An interview with Jamie Trench

As a versatile producer and DJ, Jamie Trench has been snowballing notoriety on the House circuit for years.

By age 20, he had already played out at London’s Lightbox and was planning a move to Ibiza. Three summers worth of performances on the White Isle would win him lineup slots at The Zoo Project and Privilege, as well as a residency run at Space.

From there, Trench would go on to work with the most renowned in the industry, Steve Lawler, Santé, Sidney Charles, Brawther, Cinthie and Move D amongst others. Currently based back in the UK, he’s continued his rise with appearances at Warehouse Project and Ministry of Sound.

Having grown up in Milton Keynes with a steady hand in the local scene through legendary parties at The Loft, he’s cultivated a dedicated ethos offering a platform for grassroots, underground talent. Trench has recently set up his own record company Roots For Bloom; an imprint notorious for hard-hitting bass lines paired with quirky, soulful samples. Productions are characterised by bringing a funky, fresh feel to Deep House.

Hi Jamie, thanks so much for having a chat with us at Flux, really appreciate it! How are things?

Hi, thanks for having me, it’s a pleasure to chat with you guys.

Firstly, I have to get to the ‘root’ of something (excuse the pun) – what inspired THAT silhouette on the S.H.A.G. edits artwork (below)?

Pun fully intended haha. Yeah I get asked this a lot! So S.H.A.G. Edits stands for Second Hand Audio Gold, as in the samples are second hand. I took the shag and ran on a Austin Powers vibe as in shagadelic. The silhouette is actually based on a scene from I think it’s the second Austin Powers movie, where they are in a tent pulling all sorts out of Austin’s arse (well it looks that way to the onlookers) and I decided to whack it on a vinyl as the artwork.

Having recently gone full-time with your Djing, how are you finding the transition?

So yeah, I’ve basically dabbled between a full-time job and music for about five to six years now, so when the opportunity came to not work every day and I could concentrate on music, it was a scary jump, but hey it’s working.

I find when you’re working full time you don’t always feel like throwing on the headphones and jamming out some music, or if you’ve had a hard week you don’t always feel that inspired or make very good music. It takes a few days or weeks to relax and get into a groove, letting your mind wander and explore samples and styles. When you have work again the next day that’s not always possible.

When did you realise that you wanted to pursue DJing professionally?

Well everyone and their granny will tell you to do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s not quite as squeaky clean as the saying but it’s bloody good enough!

I’ve read that when you were younger your dad worked in the nightclub scene and used to bring you back CDs, that must have been brilliant exposure to the 90s scene – how has that influenced your career?

I loved music from a really early age and yeah I remember him bringing home stacks of single CDs, I’d love to have a root back through them now, they were the first real sounds I was exposed to, so they obviously influenced me a great deal.

Obviously as listeners to your music, we don’t always see the ridiculous amount of time, energy and effort you have invariably put into your work, but success and recognition seems to have come to you at a relatively early age. What advice would you give to those just starting out? But also those who have long been on the grind?

I’d say being happy with your music is the most important thing. DJing isn’t just so you can get to a certain destination or status, have as much fun as you can along the way while holding down good morals and professionalism, and you’ve pretty much cracked it.

The name of your label – Roots for Bloom – inspires the idea of nurturing budding talent, how central is this idea to the ethos of your label and who releases on it?

That is exactly the motto. I’m really pleased it comes across as well!

If you look at the label roster you’ll not often see well-known names, but I stand by the people I’m working with and I love the fact I can give them a platform to work on. The likes of Folamour, L’atelier, Laesh and many more are all flourishing with their productions and it’s been a pleasure working with everyone.

In 2016 you were on the lineup of the Space Ibiza closing party, alongside the likes of Carl Cox, Tale of Us, Darius Syrossian, Kölsch, and many more. You’ve also had releases on Tsuba, Viva Music and Kaluki Musik. What’s it like to have performed and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry?

Yeah, my time working over in Ibiza was a great experience, as you mentioned playing all of the clubs was incredible. The people you meet and still bump in to across the world is just amazing. From all the bigger labels I’ve got to give big shouts to Kev Griffiths at Tsuba, he signed my music early on and the label inspired me a lot, he’s now rocking another label Isle Of Jura which knocks out some incredible content.

How do you go about discovering the artists on your label?

Mostly through them sending in demos. I do my absolute best to listen and respond to as much as I possibly can, even if it’s not the most elaborate reply I’ll try to give some pointers, as I know the feeling of sending out emails with no replies and it’s shitty.

Your music expresses throwback elements of 90s Deep House, Soulful House and Disco, how do you manage to keep the groove contemporary?

Honestly speaking, I just make whatever comes out, whether it be fast, slow or whatever genre, I try not to put up boundaries with what I make, play and sign to the label. Check out the b side to the latest roots for bloom by Yann Polewka and you’ll see my point!

‘Locks, Frocks & 2 Floating Sparrows’ is a belter and I’d recommend it to anyone. How did you go about choosing Dusty Springfield?

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels soundtrack. Three guesses on how I picked the track name now!

How do you prefer to play and listen to your music, is vinyl your preferred choice?

I enjoy both. Vinyl has its place as it’s a much more soulful practice and buying a record you’re much more invested in the product. Digital is great as someone can send me music 5 minutes before playing and I’m able to see how it works.

What kind of projects, remixes, collaborations and events can we expect in the near future? Can you give us a sneaky preview of what’s to come for Jamie Trench?

So my latest EP on Hector Couto’s Roush has just dropped with a Phil Weeks remix, and the response has been overwhelming! I am always working, remixing and editing on Roots For Bloom releases and I have a track collab with Lucas Welle due for release on the 20th, and a remix on the 21st.

I’ll be hopefully tying up an EP with my Brazilian crew Radiola Records, who invited me over last year with another date soon if all goes well. I’m also throwing three garden parties in Milton Keynes this summer, look out for dates and venue announcements soon!

Where can we hope to hear you playing this spring/summer? Any festivals lined up?

So coming up I have Bloc in London on March 3rd, 504 project in Glasgow on 30th March, We Are Festival 26th May, with dates in Dubai and Brazil thrown in there, I’m just trying to sort the dates.

Ahh and I’m also returning to some good friends in June over in Arnhem Studio Sonsbeek!

Thank you Jamie, all the best!

Take care guys!