Ali Wilson - From Harderfaster to Carl Cox's Favourite Producer
Reported by Macavity
Submitted 03-04-07 15:50
HarderFaster users were asked a few years ago which HF DJs they thought would make the big time. While a few names were suggested, many scoffed that it was unlikely that any of the regular DJing personalities would amount to very much at all. But they were wrong, as one unassuming, yet incredibly talented DJ producer has totally blown that theory apart. In 2006 he was tipped by Carl Cox to be one to watch, while today, everyone from Paul Van Dyk right down the DJ Mag Top 100 list clamber to get his latest tracks. I am of course talking about Ali Wilson, who over the last few years has grown from being a popular underground London DJ to rubbing shoulders with the industry super-elite.
I first encountered Ali about 5 years ago after someone twisted my arm to carry on partying at after-hours institution, MILK at The 414. I can't remember very much about the excursion (it was 5 years ago) but I do recall the delight I felt when I was handed an Ali Wilson Milk promo demo as I left. A CD I have played many times and one that still resides in my collection.
Since then he's had too many accolades to mention. He became a popular fixture during the heady days or Riot!, was picked alongside Nic Fanculli as a 2003 Mixmag Future Hero, has been described by the dance press as a sensation and played in over 15 different countries. Meanwhile his record label, Tekelec, which he runs with studio buddy Matt Smallwood, has had tunes appear on 40 compilation albums with releases regularly topping the Trackitdown sales chart, including its most recent bomb 'Jericho', a collaboration with Durty. If that's not making the big time, I don't know what is!
It is therefore no surprise that Ali has been asked to perform at Digital, Trackitdown's Third Birthday party at Turnmills on 21st April, where you’ll find a selection of their top selling artists performing for you. Playing in the Riot! Recordings room, the night marks the launch of his debut artist album Watchmaker.
So let's meet HarderFaster's very own superstar DJ, Ali Wilson
To be named as producer of 2006 alongside your studio buddy Matt Smallwood by Carl Cox, a DJ most superstar DJs respect must have been a highlight of your career so far. How did it feel when he first mentioned it?
It was brilliant. Matt and I had been following Coxy for a while. We’d been sending him stuff over the last couple of years and knew he was playing a lot of our stuff but when we saw he named us his producers of 2006 it was quality. All the hard work paid off!
I remember you from when you used to play for Milk at the 414. Since then you’ve been made a Mixmag Future Hero, you’ve started your own record label, Tekelec, sold thousands of tracks and your productions are played and adored by everyone from Paul Van Dyk right down the DJ Mag 100 list. What do you think was the turning point of your career?
It’s been a lot of hard work all the way, but I’d say when Tekelec started things really kicked off! I'd kinda changed direction in what I was doing and a lot of the big boys picked up on the tracks; but not a lot of labels were interested at the time, so I started Tekelec to put the sound out. That was the real catalyst and since then things have just gone mad with people saying I must have the 'golden touch'.
You’re now an established DJ, producer and record label boss, but was it always your dream to work in music? What would’ve you have been doing otherwise?
It’s been a dream for a long time, since I heard Prodigy when I was a nipper. There’s nothing quite like the Prodigy ‘Experience’ album! If I wasn’t in music I would probably still be in IT, which is what I did before!
DJing wise you’ve played over 15 countries across 4 continents and I believe you’re packing your bags so you can fly off for a two week tour of Brazil. Do they know you over there and are you looking forward to it?
It’s the 1st time I’ve been to Brazil but I can’t wait, I’ve been speaking to a lot of the guys over there and have had a few emails about going over so I think there’s a nice bit of hype about the Tekelec Tour! A lot of the tracks I’ve done have a bit of a latino influence so I think they should go down well!
Over the past few years you’ve sold an impressive amount of tracks. Has the download revolution helped this or hindered it?
Yeah when there was just vinyl a few years ago the tracks were flying out, but when download started out it did have an impact on sales. I think people needed time to adapt to the new format. Fortunately that's all changed and over the years it seems to have picked up again. Digital downloads are definitely the way to go!
Tell us about your album.
The album is entitled ‘Watchmaker’ and contains solo stuff and collaborations in lots of different styles! It’s been getting great support from the big guns… Judge Jules has been caining ‘Wah Wah’ on Radio 1 over the last few weeks, Gareth Emery played ‘Chiller’ as his ‘Great Expectations’ track on Eddie Haliwell’s show on Friday, Carl Cox has played ‘Pyramaze’ on his Radio 1 Essential Mix back in Sept as well as stuff on his Global radio show. Check www.aliwilson.co.uk / www.myspace.com/DJaliwilson for the latest!
You’re one of the top selling producers for your genre on Trackitdown.net. Are you looking forward to DIGITAL where you'll be playing in the Riot! room?
Oh yes, I love Turnmills! Every time I’ve played in there it’s always been mental! There’s some great names playing, and I reckon it’s going to go right off! I’ve also got some little exclusives made for the night!
How do you think digital downloading and the increased use of packages such as Abelton has changed the roll of the DJ?
To be honest I don’t really use it at the moment as I spend all my time in the studio producing records. I really want to get into it, but I just don't have the time. It's all good though!
Some fun questions!
What’s currently in your Fridge?
Ham, cheese, beer, broccoli, tomatoes, more beer, salsa, potatoes, (would you believe it!) even more beer!
What was the last item of clothing you bought?
Ted Baker T-Shirt!
When producing, what snacks and drinks are best to have to hand?
What’s your favourite place in the world?
The theme parks in America, all the rides over there amaze me!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I’m an ice cream addict!
Thanks Ali for your time and see you @ Digital!
Watchmaker is out on 21st April
You can see Ali in the Riot! Recordings room at Trackidown's Third Birthday Digital at Turnmills on 21st April. To be in with a chance of winning some Ali latest tracks and VIP guestlist click here
Photography Courtesy of Ali Wilson and Matt Smallwood. Not to be reproduced without prior permission
Trackitdown.net presents Digital
Saturday 21st April
£14 adv from Ticketweb / £12 adv to Trackitdown.net membs / MOTD
www.ticketweb.co.uk / trackitdown hq (020) 7064 1214
Click here to buy tickets
MP3 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS!
Europe's biggest dance download store celebrates its 3rd birthday with our friends representing some of the biggest; house, electro, minimal, techno, breaks, drum and bass, trance and hard dance labels on the planet!
Fourteen headline acts from; Sweden, Germany, Holland and across the UK will be taking over London’s premier club venue on Saturday 21st April from 10pm until 6am.
Over the last three years, Trackitdown.net has supplied 50,000 customers from 209 countries around the world with their fix of A-grade electronic music on MP3 and the higher quality Wav format. Launched at the start of the summer in 2004, the site was the first dance download website in Europe and has now grown to carry the most extensive catalogue of electronic music on the planet. With over 4500 record labels supplying us and 125,000 tracks in the database it’s been a tough choice to decide who to invite onto the decks but the three rooms of high calibre talent represents the breadth of quality music available to the tens of thousands of DJs around the world who choose Trackitdown.net to be their local record store.
Trance. Euro Trance. Hard Trance. Tech Trance. Psy Trance. HardStyle. House. Deep House. Funky House. Hard House. Prog House. Tribal House. Vocal House. Deep Techno. Funky Techno. Techno. Breaks.
Claudia Cazacu (romania)
Simon Bassline Smith
Miles Dyson (germany)
David Ekenback (sweden)
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Other Features By Macavity:
Ben Coda Gets Ready for Glade Festival
The Tidy Boys are Back To Clean Up London
David Minns Tells Us Why South London is The Place To Be!
Russia's No 1 DJ, Bobina Springs into London
Canadian Superstar DJ Preach
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Glyn Waters on 3rd Apr 2007 16:18.45|
Wicked stuff, well done Ali its all you deserve mate ( and Matt )
From: James Terry on 3rd Apr 2007 16:25.03
A true pioneer! bringing something new to the scene in each of his productions.....upmost respect!
From: JC-TAKTIKAL on 3rd Apr 2007 16:38.40
aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! you fiend yes yes Magpie
From: Martin Begley on 3rd Apr 2007 18:38.17
Ali Wilson: The man. The mag. The legend!
From: Lee Osborne on 3rd Apr 2007 20:13.09
Yes! Ali..... Happy magpie to ya! lol........ Legend
From: Mat Lock on 3rd Apr 2007 20:14.41
Great read, love some of his stuff. Awesome sound
From: dani d on 3rd Apr 2007 20:20.33
Nice read,big talent on the scene!!Keep it good work
From: Matt Smallwood on 4th Apr 2007 08:23.09
Mr Wiiiillsaaaaaaaaaannn!! Never has success been more richly deserved than for you mate, all your hard work is paying off and long may it continue. Cheers for the mentions and lets make the rest of 2007 Mag-Tastic baby!
From: Ed Real on 4th Apr 2007 09:36.18
it's been an education watching ali stick at it over the last seven years and see him grow into one of 2007's brightest talents! roll on turnmills on the 21st april - see you there guys! :-)
From: Element7 on 4th Apr 2007 09:41.43
Couple of beers you slaaaaaaaaaag?
From: Charlie Bradley on 4th Apr 2007 09:49.01
Nice one Ali - keep it going bro!
From: Macavity on 4th Apr 2007 09:54.05
From: Leía on 4th Apr 2007 09:58.45
Looking forward to seeing Ali play at Turnmills next week.
Keep up the good work mate!
From: Gordon Darley on 4th Apr 2007 12:30.24
We love you Magpie!!!!!!
From: onthebass on 4th Apr 2007 12:31.12
Nice wan Aliii. Its awesome to see someone such as yourself work their bullocks off and get the recognition they deserve. Your tunes have been inspirational and consitantly keep improving. Top work fella and hope to see you playing festivals here in Oz soon eh? tc
From: carl nicholson on 4th Apr 2007 12:31.41
I've known Ali since he first put tune to platter, an absolute legend of a bloke, badass dj and Producer to boot! Keep em comin tiger!
From: dimitry on 4th Apr 2007 16:10.05
top man Ali!
From: Guanche on 4th Apr 2007 16:49.38
Ali Wilson, after those years of milk, you still inspire me a lot. All the best.
From: raver-product on 4th Apr 2007 19:38.12
truely inspired dj / producer!! keep it up chap
From: sexyminx on 4th Apr 2007 20:55.21
Nice one Mr Wilson Wicked interview All the best for 2007 & the future. Keep up the good work
From: Maria on 4th Apr 2007 22:22.09
The guys in Brazil told me that you rocked the place! Glad that it went well!
From: Durty on 5th Apr 2007 01:18.35
Boi geez! Ali is doing big things! Gotta getcha out here for LoveFest again!
From: Charlie Rox on 5th Apr 2007 13:43.19
ali the great, lovely guy and a wizard of the tech genre!!! good luck in brazil and for rest of the year, keep firing those cylinders of rhythm!!!
From: Lisa B on 5th Apr 2007 14:32.47
I always knew Ali was a superstar in the making!! Totally Awesome guy and best of luck for the future babe xxx
From: Mike Harris on 5th Apr 2007 16:37.36
Yeah he's alright i guess
Good shizzle Ali, keep it up mate!
From: Miles Gorfy on 6th Apr 2007 00:50.08
Really good to see where you started and where you are now. Good work my friend
From: onthebass on 6th Apr 2007 12:11.50
Numero Uno track (Cold Play remix) in Sander's April Top 5. QTY Wilson!
From: Rems on 6th Apr 2007 13:26.44
good on you mate,
still remember mental sets u played @milk....
From: Kiko on 6th Apr 2007 21:05.17
Hey Ali, thanks for coming over to Brazil! Your gigs here were wicked! Really glad you enjoyed it. Have you shown to your girlfriend that slipmat ("yes, please", "no, thank you") you took from the "churrascaria" restaurant? Hahaha. All the best mate!
From: Franky on 8th Apr 2007 01:09.29
Ali´s definetely going to get bigger I´m sure!
Thanks for coming down to Brazil.
We loved your music and your down to earth character.
Watchmaker is the album.
Ali is the man!
Uma Skol por favor!.
Take it easy.
From: Ali Storm on 9th Apr 2007 22:39.49
awesome work Ali, i remember Milk Keep it up
From: raving.looney on 10th Apr 2007 16:35.36
Nice work ali....you deserve all the credit you get babe! See ya soon! x
From: anushka007 on 11th Apr 2007 10:54.48
What can I say that i havent said before about super star Wilson - I love your work mate and keep up the good work
From: Louisa Lynz on 11th Apr 2007 16:18.19
nice 1 Ali m8 - GTFRI!!! Replied to your myspace invite
From: andyandy on 13th Apr 2007 12:23.29
From Milk to this.. well deserved recognition.
From: Phil Lacerda on 13th Apr 2007 14:08.34
Top lad and one of the best producers/DJs ever!!!Watchmaker is coming to rock the floors!!!
From: NickiS on 18th Apr 2007 10:51.15
Nice One Ali!
From: Letty Bird on 19th Apr 2007 06:05.58
Good work Ali! x
From: Kiko on 20th Apr 2007 20:49.01
Footage of Ali Wilson playing @ Deputamadre (BELO HORIZONTE - BRAZIL):