Up and coming musicians in Leeds with Ethan Hill
Leeds is known for it’s gothic centered music scene during the 80’s, but what is it like to be a musician in Leeds today? With the 13,500 capacity ‘Leeds Arena’ set to open next year, is the music scene in the city on the rise? I spoke to Ethan Hill, an 18-year-old music producer from Flitwick, Bedfordshire who is currently studying Music Production at Leeds Metropolitan University, on what he thinks.
Okay to start us off, where does the name Ethan ‘turn it up’ come from?
The name comes from a vocal sample I put in my music that says “turn it up”. Then when I was in Magaluf, I still had not decided my name, but when I got there the first thing I saw when I looked out my balcony was a girl wearing a top saying Turn It Up … so I kept the name after that!
What is your favourite song on ‘A figure of speech’ and why?
They’re all my favourite but if I had to pick it would be ‘Somebody’ just because it is a sampled old school beat. It kinda sounds like the stuff I listen to daily.
What got you into music?
I don’t really know what got me into music. I usually just say the music found me. There was never a point where I said I wanted to be a musician. It just sort of happened and now I’ve got an album out!
Coley O’Toole guitarist in We The Kings, scheduled to play at The Cockpit in February
Is music your life, or is just something you want to do on the side with another career?
Music is definitely everything to me. I wish I had more time to do it, I cannot see myself doing anything else.
Was there any defining moment where you realised this?
Probably about 2 years ago when I decided to release my first EP called Bitz & Bobz. It wasn’t great but it was a start.
Who are your main musical influences?
My main influences are producers like 9th wonder, Apollo Brown and a rapper called Kano but there’s so many more. I am also a huge fan of soul music which I think influences me a lot.
What music did you grow up with?
I grew up with early 2000’s Hip Hop artists like DMX and 50 Cent; when good Hip Hop still charted, I always listened to a little bit of rock too.
Where is your favourite venue you have performed?
Subland, Berlin last week was amazing. It’s crazy to think that music can take you all these places.
What has been your biggest challenge as a producer and an artist?
The hardest part of all this would be that I still don’t work hard enough. I feel I need to work much harder but I find it hard with Uni and other stuff.
The city also plays host to the world famous ‘Leeds Festival’ each summer in Bramham Park
Where would you like your music to lead you?
All I really want to be is a Producer, as long as I can live off the music I make I’m happy.
As an artist and producer, what is your opinion on illegal music downloading?
I think illegally downloading music can have its advantages but all the music I love, I buy. I love buying vinyl too but usually I will download it first and if I like it I buy it.
How do you find the music scene in Leeds? What is your favourite venue?
In Leeds the music scene is okay- I don’t think it gets enough exposure. If you want good music you really have to search for it but it is there. My favourite venue would be the Musiquarium, they have always good acts there.
The O2 Academy is currently Leeds’ largest music venue
What would be your biggest dream in relation to your music?
My biggest dream would be to have my own record label where I can sign musicians like me and just have my music remembered way after I’m gone.
If you could play one venue what would it be?
It would have to be the HMV Forum in London; it’s pretty big but still very intimate. I don’t enjoy big venues as much; sometimes you can feel a million miles away from the performer.
Would you prefer to sign with a label or work alone?
I would rather do this own my own, but if the right deal came along I would sign, as song as I’m not restricted musically.
Finally, where can we find your music?
My music is on iTunes, YouTube , Bandcamp and Soundcloud.
Check out Ethan’s collaborative album with N8ture ‘A Figure of Speech’ on iTunes.