Following her recent Phenol House EP, which boasted plays on BBC Radio 1, rising DJ and producer Meg Ward graces Monki’s &Friends imprint with punchy EP Lookin 4 Fame.
Melding house, techno, disco and garage in her slick, genre-bending sets, Newcastle-based DJ and producer Meg Ward has catapulted onto her local scene and beyond. With a residency at Newcastle’s Ill Behaviour event, whilst gaining support from the likes of Patrick Topping, Mark Blair and Demuja, the rising Northerner is paving the way for global success.
Proof of Meg’s dynamic production skill shines through with recent track Disappear reaching no.7 on the Beatport Electronica Chart whilst landing support from Jaguar on her BBC Introducing dance show. Continuing to showcase her versatile talent, Sterling from her Phenol House EP illustrated Meg’s signature bass lines and synth heavy combos, earning recognition from HAAi on her BBC Radio 1 Residency.
Now with Monki championing the rising talent, Meg Ward continues to make waves with Lookin 4 Fame. The release is a two-track stomper that culminated from Meg’s time spent during the global lockdown: “This EP is about how everyone is looking for fame, including me. The stompy bassline gives you a walking feeling – a journey to fame. I made this EP in lockdown, with the intention of bringing the club experience to me. ‘Ponte Cakes’ comes from the place I grew up (Pontefract). The donk bass reminds me of that place and the music I listened to when I was younger.”
Hi Meg! What was it like producing new music during lockdown, did you find being in lockdown influenced your sound?
I think my sound has definitely grown over lockdown. I had a lot more time to make music and learn new things, at a much faster rate than I ever have. It’s definitely been weird making music that I can’t test out on club speakers, in front of crowds every week.
What have you missed most during lockdown?
Loud music, shoulders touching, being elbowed in the face on the way to the decks. I miss that so much.
Can you tell us a bit about what inspired “Lookin 4 Fame,” and what sort of feeling hope fans get when they listen to it?
I intended to bring the club to my bedroom when I made this track. I wanted to make sure that people still enjoy listening to club tunes in their house. I hoped it’d make everyone unafraid to dance in public.
Speaking of fame, you’ve been gaining support from some pretty famous names in the industry – whose support are you most proud of attracting?
I’m proud and super grateful of all the support I’ve been getting. I’m super chuffed that Pat Topping wants me on board for a Trick party. Can’t wait!
The second track is called “Ponte Cakes”, where does this name come from and how would you describe this track?
Ponte Cakes comes from my hometown, Pontefract, where these weird licorice sweets called “pontefract cakes” are from. I just felt like this track brought me back to my childhood there. Probably to do with the donk bass in it.
What was your favourite thing about Newcastle, and what secret spots would you recommend people go and visit?
Newcastle is full of culture. I love how everyone knows everyone here, it’s hard to walk through town and not see someone you know. If you’re in Newcastle for drinks, I’d deffo recommend the pubs in Ouseburn, as well as my favourite spot for good tunes called Tokyo. If you want to go for walks and stuff, Jesmond Dene is beautiful. There’s a gorgeous waterfall there and it’s really nice to clear the mind.
How did growing up in Yorkshire influence your music taste?
I was a teenager when donk music was at its prime, all I did was blast donk on my tiny phone after getting it Bluetoothed to me. There was a particular niche of music around while I was a teenager known as “Swagger” mixed by a DJ called Ryan James.
Growing up in Yorkshire involved going to teen parties in clubs with this sort of almost bass house music playing all night. So I’d say it definitely influenced my taste and opened up many alleys of electronic music for me.
Do you remember the first contact you had with music, and how has your taste developed since you were younger?
First contact I remember with music is my mum’s taste, which was stuff like meatloaf and dexy’s midnight runners. The first stuff I started to really like myself off my own accord (to my memory) was probably brass band music, as I started to play the trumpet at age 8 and absolutely loved playing in bands. I still love anything like that, but as I’ve been exposed to more genres, my taste has just grown. Genres aren’t particularly my taste, I see it as either good music or bad music.
What’s your favourite guilty pleasure track?
Cher – Believe. All time favourite.
Your DJ sets often intertwine multiple different genres, what’s the most unexpected track you’ve ever dropped in a set?
That’s a hard one! I always try and keep my sets weird and exciting. Probably the maddest reaction I’ve got was when I was closing after Bellaire a few years ago. I played a mainly disco/house set and as my last song I played Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. The music went off, people were still singing! (laughs)
So besides DJing and producing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Mainly cooking, and eating my masterpieces. I love good food. Watched a lot of cooking programs in my lifetime so I consider myself a chef.
Looking to the future, hopefully to when all clubs, shows and festivals are back on, what would be your dream gig to play?
I’m dying to play at a festival. Dream gig would definitely be a packed set at Glastonbury.
Speaking of the future, have you got anything exciting in the works?
I’ve made sooooo much music in the past few months. I have a lot of exciting projects and a potential album in the works. I reckon all in good time. Just keep your eyes peeled!