Fordal: “I think ultimately technology is there to enhance your music and therefore your artistic vision”

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We had the pleasure of speaking with Fordal, a rising DJ and producer from the North East of England. We speak with him about his journey as an artist and what listeners can expect from his return to Forensic Records with his newest release ‘Alleviate.’

Last week, the London-based DJ recently returned to Forensic Records, which he co-owns, for the release of his latest single, ‘Alleviate.’ The single also had a remix done by the Spanish DJ Luis Damora. In this interview, Fordal opens up about various topics, such as the influences that inspired his career, his artistic vision, and what are his next aspirations and goals. You can listen to ‘Alleviate’ here.

Your musical journey seems deeply rooted in both personal experience and cultural influences. Could you share a pivotal moment that solidified your passion for dance music?

I’ve had many pivotal moments that shaped and solidified my passion for dance music. I would have to say they would encompass three very influential DJs: Sasha, Andrew Weatherall, and Danny Tenaglia. Seeing Sasha play at Renaissance in Mansfield, northern England back in the 90’s started it all for me. Just seeing the impact, he had on the crowd was seminal to me. The place was just going wild. I first saw Weatherall at Turnmills in London, he played a blistering six-hour techno set that blew my mind. Danny Tenaglia (already a legend by the time I started going to see him) was headlining a huge rave in the UK, but it was his set, played after hours to around 200 people that live in my memory. Playing four (technics) decks blending techno, house, and rock and roll! Incredible. The whole scene back then made you feel like you were part of something very special. No one could have ever imagined how those early days would be evolved into.

When did you start to feel secure in the industry and as a producer? Did anyone along the way validate that for you?

I’ve had some great teachers! Starting with Saytek during my time at Point Blank Music School. Along the way, I’ve had invaluable help and support from Denney who’s given me really good advice over the years. I would say Russ Yallop has helped me sharpen my technical skills in the studio and is someone I still love to work with to this day.  Last but certainly not least would be my Label partner Chris Scott (aka Lexicon Ave) who as well as working together on our label ‘Forensic Records’ has been a huge influence and collaborator. 

Your style is known for defying musical boundaries and incorporating a diverse range of genres. How do you approach blending different sounds to create your unique sonic landscape?

I would say being open to as many genres as possible. I listen to new music every day, it inspires new ideas then I begin to write and produce I guess. DJ’ing and being in and around dancefloors for the last 25 years helps me understand what would work in clubs, at festivals, and similar events. The use of this knowledge and experience is intrinsic right throughout my creative process.

Many artists struggle to find their distinct voice in music. What advice would you offer to emerging producers seeking to develop their signature style?

There’s so much incredible music available, I think it’s important to find what resonates with you, what you love.  Rather than imitate, when you get inspired let what inspires you be the springboard to start creating. I believe we’re always developing, even experienced artists at the top of their game. For me, my signature style comes with trying, failing, and learning!

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You’ve played at prestigious venues around the world. Can you recall a particularly memorable performance or moment that stands out to you?

I would say the standout performance would be my debut Ibiza gig at Pikes. Pikes was always an iconic name/venue to me as I fell in love with the island all those years ago. I remember the nerves I felt as the DJ on before I was finishing and I prepared to get on the decks. It’s a feeling I still get now, which I love as it makes every performance feel real and honest.

Your journey has taken you from attending iconic events like The Arena Opening Party to honing your skills at Point Blank Music School. How has formal education complemented your hands-on experience in music production?

I would say being involved in those early years of the scene development, even if it was as a clubber/raver then helped inspire the passion I still have now.  My first-ever gig was at the Arena, a venue that was very close to my heart and pretty much fueled the craziness of the late 90s for me. Deciding to make the step into music production led me to formal education. Ultimately experiencing those early years, taking the step to perform as a DJ, and then applying myself to learn production, all interlink.  Therefore, I am exactly where I am today, still with lots to learn and the passion to do so.

The music industry is constantly evolving. How do you navigate staying true to your artistic vision while also adapting to changes in technology and audience preferences?

I think ultimately technology is there to enhance your music and therefore your artistic vision.  Even with the developments in AI – the artist’s vision and direction is still paramount. How you get there might change along the way, but your vision stays clear.

Can you give us a glimpse into what listeners can expect from your new releases?

Eclectic, hopefully exciting (they are to me!) and evolving.  I still love the progressive house vibe, but I also love artists like Adam Ten. Indie Dance, melodic techno, electro, and organic house, all inspire and influence how I feel when I want to create.  Some exciting and diverse releases for 2024 and beyond for sure – stay tuned!

As someone deeply immersed in counterculture music, how do you see your role in shaping or contributing to the broader music scene?

As an artist, keep true to myself, evolve, and keep enjoying what I do. As a label owner, make sure I do right by our vision, and do the right thing for our current and future artists by providing a platform to push music in the way I and Chris (Scott) believe in.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations or goals for the future of your music career?

To continue to push and develop the label, including more diverse music. I want to continue to create new music I love, evolve my sound and most of all have fun.

Purchase Fordal – Alleviate single via this link.

Follow Fordal on Social Media:
SoundCloud l Facebook l Instagram

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