JDNB Interview: Native C & Sammie Hall
Hailing from Norwich in the east of England, Native C produces a unique style of Drum & Bass which he has been has been moulding for many years.
He started his musical journey in 2007 when he bought his first mac and copy of logic:
"From the moment I started messing around in Logic, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life. After playing in bands for years, I had become frustrated with not being able to make the sounds that I really dig. You know how it is in a band, there’s a certain level of democracy you have to adhere to, as everyone wants their sound heard! Using logic for the first time was an awakening; I finally had a medium to produce the sound that I so dearly loved!”
After being raised on a diet of death metal, hip hop and chillstep, Native C was never going to produce an orthodox style of Drum n Bass. His history in metal bands and producing chillstep is clearly incorporated in his tunes; the delicate atmospheres, combined with the dirty basslines make for something a little different.
“My main goal with any track is to convey an emotion. A lot of drum n bass producers will sit there and get a drum pattern and bassline down first to get that loop - I work a little differently. I always think if you do that, you constrict the track from the get go. It’s about creating a vibe first, finding the right sounds that sit best together. Once this is there, the drum n bass element takes shape fairly easily. If you get that vibe down first, you’re not going to sound like every tom dick and harry.”
Native C has a lot of new music to come. He's also set to release another EP through Modular Carnage mid year with the talented Sammie Hall, which will explore the liquid side to his productions.
A shining light in the new generation of singer-songwriters to emerge in the UK’s thriving drum & bass scene, Sammie Hall might seem like a relatively new name. But she’s been eating, sleeping, living and loving this culture for more years than you might know.
Her story boasts many inspiring twists and turns. A love of karaoke; a D&B breakfast show on Brighton’s Reverb FM; a passion for performing her own acoustic songs at open mic nights… Sammie’s life has forever involved high levels of music, but nothing on the prolific, global levels she’s been operating at since her debut release in 2020.
Breath-taking, goosebumping, emotionally-charged; her compelling voice and lyrics have found the perfect home in drum & bass. Complementing the music’s unruly turbo spirit, her distinctive, dynamic style is synonymous with the starker, darker side of the genre, attracting an exciting range of respected artists, labels and brands including Sola, Airglo, Cliques, Wingz, SiLi, Dub Elements, Formation Records, Overview Music, Program, Skankandbass and many more.
Driven by a strong sense of community and inspired by helping others, Sammie has also established a hugely successful collaboration group online and has created for two popular vocal sample-packs for ByTheProducer and EST, giving producers a chance to utilise high quality vocals with full creative autonomy. With an exciting schedule of releases and live performances ahead, Sammie’s light continues to shine brighter and brighter.
JDNB chats with Native C & Sammie Hall!
First off, thanks for taking the time out to talk with us! Tell us what you’ve been up to?
Native C: I’ve been knuckling down and getting projects finished! Like many producers, I find myself making so many 32 bar ideas and making tracks that were getting to that 80/90% complete stage, then moving onto the next idea. So the focus has been getting those projects to the 100% stage.
Sammie: Thanks for having us! I’ve been enjoying swimming in the sea every day in the sunshine. There’s something very healing about the ocean. On the music side I’ve been busy in the studio working on new projects as usual when I can. Very excited about my future releases.
Where did your musical journeys begin
Native C: It started at the age of 11 and playing bass guitar, through all my teens I played in metal bands, until the age of 16/17 when I discovered electronic music, then that was it - I had to get myself a mac and start making music. I used to make a lot of Chillstep and hip hop, then in my early 20s moved into Drum n Bass, and 10 years later I’m still making it :)
Sammie: Music has been a big part of my life since I can remember. From being very little I would enter singing competitions on holiday and in my teen years I loved karaoke. I soon taught myself to play the guitar and performed at many open mic nights which naturally lead to me writing my own songs. Drum and bass always has been such a huge part of my life so when I started to properly write my own music it was only a matter of time before I put the two together.
Talk a little about your musical influences?
Native C: If you were to look at my Spotify, you wouldn’t actually see a lot of drum n bass. I mainly listen to rock, Motown, reggae and hip hop. More recently I’ve been diving back into some old school Incubus and Alkaline Trio!
Sammie: It all started when I heard Whitney Houston for the first time! I also love Tracey Champan, Janice Joplin.
When did you first become involved with the DnB scene?
Native C: Early 20s was when I really started to deep dive into it, it stemmed from going to illegal raves and listening to Psy-Trance and Jungle, then that pushed me more into listening DnB, I’ve been producing it ever since.
Sammie: Probably like most people my first experiences of drum and bass music came from when I was a teen listening to tape packs and pirate radio stations but it was my early clubbing trips to places like fabric, the end & SE1 that really cemented my love for the music and the scene around it.
For my first job I had my own dnb show on Radio Reverb 3 days a week. I have been in love with it ever since.
How did you get involved with the team at Modular Carnage?
Native C: It was actually through another producer called Cynical Gene (sick producer, definitely check his stuff out) who pointed me their way, started talking with Dan at MC and been sending him tunes ever since. They’re really sound dudes at Modular Carnage and I trust them with my music!
Sammie: Native C introduced me to Modular Carnage as he released a couple of tunes on their label. He said what great guys the are and how involved they were in their releases. He was very right. They are a pleasure to work with.
Native C & Sammie Hall have recently completed their upcoming EP ‘Someday’ which releases on Modular Carnage from July 29th (Exclusive to Beatport / Spotify)
Download / Stream
Awesome EP! Listen to the our premiere of 'Calls To Me'
Tell us how your colaboration came about?
Native C: This release has been about 2 years in the making, Sammie and I started chatting on Facebook at the start of lockdown when I was looking for vocalists to work with. I sent her a few demo tracks and she fired some ideas straight back, it actually worked really fluidly. The track Calls To Me was pretty fun to make, Sammie and I knew that we wanted to work with a rapper on one of the tracks and I’d worked with Freddy before on a previous Modular Carnage release, so fired the beat his way and he was straight on it. Sammie’s hook then came together naturally once Freddy at set the vibe with his bars.
Sammie: Native C and I ‘met’ on Instagram a couple of years ago now. His music and style is unique and is very inspiring to write to, one of my fav producers and love working with him. I’d wanted to be on a track with Freddy B for ages as he is a very talented MC and lyricist so I was really happy when it all come together.
What was it like working together?
Native C: Sammie’s got a knack for writing sick hooks, so it was really smooth. We get on really well and are brutally honest with each other, which you really need when collaborating with someone.
Sammie: Very easy and fun! We get on really well and have been connected for a while. Native C is particularly skilled at working with vocals. I send him whatever comes to mind and we go backwards and forwards with ideas until it’s done. Freddy smashed it and was quick to write and send his stems back to us in a short amount of time. It all came together perfectly.
@Native C Let’s talk studio, what can we find in the lab?
My setup is as basic as it gets - Mac, sound card, KRK’s and a keyboard. I used to think you need all this insane hardware to make tracks, but I’ve found over the years that just keeping it simple is the way to go.
Top 3 plug-ins?
Valhalla Reverb, Fab Filter Saturn and my favourite - Movement by Output, if you’ve ever got a melody that doesn’t quite have that rhythm, this plugin IS THE ONE!
Favourite piece of equipment
My keyboard, I literally have nothing else :D
With festival season in full swing, which ones are you looking forward to?
Native C: Boomtown is always a top festival for me
Where can we catch you playing this summer?
Native C: This summer has been pretty quiet for me, I’ll be back in full force at the start of next year, the focus has been on getting the music finished this year!
Sammie: I am newly signed to Sika Agency. I have some announcements coming very soon! A few dreams are going to come true next summe
Any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
Native C: I’ve got some colabs lined up with some pretty awesome producers and singers - A track with Marble Elephant and a singer called K Marie, another 2 track release with a vocalist called Kit Rice and then I’ve been working on a solo release which I’ll have more news on nearer the end of the year ;)
Sammie: I have so many coming out this year but they are yet to be announced!
If I meet you in the bar, what are you drinking
Native C: It’s gotta be a cloudy cider for me, I’m a bumpkin at heart :D
Sammie: A large orange juice with lots of ice!
Native C: Producer - Monrroe, the guy is an absolute machine.
Sammie: I would love to work with Fred V
If you could spend 10 minutes on a bench with anyone past or present, who would it be and why
Native C: Gotta be Johnny Depp, I bet that dudes got stories for days
Sammie: It would have to be my grandma Ann because she was very special to me. One of the first songs I wrote was about her.
What would you say you like most about the JDNB website?
Native C: Just the amount of new music you can find on there, big ups to you guys for promoting so much good music!
Sammie: Easy to navigate, lots of great content
Lastly, thanks for chatting with us, any shout outs?
Native C: Huge shout out to the guys at Modular Carnage, they’re honestly such a good bunch of lads.
Sammie: Big shout out to Modular Carnage Recordings and to some of my fav people in dnb Kit Rice, Sola & Airglo who I am always in close contact with!
Modular Carnage Recordings:
Interview by DJ Onit