Interview: Corey James discusses signing to Size Records and Steve Angello’s cookery skills
Liverpool-based producer and DJ Corey James has been making waves across dance music for some time now. Having bubbled under the surface with releases such as ‘RIU’ & ‘LMSY’ with Australian producer and good friend, Will K, Corey attracted the attention of Swedish legend Steve Angello, releasing a number of tracks on Steve’s famous Size Records Label.
Sensing his enormous potential, the ‘Rejoice’ producer snapped Corey up, signing him to SIZE, and acting as his mentor with Corey recently releasing the huge ‘Back In Time‘; an anthemic production which focuses on Corey’s journey from his childhood era to the modern day, spending time in the studio with Angello during a massive 2017 which has also seen the UK star play the mighty Creamfields festival.
Having recently played at the official We Rave You ADE boat party in association with Sosumi Records, We Rave You caught up with Corey on Friday night before his set at Third Party‘s Release showcase night at London’s Ministry of Sound:
Corey! How does it feel to be playing at Ministry of Sound?
“It is hard to explain! The sound system is unbelievable, it is one of those places where you don’t want to stop playing because the sound, the crowd, everything is so sick! The longest I have ever played there was only one hour and a half, but I’d love to play for 5.. 6… 7 hours and play all night! The atmosphere is incredible, and it’s such a special place to me. The brand itself is amazing, but I always love coming to London and playing at Ministry!”
Talk to us about recently signing to SIZE Records, what a huge moment for you!
“When I first started playing, I was so inspired by people like Max Vangeli, AN21, Sebjak. Obviously I’ve always looked up to Axtone, and loved Ax’s work, or Seb (Ingrosso)’s work on REFUNE, but for me, SIZE was always the one! I watched SIZE TV growing up, and the whole vibe was the one thing that I would always discuss with friends in the studio, we would watch SIZE TV to get pumped up before nights out! It really is crazy to think it has happened for me now, and Steve (Angello) has welcomed me to the family with open arms.”
You mentioned Steve Angello… How has he helped you, in his role as your mentor?
“If you had told me I’d be working with Steve Angello when I started… it seems like a Hollywood movie! But at the same time, I knew it was going to happen because it was always my aim, I was working towards that goal, I always wanted it to happen and now here I am. Steve is busy, he’s a real family man, but he even invited me over to Sweden to the SIZE Studio to film the video (for new track ‘Back In Time’).. I sat with his family, and we had some food.”
And how were his cookery skills?
“Steve is one of the best chefs I’ve ever known! I’m not just saying it, I asked him about it and he said that cookery is his big passion, it inspires him to go in and make new music when he’s made good food. He slow cooked some meat for me for 5 hours and made a soup, it was the nicest thing I’ve ever eaten, this kind of Swedish broth. It was incredible.”
Talk to us about your new track ‘Back In Time’ which is out now on Size Records…
“It took about two and half years actually to fully master because I knew this was going to be a big track but I just needed some finishing touches on it. I loved the melody, and then I got the vocal (from HENKO) about eight months ago now… It was the final piece of the puzzle. I sent it to Steve and he said we needed to make a few tweaks and as soon as the vocal came in, Steve and I both agreed, it was done. Time to get it out there.”
And the video has all this flashback footage in it of you as a child?
“Yes, it’s quite emotional. The vocal fits the video so well, it’s one of my favourite productions. We filmed the video with Steve, but I can listen to this track in 15 years and I know I will still love it. Some tracks now, they’re club tracks and that’s it, but this one is timeless. This won’t fade away.”
Talk to us about your relationship with Will K, the two of you have worked together on so many tracks!
“When I make music with Will, we reference the guys who have inspired us, Axwell, Prydz, Steve etc. And we listen to them to inspire us. We always aim to make something that – if we were in the crowd – we would go mental to! I can’t explain it but when we are in the studio together, we are so honest with eachother. Our ideas bounce off one other, he’s obviously now doing well with Axtone (Sour Milk), but together, we’ve made so many tracks, we have the same chemistry, the same vision and it works so well! And we worked on ‘Another Storm’ with Third Party. But we have a track right now we are working on, we started it in May, and it gives me those old Swedish House Mafia vibes!”
Finally Corey, you played at Creamfields in August… that must have been an amazing experience?
“I was so nervous. I’m never nervous before shows, but I’ve never been like that ever, it was my first time playing such a huge festival, I was playing in the Pepsi Max tent with all these amazing guys like Laidback Luke, and I was wide awake until 10am the night before. I got a few hours sleep and then played at 2pm and I couldn’t believe how many people were there for me. I plugged my USB in, played the first track and it was packed. It was a dream come true. Creamfields is my local festival and everyone I knew was telling me how proud they were of me… The whole thing was crazy.”
Destroying the Box, Ministry’s main room, with his two hour set, Corey James is a throwback to the progressive house masters of yesteryear. Bringing the sound back into the public eye with his fresh releases which echo the sounds of the genre’s glory years, the Liverpudlian looks set to reach the heights set by his heroes. Following on from Third Party’s explosive set at the world-famous club, Corey fizzed through a dynamic series of track selections that included hits from his SIZE mentor Steve Angello, cementing 2017 as the biggest year of his career so far.
The ‘Back In Time‘ producer will be appearing in London once more in a few weeks, the time at Printworks on Friday 24th November, alongside Angello himself. You can check his latest release below, and prepare yourselves for 2018; a year in which Corey is sure to continue his meteoric rise through the industry…
— Corey James (@ImCoreyJames) October 20, 2017