Prok & Fitch Interview
Hi Ben/James, thanks for taking some time out of what we know is currently a very busy schedule for you guys. What have you been up to recently?
No problem at all, yeah its been a pretty manic start to the year, January we were pretty much on the road all month touring Asia, Indonesia, and six days parting at the infamous BPM festival in Mexico, & of course a few sets closer to home. February’s been all about UK gigs & a lot of studio time, we’ve got so many projects on the go at the moment with loads of new music scheduled for release well into summer, so pretty busy trying to get as much as possible finished before the madness of Miami Music Week in March.
Work/life balance - something that many people struggle with in so many different lines of work. Would you say this is particularly hard to achieve as DJs?
Yes it’s so important to attempt to get the right balance, and can be quite a challenge at times. It’s a fair bit tougher for DJ’s as we’re generally working when our mates & families are on down time, that’s the toughest bit when you tend to miss out on a lot of social stuff with your friends and family. We do often try to fly in & out of gigs as quick as possible so we can spend as much time at home as possible, its important to keep that balance and focus.
How did ‘Prok & Fitch’ come about? What were you doing before you became a duo?
Before meeting we were both heavily involved in the Dance scene, James spent a lot of time living in Valencia & a regular on the club circuit over there, Ben was based in Brighton & a resident at the infamous Honeyclub in its heyday. Fast forward a few years to 2007; Ben - "I used to work in the record shop BPM in Brighton, James used to be in their a lot buying music, I knew he was producing music as his track 'Pass The Funk' was doing the business in the shop, I'd always wanted to get into production, so had a chat with him about re-doing 'Outro Lugar' - he was also a big fan of the track, so the next step was getting in the studio together, we hit it off from there“
Luckily for us Roger Sanchez picked up our debut record for his legendary Stealth Label, giving us a nice boost into the scene & launching our career as a Duo.
Have you always been on the same page as to your musical tastes and inspirations?
Mutually Todd Terry has been our biggest influence in terms of music production, he’s an absolute legend & is responsible for some of the biggest house records ever made. Well before meeting we were both hammering Todd’s records & his grooves still inspire us today as much they did back then.
While we both love house music, we do have slightly different tastes, James’s routes stem from more peak time house, whilst Bens more on the deeper side, so it’s a good mixture when we bring this together.
You’ve had some very strong releases recently. ‘Rhyme for Rhyme’ and before that ‘Tears’ – both released on Coyu’s label Suara. Can we expect more releases through the label? How did the link-up with Coyu and his label come about?
We'd been big fans of both Coyu & Suara for quite a few years, and it was always a label that we aspired to release on. With the success of our earlier 2015 Toolroom releases, a few doors had opened with regards to putting music on other significant labels. Coyu was pretty specific he loved "One Of These Days" and wanted to release something similar. With that in mind we spent a lot of time in the studio working on an idea that later became "Tears", it was slightly on more of a house vibe than our previous Toolroom releases and it seemed to be the perfect fit for Suara, and thankfully became one of the biggest selling records of the year, we’ve now got a great relationship with Coyu and the guys at Suara so I’m sure we will feature on the label again in the future.
You of course have released some big tracks through Mark Knight’s Toolroom Records and we loved his recent documentary, a great insight into what life is like for A DJ (amongst other things). It’s clear from social media and the like that you guys are good friends. What is it like to work with Mark?
Ha ha yeah its a really good watch, and a great representation of him as a person. We’ve known Mark for quite a while now, and have always got on well with him, we’re good friends now, He’s very focused with where he wants to go musically and in his career. Our collaboration with him “Into My Life” started quite a while ago, almost over two years, we’d been bouncing ideas back & fourth but kept on going back to the drawing board, we struggled to get the right balance we were all happy with. Just goes to show perseverance pays off, we found the right balance and it was well worth it in the end…
There’s going to be young DJs reading this that we’re sure would love to achieve one day what Prok & Fitch have achieved. What advice could you give them?
Nowadays being just a good DJ isn’t really enough to break into the market and be successful, there’s so much competition out there, especially with the advances in technology within music production and DJ’ing. You need to be fully immersed in the industry, putting on parties / making music, building a brand, but most importantly producing music that you love & won’t get bored of playing week on end (believe us it can happen). Its so important to develop your own style & sound; that’s a must if you want to stand out, take inspiration from as many musical styles as possible, but don’t pay to much attention to fads, others wise you’re style will be constantly changing genre’s as opposed to evolving which will give much more longevity.
You have played at so many major clubs & parties all over the world. From Space Ibiza to Sensation, many of which are to audiences of thousands. Our IN:SESSION event’s are intimate parties that are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Do you enjoy having your audience up so close?
Yeah intimate events and house party type venues are our favourite (besides that Space Terrace!). There’s no better feeling than being amongst the crowd & connecting with them, its much easier to get a vibe going & taking them on a more of a musical journey. We’ve heard some great things about how IN:SESSION parties are taking shape so we cant wait to get amongst it and kick off the first one.
You have an unlimited budget and a club with two large rooms. You can have three DJs in each. Who would you have in Room 1 and who would you have in Room 2?
The Ibiza government decides that although a fundamental part of the Islands income, the clubbing scene on the island just isn’t for them anymore. The cool parts of the island stay cool but essentially ‘clubless’ and San Antonio becomes ‘Margate of the med’. Where should everyone go instead this summer?
That’s a real tough one there would never be anywhere quite like Ibiza, the diversity of the DJ’s & parties are amazing. We hear the isle of white has quite a rocking scene ;)
What can we expect from your set at IN:SESSION #1 on the 5th March?
With Miami just around the corner, we have a loads of new tracks & Re-Edits to test out, so expect to hear some music that no ones heard before, a lot of energy & a pretty special atmosphere, its Ben’s birthday so no doubt the Sambuca will be flowing….
Thanks guys – see you on the 5th!