Viv Castle is a British-born DJ and producer, now based in the US. While living in the UK, his first taste of dance music came in the late 80s and early 90s while going to clubs like Manchester’s legendary Hacienda and Thunderdome.
A regular feature behind the decks at Atlanta’s premier venues including Believe Music Hall, District, Opera and others, he made his Imagine Festival debut in 2017 with superstars Tiesto, Deadmau5 and Above & Beyond, and has since shared the stage with AAA artists such as Green Velvet and Oliver Heldens.
Viv Castle spent much of the last two years in the studio honing his craft, and is now set to release his debut single Control on Hausa Groove this March.
Carefully crafted for the peak hour with infectious vocals and percussions, Control is a heavy hitter produced by a DJ who understands how to move a dancefloor. Chunky, rolling tech house with clever rhythmic use of vocal samples and an infectious energy, Control set the bar high, with plenty more to come in 2022 from this explosive artist.
Viv Castle; welcome to our humble pages, Viv! Before we leap down that proverbial rabbit hole, how has the New Year been treating you thus far?
This year has been amazing. I rebranded to Viv Castle after being VIVID for a few decades. My primary motivation was to avoid name confusion. While I believe I was the first-ever DJ to use VIVID, it had become used by several others over time. Some had done quite well, so it was much easier to rebrand rather than fight to maintain recognition and separation. I must say it was a sad day to let go of my old moniker, but I am so excited for the future and not having to worry about fans getting confused.
Major and sincere congratulations for the upcoming release of your debut single Control! After building a solid reputation as a producer, how does it feel to be entering the music scene from a whole new angle?
First, thank you. I found producing very hard in the beginning. In fact, for the first 4 years of owning Ableton, I didn’t even make a track that I could, or would, play at my gigs in good conscience. But then COVID hit. I had lots of time on my hands and spent every moment working on music. My tracks got better, much better! I now had confidence that my tracks were ready to make a mark. Watching Control skyrocket up the charts and land at 3rd on the Beatport Tech House Release charts has been amazing. It has humbled me while giving me so much confidence to keep doing what I am doing. I can’t wait for everyone to see what is in my “ID” pile; some pure fire.
We love Control: It’s a tight and snappy tune that is earmarked for greatness! What was the genesis of this new song? Is there a Secret Origin story you could share with us?
I think every producer starts a track differently. I like to hunt down my vocal(s) and then formulate the song around that vocal, or vocals as the case may be. I know it might sound a bit dull, but I found the lyrics and got inspired. Everything just seemed to fall into place, and Control was borne.
What specifically in your mind made Control the best song to premiere as your very first single?
Honestly, it was the first track that I “finished.” I put that in inverted commas because I think many producers, myself included, tend to overanalyze our work and always want everything to be perfect. Well, perfect is not attainable. It’s like chasing a unicorn. At a point, you have to say, “this is bloody good,” and move on. Control was the first track that I came to the eureka moment.
The home label for Control is Hausa Groove. What makes Hausa Groove the perfect home for Viv Castle and his music?
The label is run by Eduke, who is a top-notch human. The tunes he has selected for the label are all brilliant, and I have massive respect for his work. I shot the track over to him for a bit of feedback and jumped with joy at the response; my first contract. It really is an honor to join forces with such a taste maker’s label.
What do you hope fans walk away with after giving Control an attentive listen?
I hope they don’t walk away but dance away. Really though, that is the mark of a good track; one that you can not get out of your head. It sticks with you, where you hum the melody, sing the lyrics, or, more importantly, hit play one more time. I hope people realize that I am trying to push certain boundaries and not following the typical rules for a genre. That is one thing I would like to be known for, blending the lines between the genres and not conforming to the norms.
Is Control your opening volley towards ultimately releasing an album?
I’ve actually had a few people ask me this, and frankly, unless you are a Dance Music superstar, there are not many are Dance Music artists who release full albums. Which I understand. Dance Music has historically been remixes of other people’s singles, so each track would be released on its own. Dance Music has changed an awful lot, and now producers are making tracks from scratch, but they are still released as singles.
What does your creative process look like when you’re tackling your new music? Is there a particular methodology you use?
This will sound dull, but I spend hours searching for vocal samples I like. It can be tedious, but when you find the one that speaks to you, it creates a wave of creativity, and hopefully, a banger comes out.
Will you be touring or performing any one-on/one-off gigs to promote your new music?
I’m always looking for more gigs. I’m currently working on a tour in the southeast US over the summer. But if anyone wants me to visit their city or country, hit me up on my socials.
Final – SILLY! Question: Favorite film about the music scene – Almost Famous, This Is Spinal Tap or That Thing You Do?
That is so funny that you mentioned Spinal Tap. My name “Viv” actually was given to me in University as a nickname from Viv Savage from Spinal Tap… I was initially not thrilled, but the name stuck and has been my name since. This one might not technically be about the music scene, but I think every raver saw this as a rave-inspired movie, Hackers. With a soundtrack that includes Orbital, The Prodigy, Underworld, Leftfield, and Carl Cox, it is hard not to see it as a rave-based movie. Who does not remember the opening scene with Jonny Miller flying into NYC with Orbital’s Halcyon On and On bringing him home? Yeah, tell me you didn’t crank the volume for that one!!