Interview

Prok & Fitch: Beatport Number One’s, Green Velvet And More

Prok & Fitch have become a dominating force within the underground dance music scene.

| by | Features, Interviews

Ben Prok and James Fitch have been putting the hard hours into their careers over the last couple of decades, but most recently, their name has come to fruition. The duo have been appearing on many of the biggest underground labels out there including Toolroom Records, Relief Records and other such names. With a number of high profile singles to their names, Prok & Fitch are enduring one of their busiest times in their career. But by the looks of things, they have a lot more planned for the future.

The world around Prok & Fitch has been a major storm, with the name becoming synonymous with huge hits. As the duo behind the name, what is it like to experience such a rise to fame within the underground dance music scene?

Thanks for the kind words. We’d say our musical journey has been more of a steady growth. We started working together back in 1997, and have been pretty much full time since that period. Of recent years our ‘Sheeple’ collaboration with Green Velvet has definitely been our biggest track, picking up strong support from all corners of the dance world & hanging on the overall Beatport No.1 spot for such a long time. It’s a great thing to be able to travel the world doing what you love, obviously like anything in life there’s downsides but all in all we’re extremely grateful for what we get to experience.

And within this experience, have you noticed a change within the scene, a growth with more and more people interacting with underground dance?

Yes definitely I think people became bored with the whole EDM scene and everything that went with it. The underground will always have a strong scene regardless of musical fads, its where it all began. It just so happens the underground sound is much more popular now it’s almost become the norm, thanks to people like Jamie Jones & Eats Everything the scene is absolutely buzzing & thriving as much today as it was back in the 90’s.

Success has littered the career of Prok & Fitch over the last year or so. ‘Sheeple’ recently spent ten weeks as Beatport Number One, a collaboration with Green Velvet. What is it like to know that fans are listening, buying and supporting your music?

Fans are very special, and a main reason we do what we do, nothing beats seeing people having a good time whether that’s dancing in a club, or listening to our music on the way to work. People have shown us such a great level of support over the years, it’s super cheesy to say but we’d still be playing in our bedrooms if wasn’t for people liking what we’re doing, we’re extremely grateful for all the love we receive.

This followed with yet another EP on the mighty Green Velvet’s label. What is it like to work with the iconic producer?

It’s a pretty special thing when you get to work with someone that you’ve respected and admired ever since we both got into electronic music. We couldn’t speak any higher of Curtis, without doubt he’s one of the nicest guys we’ve met in the industry and is an absolute genius when it’s comes to writing vocals and making records. He massively encourages us to think outside the box and make what we want to make encouraging our darker side, there’s no pressure to make a certain sound, which is exactly what you want to hear as an artist.

‘Wailer’ has probably been mutually our favourite record for some time, and getting to work with (Dajae) on Minder was a massive personal achievement for us, it’s a timeless EP that we’ll be hammering in our DJ sets for some time.

And rumour has it that more new music is likely to be on its way with the artist?

Yeah we started a new idea almost straight away that’s sounding pretty cool so far, it’s a record that we’ll keep on going back to and improving before releasing. Next up with Curtis is our remix of his iconic record ‘La La Land’ we’ve been working on this for a little while and given it a completely different spin to the original. The initial club reaction has been ridiculous so we can’t wait for this one to come out in the spring.

The last few years you have worked with the likes of Toolroom Records, Relief Records and other major labels. Would you say working with such labels has aided the way you produce music and your techniques?

We’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most respected labels in the dance world. Generally all labels have there own sound that slightly sets them apart from the rest. When we sit down in the studio 95% of the time we know what label we’d aim to release the record on before we even start laying the record out, we very much tailor our records for individual labels.

This leads us to Prok & Fitch within the studio. How do you approach an idea or new track when entering the studio? Is there a specific process which you carry out?

Yeah we always start any production with an initial hook idea this could be an old soul vocal that we’ve sampled, a bass line or something else that’s inspired us. Next up it’s the drums (probably our production trademark) and this can take a while: for us drums and the right groove is the most important part of our music. Once the initial hook and grove are good enough, we then take reference from other records not specifically from house genre and start building the track, doing this helps us to think out of the box and try new production techniques that we wouldn’t usually do.

The track arrangement usually takes some time, we’re constantly tweaking in between testing versions out in our live sets, the most important part for us is that the track works as well as it can on the dance floor, if this means doing 15 versions and we’re sick of the record before its released then so be it.

In terms of ideas and drawing inspiration for tracks, is there a source from which you draw these ideas? Or is it a matter of sitting in the studio and messing around with instruments?

Yeah pretty much everything we do in the studio is a result of an initial sample. We have many 1000’s of acapellas often spending days just going through them picking out single words or phrases we can use for vocal hooks.

With the vast range of artists on the scene now, are there any out there that you would particularly like to work with?

Yeah there are a lot of very talented producers around at the moment, some of our current favorites would have to include Detlef & Nathan Barato, both guys are on fire at the moment and have a distinctive original sound.

The next few months are likely to be busy for Prok & Fitch, so what can fans of the duo expect to see over these next few months and into the summer?

The foreseeable touring future looks pretty crazy, Miami MMW was particularly good this year: we played some great parties over there. Outside of that we’ll be spending lots of time in North America and naturally we’re both looking forward to Ibiza and the European festival season. Check out facebook.com/prokfitch for a full list of our forthcoming gigs.

Finally, what would be your one piece of advice for a new and upcoming artist looking to break onto the scene?

Originality is key both in the studio and DJing. Be inspired by music you love, but definitely try and give it your own spin, it can take a seriously long time to develop your own sound but stick with it, patience is key. Outside of the studio networking is vital, try and make natural links with artists, labels and club nights; everyone wants to discover exciting new talent. It’s so important not to annoy people though, being humble, polite & friendly are all quality’s that will help you out, as well as getting stuck in and partying!

For more information on Prok & Fitch:
https://www.facebook.com/ProkFitch
https://twitter.com/prokfitch
https://soundcloud.com/prokfitch

Prok & Fitch

Ben Prok and James Fitch have been putting the hard hours into their careers over the last couple of decades, but most recently, their name has come to fruition. The duo have been appearing on many of the biggest underground labels out there including Toolroom Records, Relief Records and other such names. With a number of high profile singles to their names, Prok & Fitch are enduring one of their busiest times in their career. But by the looks of things, they have a lot more planned for the future.

The world around Prok & Fitch has been a major storm, with the name becoming synonymous with huge hits. As the duo behind the name, what is it like to experience such a rise to fame within the underground dance music scene?

Thanks for the kind words. We’d say our musical journey has been more of a steady growth. We started working together back in 1997, and have been pretty much full time since that period. Of recent years our ‘Sheeple’ collaboration with Green Velvet has definitely been our biggest track, picking up strong support from all corners of the dance world & hanging on the overall Beatport No.1 spot for such a long time. It’s a great thing to be able to travel the world doing what you love, obviously like anything in life there’s downsides but all in all we’re extremely grateful for what we get to experience.

And within this experience, have you noticed a change within the scene, a growth with more and more people interacting with underground dance?

Prok & Fitch

Yes definitely I think people became bored with the whole EDM scene and everything that went with it. The underground will always have a strong scene regardless of musical fads, its where it all began. It just so happens the underground sound is much more popular now it’s almost become the norm, thanks to people like Jamie Jones & Eats Everything the scene is absolutely buzzing & thriving as much today as it was back in the 90’s.

Success has littered the career of Prok & Fitch over the last year or so. ‘Sheeple’ recently spent ten weeks as Beatport Number One, a collaboration with Green Velvet. What is it like to know that fans are listening, buying and supporting your music?

Fans are very special, and a main reason we do what we do, nothing beats seeing people having a good time whether that’s dancing in a club, or listening to our music on the way to work. People have shown us such a great level of support over the years, it’s super cheesy to say but we’d still be playing in our bedrooms if wasn’t for people liking what we’re doing, we’re extremely grateful for all the love we receive.

This followed with yet another EP on the mighty Green Velvet’s label. What is it like to work with the iconic producer?

Prok & Fitch

It’s a pretty special thing when you get to work with someone that you’ve respected and admired ever since we both got into electronic music. We couldn’t speak any higher of Curtis, without doubt he’s one of the nicest guys we’ve met in the industry and is an absolute genius when it’s comes to writing vocals and making records. He massively encourages us to think outside the box and make what we want to make encouraging our darker side, there’s no pressure to make a certain sound, which is exactly what you want to hear as an artist.

 

Yeah we started a new idea almost straight away that’s sounding pretty cool so far, it’s a record that we’ll keep on going back to and improving before releasing. Next up with Curtis is our remix of his iconic record ‘La La Land’ we’ve been working on this for a little while and given it a completely different spin to the original. The initial club reaction has been ridiculous so we can’t wait for this one to come out in the spring.

The last few years you have worked with the likes of Toolroom Records, Relief Records and other major labels. Would you say working with such labels has aided the way you produce music and your techniques?

This leads us to Prok & Fitch within the studio. How do you approach an idea or new track when entering the studio? Is there a specific process which you carry out?

Prok & Fitch

Yeah we always start any production with an initial hook idea this could be an old soul vocal that we’ve sampled, a bass line or something else that’s inspired us. Next up it’s the drums (probably our production trademark) and this can take a while: for us drums and the right groove is the most important part of our music. Once the initial hook and grove are good enough, we then take reference from other records not specifically from house genre and start building the track, doing this helps us to think out of the box and try new production techniques that we wouldn’t usually do.

The track arrangement usually takes some time, we’re constantly tweaking in between testing versions out in our live sets, the most important part for us is that the track works as well as it can on the dance floor, if this means doing 15 versions and we’re sick of the record before its released then so be it.

In terms of ideas and drawing inspiration for tracks, is there a source from which you draw these ideas? Or is it a matter of sitting in the studio and messing around with instruments?

Prok & Fitch

Yeah there are a lot of very talented producers around at the moment, some of our current favorites would have to include Detlef & Nathan Barato, both guys are on fire at the moment and have a distinctive original sound.

The next few months are likely to be busy for Prok & Fitch, so what can fans of the duo expect to see over these next few months and into the summer?

The foreseeable touring future looks pretty crazy, Miami MMW was particularly good this year: we played some great parties over there. Outside of that we’ll be spending lots of time in North America and naturally we’re both looking forward to Ibiza and the European festival season. Check out facebook.com/prokfitch for a full list of our forthcoming gigs.

Finally, what would be your one piece of advice for a new and upcoming artist looking to break onto the scene?

Originality is key both in the studio and DJing. Be inspired by music you love, but definitely try and give it your own spin, it can take a seriously long time to develop your own sound but stick with it, patience is key. Outside of the studio networking is vital, try and make natural links with artists, labels and club nights; everyone wants to discover exciting new talent. It’s so important not to annoy people though, being humble, polite & friendly are all quality’s that will help you out, as well as getting stuck in and partying!

For more information on Prok & Fitch:
https://www.facebook.com/ProkFitch
https://twitter.com/prokfitch
https://soundcloud.com/prokfitch

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