Oneman has been at the forefront of almost every significant movement in British club music. Having cut his teeth with the dubstep crowd in the mid 2000s, he joined Rinse FM in ’07 and established himself as a key player in British bass music, one of the few to do it without dropping a single original production. To this day, ONEMAN’s focus is firmly on DJing, bringing together the disparate strands of British dance music in legendary mixes that span everything from UK Funky to grime and dubstep. Last week he kicked off his new project ONEDANCE, a new series of mixes, radio shows and in-store events with street-wear icons Patta.
Inspired by his time at the One Nation and Sidewinder raves back in the day, ONEDANCE is all about unity, building on Oneman’s residency at XOYO last summer. We went down to the first of his in-store sets at Patta’s flagship store last week to find out more about their upcoming T-Shirt collaboration, ONEDANCE and his love of all things UK.
Tell us about ONEDANCE..
“ONEDANCE is a new mix, event and radio series by myself. The aim is to cover the past 20 years musically based on the UK Underground past and present.”
For the uninitiated – what was the vibe like at One Nation and Sidewinder back in the day?
“The vibe at Sidewinder was a young, unified urban group of mostly college kids. White, black, indian … the music policy would also switch up during the night and garage crews were also very important at the time.”
Why did you choose to do the in-stores?
“To make it different and interesting and to draw people to environments I would usually find myself. With Patta, we’ve been hand in hand supporting each other a lot over the past 7/8 years too.”
You’ve been involved in so many of the UK’s dance music scenes – what’s your favourite club moment?
“One of my favourite club moments was definitely going to a Night Slugs party at East Village in Hoxton a while back. Girl Unit was playing and out of nowhere dropped ‘WUT’. I will never forget the first time I heard that track.”
What was your first encounter with dance music?
“Going to my mum’s workplace as a kid. She worked at London Records who were responsible for a lot of the UK Dance music released at the time, from Adamski to Goldie.”
What was your first clubbing experience?
“My first real clubbing experience was Kiss FM 20/20 (20th year anniversary) party at Alexandra Palace! My mate won the tickets on the radio after answering a question correctly.”
Why was now the time to bring all these strands of UK dance music together?
“To be honest it’s what I have always done, or tried to achieve, with my radio shows and previous mixtapes. This time, i’m just making a bigger statement about what I do and it felt like the right time to do it after the XOYO residency last year.”
How did you go about choosing who to perform at the XOYO launch and the in-stores?
“I wanted each one to be slightly different and represent a side of UK music that I love.”
ONEDANCE takes over XOYO May 28th with Oneman, DJ Zinc, MJ Cole, Plastician, Spooky, Barely Legal & more, more information here.
Photography Marco Grey
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