Chase & Status interview

CHASE & Status (Saul Milton and Will Kennard) are producers who made their name on Essex drum and bass label Ram Records, working in studios across east London, and with regular DJ appearances at Fabric in Farringdon. With five Ram releases under their b

CHASE & Status (Saul Milton and Will Kennard) are producers who made their name on Essex drum and bass label Ram Records, working in studios across east London, and with regular DJ appearances at Fabric in Farringdon.

With five Ram releases under their belts since 2007, the pair are now plying their trade with some of the world's biggest urban stars. We're talking Rhianna, Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, as well as local dance-rockers Prodigy.

On Sunday, they take a break from their hectic schedule to perform at Get Loaded In The Park.

MATT TROLLOPE caught up with Will ahead of the duo's appearance at the one-day festival on Clapham Common.

Were you expecting your debut artist album, More Than A Lot, on Ram Records, to be received so well by the masses?

We didn't really know what to expect. I guess we were worried how it would be received, as we've put different styles on there, like hip-hop, dubstep. And coming from a predominantly drum and bass background we were worried it might be a bit confusing.

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Why do you think it is so popular?

Ultimately support from the radio, especially Radio 1, helped the exposure. Through that, I think we really got national coverage, got into households, rather than just the underground following we had.

Can you tell us a bit more about why you chose the tracks?

It really represents what we were most excited about in British music at the time. We teamed up with Kano, who comes from a grime background, which we're big fans of. Then there was a track with rapper Plan B. Plus obviously the drum and bass stuff, which is obviously spawned from the UK. It was really just a collection of tracks we'd been making over the past few years that show what was good about British music at the time.

How did the Prodigy and Jay-Z remixes come about?

We were asked to do a remix for The Prodigy's new album, Invaders Must Die, which obviously we weren't going to turn down, as they were one of our biggest influences, so it was a real honour. Jay-Z was a case of...we're signed to a company called Roc Nation, which is something he owns, and we were in New York doing some work, producing and writing, and the track was just finished, and we had six hours to do a remix!

Jay Z in particular seems a far shout from your drum and bass roots?

We've always been massive, hip-hop fans. In terms of the remix, we didn't turn it into a drum and bass remix, we kept as a hip-hop one, as we felt that was what it wanted.

I also hear you've been working with Rihanna. How has that been?

She brought us in to give her album a certain sort of sound and generally help her out. It's sounding great - she's got such an amazing voice.

Snoop Dogg's remix of Eastern Jam brought you further into the public eye. What happened there?

I got a call from Saul one day, and he'd just checked our MySpace page and there was a message in the inbox from Snoop Dogg, (as you do!), saying: "Hey yo, I like that Eastern Jam track of yours. Can you send me a copy, I wanna stick some vocals on it?" We thought it was just our mates winding us up at first, but we checked it all out, it was an official page and then we got a call from his manager, who's a big fan of ours. It was quite a big thing for us to have Snoop Dogg re-working our music - he was such a big influence to us growing up - so it was a real honour.

You've now left Ram and signed a major record deal with Mercury. Do you think that will compromise you?

Mercury took us on knowing that we're not pop stars, and we've built up a following of people who know the music well, and that they very much wanted us to continue that. They've been great, and really supportive, so we're very comfortable at the moment.

So, how will you be leading into 2010?

We've been busy in the studio and the next step is our live tour in October, around the UK and a bit of Europe, with a full band and the whole team with us.

Chase & Status play the Clash Mag Arena in association with Data Transmission at Get Loaded In The Park in London on Sunday, August 30, full details at www.getloadedinthepark.com.

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