Alan Fitzpatrick has enlisted some of techno’s finest over the years with a release catalogue which includes works from Avision, Skream, Huxley, Eli Brown, CamelPhat and Sasha. For their 50th release titled I Still Remember, Alan Fitzpatrick and We Are The Brave offer us a massive six tracker, with three originals from the boss and some heavy remixes from Brennen Grey, Mark Broom and SAMA.
As his We Are The Brave label approached its 50th release, Alan celebrated with sell-out showcases across the globe, including The Warehouse Project Manchester, Fabric London, SWG3 Glasgow, Shine Belfast and their annual residency in Watergate, Berlin.
6AM digs deeper with Alan Fitzpatrick to discuss the release of I Still Remember and his life in quarantine as a family man, record label owner and DJ/producer.
Hi Alan, thanks for the chat mate. I imagine you’re at home, like most of us. Where is home for you now?
I’m based in Southampton, Southern England.
How have you been coping with the quarantine/lockdowns?
It’s been ok so far, it’s quite nice spending quality time with my family. We’ve been homeschooling the kids, out walking the dog and trying to think of activities to keep everyone entertained.
What’s your day looking like these days?
Wake up, shower, coffee and breakfast and just crack on. I’m spending a lot of time in the studio and working on ideas for the label. It’s been nice decluttering my studio and having the time to do a proper spring clean. Trying hard to focus on our health at the moment as it’s very easy to slip into bad habits when you’re stuck at home all day. I’m feeling good at the moment though, full of energy and creativity.
This is clearly affecting everyone’s productivity. How are you keeping busy and motivated?
I keep reminding myself that this is only temporary, it’s extremely difficult at the moment but these hard times will pass. Of course, it’s not great not being able to play for fans and it’s taken a while for me to come to terms with this but I’m in a good place now. It really teaches us not to take anything for granted.
I’ve got hobbies to pass the time and I’m enjoying learning new skills. Lockdown has taught me I’m a beast in the kitchen and if my DJ career ever fails I could probably win Masterchef! (laughs)
This is changing our industry in ways we are still unaware of yet. What do you think the outcome of all of this will be and why?
I don’t think anyone has an answer to this and I try not to spend time dwelling and speculating. Overthinking will only stress us out, it’s not healthy. We just need to sit back and see what comes of this, see what we are left with and rebuild where we can.
Do you see any silver linings in all of this at all?
Absolutely. I think everyone should take this time to re-evaluate what’s important to them as individuals. When so much of our daily routine is stripped away, it gives us clarity and highlights the things that truly matter and the everything we take for granted.
Does this worry you about YOUR future in any way?
Not really no. I’m confident in my abilities as an artist and a boss, even if we found ourselves in the worst-case scenario, I’m sure we’d be able to pull through and start over. All artists are in the same boat with COVID-19 so it can’t really impact you any more than it does the next guy. I’ve definitely learned that I need to shift my priorities and focus on the things that bring me happiness. As I said, never take anything for granted.
This is clearly not stopping your releases, ‘Fairytale Frequency’ a collab with Jamie Jones was just released on Hot Creations. Your sound has been very eclectic over the last few years, where does the synergy with Jamie and his label comes from exactly?
I just like making music. I don’t restrict myself to certain sounds or labels, that’s not productive and ultimately limits my creativity. Of course, I’m techno at heart but I think it’s good to expand your boundaries and push yourself creatively.
Jamie and I are friends and I’m a resident at Paradise so it’s natural we would work together at some point. I’m sure this won’t be the last time either.
What other releases do you have coming up in 2020?
I’ve got my 50th release on my label ‘We Are The Brave’ that just dropped on April 24th. Three originals from myself and remixes from Mark Broom, Brennen Grey and SAMA. It’s gonna be a big one. I‘m also releasing a track on our next compilation which is due in June. Have a couple others in the pipeline but can’t mention too much yet. Got to keep your eyes peeled!
Has the significance of this 50th release changed in any way due to the current circumstances?
Not at all. Of course, I would’ve loved to play the tracks in clubs and festivals this summer but it wasn’t meant to be. The fans have always been the focus for We Are The Brave and I truly believe they’ll still enjoy the music regardless of the circumstances.
How are you taking all of this Coronavirus situation as a label owner, has this had a different effect?
I’ve definitely seen an influx in demo submissions, which is great and just shows people are using their time wisely to create music. We’ve seen an increase in streams across our releases which I suppose was to be expected. I’m having regular meetings with my label manager, brainstorming with her and running ideas by each other.
Do you think artists and labels should still release this year as they always have, or should they release with a different plan in mind? If so, why?
People want to hear music, now more than ever. I think labels just been to be creative in the way they promote their music. This whole situation has completely flipped everything on it’s head. Promo is difficult as clubs are closed, and DJ’s can’t play releases. Livestreaming has really helped here, it’s the perfect way to get new music to fans.
Anyone you have signed to the label recently who we need to look out for?
I’m always going to support my residents. Ronnie Spiteri and A.S.H have been killing it recently, their demos just keep getting better and better. A.S.H’s ‘Together’ track hit the million stream milestone on Spotify a month or so ago, that’s so good to see. I’ve also come across an 18-year-old Irish lad ‘Modeá’ who’s been making bombs! You’ll definitely see more of him on the label. Toon lad ‘Smyth’ also needs mention here too, his tracks are outrageous. Perfect fit for We Are The Brave.
What recommendations do you have for other artists who may be struggling through these coming weeks and months?
Prioritize your mental health and use this time to really get to know yourself. Please also be empathetic and think of others, some of us have got off easy here and unfortunately some of us have lost loved ones, jobs and homes. It’s a shit storm but we’ve got to stay positive and ride this one out. In my personal experience the best results often come from times of uncertainty, change and disruption. Stay home and stay safe everyone, we’ll dance again soon.
Alan Fitzpatrick I Still Remember Track Listing