Sei A, AKA Andy Graham, hails from sunny Scotland. Glasgow, to be exact. Last year, however, he ventured down from the highlands, relocating to the big lights of the big smoke, London town, to push his career forward. It seems to have had a positive effect on his musical output, as well as his life in general. However, despite a consistent flow of very respectable electronic music that combines house, techno with a bit of bass, the producer has remained under the radar throughout most of his career. So, here’s The Word taking the opportunity to push Sei A into the limelight. Just doing our bit.
Tell me a bit about growing up in Glasgow and how your upbringing/the environment you grew up in has influenced you musically…
I feel really fortunate to have grown up in Glasgow. It’s quite a small city, it has a slight industrial feel to it. Because it’s pretty small, you see the same old faces but you have your own ‘crew’ if I can call it that. I studied music technology at college and then Uni. During that period I was with guys who were producing music and DJ’ing. I went to their nights, we all hung out. I started to get a proper feel for clubbing during that time and that was when I started to buy records. Mainly on a Friday after Uni I would go to a small record store called Kushi in the basement of a Japanese restaurant. It was perfect – you could listen to new tunes, have a beer and chat to the local DJs who all hung out there.
Which clubs did you go to and which local musicians inspired you in your early years?
Sub Club, The Arches, Alaska, last minute warehouse parties were frequently visited. In the early years guys like Harri & Domenic who are still residents at the Sub Club, The Jengaheads who split up years ago, all the Sole Music crew, Milton Jackson, DJ Q, the Slam boys, Alex Smoke, Marco Bernardi, Optimo, Paul Cawley, Haptic…. I could go on but they are guys who inspired me. Some of them I hung out with as well.
How does today’s electronic music scene in Glasgow compare to when you were younger?
The electronic scene is stronger than ever in Glasgow. So much talent constantly pours out of the city, it’s amazing. I’m not going to make a mega list of everyone but the scene always had small crews who ran nights. There are a lot of nights for one city but every night gets their own following. One in particular which says it all is Numbers. Jackmaster and his mates have been pushing that for years and over the last couple of years they’ve really been taking it to the next level.
Do you miss Glasgow and if so, what do you miss most about it?
I don’t miss the weather, constant wind and rain? Nah… I miss the social side of Glasgow, my close mates. I do miss the clubs but it all becomes quite ‘samey’ at some point or another. I miss proper homemade cooking for sure; my mum is on par with a Michelin chef. I really miss my old studio – moving to London has down-sized it dramatically but it still works!
How’s London treating you? What are the key differences between London and Glasgow?
London is amazing. I love it. I never thought I would but I do. The weather is like a tropical climate in comparison to up north and travelling is easy. In London as well there’s so much more scope for taking something to the next level if you do it right – the people you meet, the opportunities you get… It all works perfectly.
What effect has living in London had on your musical output?
It’s been a massive positive for my music. As soon as I moved, it clicked straight away. Without really knowing it, I was listening to different styles and getting proper excited knowing it was coming from where I was at. My RA podcast I think shows the slight change in sound. Trying to find the right balance now between old and new is coming together but it is all down to living here.
Do you think you’ve changed much as a person, living in London?
Yes and no. I don’t think it’s changed me that much as I’m still quite a shy person but it’s made me want things more. In terms of being successful – it has helped me take more of a businessman. Before it was a case of having things fall into place quite easily but now I want to work for it and try and maintain a high level. I want to teach, I want to help younger people achieve certain goals. London has helped me start to think this way for sure.
What’s the one thing that would make living in London better?
Having the space to have my old technics 1200’s setup and being able to listen to music really loud again. Simple.
Tell me about the music you’re putting out at the moment… what kind of style is it? How would you define that style?
I honestly can’t pin the sound down at the moment. I would guess it’s a cross between bass/step/house/techno… All mashed together at points, or at least I think it is!
Plans for 2012?
I’m imagining two new albums will be underway which will balance the techno side and the musical side… It might even get mashed into one: I’m not sure. I’m also working closely with a film director in LA and I plan to start a feature/soundtrack next year. If all goes well, that’ll be my next step in the electronic world.Sei A’s latest EP, Flux, is out now on Turbo Recordings. www.myspace.com/andyseinan