Daley Padley, better known as Hot Since 82, stands tall in a sea of over-saturated and stagnated EDM tracks, DJs, and producers. He’s a U.K.-born self-proclaimed “joker” who comes from humble beginnings, but has been rocking the EDM community with his genuine creativity since 2011. This weekend he kicked off the American leg of his Knee Deep in Sound Tour, coming to Output this Saturday, November 1, to promote the album of the same name. We talked to him about the show, the album, and the time he kidnapped some fans.
See also: Where EDM Is…and Where It’s Going
So tell me how you got into DJ’ing and what that process was like for you.
Obviously I’ve always been surrounded by house music…something I’ve loved since the age of nine, and when I was around 16, my older brother got some turntables, and at first we only had one! We didn’t even have a mixer. So we used to have to set one turntable up into the amplifier, but we didn’t have any speakers, so we had to put the needle on the record, put your ear to the actual needle to hear this “ttcchhh, tttchhhh.” So it was crazy. Then after a few months we got a mixer, then a speaker, then one more turntable, and then within the year we actually had a full table. And I wasn’t actually allowed to play on the turntables because they were my mean older brother’s, so every time he’d go out I’d sneak maybe a couple of hours on the decks and stuff, and that’s how I learned! I left home when I was 18, and then I bought some turntables by myself, and then I started DJ’ing, and then around 2004 I built my first own PVC, and I’d got some software called AcidDraw and I started making bootlegs for my own sets, and I was just obsessed with it. I was just making loads of mash-ups, and I just got hooked! And it wasn’t until I got Logic 5.5 off the PC that I started taking things a lot more serious. And then it all stems from there and just carried on the momentum, and even when, you know, I took a couple years out when I wasn’t DJ’ing, but I was still writing and still producing, and it’s something that I always love and enjoy and I don’t think I’d be myself if I ever stopped doing it! I’m super curious to see how long this is gonna last and when I do actually stop DJ’ing and making music, but for now, I’m just riding the wave.
You seem to have touched a lot of people with your music and your demeanor….What do you think makes you so relatable?
I’m a very normal person. I’m from Yorkshire, in the U.K., which is a very working-class district, and…I don’t know, I think most of the fans kind of can relate to the background of where I’m from. I haven’t changed; I will never change.
So, coming from the U.K. and such a specific background, how do you view your reception between the continents and different musical climates now that you’re a huge hit in America as well?
OK, well, basically, my current view is, it’s split — you guys in North America or whatever you wanna call it have been introduced to EDM, electronic dance music, which is great, and it’s really taken off. It’s been huge in America for two or three years now or whatever, and it’s the same as everything — you get introduced to something, you think it’s great, you put your heart and energy into it, and you’re always discovering new music, new artists. And then — I think it’s just been a little bit saturated with the same DJs, the same producers, and the same music, and I think because of that, these guys have been on the internet looking and searching for a newer sound. They’re educated in electronic now, and sure, there’s gotta be more than, like, Avicii and all these other guys, surely there’s something more out there. And this is, I guess, where our kind of deep end has kind of slowly been introduced. They wanna hear something better. A question that I do get asked quite a lot when coming out to the States…is, Do you have to, like, accommodate for a different crowd? And you know the answer is clearly no! I just play what I always play and what I always want, and people in the States react really well, so I never feel like I have to shift music policy too much. I mean, obviously if you play in the States, you’re playing to 10,000 people or you’re playing a club with 500 people, there’s a little difference there — you know, slightly at a higher kind of pace and BPM — but generally, people are here to see me as well, so they wanna hear my style and my music, so I just go and do my thing!
You’re an extremely creative and innovative DJ and producer….You’ve performed live with a live string quartet, and you recently held an event called Taken where you kidnapped a lucky group of your fans and took them to a secret rave location. You really seem to be a breath of fresh air to the EDM community…
You know, the thing is, I got blindfolded, I got put on the coach with everyone else, and I mean, still to this day I couldn’t even tell you where the venue was! Even though it was my party, I did all the promotions and stuff, but actually choosing the venue, I said to my manger, “I’m gonna trust you on this. Let’s do everything together, but don’t tell me where the venue is.” So it was nice to get involved with the fans, to get on the coach with the fans, and get taken as well. It was a wicked experience. EDM’s here and it’s a big umbrella. There’s all these different avenues around it, and people are finding their own way now, they’re educated, and I guess this is why I’ve been so busy coming out in America.
You’re playing at some very varied types of venues on this tour, between festivals, music venues, music clubs, and straight-up nightclubs — what’s your favorite?
Some festivals can be absolutely amazing. But it’s a funny one: With some festivals it’s extremely difficult, from the DJ’s point of view, to read the crowd and to really make them move. Whereas if you’re in a club with 500 people and a small system, people go wild. It’s like a zoo. But I’ve played festivals and they’ve done the same, it’s also been wild — I prefer to play in a small club where it’s organic and natural, and that’s where I’m more comfortable.
Another amazing thing you’re doing is the Knee Deep at Home experience, where you’re crossing a house-party and live performance via webcam and special invitation. Tell me about that. Will some lucky fans be able to come to your home?
I’m a bit of a joker, and nothing’s ever super serious, because when it’s too serious, it takes the fun out of it, right? So I always like to do something a little bit different, a little bit more interesting, but mainly I always like to interact with the fans as much as possible, because I’m super happy to be here right now. There are a lot of people that would like to be in my position, so let’s get involved with the crowd, right? So we’re either gonna do it in my house, or we were gonna do it in my friend’s apartment in Manchester, with the skyline of Manchester in the back. But to be honest, I think it’s gonna happen at my house in the countryside, and I’m gonna get all my friends and family around — we’re gonna have a celebration of the release of the new sound compilation, and we’re gonna stream it all the way around the world. What we wanted to do as well…is hold a competition…and let some lucky fans come to my house and meet my friends and meet my family and let’s have a little party together and let’s stream it worldwide — where all the webcams can interact as well! So it’s gonna be a really, really great idea. We’re still working on it, but that’s gonna be in December.