Mission Makers Podcast | London | UK
EP 011 / 21.03.2022
lee burridge 0:00
And it's the industry that needs to take go seriously, not the crowd. Because I've seen it with our artists that, you know, you see other girls just in awe, as well as the men that you know, these, these are their favourite DJs. And I think that's what's maybe standing in a way. And one of the reasons and I don't know, like when I was a kid, I hope things are different now. But boys with technology, even if it's a video game, you didn't want to let your sister play. You know, it's like, no, I'm playing, you know, and it's this whole kind of male ego overwhelming at all, all sorts of things. I mean, creativity is genderless, isn't it? You know, and I've met so many
beautiful, we supported so many beautiful girls that make beautiful music. Yet, here we are with you telling me it's 2%. That's kind of blowing my mind actually. You're listening to the mission makers show, a podcast that inspires humans to get into the mindset of success.
Farah Nanji 1:02
My name is Farah Nanji. And I'm the founder of a business in the motorsports industry that explores leadership lessons from things like Formula One. I'm also a DJ and music producer in the underground electronic scene, and a public speaker on key topics like resilience, building high performance teams, overcoming learning difficulties and stimulating creativity. And to tie it all together, I love writing thought provoking content as a journalist for these industries, which is so unique in themselves. On this show, I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring and driven people I've met around the world to talk about their processes, their failures, the lessons they've learned, and how they're truly making an impact for this world.
So it's the final episode of season three of mission makers and I'm beyond honoured to close this season with an absolute legend in dance music today, leverage a visionary, a pioneer a disrupter, Lee's name has been synonymous in defining a melodic, melancholic, floating sound that has exploded in popularity with his brand Audeo dream, amongst many other highly notable achievements. This week's episode dives deep into the mental pressures of performing consistently at such a high level for three decades straight. His feelings about the industry as well as his advice to up and coming artists and so much more. So just before we begin, if you're interested in watching the video version of this podcast, head over to YouTube and type in Liebhard mission makers to see the show. And if you're interested in some really cool rewards like Virtual DJ lessens the chance to ask our guests questions and exclusive merchandise, head over to patreon.com Ford slash mission makers to check out how you can access these exclusive rewards. And thank you to all of you who've been writing into us and subscribing to the show. It really makes a difference. So don't forget to hit that subscribe button if you love the content we're making here at Mission makers, and help us take the show to the next level in season four. Hey, Lee, welcome to the show. How you doing today?
lee burridge 3:06
I'm doing quite well. Thank you. My voice is a little scratchy from a very long weekend. But otherwise good.
Farah Nanji 3:12
Yeah, absolutely. It was your birthday. So belated wishes. And yeah, it's such a it's such an honour and a pleasure to have you on mission makers. I'm genuinely so excited for the next hour ahead. And as with a lot of our interviews, we like to kind of get back into the beginning. And so starting off with our sort of intro section, you're you're a master and innovator of the electronic electronics or sorry, genre, with nearly 40 years of experience in the industry under your belt, which is absolutely incredible. So do you remember like the first kind of moments that you really discovered? You're calling that sort of lightning bulb moment? And did you ever dream, no pun intended that, you know, it could it could get to this sort of level?
lee burridge 3:52
I definitely had no idea I was I was a postman, actually. And so one of my first jobs after school, I decided not to go to university because I had no idea what it was I wanted to study. So I thought I would work for a summer and sort of have this parallel of staying out until two or 3am and then getting back up at 4am and going delivered delivering the post but I was doing weddings and kids birthdays and then nightclubs very early on. And you know, I there was no real sort of global music industry that I knew of. I'm living in the countryside in Dorset, so I had no sort of nothing to dream other than Wow, I love playing music. But rewinding to when I was less than 10 Music was always the thing that compelled me the most out of anything, but I had no sort of nobody to mentor me or guide me into I don't know becoming a musician or you know, it's just a genuine passion sitting on my bedroom floor on a Sunday night with a little tape recorder, recording the charts and just listening to music over and over and wanting to know the lyrics and it sort of ended up being In a DJ career, just due to a guy called Steve Smith, who played in my father's pub in 1982, the exactly before I did my first gig. So it just sort of happens to me. But as soon as I was given the opportunity to do it full time, which was somebody offered me a job in Asia in 1990, that I leapt at the chance. And I think when I moved back to London in 1997, so after six years in Asia, that's when it really started making sense. And I started to see a wider industry. And it was really something I was, I wow, I want to do this, you know, I want to be able to travel around England actually was my first aspiration, which, you know, I achieved, obviously, and then, after that came everything else.
Farah Nanji 5:48
Yeah, I mean, talking about Asia, I mean, you you're one of the the sort of spearheads for forging the rave scene and in Hong Kong and, and I know, you're sort of behind a lot of the full moon parties. But back in the pre social media days, which I can imagine were completely wild and different. So this must have been crazy. What does it sort of mean to know that your legacy, it's not just confined to your sound, but also culture idea, and, and the liberation that I feel that you've, you've really inspired?
lee burridge 6:15
I haven't really ever thought about legacy until the last 10 years. So I think back then, it came from a very innocent and naive place, and also a lot of luck and being in the right place at the right time. And I think I was just doing what I believed in and what I loved, which was sharing music with people, I think after the initial sparks of thinking, actually, everywhere you went back, then you went, Wow, this would be a great place for a party. So that was clubs in Hong Kong beaches in Thailand. And of course, I wasn't the only person. But I was really in the first wave of people really doing these things in these places. But I think with legacy, it just sort of it just trails behind without much thought. In 2007 2008, I started really wanting to, I actually always wanted to help other people. But I realised that I could help other people. Just because I think my career was starting to establish itself in a place that you can really sort of do more than just things for yourself. And all their dream itself came out of the desire to create something new that didn't exist in the space, as well as support younger talent that maybe not, don't have the opportunity, or the understanding the experience the connections to move forward from where they are, you know, there's a lot of sort of floundering out there of like, I don't know what to do, I don't know how to do it. And I think nowadays, you can maybe watch a YouTube tutorial on how to become a DJ or something, but back then not so much. And a lot of the industry itself isn't completely supportive of a broader range of artists, they find one, that's it, they develop them. So looking back. Now, I mean, I guess legacy is just, for me, it's the opportunity to actually help still help the younger artists, and hopefully, with all their dreams, a platform that will outlast me, you know, hopefully it will be around for a long time, but it will be there as something you know, I kind of created to be able to, you know, just nurture younger talent, and give them the opportunity to do the thing they love the most as well.
Farah Nanji 8:32
What does that what does that journey look like if someone is in that position where they lucky and they get sort of taken under your wings? What what what can they sort of expect from you?
lee burridge 8:43
I think it's not just me, it's actually the the community that I've built around the idea. They're so friendly and supportive. So they will help with, you know, tiny details of production or the broader thing with production, you know, they may sort of say, no, no, no, start with this. So you have a very, you have a great network of various sort of different directions of music that's right there for you. And when it comes to like sort of playing out the events, obviously, on a global scale at this point, especially in the US, there's quite a lot of weights to being part of the family. So I may book a new artists for a few of the key events. And a lot of the time they they really just come on board at the beginning we have the kind of it's not a trial, but it's sort of an apprenticeship of sorts. I mean, I've done it myself, you know, it's not always the best thing in the world to play the warm up set. But it's that whole thing of being, Oh, who's this new name somebody new and then after that, you know, after they've sort of come through the door, they play you know, I also put smaller artists on to close out parties. I've never really been hung up on that whole idea that we have the biggest DJ at the end. You know, it's, in fact I kind of like going the opposite direction and Being in the middle and almost because that because I believe in them. So it really is a it's just a place to show their talent. And and it's a place to release their music and it's a sort of family of artists to support them, myself included. So yeah, that's kind of where we're at.
Farah Nanji 10:17
Awesome. Thank you for giving us that, that overview. So the meaning of your name Lee is actually meadow and often when you think of a meadow, it's reminiscent of peace and tranquillity. Has this sort of meaning ever had any sort of resonance in your life? Do you think it might even translate to your music?
lee burridge 10:36
So the interesting question, actually, um, I looked at my name once as well. And I think it's something like it's the sheltered side of something. So, and I've always been really interested in names like, does a name affect your you know, your path through life? Because if I was called Steve Berridge would be tougher. Roger berries will be a porn star or something. But then I don't know. I mean, because I don't think I ever really thought of the or looked up the meaning. But perhaps, yeah, I'd like to think it is like, the stars have aligned and my parents decided to call me that, and it's created this wonderful gift of a part for me.
Farah Nanji 11:20
definitely, it's actually a question we love to ask our guests in the in the first part of the interview, and, and surprisingly, a lot, a lot of people aren't aware of it in some weird way. It's had some sort of subconscious. You know, they've kind of been embodied that that meaning. So that said, there's a beautiful meaning and message and talking of names. I mean, I'm curious then to know like, do you when you write music? Do you have a name already like for your tracks? Or does that come a lot later on your creative process?
lee burridge 11:50
Do you ever I'm gonna ask you a question. Do you ever sort of say, great band name, you know, when you say two words together, I write down so many names that I think are great names for tracks. And that used to be part of the process, which is actually we would try to write a track to the name, but it never worked out. And then we tried to sort of like, look through the list and think, does this one suit this track, and that never kind of worked out? You know, maybe one in 10 times? So not nowadays, really, we kind of come up with the name, how it felt during the journey of making the tracks, something always just comes up, you know, but sometimes there's a leaping off point, you know, where we look through the list, and it sort of sends us in a direction. That's the working title, but it never really ends up being the name of the track in the end.
Farah Nanji 12:41
Yeah, same for me actually, I have a little Evernote document with, with all random names I think of and yeah, but in the end, it kind of just just comes later, I guess. But yeah, so you went from, as you mentioned, you grew up in Dorset. And I think it was a small village environment. And then you went, obviously, to the bright lights of Asia. And it's a huge change in so many ways. So I'd love to know how your reach shaped you, and also how you dealt with that change, you know, being a young young man and kind of going from from there to to to Asia as well.
lee burridge 13:14
I mean, obviously, in villages, there's a much smaller mentality to the wider world than there is if you grew up in a city, for instance, because you're obviously exposed to less sort of diverse group of people. However, I grew up in a pub. So it was very summer oriented holiday, kind of based village where during the winter, there's 50 people in the village injuring stomach, you know, it's kind of a lot busier. So I think, luckily enough, by the sort of, from 12, working behind the bar, don't tell the authorities I had actually got to meet, learn to communicate with, you know, all sorts of people, interesting people, you know, and you'll learn the social skill of small talk and just seeing different people that came through. But when I went to Hong Kong, the thing was, I sort of discovered really quickly that Hong Kong itself was like a giant village. So everybody kind of stayed in very small pockets in the city. There was quite a divide between Chinese culture and Western culture. So the Westerners lived in these you know, few areas and went to these few areas to shop or to go to the bars. So it was very familiar in some ways. And yet, I was lucky enough that I sort of managed to feel very at home instantly, I was very welcoming city actually very safe as well. So my roots kind of aligned with how it ended up being in my 20s in Hong Kong. But it also gives gave me the opportunity of utter freedom. So the watchful eyes of, I guess what you consider to be authority be that parents or the police when Really, honestly. So yeah, there was a lot of freedom, there were a lot of mistakes, there was a lot of crazy. But you know, I navigated through it, okay. And really only when I moved again, I suddenly moved to London in 97. That's when there was this sort of, I'm glad I had the buffer between Dorset's and London, of Hong Kong, it sort of trained me into really being able to live in the city, but in a gentle way. And then, you know, London's quite a hard city to live in, if you don't know anybody, which is, you know, I went back with a couple of friends. And that was it, you know, and so I don't think I would have survived, with my roots being Eapp, in endorse it without being able to sort of apply them gently grow through Hong Kong.
Farah Nanji 15:50
Definitely. And what are your thoughts on the London scene?
lee burridge 15:55
I mean, I think that I'm old, and I don't really even know what's going on. Now, because we, you know, we always make what we're doing about ourselves. The London scene to me, for somebody that's sort of in and out of London is it's Breathing in breathing out, you know, it's, there's always things developing always interesting things. And I think it still has an edge. And it's wonderful. And it leads the way in the world. And a lot of the time when it comes to music and things that are happening. You know, there's a long time when Germany kind of overwhelmed the UK, and especially London in terms of what was at the front, you know, it came up through underground clubs, and it became so popular globally, but London's always there, you know, it's never going away. There's always amazing, creative, young people doing so much in that city, because it's nothing, you know, and it's, it's never going to change. But you know, I wish I knew more.
Farah Nanji 16:55
Yeah, no, definitely, I think, you know, part of it is, is also governments and not supporting or enabling the the creative scene in the UK or London to really thrive, versus a place like Berlin. So talking about, you know, Audeo dream naturally, you know, you created this label and party series in 2011. And it's, it's created this incredible community of its own within electronic music. So take us through the concept of of auditorium and how it's sort of evolved to you and the community overtime.
lee burridge 17:27
So I guess, I mean, I'll take you right back. And I've obviously said this before, in interviews, there was a, an actual Previous to this, so the minimal was huge. I kind of had replaced where I was at, I was doing okay, you know, we were we had a residency at FabriK. We, alongside Craig Richards, I mean, he was the resident and Tyrone, the event that we were doing had a residency. So I was there once a month, and we were playing kind of wonky early tech house before tech house became more formulaic. We were playing breakbeat and we were playing techno and playing all sorts of things. And it was beautiful model of music that wasn't really happening anywhere else. And we absorbed the West Coast sound from the US and Terry Francis with all this kind of stuff in it was, was beautiful. And then minimal, sort of just kept growing and growing and growing. And where we were at became less relevant, not irrelevant, but just less. And, for me, it was one of the biggest tips I've ever had in my career. So panicking, I moved to Rebekah, and I took on this sort of like, I need to join somebody else's bandwagon which had never really been like that in my life. And it didn't really last very long in my head. So it's hanging out at DC 10 trying to sort of schmooze, you know, just doing all the wrong things when I look back now. And then suddenly, I just I was at an after party, somebody was complaining about what I was playing one particular track. And and I just sort of had this spark where I was like, What am I doing? I'm trying to sort of fit square peg round hole. So I went back and I just started thinking about, Okay, what do I really want to do? What do I believe in and I'd started finding very disparate labels with the odd track which had melodic melodic elements in it. Over a year, I managed to gather enough of those together and form a mix, which became called was called all day I dream of her. And I just felt compelled with this music. So I just was searching and searching and searching for it all the time. And then I started giving the mix to girls actually, because it felt like I also started noticing there were girls going to dance music events, just to sort of gauge the response. So there was a lot of passion and love for the mix. And it sort of kept growing from there. Then Resident Advisor asked me to do a mix which I gave them that particular mix and it was also very well received. And I think maybe six months later, I was at an after party in Mexico. I forget who was playing, but the music was really oppressive. And you know, a lot of friends were there. And I just sort of said, Do you mind if I play some music? So bear in mind, prior to me playing everybody just sitting back, eyes rolling, you know, just what's going on, I put it on, I started playing with music, everybody stood up, everybody's smiling, it became very communal. And that really stuck with me. So, again, fast forward another few months, I played at a festival lightning in a bottle in the US. And, again, there was a very specific energetic sound. And I was like, You know what, I'm not going to do that I'm going to really like take a risk, and play this music. So play three hours of it. And it was the most trippy, happy, joyous, beautiful, like experience, I had my head standing up on my arms. And so that's the, that's the foundation of the idea of daydream, it came from all these different experiences, and gathering this music. And then I just decided, I need to do this, I was doing fairly well in New York, but New York itself, every promoter was cutting a corner, either the sound wasn't good, there was no production, there weren't enough girls at the party, just stuff. So I'm like, Okay, I need to make some changes right now. And I thought I would take a risk. I've never been a promoter before. And I decided to put on all their dream. Luckily, I had the help of friends. At the time, who really were also key in making the event happen, both from the production and sort of reaching out to people because your ego as a DJ, you'd like to think that everybody's in the nightclub for you. However, I think if you went around and said, Who's DJing tonight, in any nightclub, there's also going to be people that are like, I don't know, you know, they just they just go there. And it's not like, they don't enjoy it, but they're not so in the scene that they follow the artists. So I had that realisation about two days before the party, and I was like, Oh, my God, how many people are gonna come, and we're gonna lose loads of money. But luckily, you know, across our networks, we managed to get 350 People at the first party, I also decided that it was all about continuity. So I did one party every month, that summer performance, so we went 300 people, 500 people, 700 people, 100 people, on a roof for 500 people, so totally dangerous.
And that was it. I just, I knew in my core that this idea was gonna work out. And, and I also sort of made this sort of intention. At the beginning, I just want to make people smile. And it's still actually the the intention for all their dream, it never really changed in of course, you know, everybody's supposed to start a label before you start a party. But I started a party before I started a label. And the label itself luckily enough, I crossed paths with Matthew DKW, who is still to this day, you know, one of the most talented producers that I've ever gotten to work with and ever Matt and Matthew never even came to the events, but he shaped the idea of the music, from the words, the descriptions and the mix itself from a few years prior to that.
Farah Nanji 23:21
Amazing, thank you so much for taking us through through that journey and talking about sort of the first the first parties what what was it about New York that inspired you to kind of kick it all off in New York.
lee burridge 23:33
Really a mixture of as I said, it was kind of my most popular market at the time. Also, there's there's a Burning Man tie in, there's a lot of people in New York that go to Burning Man. So I felt like tap into that community itself. I liked the idea of doing an outdoor event in a more kind of blunt, brutal space, but giving it a feminine edge with the deck or because I like the kind of juxtaposition of the heart and the stuff the light in the dark. But mainly, I just think I think it was kind of the place that I felt I in Europe if I'd launched in Europe, I think it's there's there was so much going on. And so many established brands and such sort of love of minimal that I felt like New York was the place and also the US itself apart from maybe the more commercial end of dance music. As a country, it never really had a sound and I had this intention that give it some sort of sound. You know, it's not across the board for everybody and it's still an underground scene. But if you think back to Detroit techno house music out of Chicago house music app Scargo has the music I found in Dorset in 1986 and 86. So it's not like it didn't go anywhere. But in America. It took a long time for dance me Ready to spread out across the country and have some sound where you could have an event, easily having an event with 1000s of people in all sorts of different cities. And I felt that I started in New York. I mean, New York is, you know, alongside London, it's one of the most important cities in the world for many, many reasons. So it carries weight. And I always kind of figured that if we can make a successful event in New York, that also will carry some sort of weight in if we come back and import back into Europe. So there was a kind of there was an awareness that that's those were my intentions. That's what I wanted to do. And luckily, it worked out.
Farah Nanji 25:41
Definitely, as they say, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. I'm talking about feminine energy. And, you know, on the dance floor, obviously, it being unbalanced back then, but, you know, here we are 2021. And there's still only 2% of music producers being female. So, clearly, you know, there's still a long way to go. What do you think the sort of major blockages are?
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lee burridge 26:51
I didn't know that that's really sad, but it's only 2% I guess maybe it's role models. I mean, nowadays, it seems there are more role models. female role models in music, I guess. Nina Kravitz, Emily lens, Charlotte DeWitt, Cassie, Miss kitten, Nicole moudaber. You know that. And I think that in even in all their dream, I've actually since the beginning tried to encourage female artists. But bear in mind over 10 years really, I've only discovered for that fit with our music. I most of the demos I get I'm actually you know, disproportionate to guys and yeah, I mean, I guess without more goes out there, you know, not as a token, because a girl you know, as some kind of novelty with, with when, when it's somebody that can be taken seriously. And it's the industry that needs to take go seriously, not the crowd. Because I've seen it with our artists that, you know, you see other girls just in awe, as well as the men that you know, these these are their favourite DJs I think that's what's maybe standing in a way. And one of the reasons and I don't know, like when I was a kid, I hope things are different now. But boys with technology, even if it's a video game, you didn't want to let your sister play. You know, it's like no, I'm playing you know, and it's this whole kind of male ego overwhelming at all, all sorts of things. I mean, creativity is genderless isn't it? You know, and I've met so many beautiful, we supported so many beautiful girls that make beautiful music. Yet here we are with us telling me it's 2% That's kind of blowing my mind actually. Not enough role models. So come on girls.
Farah Nanji 28:55
definitely it's food for thought and you know, in perhaps some some positivity in this is the GCSE music curriculum now has music production DJing as 40% of its grade for music, so I find that absolutely amazing that that push has happened and perhaps it's it's still, you know, we were talking off air about racing, but you know, generation away but But nonetheless, having those role models, like you say, Nicole, who's obviously you know, broken so many doors down to kind of to be where she is. And the rest, you know, definitely agree. So, obviously, we're speaking sort of coming hopefully off the back of the pandemic. So just curious to know sort of how was the some of you like how did it feel getting back to the stage and, and also, how was it locked down for you? I mean, did you did you actually thrive in having a bit of a break from a crazy touring schedule and stuff like that?
lee burridge 29:50
Absolutely. I realised that quality of life isn't work. You know, I love what I do, but everything got rolled out up into this endless kind of conveyor belt of going and travelling and playing and sleeping and leaving and, and you know, as I said, it's great, but being given that sort of time to step back and realise there are other things in life other than just playing music to people, it's really it really healthy actually. I think for everybody's mental health almost as well, you know, we, and for the appreciation of we took everything for granted, you know, that everything's just going to be there forever. And out the other side of it came going back to playing events and clubs. I mean, that was a little trepidatious to start with. Because, of course, there are still people out there that are very, very nervous to crowds gathering on this. And, you know, dance music isn't the highest priority thing for people to integrate back into their lives. However, with the way people struggled through the pandemic, I think a lot more mental health issues came up. And the idea of being part of and sort of joining in with a community of people that you resonate with, is is actually kind of important, because I think the detachment really kind of hurt people in many ways. But it was interesting, going back and seeing this thirst in people for dancing and just being around each other, you know, so some of the best policies I've ever played. Were this year, because it was almost like it never happened ever. And this is people's first ever experience. Going to events and dancing to music.
Farah Nanji 31:42
Yeah, I mean, wow, what a what a crazy, crazy time and talking about mental health, I read that you and Jamie Jones have recently announced a new partnership with the music meditation app called Mayer. hope I'm saying that right. And the mission is part of their music mind journey series, and it seeks to interweave meditation, music and mental health. So now you're many of our listeners will probably strongly relate to electronic music's ability to instil a feeling of deep presence and interconnectivity, similar to the feelings of meditation. So talk to me about your journey with this and what you guys sort of hoped to, you know, achieve and yeah, what the whole vibe is about.
lee burridge 32:22
I mean, there's an interesting new take on the kind of wellness and meditation through music IDEXX I think in the past, you would really think if you were thinking meditation, you would think ambient music or gongs and, you know, sort of sustained voices. But we obviously as you said, I've experienced being on a dance floor, and there's certain hypnotic nature to repetitive beats or melodies. And, I mean, I mean, I, myself and most other people, I think, time just disappears. And you're like, What just happened, you know, a whole night goes by you were there, but you weren't. So I think they they decided to kind of explore using frequency using repetitive beats across a few different DJs and just change the way Meditation really is viewed in the world. Because I think also it can have that sort of stigma of being either against hippies or whatever, people are meditating. I myself actually started using meditation to help me cope with anxiety that I no longer have the anxiety. I have crippling anxiety at times. And and really, it was just I think, overworking excess, and, you know, sort of just being going too fast. And I started with Transcendental Meditation. And whereas before I was throwing Xanax at it, so you know, putting a lid on a pressure cooker. You know, it's great for a moment, but it's still in there. And Tiamat kind of like just literally in the first two sessions. I've never had anxiety since then, which I'm glad that I'm a success case. And I always try that and sort of talk to anybody else that's going through that those kind of anxious feelings and point them in the direction of this But Mayor itself is trying to just bring more people towards meditation because it's not only giving them any chance or people speaking, you know, like, using sort of language to hypnotise beats, which seem more familiar certain dance music tracks, there's also more traditional stuff on there, there's Healing frequencies, there's all sorts of things going on. So yeah, they just approached a few DJs to kind of, rather than bolting us on we're actually I think the music that we we play and we provide to them is actually the right end of dance music at the moment. You know, you can go for a walk, put on your headphones, you know, walk around the park, I suppose eyes open and use it to kind of just take a moment to yourself and stop those 1000 thoughts that are going through your head all the time?
Farah Nanji 35:15
No, definitely. Thank you for sharing that with us. Yeah, it's super interesting. And particularly in the line of work that we're in, you know, obviously, it's such a fast paced life. It's crazy. It's so political as well, and there's so much noise. And it's so important to have that that ground be able to stay grounded in such a in such a crazy industry is so important to have this kind of, sort of mission bought by DJs. I think that's, that's extremely powerful. I'd love to know, like, Do you have any? Or who are your go to artists for when you you know, when you when you want to get into a more than the state of mind?
lee burridge 35:52
Oh, AC DC. Definitely, like just doing this in my head for like, an hour. thing. I don't think of anything else, just the head. I mean, within our roster, I'd say in the Daydream roster, self promotion. How and PPCs. Both have done some amazing albums. Because at that, because there's, there are threads between their music, and to me, it's about the consistency of things. So if I put on an album like this, I'll find myself listening to it three times without noticing I'm listening to it. But there's also something about the sounds they use the softness of the beats, you know, the the lack of intensity in the percussion. At that volume, however, if you go out, you know, in turn them up, it's different. But yeah, I mean, Powell, and Pepe just makes such beautiful music that just is hypnotising. To me.
Farah Nanji 36:53
Amazing. Well, we'll definitely link that into the show notes of this, of this interview. Lee, what do you think, is perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions of underground electronic music or the dance industry as a whole?
lee burridge 37:09
That talent is measured in social media numbers? So from the outside looking in, if you don't know so much about it, the popularity you know, because I mean, we, you know, we can go out today and by that sort of popularity. Yeah, I mean, I, there's so much talent there, and they're not getting booked because the promoters looking at, oh, you only have you know, 2000 followers on Instagram, you know, and, and the, the work itself, the art itself, the music itself, the DJ sets themselves are not really given the recognition they deserve. You know, it's just, it's just the sale point, which is a little bit sad.
Farah Nanji 37:53
No, thank you so much for saying that. I just couldn't agree, agree more. And it's yeah, it's it should be quality over quantity, rather than the other way around, and some in this overly sort of how much information we get fed on a daily basis. Yeah, I guess people. Sometimes writers don't don't take those risks, unfortunately. But yeah, so talking about audio dream, I'm just curious to know, how many people are sort of involved in the whole labour and, and I'm aware that some of them are, you know, naturally, I'm sure become your close friends. So like, how do you find the whole sort of like, work life balance between friends as well in a professional setting?
lee burridge 38:32
I mean, the Labour itself, luckily, initially, I tried to run it on my own, which was where if you look back at the release schedule, it's really all over the place. But I have a wonderful guy called Philip who, yes, has become a friend over time, who used to run minus, I think, Ritchie, and sort of branched out to consume other labels. And so he looks after myself, he looks after after life. And he knows what he's doing. You know, and the one thing I've learned in business because I'm not particularly an amazing businessman, first and foremost, you know, I've learned along the way is to delegate and to trust, and to find the right people. So luckily, Philip is, you know, fabulous running the label, the events themselves, they're these a lot more complex. So we have a bigger team, just to run the overall brand, ranging from you know, dedicated social media person to the event, manage them, like in the broader scale globally, and then the team on the ground is just amazing building the events. So I actually haven't know totted up how many people are working for me but I like I like the personal touch as well not to be you know, in my ivory tower looking down pointing saying do this do that for me. Because actually, when we started the events I was on So carrying the speakers up the stairs to the roof, and eventually it was them that told me I didn't need to do that anymore. And I should just be the talent. So either I'm not very good at carrying speakers, or they didn't want me, you know, pulling my back. But no, I actually really enjoy getting to know people, because it's important to me that the energy of anybody doing anything for myself, or the brand, it has to be the right, they have to be the right person, you know, they have to have the right sentiment and it's not just a job in them, because I like people to actually enjoy what they do. I think you know, that they're gonna do a better job, if they're not sort of dragging their heels to work in the morning being like, I hate this and work environment, what else can I do?
Farah Nanji 40:45
So, and there's probably a lot more other people that would want their jobs. Talking about, you know, pulling the back and stuff, how do you take care of your health as an artist?
lee burridge 40:57
I take a lot of baths. Because, you know, there's something about getting older, that, you know, just I'm actually fine. I, you know, I tried to run, I was doing Pilates a lot, but COVID kind of shut all the studios and, and then I actually haven't started gravitated back to doing it. So I've been travelling around, not really based anywhere. But obviously, meditation. Again, I wish I could say I do it on a daily basis, but it's a little intermittent sometimes. But maybe three, four times a week. If I'm patchy, you know, otherwise, better. I try to stretch in the morning. And also, I think it's finding a balance between the amount of gigs I get offered, and not just saying yes to everything I used to say yes to everything and be bouncing around. And that's what I was saying earlier about quality of life, trying to actually, you know, take a weekend off where that that really gives you two weeks without going to an airport sitting on a plane, changing timezone. And so just being more aware of my sort of limits, I only go 25% Over my limits nowadays, I don't go 50 to 100% over my over my limit.
Farah Nanji 42:15
Nice. I had a Japanese friend once who told me that the secret to longevity in Japan is taking a bath every day. So on the right, and hopefully the right note there something we're talking about offline warfare. Sorry, was that we're both Scorpios. I'm curious to know what what what do you think being what does being a Scorpio mean to you? Like, do you see that in yourself?
lee burridge 42:41
I see some of the traits. And I think there's there's some negative ones like we sort of hold everything below the surface. And only when it sort of boils over to you know, is sort of if you're scorned that these people are going to speak, but it takes quite a lot. I feel like that's more than Scorpios towards the end of the month rather than the beginning of the month, apparently, because I have a few Scorpio friends. But are we dark, mysterious, sexy? Obviously. I think most of the holding things inside, you know not I'm trying to be better at communicating in general. Because I think that's a definitive Scorpio trait that I was that was creating issues in my life actually, you know, it's easier to share man.
Farah Nanji 43:32
Interesting. The imagery and aesthetic of or Daydream is is a you know, heavily themed on clouds. And I love that each EP has a different cloud. So it's so cool. So But naturally, obviously the name brings to mind the act of like, you know, gazing at the sky and getting lost in the, in the cloud. So, do you do you visualise things? Do you visualise music does that does that sort of play any role in, in yours as a person as an artist?
lee burridge 43:57
I wish I actually like for me, I've always had to work with much more talented people than myself. I didn't come from a production background, you know, I've slowly learned along the way. So I feel like I work with people that visualise music more so than myself, but I actually dream a lot of things. And I've had some crazy voice notes at times where I've thought of melody that I thought was great, or I thought was original. Mostly it was neither you know, it was either I'm just hearing another song that exists that I've remembered somehow my subconscious or it's just absolute nonsense. But I have come up with creative ideas like waking up and scribbling you know, a lot of the deck or the design and the events came from deep sleep actually so really, I'm not sort of a was it called World is it called World gazing? I think you know, when you sort of say a dream and stuff. Yeah, I used to sit in a field as a kid. endorse it and imagine what my life would be. But again, didn't nail it quite as well as it turned out that I wish I could visualise music. But it's not my it's not my skill set, unfortunately.
Farah Nanji 45:13
What did you used to sort of think yo ur life would be when you were when you were a young boy in Dorset?
lee burridge 45:18
occasionally I would see a plane flying over. Maybe one day, I'll go somewhere. Over and over, be careful what you wish.
Farah Nanji 45:28
Yeah, it's thick and fast now. So we're moving into our audience q&a, we've got two questions that we've selected from our listeners. And we'll start with Sean from Detroit, who says, As you actually just talking about there, you've been open in the past about preferring to DJ, then let's say producing music, what triggers your creativity in when you face mental blocks in the studio? Is there anything that you like to do to kind of get back in the zone?
lee burridge 46:01
Step away, actually, I think and start working on something else. It's very easy to get caught up in the loop over and over and over and not know which direction to go. So just actually starting a whole new project and then coming back fresh the next day. That's usually pretty, pretty efficient.
Farah Nanji 46:21
Okay, awesome. Thank you. Nyah, from Kenya asks, What's your biggest fear while performing if you have any?
lee burridge 46:30
usually in a dream there, that seven inch records, and they constantly run out, and I can't keep up, it's actually a dream that I've had so many times in my life. And I think it's actually a fear of losing control. But when I'm actually performing, I used to get really nervous. I think it's just about standing up in front of people. And that kind of passed through just doing it so many times. But I kind of miss the feeling. Because it's actually that if you can get a hold of that sort of nervousness, it channels into. Yeah, really interesting places. But I don't really get too nervous anymore. I think the last time I got nervous was the first time I played in Berlin in Panorama Bar. And I think the expectation in my mind of what people expect, kind of got to me. But then I decided, okay, I'm just gonna do what I do. That's why they booked me. And again, it was it was okay.
Farah Nanji 47:27
You have definitely, how interesting. So we're gonna move on to our quickfire round. Before we do. I just want to ask if there's anything I haven't asked you that you'd like them to that you'd like to share? Or yeah,
lee burridge 47:39
no, I think we've pretty much covered absolutely everything.
Farah Nanji 47:42
Fantastic. Okay, so quickfire round, not more than like 60 seconds on each question. So what was the first gig you ever went to?
lee burridge 47:53
The first gig I went to as an A DJ gig, or it could be, it could be a DJ gig. And they just, just No, I went to I went to see Dire Straits playing in a sheep and cow yard where they sell animals, which is in countryside, but they also do concerts.
Farah Nanji 48:13
Okay, interesting. Okay, number two, what are you most looking forward to about the coming winter months?
lee burridge 48:23
I love wearing jackets. I own so many jackets. I don't I don't own many trousers. But jackets. So nowadays long jackets because a lack of trousers.
Farah Nanji 48:33
What's your yin and what's your Yang? That's tough. Pass. I don't know. What's yours? Oh, my is easy. My my Yin is music. My Yang is racing.
lee burridge 48:50
Nice. I'll come back to that one.
Farah Nanji 48:53
Okay, we'll come back to that one. Do you have a relationship by the way with music and driving? Just out of curiosity?
lee burridge 48:59
Oh, absolutely. I mean, it's the best place to listen to music. And you know that you end up driving 300 miles further. You know, it's it's it's a good track.
Farah Nanji 49:08
I thought you can say 300 miles per hour. And I got really excited that
lee burridge 49:10
Oh, no, no, I mean, if I could I work but it's kind of illegal.
Farah Nanji 49:15
Depends where you are. And if past lives were real, do you believe you might have had any? And if so, what? Or who would it have been? I definitely
lee burridge 49:25
think past lives are real. And I think a lot of the time the dreams and fears we have manifest through something that's coming back up. So I definitely was a DJ in in Henry the Eighth court rather than Jester. I was definitely a caveman, but I was playing great beats with the club. And hopefully, I was all the other times I was gonna, because I'd actually much rather been going to go
Farah Nanji 49:54
What's the best advice you've ever been told?
lee burridge 49:58
It's better to be pissed off. piston and pissed off no cast off the piston.
Farah Nanji 50:04
I'm not sure what the phrases
lee burridge 50:07
know the best advice I've ever been given is actually don't get frantic. There's no point in it. It's a complete waste of energy.
Farah Nanji 50:15
Your mind over matter, right? And what genre of music other than electronic has been most influential to you?
lee burridge 50:24
80s To pop music when synthesisers first came into the mainstream
Farah Nanji 50:30
hmm. Okay, interesting. So we've got the final ones before we do any thoughts on the yin and yang.
lee burridge 50:38
Chocolate and yoghurts.
Farah Nanji 50:42
Okay. Okay, then. What are you most grateful for? This month? And I know the month only just begun. So maybe we can talk about last month.
lee burridge 50:56
The fact that we're able to be a community in public again.
Farah Nanji 51:01
Yeah, definitely feels feels good to be seeing people in real life again. Absolutely. Well, Lee, thank you so much for your time. It's been there. It's been hilarious. It's been a really good chat and, you know, a lot of interesting thoughts and insights you shared with us. So thanks for being so open and honest as well. Yeah. Absolutely all the best take care.
lee burridge 51:27
Farah Nanji 51:29
If you want to grab a copy of today's show notes, then head over to mission makers.com forward slash leverage. We will also find notes from all of our previous episodes. I hope you've enjoyed this season. As much as we've enjoyed having these conversations. I want to say a huge thank you to Lee and all of our guests for sharing their time and invaluable insights with this special mission maker's community. We'll be taking a little break over the next month and then coming back with some really interesting bonus content from Davos in Switzerland. So be sure to share the show with your friends and subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, YouTube and wherever else you listen to your podcasts. In the meantime, you can reach out to me at Mission makers or a DJ dot n one n j on Instagram. And if you're interested in supporting the show and getting some really cool rewards like Virtual DJ lessons and exclusive merchandise, don't forget to visit patreon.com forward slash mission makers. Thank you for listening and until next time, keep it laser focused.