podcast 🎙 ep 002 w/ Star.One
Star.One have worked with UK grime legends like P Money, D Double E and more
Benji and Josh from wavvvy here.
Excited to share the wavvvy podcast, episode 002 with Star.One.
The wavvvy podcast is where we'll chat to our friends and colleagues about the art (and science) of creativity and music production.
This week’s guest is Adam from Star.One, a DJ/production duo that have worked with UK legends like P Money, D Double E, G FrSh, Doctor, Creed MC, Ghetts and more.
Star.One never stop creating and Adam talks about their story so far and what's coming next for the two brothers.
Hope you guys enjoy!
Here’s Star.One’s bio:
The story of British DJ/production duo Star.One — aka brothers Joe and Adam Wilson — stretches right through the years, all the way back to their childhoods. Before moving to Kent, the Wilson brothers grew up in Cricklewood, North West London. Throughout his teens, Joe would practice mixing on decks in his bedroom unaware that when he left the house, younger brother Adam would sneak into his room and have a go himself. “When he was away, I’d have to sneak up to have a go on them,” he laughs, “but I had to memorise what vinyl was on and where he put the needle and I’d just put it back so he wouldn’t know.”
Eventually, Adam saved up enough money to buy his own decks, but by this point Joe had progressed to production and even MCing. “I started off as more of an MC,” Joe says, “and then I started making my own beats. Gradually, I just stopped MCing and focused on producing. With DJing, it was just cool to get together with your mates to DJ and MC together, so that’s how it started.” Eventually they joined forces, combining their two names: Joe as Black Star Productions, and Adam as Phaze One. “You can tell we did it in a rush,” Joe jokes. “We had a track and we had to put it out, but sometimes I wish we’d put a bit more thought into it,” Adam laughs.
While you might expect two brothers working together might bring its own issues, Joe is quick to point out that it’s actually worked to their benefit: “We’re brothers, so anything we do, we’ve got each other’s best interests at heart. Obviously, the music business can get sticky sometimes so having someone you can trust 100% is nice to have.” What they’ve built since the very beginning together is a tight-knit alliance that protects them both from the pitfalls that come with working solo, boosts them when times are tough and, crucially, keeps their egos in check. “Whether it’s a positive or negative comment, you know you can trust it.”
Star.One’s first and only mixtape to date, Elements, arrived all the way back in 2014. Although relatively early in their career, the A-list features contained within was testament to how quickly the pair established themselves in the grime and garage scenes. P Money, D Double E, G FrSh, Doctor, Creed MC, Ghetts, Trim, C4, Thabo, Prowla, Mica Paris, Aynzli Jones, Faro, Redz and Ping Pong all jumped at the chance to assist and, from then on, they’ve been the most in-demand producers in both the underground and the mainstream.
Equally, the list of remixes to their name is a long one, but of those they highlight their version of Craig David’s “When You Know What Love Is”; a recent revamp of Mahalia’s “Simmer”; a remix of their own “Never Give Up” with Doctor, Realz, Youngs Teflon, WSTRN’s Louis Rei, Manga, Izzie Gibbs and MDM; an early reworking of Murkage Dave’s “Officer Parker” with Manga Saint Hilare, Bugzy Malone and Fallacy; and an all-star version of Raleigh Ritchie’s “The Greatest” with Stormzy, Tempa T and Ghetts; and so many more it would take a lifetime to list them all.
Although their roots lie in UK garage, and to a certain extent jungle and D&B, it was always Star.One’s desire to do something more than that — something that comes from their respective raving experiences.
Joe grew up going to garage raves in South London, while young brother Adam found his crowd during uni in Manchester. “Manchester’s not like London, where you might go to a hip-hop club night or Afrobeats night or whatever,” Adam says. “You go to these raves in Manchester and it’s all merged together, just whatever’s going on at that time. That was really inspirational in terms of that mix up.”
Not only are they resistant to genre labels, Star.One are reluctant even to be described as underground or mainstream. Even those tags, they say, carry their own limits and expectations. “A lot of people conform to the mainstream,” Adam explains, “but you can also conform to the underground.” Instead, they’re much more interested in blurring the lines between these classifications.
“Over the years,” Adam says, “we’ve played drum & bass, garage, whatever. Now I feel like our mission statement is to bridge the gap between dance music and Black music and having that melting pot. What people call pop music now is Black music. So if we can take that dance side and add it to what is the popular Black music at the moment, that’s where we want to go. It’s also about not being ashamed of pop music, because I do like pop music. So all those three mixed together is where we’re going now.”
It’s not just the UK club sounds that inspired them to start making music. Joe cites US greats like Timbaland and Dr. Dre as being just as influential. “Their production and how they had their unique sounds — you always knew if it was a Timbaland track,” he says. Taking note of how big-name US hip-hop producers put their stamp on a track without using the now obligatory call sign, Star.One made it their business to find the same ‘sound’, regardless of whether it was a garage, grime, hip-hop or even house production.
Although they’re most definitely ‘established’ by any definition of the word, that hasn’t stopped Star.One from learning and growing as a creative force. A 2018 trip to Ibiza for Merky Fest, for example, had a profound effect on their outlook and their mission statement. “Going to those types of dances also influenced us sound-wise because it was just people dancing and having fun to good music,” Adam explains. “There was no ego or nothing, and if you can make people dance and smile — you are god! They’re literally god in these people’s eyes. All they want to do is get fucked up and party. So that Ibiza trip was an eye-opener to us.”
They’re trying not to plan out their careers too much at the moment. After all, with nearly a decade in the game and a lifetime of work packed into that time, Joe and Adam feel like they’ve earned a bit of freedom. “Now it’s a case of elevating to the level of success we deserve,” says Adam. “I’d never say we’re underrated, but now it’s time to show we’re as sick as we think we are.”