Interview: James Dexter

James Dexter’s relentless commitment to British club music has seen him build a fortified bunker of infectious, club-primed, house anthems.

As a selector, his talents have seen him play clubs like Studio 338, Ministry of Sound and fabric, and his own productions have landed on Moan, PIV and Gruuv.

James also heads up his own label, Inermu, where he has released rough ’n ready thumpers from Timmy P, Chris Stussy and Mihai Popoviciu.

We recently had a chat with the UK artist on his experience as a label owner, what other labels he might be releasing on soon, and his brand new Galaxy EP on Gruuv.

You just released a new EP on Gruuv with Leonardo Gonnelli, what’s the idea behind this one?

The idea behind the EP was to make solid dance floor based tracks that we would both play, as well as to create tracks that blended both of our styles together.

And how did you come together with Leonardo?

Leonardo and myself connected through both having released on Gruuv, and I had also previously remixed a track of Leonardo’s on Gruuv last year so after talking online we decided to start working on some music together.

Being based in different countries we sent project stems and ideas back and forth, taking it in turns to add & rework parts until we were happy with the end results.

Alongside Gruuv, you’ve also released your music on your own label Inermu, Moan, AVOTRE and others, what labels might we see you on in 2020?

I have lots of releases already scheduled for release in 2020, so you’ll be hearing music from myself on the likes of Crosstown Rebels, Leftroom, RAWMoments, as well as my own label Inermu.

Is there any advice you would give to an aspiring producer when it comes to getting signed to the bigger labels?

Stay positive, work hard and believe in what you are doing 110% and everything will follow. Don’t be dis-heartened when bigger labels say no, see it as a new opportunity to send to someone else. A track that doesn’t work for one label, could be the perfect track for another.

Keep knocking at the door of the bigger labels but don’t forget to work with and help build up upcoming labels, as the upcoming labels of today could be the bigger labels in the future.

We have seen you play fabric, Studio 338 and Ministry Of Sound, how much does the club factor in to your track selection and mix style?

It plays a big part in track selection, there are lots of different factors that come in to play, for example; sound system, club capacity, the position of the DJ booth and if it’s on the dance floor or on a stage etc.

But most important of all is the crowd and the energy you get from them. No club is the same and it’s important to play different venues with an open mind and work out what tracks work best for that moment in time.

And can you sum up the ‘James Dexter Experience’ in one sentence?

Grooving beats to keep you dancing.

The current decade comes to a close in just a few weeks, what have been your biggest moments from the past ten years?

It’s very hard to pick, but I’d say touring around the world in general has to be up there. It is something that I’ve worked towards for many years and the last couple of years I’ve been able to travel and play around the world in some amazing countries and some awesome parties. Also doing my label showcase at fabric is up there for me as a stand out highlight.

And what do you hope the next ten will bring?

I have a number of different goals that I am still working towards and things I want to achieve, including big plans to build the label further and develop the brand into bigger events and parties. But overall I hope the next decade will bring more amazing parties and great music.

Leonardo Gonnelli & James Dexter’s Galaxy EP is out now on Gruuv.