WOW! What a weekend…
We FINALLY have a world-renowned festival back in Essex!
With an estimated 50,000 people in attendance, Creamfields brought their award-winning festival down South; With a bumper line up including Calvin Harris, David Guetta & Joel Corry, on what was the Queen’s Jubilee weekend – dance music fan’s flocked to one of Essex’s most famous parks.
Day One –
Arriving around lunchtime, we could hear the music already pumping from the road as we approached the entrance gate. Silhouettes adorned in sequins topped with beaming, smiley faces covered the paths, as the party goers made their way into the festival.
We checked ourselves in, headed for the press area, grabbing an Aperol Spritz on the way of course, and got settled.
Joel Corry? Jodie Harsh? Fatboy Slim? Maya Jana Coles? We’d requested an interview with pretty much every act, the line-up is mostly what you can expect to hear on Adam’s ‘Queer The Dancefloor’ show.
“Jodie Harsh will be here any minute now!”
“Joel Corry is coming here straight after his set!”
“Becky Hill is going to pop by before she is due on stage!”
After Halana spilt her drink on Joel Corry whilst fixing his microphone onto him, we sat down for a chat – “I’ve signed an album deal with Atlantic Records, so that’s definitely in the pipeline!” Joel told us. After a whirlwind couple of years which has included a Number One Single with MNEK & Brit Award nomination, Joel has worked hard to get where he is now. “Just have good manners man!” His 3rd answer upon asking his advice to anyone currently working their way up. Joel is booked almost every day for a gig throughout the summer so make sure you get to see him!
“Would you like to chat with Hybrid Minds?”
Halana jumped at the chance to chat to Matthew and Tom. Being a massive liquid drum and bass fan, Hybrid Minds are always at the top of the list when she play’s liquid on her Sunrise Sessions show, here on Phoenix FM.
You can tell these guys have a real laugh together as they crack jokes throughout the interview. “I’d sing on stage myself” Matthew laughed at one point. When asked about how it feels to be playing live again after lockdown, Josh said ‘‘It was like being able to breathe again.’’ They were both buzzing to have a full summer or festivals and gigs.
Halana quizzed Hybrid Minds on what they look for when deciding on the perfect vocalist to collaborate with. ‘’We look for a unique character in a voice, with natural emotion.’’ They generally work with more indie artists opposed to commercial artists. You certainly can notice this in their work, and this is a reason Halana loves them so much. It gives them that edge to their music and makes them more unique, as opposed to trying to target a more mainstream sound.
When asked about their journey into music, they commented ‘’It was long!’’ as they erupted into another laugh together. There advise to anyone is to stick at it! Matthew added ‘‘It might seem cliché but it’s all about the passion, you must be passionate about the music that you are making!’’
They felt their ‘break’ in the industry seemed gradual, but it was clear to them that their amazing track ‘Touch’ was a pivotal piece that supported their journey. With no new releases yet in 2022, Hybrid Minds assured us that they have lots of tracks under their belt, which they will be releasing from the end of this month. So, keep your ears and your eyes peeled!
As the sun started to set and the evening of Creamfields South begun, we were asked to interview Fat Boy Slim! The legend himself, who was the final headliner on the Friday night…
We took a walk over to his dressing room where he greeted us inside with a big smile and a firm handshake, introducing himself as Norman. He was walking around in bare foot, on his luxurious, fluffy carpet and we instantly felt welcome. We noticed he later performed his whole headline show with no shoes on… LOVE! This just shows how at home he feels behind the decks in front of 50,000 people.
We took a seat on Fat Boy Slim’s sofa and asked how he was feeling about his headline show, he joked he had taken the set as a favour to David Guetta who couldn’t make the slot, so they had swapped times round so David could get to another gig. He told us how he liked playing in the dark, reminding him of the good old days when he first started out playing in dingy nightclubs.
On the 22nd of July this year, Fatboy Slim will be headlining his ‘On The Beach’ festival. This event will celebrate 20 years from his Big Beach Boutique event that went down in history where 250,000 people attended. Adam asked him about this event and Norman expressed he was very excited that they had ‘let him back on the pebbles’ of Brighton beach.
Fatboy Slim started off in the industry playing bass in indie rock bands. Halana asked him how he got into this and if he felt this had supported him, in his later career which he is known for. He commented ‘My love was always dance music’ but back then it wasn’t popular to be a DJ, so he felt his only way to get into music was to join a band. Once electronic music and the dance industry became popular, he was able to begin a career in what he loved to do. He joke’s ‘’I am a better DJ then a bass player or songwriter’’. He did add that this knowledge gave him a ‘leg up’ in his productions’ though, being aware of stage craft and chords.
We wrapped up the interview with a question on whether he would release any more work. He told us that he had ‘lost his passion for producing music’ so he felt it wasn’t right to release work. He added ‘I haven’t lost my passion for DJing though, so that is what I continue to do!’
It was clear to see from all the conversations we had today that not giving up, being passionate about the music you make and just being a nice person, are key attributes for a successful career within the music industry.
Day Two –
The 2nd day’s line up was just as major as the first – Calvin Harris, Idris Elba, Eats Everything…
Unfortunately, Halana couldn’t make today but Adam had to be there, even if just to see Idris arrive in his helicopter!
As soon as I arrived, I got to sit down with Jess Bays, one of the standout artists to break through in the past 12 months. Performing across the globe with shows in Ibiza, Croatia, Miami, Chicago & Brazil to name a few – Jess Bays was bringing her vibes to Creamfields South for a 90 minute set. Teaming up with Jack Hawitt, their track ‘Cold Love’ dropped late last year to huge success. Another track from the duo is due to drop very soon on her label ‘Imprint SuperStore Records’ she told me. The next 12 months will see DJ Mag’s tipped ‘One To Watch’ the evolving of a true artist in the making.
I ventured out into the festival for a wander, as the tunes I could hear were calling my name. I bumped into the Mas Que Nada Brothers, and we sat down for a chat. “This summer we’re doing 11 festivals, including Glastonbury, 3 appearances in Ibiza, 2 sold out boat parties.” For a relatively new party starting duo, the brothers are by no means taking things easy. ‘Till Death Do Us Party’ is their slogan and judging by the videos I’ve seen of their events; they know HOW to party.
Back at the press tent I was tucking into some pasta and the tunes I could hear on the main stage was like I was listening to a Queer The Dancefloor show… ‘I NEED TO SPEAK TO THIS DJ!’ It’s Rob Harnetty. Creamfields & Cream Resident DJ – also known as Rohar. Rob has two music personas – Rohar being more techno & Rob Harnetty more dance/house/disco. I had to go back into the festival to see his set on the Main Stage. I then saw the beautiful handover to Idris Elba. A moment Rob won’t forget for sure!
Example? OFFAIAH? Armand Van Helden?
There was still a few more people to come through the press tent.
My last interview of the weekend was the coolest man – OFFAIAH. A House producer who grew up in Hackney, not too far from Chelmsford, previously known as Michael Woods. His new single ‘Lose Control’ drops on July 9th on the Defected Label. “The hard work is in the studio where the grind goes on and the DJ bit is where you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour.” With headlining slots across the globe this festival season, and a career spanning over 23 years, OFFAIAH shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Finishing off the day, I bumped into Calvin Harris. He was just arriving for his 9:30pm headline set with an entourage fit for a king.
Creamfields you were a DREAM! Thank you so much to the Creamfields team for bringing your party down South and we can’t WAIT to see you back in Hyland’s Park in 2023…and hopefully every year after that.
Listen to Monday 6th June’s show of Queer The Dancefloor for a Creamfield’s Special here. Hosted By Adam Oliver & Halana Roma Palmer, they’ll be chatting about their weekend there, playing all the best tunes + every interview in all its glory.