Underhill Festival

Underhill Exclusive: Interview with Richy Ahmed

Richy Ahmed is at the forefront of a new wave of British DJs, who are re-defining house music taking cues from disco, techno, funk and hip-hop.

Over the last year British house music has been through a renaissance with a whole new generation of DJs and producers like Robert James, Julio Bashmore, Russ Yallop and Maya Jane Coles quickly making names for themselves. In the midst of this surge of homegrown talent is Richy Ahmed, Hot Natured resident and part of the Hot Creations inner circle. Richy has spent the last two summers cutting his teeth at some world’s best parties including, Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, Sonar in Barcelona, The Nexus at Burning Man in the middle of the Nevada desert, Glastonbury Festival’s 40th Anniversary, We Love at Space in Ibiza and the Get Lost and Hot Natured parties in Miami. Playing alongside some of house music’s biggest stars, Richy is regularly tipped as one to watch by the likes of Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, Clive Henry and Seth Troxler. Hailing from Newcastle in the north of the UK, he still makes regular appearances at events across the UK such as Below in Birmingham, Sankeys in Manchester, MuMu in Liverpool, The Breakfast Club in Bristol and London’s notorious Sunday afterhours institution Kubicle.

Richy, the last couple of years have seen you travel the world from Ibiza and Nevada to Sydney. Where have you most enjoyed playing?
Club Wise, I’ve most enjoyed playing Fabric. I had the priveledge to play there twice in 6 weeks, once in Room 3 for the Hot Natured party and then In Room 1 with Art Department both amazing experiences for totally different reasons. For the one most amazing gig it has to be the Nexus arena in burning man last year.

You have been a rising star on the house scene for while now, where do you see this rise taking you?
I’m not sure hopefully to the top of my game or at least around there. My main aim is to improve all the time and get my sound to as many ears as I can without having to compromise any artistic integrity. playing to big arenas for massive fees is one thing but if it means not playing what I want or at the least what I’m comfortable with then I’m not interested. It’s not all about the dollar with me.

It’s clear you have a wide appreciation for music in it’s varied forms, but who have been your major influences?
My major influences are House, Hip-Hop and Disco. I’ve found that you really pin point your influences when you start producing music then it really becomes more specific what influences you as you work out where certain sounds and grooves come from.

Any plans for an album in the future?
Yes definitely. I want quite a few more strong releases under my belt and to work hard on mastering my keyboard and production skills then in a year or 2 I’m going to start on an artist album. I’ve already started thinking of ideas now and it is going to have plenty vocals from me so that should be interesting, or scary depending on which way you look at it.

As a regular punter what was your best dance music experience?
Probably my summers spent at DC 10 every week from 2002 2005 It is where I developed a real passion for the music and met so many friends still close to me now and who I’d say a good 50-60 % of them work within dance music in some form or other now. Including the person who gave me this interview.

If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive who would that be?
If I had to name one person it would have to be Notorious B.I.G.

Doner or shish?
Shish

Ice cream or sorbet?
Ice cream

Festival

About

Located slap-bang in between Bristol and Bournemouth is Underhill Festival – two days and nights of the finest electronic and Balkan talent appearing from 29th July to 31st July, Ridgewood Park, East Knoyle, in Wiltshire.

Nestled in a natural amphitheater surrounded by dense woodland, Underhill offers an intimate crowd of 2500 people a diverse offering of music and art featuring local food and drink. Catch the brass bands, wobbly bellies and Rakia shots before you bury yourself in one of our circus-style big-top blackout dance tents.

Tickets

Tickets are now available to buy online. UNDERHILL IS AN OVER 18 EVENT.
ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCED.

Early Bird Weekend Ticket: £46 + Booking Fee (inc. camping)
Standard Weekend Ticket: £52 + Booking Fee (inc. camping)

Booking Fee equals 2.50% of the value of your ticket.

E-tickets must be printed for us to scan and exchange for a wristband at the festival gate. Your ticket is attached as a PDF document with your email confirmation. With your wristband, you have access to both the festival arena and camping area.

Please note that tickets are non-refundable, we are willing to swap the name on ticket purchased though. Send us an email to ticket@underhillfestival.co.uk

Conditions of Booking Tickets

Tickets for Underhill Festival events are sold under the following conditions:
The following payment charge fees apply per ticket for bookings online: Early Bird Weekend Ticket, £1.15 and Standard Weekend Ticket £1.30.

Tickets cannot be refunded or re-sold above face value. Defaced tickets will not be accepted. When exchanged on site, wristbands are non-interchangeable and should not be removed until after the festival.

Without a valid ticket, entry into the festival site/campsite will not be permitted. Early arrivers will not be admitted.
Ticket Holders who are under 21 may be questioned and should bring personal identification.
Underhill Festival is an adult-only event.

No animals (except guide dogs) are allowed in festival site/campsite.
No glass will be permitted.

Alcohol is allowed on site, but not beyond the camping area – there will be licensed bars and a wide choice of food available.

All parking and camping is free for cars, for the date permitted on your ticket only. Ticket Holders must leave the site by noon Sunday.

Anyone requiring use of the disabled camping area must arrange this in advance.

No open fires, naked flames, disposable BBQs or Chinese lanterns on the campsite or in festival site.
The Festival reserves the right to add, withdraw or substitute artists, and to vary the advertised programme and timings without being liable to pay any compensation whatsoever.

Photographic, video or audio reproduction of artists is prohibited.

Ticket Holders consent to inclusion in official photographic, visual and audio promotion of the festival.

The Festival reserves the right to refuse admission or to eject a ticket holder for behaviour likely to cause damage, injury, nuisance or annoyance or for failure to comply with the reasonable requests of The Festival.
The Festival reserves the right to search Ticket Holders if there is cause or suspicion.

Vehicles parked at owner’s risk.

Location

Amongst the fields out there lies this years location…

Where is Underhill?

Underhill is located near the village of East Knoyle in Wiltshire, situated in the southwest of Wiltshire where the countryside blends into Dorset. Much of the area falls under a Conservation Order and is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Ridgewood Park is absolutely stunning.

Festival Hours

From noon Friday 29th July, Underhill’s gates will open to the public. Music will commence from later in the afternoon, you’ll have time to get settled in. On Sunday 31st July, the public are required to leave site by 1pm.

Parking

Parking is free and it’s not more than a five/ten minute walk to the festival entrance. There are allocated parking areas for those camping in tents – for everyone’s safety we do not allow cars to unload or stop in roadways or to be parked next to tents.

Alcohol

We don’t mind if you bring your own alcohol as far as the camping area – no glass though. In the festival arena two bars will serve reasonably priced, chilled pints. Fingers crossed for some sunshine…

Drugs

Underhill does not condone the use or possession of illegal substances. Any individuals found in possession of such substances will be evicted from the festival and handed over to the police.

Comments

“Having been chosen by Channel 4′s Evo Music Rooms as one of the best UK unsigned around, while touring tirelessly nationally and internationally, 2010 was an awesome year for ATMT. Out of all the festivals and stages where we played, one stands out as a very special memory for the band – when we played at Underhill. Upon arrival we thought the location and the festival itself was a bit surreal; but soon, as we met with the friendly organisers, staff, and the people in attendance, we found the whole experience to be enchanting. We loved it there. It may have been one of the smaller gigs we’ve ever played but definitely one of our most memorable ones – and one of my personal favourites.”

Crews

Blowpop

Since the early beginnings back in 1996, Blowpop crew has consistently put on top nights with the cream of DJing talent from home and abroad.

Flying in the face of the house-based music policies of many of Bristol’s big venues, BlowPop put on breakbeat, hip hop and reggae attracting Mr. Scruff, Mark Rae, Jon Carter, the Wiseguyz, Propellerheads, Nightmares on Wax, Renegade Soundwave, and the Freestylers to the early parties.

Since they have continued in their own unique style. Residents today are Stereo 8, Real Nice, Sway 2, Steve Redux and Doctor Moody.

Crazylegs

Crazylegs is our clubnight based in Bristol, UK. We launched in 2008 and since then we’ve packed crowds into the city’s biggest and smallest venues, booking the best up-and-coming DJ/producers alongside some of our personal favourites. 2010 was our best year yet, rounded off with Venue magazine naming us “top club” in their review of the year.

We don’t really have a music policy – we’re all into different types of music so we book all sorts. Last year we put on everything from Baltimore club, through US house, Glasgow hip hop and Dutch dubstep, to the top artists in the London bass scene. Our residents come from a variety of Bristol’s best clubnights and labels, and have hosted shows on Rinse, Hivemind and Passion FM.

We’ve thrown joint parties with Mad Decent, Hessle Audio, Urban Nerds, Wifey and Soul Motive, and have received press coverage from Resident Advisor, FACT Magazine, Chew the Fat!, Metro and Venue. Our visuals are handled by a team of local creatives including Devilmode, Daddison, Shifteye and Shotaway.

We Are Your Friends

From humble beings as art college house parties in Bournemouth (Dorset), WAYF has grown into one of the UK’s biggest and brightest alternative club nights. A new breed of club night, born from the love of rock and rave, neon paint, Indie guitars, dirty electro bleebs, big basslines and dub-stepping.

Rated in Mixmag magazine as one of the top 10 club nights in the UK of 2009-2010. Look out for even bigger WAYF parties in 2011 across the UK, starting with Underhill.

Since 2007 they have played host to some of the biggest and best names in dance music including: Example, DJ Zinc, Nero, Jack Beats, Herve, DJ Fresh, Redlight & MC Dread, Foamo, Jakwob, Caspa, Kissy Sellout, Brodinski, Man Like Me, Doctor P, Eddy Temple Morris, A1 Bassline, Tom Starr, Emalkay, Drums Of Death, Chew Lips, Rob Da Bank, Killa Kela, Crystal Fighters, AC Slater, Modestep, Jeuce, Doorly, Jaymo & Andy George, N-Type, Alex Metric, The Mystery Jets, Raffertie, Urchins, Heavyfeet, Martello, Stopmakingme, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur and more.

The Breakfast Club

Parties in interesting spaces with an anything goes music policy brought to you by residents, friends and special guests – it’s Bristol’s Breakfast Club, a modern day speakeasy catering for the early risers and the stay-out laters, serving up the very best in underground dance music to start your day with a smile.

Not just another tech-house crack on – an anything goes musical pedigree brought to you by residents, friends and some very special guests.

Get Your Geek On!

Get Your Geek On are an established DJ collective but also run a monthly club night under the same name at Sixty Million Postcards, Bournemouth and at Baby Simple, Oxford. Over the past 18 months the GYGO Presents parties at Baby Simple have been gaining a reputation around Oxford as one of the most respected and popular underground nights, bringing together respected DJ’s and producers from around the country with some of the most forward thinking local talent. For Underhill the GYGO boys are going to delving into the deeper side of things bringing you Hesseltime resident at the notorious Trouble Vision nights at Corsica, along with Leisureware co-founder of the Fill Yer Boots blog and club night at Plan B. They will be supported by Oxford’s Queen of disco Angie Walter, Pejhy blogger deluxe Mush and the GYGO boys themselves – keeping you dancing into the small hours.

Balkanarama

Balkanarama is returning to Underhill once again to offer a quota of Balkan so dear to Underhill’s heart.
To Underhill they bring mountains of homemade baklava, pots of sweet Turkish coffee, liters of rakija, amazing dance performances and some mean Balkan Beats with live brass.
BALKANARAMA pulls together lots of amazing musicians, from abroad but also from all over the UK (there are usually around 20-30 musicians performing at each Balkanarama – it is packed with live performance!) Exciting, high energy, with high quality of music and an element of madness, it gives audience an opportunity to experience an incredible appeal of Balkan music, to ‘balkan out’! These guys are special.

“Balkan is the new punk!”

The Scotsman (UK)

“You are hit by something utterly alive and you are able to see beyond the shiny instruments, wobbly bellies and rattling drums right into Balkanarama’s heart. And it beats fast and furious”
“A truly unique event” with “some of the finest gypsy-jazz musicians around”
The List (UK)

Lineup

Martyn (3024) New Live Show
Julio Bashmore (Dirtybird)
Lone (R&S;)
Fatima live (Eglo)
FunkinEven (Eglo)
Ossie (Hyperdub)
Outboxx (Well Rounded)
EFA (Pollen)
Shandy (Crazylegs)
Kelly Twins (UFO)
Jambo (Freejive)
Spooks & Shaun P (Work)
in association with Crack Magazine
Richy Ahmed (Hot Natured)
Waifs & Strays (Leftroom)
Lukas: Live (Alfresco Disco)
Christophe (Redux records)
El-Harvo (Futureboogie)
Ed Karney (Breakfast club)
Gypsy Hill
DJ Kobayashi
Miss Zenina
DJ Sashkana
Live Balkan Jam Session
VJ Sestra
Erol Alkan (Alt. Set)
Alex Metric
Krafty Kuts
Round Table Knights
Zombie Disco Squad
Oliver $
A-Skillz
Stereo 8 b2b Amo
Real Nice
Sway 2
Dub Boy
Ghettospheric
Feel the Real soundsystem
Stopmakingme
Duffstep
Thick as Thieves
OhMan
Ste-V-Something
Maribou State
Skull Juice
Broke DJs
Audio Sleaze
TK421
Tosh Ohta
Hesseltime (Trouble Vision)
Leisureware (FYB)
Angie Walter
Gygo b2b Mush (Pejhy)

Shanti Celeste b2b Jay L
Alex Golesworthy
Seka

Deepgroove
The Other Tribe
Saxedelic – Live
Le Jockey
Park Ranger (Trouble Vision)
Lucas Lafone
Zoo Look
Charles Darkly
Pelski
Jan Doe
Lydia Baylis
PIA
Cubiq
Adam Oppenheimer