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18th May 2016

Q&A: Bontan

We spoke to Tech House star, Bontan, about his monthly Sankeys residency, touring with Chic and Nile Rodgers and about the state of house music

In a short space of time, North West UK-based Bontan has notched up an impressive set of achievements that’d leave most old school acts green with envy. With headline supporters including Pete Tong, Annie Mac and Carl Cox his music is talking loud and helping him to develop a reputation that’ll be the foundation for many years to come.

This, of course, started off with…

Manchester seems to be a special place to play for you, what is it about the crowds here that keeps you coming back?

I just love the crowds in the North. They have a unique energy about them like nowhere ​I’ve​ experienced in the world.

​​Of course you’ve been coming over here quite a bit recently for your Sankeys residency. What’s it been like to be a resident there, has it allowed you to play a bit differently than the sets that you are usually booked for at clubs?

I get to take a few more risks in my DJ set ​I​ think. The crowd is really open in Sankeys so you can take them on a journey and play some music you wouldn’t usually.

​Summer will be upon us soon, which means Ibiza and festival season, is there anywhere you are looking forward to playing in particular?

I’ve got a run of five dates in Sankeys ​Ibiza which ​I’m really looking forward to. They have managed to capture the same vibe as ​S​ankeys Manchester. The sound system kicks ass as well!

​Can you tell us about any particular tracks that you have been playing in a lot of your sets that have been going down a treat there and in other clubs?

I’ve done a new track called ‘Visions’ which ​I​ constantly play out. It​’​s got a creepy vocal and it​’​s a solid groover. It​’​s a personal favourite of my own!

​There have been some murmurs and worries about the state of Tech House and house music at the moment, in the form of some think pieces. What do you think about how the scene is looking at the moment, do you share any of those concerns at all?

I think people need to worry less and dance more. Where’s the fun in stressing all the time?

​It was only just over ​three​ years ago that you put out your breakout remix of Josh Butler’s ‘Got A Feeling’, to now supporting the biggest names in not only house music but dance music in general (in reference to the legend that is Nile Rodgers), how does it feel to look back to where you started compared to how things are now?

I never imagined when ​I​ started producing music that ​I​ would win an award for my music or share the stage with someone like Nile Rodgers. It​’​s totally mindblowing for me. All from making beats in my mum and dad​’​s loft!

​When I think of Tech House music, Chic isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. How did it come about that you and your friend Josh Butler became their supporting acts on their tour last year and how did the crowds respond to it? Did you guys have to cater your set at all to the audiences who came to hear ‘Le Freak’?

Nile had heard the track Josh​ and I​ did with Vula and he loved it. He loves ​h​ouse music and asked could​ Josh​ and I​ support them on the tour. I thought my manager was winding me up when he told me! We played deep ​S​oulful ​H​​ouse on the tour. It was incredible!

​What do you listen to when you aren’t looking for tracks to play in your sets?

I actually listen to a lot of classical music. Also a lot of funk and soul.

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