In a short space of time, Patrick Topping has become part of the top tier of dance music. Part the new wave of electronic music producers coming from the north of England, he is a pioneering force for a generation of upcoming artists, reflected in recently being voted 11th in Resident Advisors Top100 DJ’s of 2016 and picked as 15th by Mixmag. His DJ career first began when he founded his own club night ‘Motion’ at respected venue Digital Newcastle, where he booked and played alongside some of the biggest names in the business including Solomun, Tale Of Us & Sven Vath. Now 28 Patrick has gone on to make his name as a prolific producer, with a long list of stellar releases; since his debut release in 2013, he has secured 7 different Beatport #1s, 5 of which in Beatport tech house chart #1 with the likes of ‘Get Beasty’, ‘Forget’ and prominent collaborations with Green Velvet on ‘Voicemail’ and ‘When Is Now’.
You had a great 2016 topped off with the number 11 spot in Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJs. Do you feel like you’re at a peak moment in your career with these kind of awards, or would you say you’re still evolving as a DJ?
I actually wonder this myself and hope that it isn’t the peak, but if it is, then that’s fair enough! I never imagined I’d be where I am today. That being said I’m hoping to keep pushing on as much as I can, while also enjoying what’s already going on.
How did starting out in Newcastle influence your sound and the way you perform?
Having weekly residencies in Newcastle definitely made me more confident as a DJ. It didn’t influence my music that much, as there wasn’t a particular sound which the city was famous for, but there were options to listen to all sorts of dance music, which I suppose did influence me, and I got to see so many artists play.
On your recent UK tour you’ve been playing all-night-long sets. How do you prepare for such a lengthy performance?
I prepare for every set I do. I’ll create a playlist with tracks I think are appropriate to the gig, but most times I’ll end up playing tracks from beyond that playlist. So with an extended set, it’s just an even bigger playlist really. Or sometimes if it’s really long, like 8-10 hours, I might make a first part playlist, peak time one, then an end of the night list and also an eclectic one.
Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert? Do you think you need to have an outgoing personality to be a good DJ?
If I had to choose I’d say introvert, but I can still be quite outgoing. I don’t think you have to be outgoing at all to be a DJ, there are plenty of quieter guys than me, who are massive DJs, it’s mainly about the music isn’t it! That being said, I do think being outgoing can be helpful.
What is the reality of a career in DJing like? What do you think are the most common misconceptions about the work and the lifestyle?
Well it’s the best job in the world in my eyes and I think most people who like the music would think the same too. It can be very intense and tiring, but I think most people seem to understand that to be honest. The only misconception I think is that some people don’t realize the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes.
Do you see yourself as a producer first and a DJ second?
I’ve been doing both about equal length of time, but when my career first took off I would say I was known more as a producer and kind of felt more of a producer just because of that, even though I thought I could DJ as well. But now I hardly have time to make music, as I’m DJing all the time, so at the moment I feel more like a DJ. I’d like to think I’m known as both equally.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
That’s quite a hard question and I’m not entirely sure, but maybe some people might think I’m really loud or confident, but I can actually be quite shy sometimes. Or perhaps that my political views are left-wing and progressive.
How does it feel to see things like the Meet Me At The Club tattoos that your fans have? It must be quite surreal?
It’s amazing! And blows me away! It is surreal and I suppose it’s one of the biggest compliments you can get, that someone loves the music so much they want to get it permanently tattooed on their body! I buzz off seeing them. The maddest one was that lad from Australia who has my face on his leg! I met him at a festival over there and had to give him my rider, as that’s something I’d never dreamed I would see! You have to give these people respect.
Your career has taken you to festivals and shows all over the world – which country or city have you most enjoyed? Is there anywhere that has a great clubbing scene that perhaps you weren’t expecting?
Venice is one the nicest cities I’ve been to. Tulum in Mexico just down from Playa del Carmen is also amazing. My favourite country has to be Australia, I just love it over there and the shows have been mint too. There are so many though, I’m so lucky to have travelled so much through music! South America is the one which has blown me away the most though, as I wasn’t sure what to expect and every single time I’ve played there it’s been amazing! Usually 1,000 plus people going mad for hours, even mid-week. It’s definitely one of my favourite places to play, the crowd proper go for it.
What have been the highlights of your year so far, and what are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
This year has been amazing so far. January I was mostly playing around South America, February I stayed at home making music, and in March and April the festivals kicked off! So yeah it’s been packed, busy and really fun. Career-wise I had been looking forward to Coachella the most, and now it’s probably all the Ibiza shows I’ve got lined up. Personally I can’t wait to get married! My fiancé and I have been to together for nearly 10 years, so it feels so special and I really cant wait.