Artistes Known As Us
Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Damian from Artistes Known As Us find out more about them…
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
The band consists of Damian (aka Duke/Coolhandduke) The Producer head of the Band and joint originator of the band, James (james the saxman renford) the other half of the original core members who formed the Band after years of playing on and off with each other as session musician and DJ/Promoter whilst Damian was booking acts a young entrepreneur living and working in Malta in the 90's, and latest edition Ian Smirthwaite (aka Ian S... the cool laid back Guitarist) who completed the missing part of the Band after a coincidental chat after a live gig with a Tribute band he and James guested for. I (Damian) went to watch, we chatted as we liked his guitar style and saw the potential and the rest is history! The Ensemble that is now Artistes Known as Us was fully formed, the name was thought of by Damian who is a big fan of Prince and this was a way of paying homage to his genius and was an inspiration to us all which was a name the whole band eventually agreed was cool as it allowed any number of guest artistes, singers etc to be included under the banner and remain to a degree anonymous...
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Our main influences are BB King, James Brown, Prince, Marshall Jefferson, Jackmaster Farley Funk, Nightcrawlers, Roxy Music, New Order and more recently, Rhythm Masters, Cassius, Daft Punk, Axwell, Kaskade, and Disclosure... and Prince again!
How would you describe your sound?
World Techno Funky House.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
The latest single taken from our latest album CASA DISCO, remixed and out on 18th September and on pre-order release from 04.09.17 called "Because, I Love House" a tune Damo (coolhandduke) composed from a melody and rhythmic bass line he composed from an untitled and unreleased project that was left over from the tracks chosen for the 3rd album "The Sunset Remixes" developed in more detail by James, and then our new incumbent in June by Ian S. It was originally called untitled, then it was called "Because 4" which is on The Sunset remixes album, and its final reincarnation was and is "Because (I Love House)", 3 Mixes, Original (on Casa Disco album released today), The Bingo House Mix and Full Phat Mix which is available on iTunes, Apple Music from 18.09.17 but has pre-order release from today too. The Original on the album. The main influence behind the track is my love for House and Garage House that has that old school flava to it but revamped in our own unique style for 2017 with a nod to Nightcrawlers, but arrangement and composition being completely original!
What’s your local music scene like?
It's mainly R&B, Bassline House and commercial House, but there are still a smattering of good underground dance music events, but you really have to look for them... Usually the most credible underground nights can be found at the Rainbow Rooms or the Spotlight Club, one night when it happens that's cool is Cream Birmingham run by George K!
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
Well we've just released (today) our latest work of Art IMHO, "Casa Disco" with 12" Remixes to follow taken from the album and a few new ones before releasing our ultimate album compilation called 'Casa Disco II'... We plan to do a few test promo gigs to boost albums across the UK between December and March next year.. hopefully culminating in a booking or two at a UK Festival and Ibiza? As individuals we are heavily involved in projects or bands who have played or will play in the future at various summer UK festivals in 2018, but we hope to reach our goal to do this as A.K.A. Us in 2018 more often than not... Let's see if our albums and releases have the desired effect of influencing such happenstance!? Watch this space!
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
We are currently about to collaborate with an up and coming Talent in the U.S. called Dj Seventeen... we'd also like to collaborate with Tabz Francis, Maya Wolff, Evah Starr, Daft Punk and The Foo Fighters! Not necessarily in that order! 😁
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
No not really that I can remember right now, but I am sure we will have some funny tales to tell in the future!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
What you hear on the albums and singles we've released to date we can play it live too! What's more the energy levels we emanate from stage performances is exponentially magnified! Live performing of our dance music is at the heart of what we do and want to do more of... Let's hope a club owner, or promoter or two or three is reading this and might consider indulging us... they wont regret it considering the combined music pedigree between us playing, dj'ing, making music with the likes of Sting (James), Alexander O'Neal, The Team, Danny Rampling, Sonique, The 49'rs, The Rhythm Masters, Hed Kandi.Moneypennys, Jelly Baby, Prive, Funky Circus and more...