Written by Rahoul Naik
LiTek, or has his mum would call him, Vladimir, is a 22 year old House DJ and Producer hailing from the Northern jewel we call Manchester. LiTek has been putting out music for a good few years now and his most recent track with Tom Zanetti and Curtis Clacey, Uber, has caught some serious attention around the world. We got together with the Ukrainian born music man to find out more about his music and where he hopes the success of Uber can take him.
How did you first get into music?
Vlad: “When I first moved to the UK, I started playing professional football, it’s what my family wanted and it was the initial plan. Over the years, from the age of 14, I started to dabble in music and every year it just got stronger and stronger and soon my attention turned to music. Over the years, I’ve pretty much taught myself everything from the music basics to production and how to be a producer.”
Who are your biggest influences inside and outside of music?
V: “Oh, that’s quite a tough one. Inside of music probably Timbaland and Scott Storch; the kind of guys who initially got me into music. Outside of music, probably Messi, I know he’s a footballer but his attitude to life and what he does and how he does it is inspiring.”
Who are you listening to right now?
V: “I listen to all kinds of styles of electronic music by artists from labels such as This Ain’t Bristol, Dirtybird, and CUFF. Kyle Watson is probably my favourite producer at the moment. Also, outside of House, I listen to a lot of Hip-Hop and the new wave of Trap music like Young Thug and Migos too.”
Who would your dream collaborator be?
V: “Somebody asked me that, the other day. Probably Timbaland, it has always been him. His style has always been so unique to me, I tried to learn a lot from his sound especially at the beginning. If I go back and listen to old stuff now, I can hear the influence.”
Let’s get into the music, we have to talk about Uber. Working with Tom Zanetti and Curtis Clacey. How did all of that come about? What was the recording process like?
V: “To be honest with you, it was a bit of a random one. I make music with Curtis’ younger brother. He told Curtis about the stuff I do and one night he came to my studio, and said ‘I’ve heard a lot about you, show me some stuff, no matter what genre”. I played him a few tracks and beats and he was instantly drawn to ‘Uber’ and he just started writing lyrics then and there. When I work with vocalists I like to let them have their creative freedom and I said it was a sick idea. Once the track got picked up by the label, who saw the bigger picture and brought Tom Zanetti to the table who gave the track a whole new dimension.”
Did you know it was going to be such a success or are you still surprised by the amount of traction it has got?
V: “You never really know with things like this; sometimes I make a track and think ‘oh yeah this is it’ and then nothing really happens. With ‘Uber’ there was a lot of excitement and Curtis was great to work with because he is so positive and passionate about the work he does. When we finished the tune and by the time it came out, it had been almost a year, it took a while but since it’s been out I’ve just been trying to take it in.”
Who came up with the video idea? It’s so original and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
V: “It actually had nothing to do with Curtis or I. I got pitched the idea and I thought it was really cool that it was done by the same person who made Pingu and I think was involved in the making of Wallace and Gromit too. The tune is quite bouncy, happy and is a party track and I thought the video worked really well with it.”
Do you think that your sound has grown or evolved since perhaps your first few remixes and the Skankin’ Sessions or even All Around The World?
V: “Yeah definitely, I think that my core sound and style is still the same but since those days, I’ve tried to apply myself to more of a UK sound and it actually came over time and since I’ve been going out. Obviously, when I first started back in the day I wasn’t going out but once you experience the culture first hand it’s easier to pick things up around you. I don’t regret the stuff from before, it’s helped shape me and how I make music now.”
Can we expect more music from you in 2017?
V: “Yes, definitely. There are also collaborations finished and ready to come and I have solo stuff I’m working on and the follow up to ‘Uber’ is also on the way.”
Do you think that the dance scene now is all in EPs and singles? Is the House or Techno album is dead?
V: “Yeah I think so, I think that albums still play a big role in an artists’s career as it reflects who that person is and an album is essentially a musical journey or message that is difficult to portray in an EP or single. I think it’s definitely something I will look to do later on down the line for sure.”
What has been your favourite remix to do?
V: “I hate to say but it has to be the Aezelia Banks ‘Chasing Time’ remix, although I can’t stand that tune any more. I put that out so long ago and it is still pretty much the only Soundcloud notification I get but it was indeed very pivotal in my career so far so it is still important.”
If you could be a cocktail, what would you be and why?
V: “I don’t really do cocktails, but if I had to be a drink, I would be a vodka & coke. The vodka is close to my heritage and roots and so I’ve learnt to play on as many stereotypes as possible.”
LiTek has also just dropped the first episode of his new mixtape series called In My Uber. You can check that out here.
Watch the incredible video for Uber below.