Hot Since 82: Bigger Than Prince?

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He may be known as Hot Since 82, but Daley Padley’s true breakthrough year was 2013. After a huge summer of parties in Ibiza, Padley’s brand of deep house pervaded throughout the dance world due to the success of his slinky remix of Green Velvet’s “Bigger Than Prince.”

He’s proven himself to be anything but a one-trick-pony, however, with Little Black Book, an artist album-mix compilation hybrid that represents a new release concept for label Moda Black. We caught up with the Leeds, U.K.-based DJ/producer in the midst of his first US tour and asked him about the album, his beginnings, and the time he almost packed away the decks for good.

DJ Times: How did you get started DJing and producing?
Padley: I started when I was 17—so I’ve been DJing for 14 years. My older brother had some Technics 1200s that I was never allowed to go on. When he would go out with his friends, I would sneak in and play with them for a few hours. Later, I got a little job playing in a bar in my own town, which then just progressed into playing bigger clubs and then going to the production thing.

DJ Times: You were doing very well a few years back, playing gigs all over Ibiza, yet you stopped playing and producing completely. Why was that?
Padley: I felt like I was just making music to get paid, so to speak. I wasn’t making music from the heart anymore. I’m the kind of person that puts 110-percent passion into something, and I wasn’t doing that. So I was just going to take some time out. I wasn’t even quite sure if I was going to start producing music again.

DJ Times: How did you get back into the scene?
Padley: I moved into the city of Leeds and started going out and raving again with my friends. It was just the time when house was coming back. There were a lot more vocals in the tracks and a lot more ladies were going out to clubs. There was just something happening again. It was kind of the direction of house music again that inspired me, really.

DJ Times: How did that manifest itself?
Padley: I bought some new studio equipment, bought some new samples, and then made this track called “Let It Ride.” I was sitting on the record for quite a few months until some of my friends managed to persuade me to try and get the record out there. I already had a relationship with René Kristensen so I gave it to him, and it was released on Noir Music.

DJ Times: You played on Pete Tong’s stage at Creamfields this summer, in addition to doing a guest mix and a BBC Essential Mix on his program. Was there a specific way you caught his attention?
Padley: No, he’s been in radio for over 20 years now and is still at the top of his game, so he knows a tune when he hears one. He just picked up a couple of my tracks and seems to have loved everything that I’m doing. He’s been such a massive supporter. It’s nice to have someone like Pete listen and verify me and give my work a bit more credibility.

DJ Times: Your remix of Green Velvet’s “Bigger Than Prince” was one of 2013’s biggest dance smashes. How are you taking to its success?
Padley: It’s incredible right now. Everyone’s coming to shows wearing shirts that have “Bigger Than Prince” written on them. It’s so crazy how big it’s gone off and my mix just seems to be the one that people are loving the most.

DJ Times: It’s been a pretty big anthem—how did it come about?
Padley: I’d gotten asked by the record label, “Here’s the Green Velvet record—do you want to mix it?” At first, I said no because I just didn’t have time while working on Little Black Book. However, the label really thought I could nail it. I managed to get into the studio for a couple of weeks, but afterward I wasn’t too sure if I nailed it. Then the label was like, “Wow! This is wicked.” I’ve just been really lucky that my mix blew up.

DJ Times: Tell me about your approach to Little Black Book.
Padley: I’d been doing that album for six months. It’s a half mix compilation, half album, with nearly everything on it being an original, in addition to a few key remixes. It’s just a really cool album concept. A first draft, so to speak.

DJ Times: Any plans for another album in the future?
Padley: Absolutely. I don’t consider Little Black Book to be my debut album—to me it’s more of a mix compilation. I’ve already got an idea for my debut album.

DJ Times: When it comes to DJing and producing, do you prefer one over the other?
Padley: It depends. There’s no bad feeling with making a record in the studio and then playing it out loud to see how people react. That’s the best thing about it. At the same time, I get just as much satisfaction in playing other people’s records when I’m DJing as well. So it’s a Catch-22 kind of thing. You know, I guess I would say I enjoy DJing more, but I spend a lot of time in the studio. And I’m going to be spending even more time in the studio next year. I guess I just enjoy it equally. That’s what I do.

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