Below is an exclusive interview with Copyright whose "Defected in the House - Miami 2007" mixed compilation will be released by Defected at the beginning of march.
Sam Holt and Gavin Mills are the DJ duo that are known as Copyright. They are rapidly on their way up the DJ hierarchy, fast becoming the must have performers on the world club circuit. Synonymous for their signature funky main room, afro style house and unique Dj'ing and production they have been invited to mix the latest "In the House" compilation series for Defected. Here they explain why the Miami Music conference puts you in the spotlight, how DJ's ALWAYS get the girls and why they insist on wearing Adidas.
Question: Do you have any new years resolutions?
Sam: Try and have more of a social life, and get out there. I need to see this wonderful city of London that we live in. We know clubs and places all over the world, but in London I couldn't tell you where the hot places were to go to.
Gav: Same one as every year, quit smoking. This year I've started reading an Alan Carr book, which is really helping. I've got about halfway through it, and I'm just not enjoying smoking anymore.
Question: What makes you unique as DJs?
Gav: I think it's the way we play together. I mean we've been playing together for seven years now and we don't have separate record boxes, we both play out of the same box. We think about what record we're going to play together. For example if I've put a record on I'm already thinking about what record Sam might play and the same goes for him.
Sam: Recently we've been getting clubs to install four decks and two mixers, so there can be parts of our set where several tracks are playing at the same time which makes us completely unique. We're not DJing as Sam Holt and Gavin Mills, We're DJing as Copyright.
Question: How did you feel when you where asked to do the next "In The House" mix?
Sam: Really chuffed, it is a great honour for us to represent a label such as Defected.
Gav: It feels great to be in the "In The House" club. Plus, we get to play all the new tracks, two months before anyone else.
Question: How do you know what the big tracks of the new year are going to be?
Sam: You kind of get a sense on certain records. You have to look for a track that stands out, a track that is different from the rest. The artist is a big clue as well. Most people will release tunes in January and February for the summer. The days of handing out tunes round the pool in Miami at the conference are long gone.
Question: What is so important about the Miami Winter Music Conference? What relevance does it have on us in the UK?
Sam: It has been an established gathering for so long now, and over the years there have been so many big records that have been born out of that conference. It brings industry and clubbing together, it's almost like a showcase of the year's music.
Gav: I think it gives producers something to work towards, it helps bring better music to the scene.
Sam: Yeah, Miami's like a spot light, so even if you don't go, you still see what comes out of it.
Question: Describe one mad moment you've had at the conference?
Gav: We were at a label party one night. We came out with Knee Deep after drinking rather a lot, and we went for a burger. On the way back to our hotel we went down a road in Lincoln which has loads of little swimming pool things along it, that are only about 2-3 inches deep. So I said to Basty from Knee Deep, 'I dare you $50 to dive into that head first.' So he said 'OK yah, I will do this'. So he strips down, at 4 in the morning in just his Calvins, does a little Flintstones run-up and dives in head first. We were just cracking up. It was the best $50 we ever spent.
Question: What are the differences between the two Miami mixes on the CD?
Sam: The first CD is your daytime mix; chillin' by the pool with your pina colada and your dope shades on. There's a lot more down-tempo musically driven tracks. The second CD is night time, where we take it into the club and it's still soulful but we've got some bangin' beats in there.
Gav: Yeah, some deeper and darker stuff in there.
Sam: The third CD is a collection of Miami classics that we're compiling right now. All the biggest tracks from the Miami clubs over the years.
Question: Do you think you've captured the spirit of the conference with this mix?
Sam: We've been going to the conference for 8 or 9 years now, so we like to think we know the daytime poolside vibe. We think of that, we do the mix. We go club hopping, to 5 clubs in one night. You go to one club and it's banging techy stuff, in another it's really soulful. Y'know it's that real mix but all really great music, and that's what we've tried to do with the comp as well.
Question: What are the exclusives on the album?
Sam: The new Soul Central single "Time After Time", new Copyright produced record featuring Lisa Millet "Don't Bring Me Down" and exclusive mixes of Mr. V "Da Bump".
Question: What about when you are travelling, what do you eat?
Sam: Well, we always try to eat healthy, but when we go away its room service. Saying that you can't beat a DJ midnight burger.
Gav: It's like a tradition every time we go to the airport with Dunmore (Simon Dunmore Defected Head) , we go and have a McDonald's before we get on the flight.
Sam: It's feel good food.
Question: Is it true that DJs always get the girls?
Gav: Not always, I remember one time we did go back to the hotel without any girls.
Question: So What Do You Think The Attraction Is For The Girls?
Gav: It's cos we're good with our hands.
Sam: I think truthfully, we're often stood in a club before our set and a girl will walk past and not give us a second look. Four hours later after our set she wants to be our best mate! I think it's the fact that we're up there performing that turns the ladies on. It's an asset. We often travel to some exotic places all around the world, and we get to see a lot of exotic women.
Question: What would you say is a negative aspect of being a DJ?
Gav: Not having a social life. I would love to spend a Saturday night staying in, but we rarely get weekends off.
Sam: Proper relationships can be tested, because of our schedule.
Gav: I hate the whole airport thing.
Question: So, would you say travelling is a pain?
Sam: Definitely! Don't get me wrong though, the time spent playing at these wicked clubs is what we live for, but the time spent travelling to them gets a bit much sometimes. Gav said to me the other day while we were waiting in a queue at Gatwick, “this is where we earn our money”.
Question: Do you find you are ready to perform and do your best after a long time spent travelling?
Sam: Personally I find that I can be ill, tired whatever but when I'm DJing that's what I do. It almost normalises me and takes me to a happy place.
Gav: Yeah, if the gig's good you just pick up that energy, the vibe carries you.
Question: Truthfully, describe your lifestyles?
Sam: I'm actually really into design, but I'm very minimal. I've got an old Victorian flat but it's very minimal and very modern. I also get a lot of inspiration while on our travels. I'm mad on fashion, really into Adidas trainers. I've probably got fifty or sixty pairs to my name.
Question: Favourite pair?
Sam: Adidas Super Skate. Haven't actually got a pair yet, but I did see a pair on e-bay for fifteen hundred, so…
Question: What about you Gav, describe your lifestyle?
Gav: I like to decorate my flat with furniture from around the world. I picked up an art deco Cuban style sofa from Thailand and got it shipped back. It turned out that the cost of shipping it home was more expensive than the furniture! I also like to collect toys, Urban Vinyl stuff mostly. They're like little crazy characters that sometimes wear funky little clothes, they're collectables. Both Sam and I love to collect stuff, I think it stems from collecting records. Most DJs I know have a real passion for collectables.
Question: Why is it that you always wear Adidas to gigs?
Sam: It gives us a look and we both love.
Gav: I think it gives us an identity. Roger Sanchez wears a Kangol hat backwards and has a goatee. I mean we're two guys from the UK and we can't pull off that Bronx look, so I suppose this is our own kind of look.
Question: Is this a special time for you as DJs?
Sam: Yes definitely.
Gav: Yeah a lot of special projects are going for us at the mo. After 7 years we are finally making are own album, I really feel Copyright is moving forward.
Sam: Also, some of the people that we have looked up to for years are now contacting us wanting us to work with them, so that's cool.
Question: How do you feel about criticism? Do you get criticism?
Sam: There is good and bad criticism. If you're successful in any business you're going to get criticism.
Gav: The criticism we do get, for example "Why can't Copyright stop doing that tired Afro sound." I take it with a pinch of salt. Why do people bother to criticise, I don't go out of my way to criticise others?
Question: What would be your message to them?
Gav: F*** OFF!!
Question: Would you work with somebody if the money was right?
Sam: How much? Joking, no we wouldn't. We get offered about twenty remixes a year and we probably do three.
Gav: It depends, how much and who?
Sam & Gav: Yes, a Timmy Mallet track for £50K.
Question: Name your top three wedding songs?
Sam: Lionel Richie "All Night Long", Village People "YMCA" and Diana Ross "Upside Down".
Gav: The Beatles "Twist and Shout".
Question: What kind of punters do you hate to meet on your travels?
Sam: The ones that you can't hear, while DJing. Even when you've told them you can't hear them some will still carry on talking to you.
Gav: People who are really drunk and people who ask for requests.
Question: Have you got a message to people who ask for requests?
Sam: If you ask a DJ politely to play a record and if the DJ politely tells you he hasn't got it, then politely leave.
Question: What has been your own biggest track to date?
Gav:"Bulo" with Shovell
Question: Which record are you most proud of?
Sam: For me its "We Can Rise", it sums up where we are at the moment and our DJing experiences so far.
Question: What is it about a track that makes it quality? Is there anything you do when you set out to make a record?
Gav: The first thing we think of when making a record is; would we play it?
Sam: We pay a lot of attention to beats. House music is all about the groove so the beat is the foundation to the track.
Gav: It has to have a distinctive element that makes it stand out from other tracks. It has to be timeless. Some records die out with in months but truly great records can still appeal to people ten, twenty, thirty years on.
Question: Last year was a big year for you, what are your plans for this year?
Sam: We're currently working on our artist album with Defected.
Gav: We don't have a name for it yet, but something to do with the international flavour of the album. We're trying to make the album so it'll appeal to people right across the globe.
Sam: Because it's a big deal, doing an album, you've gotta find that one sentence that probably means something to me and Gav that describes what we do, and it is something to do with jet-setting about.
Question: When is that due for release?
Sam: Sam: Hopefully July, but we're currently also working on other interesting projects that may not be album based.
Question: Next Single?
Sam: We don't know yet. We've got a few in the can, but nothing has been decided.
Gav: We're gonna have like four or five new tracks for the album, and once we've got those completed we'll be starting to think 'which is the new single from these?', but the album is the focus right now.