For Sigma, success comes on their own terms
Joe Lenzie of the UK dance duo talks about New Year hits and self-belief with Saeed Saeed
Sigma are set to ring 2018 on an uplifting note. The UK duo, DJs and producers Joe Lenzie and Cameron Edwards, will headline Zero Gravity’s New Year’s Eve beachside bash in Dubai tonight and they have just the anthem for the occasion.
Recently released, Forever is a sublimely catchy dance and hiphop mash-up featuring Migos from the in-vogue rap trio Migos and US rapper Quavo.
Over building synths and skyhigh chorus, the song is rallying call to let go of past mistakes and embrace new opportunities.
While creating a New Year hit wasn’t on their minds when penning the song, Lenzie says the duo were aiming for a positive vibe with the new tune.
“The song, for us, is about giving it your best no matter what,” he says. “Also, a lot of times rappers can say quite negative things. But if you hear what Quavo is saying, he is talking about going out there, making money and smashing it as an entrepreneur and we live by that ethos every day.”
And it is clearly working for the lads. Since forming in 2006 – after Lenzie and Edwards met at Leeds University – Sigma steadily built a following with a series of innovative remixes of tracks by Ellie Goulding, Skepta and Groove Armada. The breakthrough arrived with the 2013 single Rudeboy, which garnered a buzz big enough for the follow up release, Nobody
to Love to top the singles chart upon release.
The most satisfying aspect of it all, Lenzie says, is that it was all done through their own label Life Recordings. With Sigma coming up in a time before dance music became a cultural juggernaut, the initiative provided them with a creative lifeline.
“The reality was, at that time, nobody was interested in putting our music out,” Lenzie says. “We believed in what we were doing and that’s why we did the label. We wanted people to enjoy the music as much as we did creating it and that eventually came into fruition.”
Lenzie is aware that we are in the heady midst of a dance music explosion, a time in which Sigma’s brand of ebullient beats sells out stately venues. In May, Sigma became the first drum and bass outfit to play the Royal Albert Hall in London.
With music trends arriving in cycles, he doesn’t fear a time where dance music loses its popular appeal.
“If you are a good record producer you need to adapt to a lot of different styles. Once you can do then you will never really find yourself out of work,” he says.
“Ultimately, if you have a good ear and know what’s popular at the time then you are always going to be okay.”
Sigma will join Jax Jones in performing tonight at the New Year’s Eve Beach Festival at Zero Gravity at Dubai Marina. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets begin from Dh295 from dubai.platinumlist.net
Sigma’s do-it-yourself ethos has kept the act going for more than a decade and it’s that tenacity that gives both Lenzie and Edwards the clout that will help them survive the trends rollercoaster
Cameron Edwards, left, and Joe Lenzie have a New Year hit on their hands