Here, in his own words, Barratt offers some essential information about his influences, his failed career as an agent and the hundred versions he made of his newest track.
He Grew Up on Pop Music
My background in music isn’t necessarily electronic. If you ask me where my influences are, I’m not one who’ll say I was a techno kid who grew up listening to early Carl Craig and Kraftwerk. I grew up on pop. My idols when I was growing up and getting into music were the likes of Madonna, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Michael Jackson and Prince.
My mom used to take me out to school to take me to concerts. I was 14 years old and she was taking me to see Metallica, George Michael, Bon Jovi. I’d go downstairs at night and steal her vinyl and CDs and watch MTV. That’s where it all started for me.
He’s Got a Label
My label is called Art Imitating Life, and it’s actually looked after by the Innervisions guys in Berlin. It’s been going for a couple of years, and it’s really only a platform for me to release my own music, which is how I’ve always wanted it. I may start signing people at some point, but for now the last release was one of my biggest tracks, “The Last dance,” which was remixed by Solomun and Mano Le Tough. “Can’t Stop” is obviously the next release, and I’ve got releases scheduled for every two months. I’m super excited. It’d like having a child.
He’s Worked In Other Parts of the Music Industry
I was a really bad agent for a little bit. I was really bad at a PR company. I’ve been pretty much useless at every other aspect of the music industry. It’s really nice that DJing has paid off to certain extent, because otherwise I’d probably be selling coconuts on a beach somewhere.
He’s Made What Might Be One of the Biggest Tracks of the Year
I’ve had records that have done well before, but it’s normally one or the other – you get the super cool heads playing it, or it’s more aimed at radio. This one, from the moment I started playing it, was kind of special. I only gave it to Dixon to start with, and he started playing it… and Solomun said it was his record of the year, and Pete Tong asked me for it and said he wanted to do an Essential New Tune and then Gerd Jansen asked to remix it. There are very few records that appeal to everyone, especially for a vocal track. When you put your heart and soul into a record and people like it, it’s always a nice feeling.
He Made 100 Different Versions of “Can’t Stop”
Ray, who is amazingly talented and one half of Tunnelvisions, sent me a message on Soundcloud with some tracks. I very rarely check Soundcloud messages, but I randomly did one day because I was updating a cover photo or something stupid...I instantly told him I had a bunch of tracks I wanted him to do something for, and within the space of a week we had three records done. “Can’t Stop” was one of them. It wasn’t supposed to be the main record, and I must’ve done 100 arrangements of it. All of the sudden, there was one version that just really clicked. Ray and I have become really good friends from it, and this all only happened three months ago.