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

The National - News - - ARTS & LIFESTYLE -

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.plat­inum­

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

Zero Grav­ity

Cameron Ed­wards, left, and Joe Len­zie have a New Year hit on their hands

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