Very well thanks, enjoying the sunshine we seem to have been blessed with at the moment.
Can you talk to us more about your latest album “Outside The Circle”?
Well, the last time I wrote a full album was when I was in my previous collective Burn The Negative. I enjoyed the body of work I could create whilst thinking within specific boundaries. So when I decided that an album was 100% what I wanted to do, I decided that there was to be a real cross section of different vibes. Genres of what I love. I wanted to tick the boxes of Tech House, Deep House and even Acid House but without them sounding like a lot of other artists that make music in those areas. I think a nice example of Gentle Acid. The title is an immediate contract. The deeper edgers fused with the acid bass elements alongside deep vocals. A juxtaposition I rarely hear.
Did any particular event inspire you to write the LP?
I was inspired by life in general. The album took me around 13 months to create, so there was many situations which probably helped feed the material – not one specific point.
“Outside The Circle” – what’s the story behind the title?
I consider the name inspiration to be private, yet I’ve given hints about the reason. I suppose one of the most prominent reasons that I’m prepared to go into is that I feel disconnected, or not part of any particular group or sound. I desperately move away from cliques or trends. Producers and DJs who support me are always reciprocated but I don’t feel I’m connected to anything or anyone and that is while heartedly my own choice. Sometimes I feel this is to my detriment but I don’t ride off the back of anyone and do it all on my own terms.
How was the recording and writing process?
The process in general was a lengthy one! There was a house move during the recording and mixing phases which slowed me down considerable. Once I’d moved and set up the home studio, it took a while for the new room to feel and sound right. Another thing was there wasn’t to be any samples. I don’t like using samples, some producers have based their whole careers on sampling other material and that is just not for me. For example, a track on the album titled ‘Wide Boy Groove’ sounds like I’ve sampled an old disco joint, yet I wrote and produced a disco track of my own and then sampled it and chopped it accordingly. I took it back to my roots and gave it some filter action and added brass elements. It’s is 100%. No samples.
What role does the UK play in your music?
I can’t say that the UK plays any role in my music. As inspiration goes, I’d probably say that I’m more inspired by French, German and American producers.
Having started your career back on the 90s – does that decade still influence your work in any way?
Absolutely. I can’t say that it does all the time but I feel I enjoy dipping my toes into the sounds of that era. The album certainly has many nods to my early rave and clubbing days. However, It has to feel new. But it’s good to look at older material when trying to look forward. Even if it is to confirm that you’re not treading on familiar ground.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
The music can normally direct me somewhere, yet you can’t beat love, sex and passion to get the proverbial juices flowing. Pardon the pun. The three tracks with guest vocals are ‘Gone Missing’ with Shyam P, ‘Do You Believe’ with Tigerlight and ‘Pick It Up / Drop It’ with Fitz Da Chilli Punk. They guys all had free reign on their vocal and melodic input. Their input was perfect.
Any plans to hit the road?
My wife is about to have out fourth child, so gigs will be on the back foot for a while. Although I’m regularly asked to perform in some capacity.
What else is happening next in Mark Zowie’s world?
I’ve going to send some new material to a few labels that I’m interested in, as well as maintaing the Jula Music output. Jula is the label that I set up in 2016 for like-minded artists and I. We’re accepting new demos now if anyone is interested.