that, I definitely would go to Germany, Philippines and Australia. Basically, I would like to go everywhere I possibly could. I just want to see the world and play music.
Raluca: And as a last question, if you should turn into an animal for the rest of your life, which would be and why?
Imajika: To be honest, I feel if I could identify myself as an animal, I’d like to be a sloth. I definitely be a sloth because I’m pretty lazy and also sloths don’t have any responsibilities and I’d really like that.
And here we are, in a world in which the possibilities are multiple and in which we give multi-talent like Lewis Hall. Stay tuned and follow his evolution and Hauntologik Ep and make sure to check out this exclusive mix he did for us!