An interview with: Mean Streets Records bossman Trends

An interview with: Mean Streets Records bossman Trends

Keep Hush: a members club and music platform. Weekly events and exclusive discounts for independent brands. Our mission: foster a community and promote creativity. Become a member for free here.


 

Instrumental grime has seen a lot of changes in the last few years: grime’s mainstream growth has brought a larger audience than ever before, more parties like Boxed are emphasising instrumentals over MCs, and a new wave of producers are creating intense, powerful sounds that hold up regardless of the presence of vocals. At the forefront of this wave is Trends. Originally from Oxford, for the past half decade he’s been consistently putting out great work. His tunes have had support from seriously big names – Mr Mitch and Slimzee among them – but in the past 2 years he’s reached a new peak, with certified anthems like his collaboration with Boylan, on ‘Norman Bates’.

 

Since then Trend’s been going from strength to strength, putting out more releases for his label Mean Streets Records, and curating a insane night for Keep Hush last year. The ‘Mean Street Presents’ night featured legends like Logan Sama and Terror Danjah, and up-and-coming heavy hitters like PK.

 

We had a chance to catch up with the producer to discuss his influences, and the future of his label, ahead of the ‘Keep Hush Live: Trends Presents’ stream.

 


 

Hey, Trends, let’s start with your background. You were part of the drum and bass group Digital Era before you started working on grime solo – what were some of your early influences in d’n’b, and what songs or producers got you interested in grime?

I was into music from an early age – at 12, jungle was my passion. My initial DJ influences in the scene were Mampi Swift and Ray Keith. We created the Digital Era duo in 2006 – production inspired by RAM records, True Playaz, and Full Cycle, to name a few.

I’d always been a fan of grime while in the d’n’b scene. I was a Slimzee fanatic, and loved producers like Plastician (Plasticman at the time!),Wiley, DJ Oddz, Terror Danjah, Rude Kid, Trend, P Jam and Geeneus – to be honest the list is endless. Any Plastician stuff got me hooked. Tunes that hit me hard were Terror Danjah’s ‘Creepy Crawler’, and P Jam’s ‘Spun a Web’, with Big Narstie. 

You’re from Oxford originally, what was the grime scene like there when you were first starting out?

Non-existent! When I made the move from d’n’b to grime it was really quiet, I found myself spending more time in London. 
Eight releases deep, Mean Streets Records is starting to establish itself as one of the go-to labels for the biggest club bangers in grime. What led you to initially launch the label?
I wanted my own platform to push my music. I knew my mad grime sound was a bit different. That’s why I called it Mean Streets; the sound is so aggressive.

You just put out your second vinyl release on the label, the first release with Riko. How’d you sort that?

I’ve known Zane (Riko) for a while now, and been his DJ at a few shows. When Boylan and I finished ‘Krueger’, we instantly thought of him to lay some vocals over it. Riko came to the Studio to lace it – he surprised us by getting involved with the theme, and turned it into a song. The first person I played the finished product to was Terror Danjah and he said “you’ve got a hit on your hands”- bearing in mind he’s a tough man to please! Following the sell out success of the first vinyl release, and the interest the ‘Krueger’ video had generated, it seemed natural this should be the second vinyl release.

It’s looking like a big year already for Mean Streets Records, with ‘Krueger’ just coming out, the second Keep Hush live stream, and the announcement of a Mean Streets stage and boat party at Outlook. Any other plans for you and the label in 2018?

I’ve got releases from D.O.K, Boylan, Asif Kid, P Jam, Terror Danjah, and Silas (Oxford-based, up-and-coming producer) lined up for the rest of 2018. The next couple will be digital, with the third vinyl later in the year. I’ve got my own solo EP dropping too. Lots more plans in progress, so keep your eyes peeled for further Mean Streets events!

 

Keep Hush Live: Trends Presents, in Dalston, had a stacked lineup featuring D Double E, Sir Spyro, Riko Dan, Spooky, and many more. Serious business. Catch up on the sets, then sign up for more Keep Hush grime nights here

– Written by Joe Innes –

Keep Hush: a members club and music platform. Weekly events and exclusive discounts for independent brands. Our mission: foster a community and promote creativity. Become a member for free here.


 

Instrumental grime has seen a lot of changes in the last few years: grime’s mainstream growth has brought a larger audience than ever before, more parties like Boxed are emphasising instrumentals over MCs, and a new wave of producers are creating intense, powerful sounds that hold up regardless of the presence of vocals. At the forefront of this wave is Trends. Originally from Oxford, for the past half decade he’s been consistently putting out great work. His tunes have had support from seriously big names – Mr Mitch and Slimzee among them – but in the past 2 years he’s reached a new peak, with certified anthems like his collaboration with Boylan, on ‘Norman Bates’.

 

Since then Trend’s been going from strength to strength, putting out more releases for his label Mean Streets Records, and curating a insane night for Keep Hush last year. The ‘Mean Street Presents’ night featured legends like Logan Sama and Terror Danjah, and up-and-coming heavy hitters like PK.

 

We had a chance to catch up with the producer to discuss his influences, and the future of his label, ahead of the ‘Keep Hush Live: Trends Presents’ stream.

 


 

Hey, Trends, let’s start with your background. You were part of the drum and bass group Digital Era before you started working on grime solo – what were some of your early influences in d’n’b, and what songs or producers got you interested in grime?

I was into music from an early age – at 12, jungle was my passion. My initial DJ influences in the scene were Mampi Swift and Ray Keith. We created the Digital Era duo in 2006 – production inspired by RAM records, True Playaz, and Full Cycle, to name a few.

I’d always been a fan of grime while in the d’n’b scene. I was a Slimzee fanatic, and loved producers like Plastician (Plasticman at the time!),Wiley, DJ Oddz, Terror Danjah, Rude Kid, Trend, P Jam and Geeneus – to be honest the list is endless. Any Plastician stuff got me hooked. Tunes that hit me hard were Terror Danjah’s ‘Creepy Crawler’, and P Jam’s ‘Spun a Web’, with Big Narstie. 

You’re from Oxford originally, what was the grime scene like there when you were first starting out?

Non-existent! When I made the move from d’n’b to grime it was really quiet, I found myself spending more time in London. 
Eight releases deep, Mean Streets Records is starting to establish itself as one of the go-to labels for the biggest club bangers in grime. What led you to initially launch the label?
I wanted my own platform to push my music. I knew my mad grime sound was a bit different. That’s why I called it Mean Streets; the sound is so aggressive.

You just put out your second vinyl release on the label, the first release with Riko. How’d you sort that?

I’ve known Zane (Riko) for a while now, and been his DJ at a few shows. When Boylan and I finished ‘Krueger’, we instantly thought of him to lay some vocals over it. Riko came to the Studio to lace it – he surprised us by getting involved with the theme, and turned it into a song. The first person I played the finished product to was Terror Danjah and he said “you’ve got a hit on your hands”- bearing in mind he’s a tough man to please! Following the sell out success of the first vinyl release, and the interest the ‘Krueger’ video had generated, it seemed natural this should be the second vinyl release.

It’s looking like a big year already for Mean Streets Records, with ‘Krueger’ just coming out, the second Keep Hush live stream, and the announcement of a Mean Streets stage and boat party at Outlook. Any other plans for you and the label in 2018?

I’ve got releases from D.O.K, Boylan, Asif Kid, P Jam, Terror Danjah, and Silas (Oxford-based, up-and-coming producer) lined up for the rest of 2018. The next couple will be digital, with the third vinyl later in the year. I’ve got my own solo EP dropping too. Lots more plans in progress, so keep your eyes peeled for further Mean Streets events!

 

Keep Hush Live: Trends Presents, in Dalston, had a stacked lineup featuring D Double E, Sir Spyro, Riko Dan, Spooky, and many more. Serious business. Catch up on the sets, then sign up for more Keep Hush grime nights here

– Written by Joe Innes –