Ben O’Connor & Jon Verde a.k.a Sick Elektrik, are a duo from the North West of England, raised with a plethora of musical styles all around them.
They’ve grown into connoisseurs of electronic beats and developed their own imprint ‘State Records’ with tracks hitting charts the world over. Constantly in demand to release their unique house beats and take the stage in venues across the UK, this is a pair you need to keep your eye on!
What sound are you predominately leaning towards at the moment? And who is really inspiring you?
We’ve recently been actively focusing on straight up house music. In the past we think we have let our mood and to some extent, what’s been popular, dictate what we have been producing. When we started out producing together, the focus was very much on house music, signing our first 3 productions to New York’s Nervous Records, then we made a couple more underground tech house tracks which came out on Stefano Noferinis, Deeperfect label and Sonny Wharton’s, Whartone Records. Then I think we possibly lost our way a bit and got caught up with the hype of the progressive house sound, big break downs and hands in the air sort of stuff, which has been pretty successful and scored us some high Beatport chart positions, but now we really don’t like where that sound is going, it’s become too commercial and too obvious. Our last progressive tracks came out earlier in the year and that’s it for that sound, now we’re back to what we do best, real house and groovy tech.
What’s your opinion on the fact EDM (as all the cool kids are calling it) is going much more mainstream at the moment, good thing or a bad thing?
This whole EDM thing is sort of the reason why we have made the conscious decision to put our focus back on house music. We’re not disrespecting people who produce that genre, but house music to us is about the underground, we personally as producers, DJs or fans would much rather be in some dark, dirty basement club listening to, or playing to a crowd that wants to be taken on a journey through sounds that you’ve never heard before than be in front of a light show listening to songs you hear on the radio everyday.
EDM is an American thing, it’s probably a fad, it’s bringing a new audience to dance music, but the kids coming through maybe need a history lesson.
Do you aspire to have the success people like Afrojack appear to be having? And what do you think the difference between him and say Carl Cox is?
He’s got a lot to answer for, for bringing us DJ Paris Hilton! Haha. Not really a route we want to take. We aspire to be successful, but without compromising what we are about which is almost what we were doing without realizing it.
Carl Cox is basically a God in our eyes, can’t compare the two.
What was the first record you ever bought?
Ben – This is really bad. Kriss Kross ‘Jump Jump’ on tape. Wore my jeans backwards a few times too.
Jon – Not as bad as Vanilla Ice and Do The Bartman. I got them both from our price!
What’s your special dance move?
Ben – Straight 2 steppin’
Jon – The Worm
Do you think we’re slowly edging to a world where no one will pay for music and artists will need to improvise on other ways to make money?
Yeah, it’s getting to that point, had an argument with a guy who was posting an illegal link to one of our tracks on twitter, just could not get through to him that it was wrong. Young kids just don’t see it as being wrong, they don’t know any other way. Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse.
Steve Aoki was ousted for his outlandish rider, what’s on yours and how do you think he handled the situation?
We found that hilarious, fair play to him. If you can get away with it do it, it’s funny. Don’t really get his vibe, but whatever floats your boat.
Didn’t see how he handled it, I imagine he threw a cake at the situation.
What tracks do you have coming out as a duo and on your label?
We have a track with Karlos Cheadle called ‘Drop the Beat’ out now on Nervous Records.
A remix for K-Klass called ‘La Luna’ which is also out now on Whartone. Also we have a remix that we are working on now for Whartone that will be coming out really soon.
We’re currently working on a single for the legendary Skint Records and we have a few collaborations in the pipeline that we are really excited about!
On State we’ve some huge releases from Brett Gould who’s just had releases out on Toolroom, residents at Venus, Frater & Stent and a cracking House track from Aad Mouthaan.
Some fun questions!
Keep it healthy or pile on the grease?
Healthy (depending on hangover)
Still or sparkling water?
If you could be born again as any DJ it would be…
Ben – Carl Cox
Jon – Pete Tong
Your top 5 dinner party guests?
What is guaranteed to get you tipsy?
Your hangover cures are?
Pint of lager, with a lemonade top.
What are your hobbies outside of music?
Ben – Big Formula 1 fan
Jon – Rugby
Your best chat up line is?
Ben – Hold out your T-shirt to a girl, get her to feel the fabric, then when she is feeling it say, “Do you know what that is?” She says, “what?” You say, “boyfriend material.”
Jon – Go stand right next to a girl and then tell them they are in your personal space. Guaranteed that they will start talking to you.
Dish a secret on each other!
Jon wanted to be a hairdresser when he left school. His dad talked him out of it.
Ben uses regain on his hair.