British duo Icarus have moved from strength to strength over the past eighteen months. It all started two year ago when their underground rework of Bastille gained their name traction. “Missing You” was last year’s soulful house anthem with it’s dark brooding atmosphere and eerie vocals giving it a mystical energy. Their past singles demonstrate their love for deep sounds no matter what the vibe. Signed to Pete Tong’s FFRR imprint, their latest release “Home” is already making waves in the clubs and on radio. Icarus is a name you need to pay attention this year.
You boys have just dropped your new single “Home”. Talk to us about how this came about.
We have indeed! The track first started with the drum groove on the intro. We wanted to write a club tune but we thought it’d be nice to try and steer away from the ‘4 to the floor’ style beat, so we were messing around with some different grooves.
We’d been sent some of Aurora’s vocals and we were keen to use them, so we started placing bits in the track and it just started to gel. Once we’d put in the spacey backing vocals we just went from there and the track developed. We then spent a few months tweaking it and mixing it whilst testing it out in our DJ sets.
You’ve taken the next logical step in your musical career, establishing the Fly Boy record label. What can we expect from the imprint?
The idea for Fly Boy pretty much came about the same time as we started Icarus, so it’s always something we’ve wanted to do.
We’re currently working with some really talented producers, lining up more releases. We’ve just dropped our first free download from Humans & Machines called ‘Do It’, which is getting loads of DJ support right now. We have another release lined up from them and also a great release from Mark Mackenzie on the way. The plan is to continue to grow the label with solid, well crafted releases. Quality over quantity.
Being in a duo can have its perks and falls to the creative process. How do share the studio between yourselves?
We’re lucky in the sense that we have very similar tastes when it comes to writing music for Icarus, so none of the expected sibling fall outs occur! We write together a lot. Most of the time we’ll start ideas together and see them through right until they’re finished but over the last few months we’ve also been writing separately to start ideas off, and then we’ll get in the studio together to develop and finish them. It seems to be working pretty well!
March will see the return of Icarus to London’s legendary Fabric club. Are you guys excited?
Of course! We played there for the first time in December alongside Groove Armada, Friend Within and Emmanuel Satie. It’s definitely exciting to play in such an iconic club and the lights and sound system in there are amazing!
You’re signed to FFRR, which is Pete Tong’s record label. Has working with such a respected name in dance music assisted the Icarus brand?
100%. We’re very lucky to have Pete there to bounce ideas off and ask for feedback on our music. He obviously has a wealth of knowledge and experience in music which is pretty much unparalleled. He’s involved in all aspects of our project but it’s particularly helpful to have his input on the creative and technical side of things. You know you’ll always get an honest opinion from Pete, which is great.
Who are some of your musical influences?
There have been plenty over the years! A small selection would be The Chemical Brothers, Faithless, Basement Jaxx, JMSN, James Blake, Jamie xx etc. Growing up listening to drum ‘n’ bass artists like Calibre, Chase & Status and Commix has definitely influenced us musically as well.
You managed to have two-week run at the #1 position in the Radio 1 Dance Chart with “Ride This Train”. Did you anticipate the reaction that is received?
That was amazing! You can’t predict anything in music as it’s such a subjective thing. We did get a feeling that people would like ‘Ride This Train’ as it had been going down so well in our DJ sets but we never expected that! Shouts to Danny Howard for that one 🙂
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Any and all of our influences! The Chemical Brothers would be a fun one…their studio is unbelievable!
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
We’ve got our next release coming in Spring and we plan to release at least another 2 singles this year. We’re looking forward to playing a lot more shows this year as well as writing our debut album.