Interview: Crookers – “I wanted to touch music with my hands”

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Formally a dance duo, Crookers went solo on the back of 2012, and with new hit ‘Able to Maximise’ going global, we sat down with Phra for a talk on going solo, touring around the world and what he has planned for the rest of 2014.

Known for his crazy music, Phra has made his name all over the world as one of the best live DJ’s on the circuit, check out what he had to say below:

Crookers formed back in 2003, how did it all start?

Well, for me it started earlier, when I was 11 I saw a DJ for the first time and I said “I want to touch music with my hands”. After that I started playing in a club when I was 12 and I used to play RnB and rap from 11pm to 12:30am on Saturday and they used to pay me with a coca cola and a wrap!

Now being on your own, how much different is it being on your own than being in a duo?

Personally, it didn’t change that much for me – I think it’s been harder for the fans, but after a couple of gigs alone people were really satisfied and everything was fine again

Do you prefer it this way?

I think when I was going solo it felt like when I was younger and shared a room with my brother, and then my parents said ‘Ok you should both have your own room now’

What is your process when making music?

I dont have a method to produce music. The most important thing for me is to sit in the studio and play with as many sample/synths/compressors as I can, and try new stuff and have fun.. when a loop stands out i’ll transform it into a song. I’ve got literally more than a thousand loops stored on my computer waiting to become songs.

You’ve had some pretty big collaborations, do you have a favourite?

Oh no, I’ve worked with so many talented people, it’s impossible to choose!

Any artist you would really love to collaborate with?

hmm, myself maybe? I know that sounds very presumptious, but I like collaborating with my aliases; it feels like im collaborating with someone else but in reality its me!

You tend to attract big crowds wherever you go, is it much different performing in the UK compared to the rest of Europe or America?

I started DJ’ing when I was really young and I still have that feeling where I want to push that special record to make people go crazy inside, nothing excites me more than that. I really love to play live, everywhere. I love playing all different types of music and love seeing people’s reactions to some of the crazy music in playing. In the States, everyone loves dance music. It’s a bit different in Europe as the genre lines of music are constantly blurred. In the UK, I always have the impression that people are so into music, so I feel very challenged performing there, challenging in a nice way I mean, as it allows me to play the wierdest stuff that I can find!

Your latest hit ‘Able to Maximise’ must be remixed thousands of times, how do you pick out what remixes you want to put on the remixes EP?

Usually, I get in touch with the artists, see if they like the track and if they want to do a remix, and then hope that they agree! I try to pick artists that differentiate from what I do, that’s how the most interesting things come about, I think.

Do you have a favourite remix of the track?

Not really, everyone who worked on the remixes did something special. I find it really exciting to hear how everyone have given their personal touch to the track.

Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2014?

Well, im pretty busy at the moment, my new album comes out pretty soon, and i’ll be around Europe touring for much of the summer.

Check out the official video for Crookers new single ‘Able to Maximise’ below:

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