Cowlin: House Magic, Groupie Love and the Eiffel Tower
Ahead of his set at WE ARE FSTVL this Saturday, we got to have a little chat with the young Reading-based DJ / Producer Cowlin or Daniel Cowling to his friends.
Touching upon “Groupie Love”, arseholes and Cowlin’s lessons in Grime.
In the short time that he’s been on the House/Techno scene, Cowlin has seen a rapid rise to prominence and bookings flying from venues across the country, including most recently being announced on the same bill as Hudson Mohawk and Cyril Hahn this June.
Currently working on his own productions, he aims to have his debut EP out by the summer, as well as a series of monthly mixes for his fans.
He’s definitely someone to look out for this weekend at WE ARE FSTVL and if not this year…
So We Are FSTVL is your first Festival spot. How have you managed to get there in such a short time?
So much has happened in so little time. I’m so happy I have progressed in the time I have and that my name is starting to build further afield of my home town.
I strongly believe I wouldn’t have got as far as I have without the help and support from my friends.
The major key to any success is having people believe in you and backing you with what you do. The same group of people which were at my first gig are still coming to support me now, which I am so happy about.
Everyone from the start used to laugh at the thought of me ‘Becoming a Dj’ and I know some people didn’t have belief in me at all.
What’s the best festival you’ve ever been to?
The best festival I have been to on the whole as a day out has to be ‘We Are FSTVL’ last year. It was their debut festival and the day went well.
The weather was lovely, the music was sounding nice and there were naughty girls all over the place. What more could you ask for?!
A definite highlight of the festival was seeing Sven Vath live. It was my first time in seeing him and at his age of 49, this legend has definitely still got it in him.
For all you techno heads, he is one you can’t miss on the Sunday! Sven being the owner of the record label ‘Cocoon’, has his own tent at the festival this year.
In a time where independent music and indie labels are having a bit of a renaissance, is the big dream and end goal still to be signed?
Being signed would be a huge goal to anyone within music. Although there are now so many prospects, artists can come along way without needing to be signed to a label.
It’s pointless to be signed to a record label for the ‘image’, if it isn’t going to benefit you in any way.
The time will come, and when the time is right, signing a deal is the option. My ideal dream is to be signed one day to a label that is suited to me, and with the music I am going to release.
What did you grow up listening to as a kid?
Throughout my childhood I have listened to all sorts of different music.
I mostly remembering listening to my dad’s house albums. ‘Frankie Knuckles – My Love’ being a massive inspirational song and is still to this day.
Whilst being in secondary school I started listening to a lot of Grime and Garage. Me thinking I was the ‘bad boy’ I was, I started to write lyrics over instrumentals I used to download from forums on the internet. After building up a few lyrics (which I thought were good at the time, some may think differently) I decided it was time to record these. Enough said, these recordings were very poor. But without doing this, I definitely wouldn’t still be doing music now.
If you could do a Boiler Room set in any venue, where would you choose?
If I could chose a venue, I’d have to pick somewhere which hasn’t been done yet. Having love for the capital of France, I think doing a Boiler Room session at the top of the ‘Eiffel Tower’ would be amazing. Making sure that all my close friends were there at the top to share the moment, mixing my favourite tunes looking over France at night time would be amazing!
As a DJ how do you measure your own success?
By how much feedback I get back after sets. Another good way of measuring my success is when people re-book me to play at an event again. Always nice to know the promoter enjoyed your set.
Some people measure success within music by how much money they make, I’m the complete opposite.
I started Djing as a hobby, so any money is an extra bonus.
Have you had much “groupie love” as yet, or you more a cup of tea and biscuits kind of guy after a set? Definitely more of a cup of tea a biscuits guy after a set?
After every set I shut off into my own little bubble before jumping into my own bed. Sleep is the key.
Personally I don’t believe in flip flops being worn within the confines of a city. What would be your pair of trainers on a hot sweaty summer’s day?
The pair of trainers I have my eyes on at the moment are ‘Asics’. The retro styled trainers have made a return. A personal favourite that you will catch me wearing this summer are the ‘Asics Gel Lyte V’.
I’ve debated with a few people recently whether having lots of money turns people into arseholes or whether it just allows them to be themselves without having to pander to others or care what they think. What are your thought on the subject?
100% having lots of money can turn people to the wrong side. I have seen so many people who have disappeared because they have come into a large sum of money.
Money doesn’t buy you happiness.
Finally, what’s the 5 year plan for Cowlin looking like?
I haven’t planned anything far ahead as of yet. Taking things slow as they come.
I don’t want to make promises then not stick to my word.
Three major things, is that I hope that all the bookings continue to keep coming in as they are. There’s nothing better than playing out every weekend to people who enjoy the music you play as well.
Secondly, I plan to knuckle down with my productions a lot more. It’s the only way to build your name to another level.
I aim to this year release one, maybe two EPs.
Thirdly, I hope to stay within the house scene. The house scene is one magical place, in many different ways that I hope to stay part of. Such a beautiful vibe between everyone.
Would you rather drink Vodka in Russia or Smoke a cigar in Cuba?
Vodka in Russia. Don’t smoke, but love to drink.
Would you rather collab with Jessie Ware or Sam Smith?
Sam Smith. I love the music he has created with Disclosure. He has such a vibe in his voice.
Cola bottles or love hearts?
Love hearts, softy at heart really.
Who is going to win the World Cup?
Would love to say England! Not too sure if we can all have belief in how they play though. A team on paper isn’t always a team on the pitch.
Who should we follow on twitter?
Me. Probably a life changing option…. @itscowlin
Nike or Adidas?