Limited by name but certainly not limited by talent, Billy Smith is a producer with a very promising future.
He was born at a time when the likes of Dillinja, Fabio & Grooverider and Nicky Blackmaket were shaping the drum & bass scene. Now, to his amazement, those undisputed legends of the genre are supporting his tunes.
One of his main goals as a teenager was to have one of his tracks played out on Kiss FM by DJ Hype. The fact he achieved that with a track from his debut EP highlights just how highly he’s regarded by his more experienced peers, and provides a glimpse at what we can expect from him in the future.
With that particular goal already ticked off the list, Limited is inspiring to become an unpredictable producer in drum & bass. Although it may seem like a tall order, it’s certainly achievable with the support he’s already gathered and with his open-mindedness in the studio.
And if you listen to his releases so far, including the highly acclaimed The Beginning EP’s, it’s blatantly obvious that he’s not afraid of switching things up and doing things differently. He’s not only tried his hand at a number of different subgenres, he’s produced them to a high standard û a standard that producers twice his age would probably be proud of.
But, perhaps surprisingly, production isn’t something that came naturally to Limited at first; he was far more suited to DJing than slogging it out in the studio. If it wasn’t for his brothers, who incourged him to have a go at it, he probably wouldn’t be where he is today. It took plenty of patience and lots of practice, but Limited is beginning to reap the rewards of those arduous studio sessions.
As someone who immersed himself in music from an early age, Limited’s musical journey has already taken him in several different directions; not content with just being a DJ and producer, he’s also had a shot at running a label and has also worked on youth projects that aim to bring kids together with music.
While it’s unclear what sound Limited will pursue in the future, it couldn’t be any clearer that he has a passion for music which dates back to an early age, and that passion is audible in his metamorphosing sound.
From the moment DJ Upgrade pressed play on a tape pack handed to him by his brother and heard drum & bass for the very first time, he was hooked.
Intrigued by what he heard, Upgrade, aka Sam Smith, borrowed a version of Reason from a friend and from then on his main aim in life became clear; to make drum & bass music. He spent much of his time getting to grips with the software, attempting to replicate drum patterns he heard in his favourite tracks, before moving on to carving out his own unique sound.
And it’s that unique sound which is now starting to draw attention from producers whom he had once looked up to himself, with the likes of Hazard, Micky Finn and Nicky Blackmarket all chipping in with praise and support, no doubt seeing similarities between the start of Upgrade’s musical journey with their own illustrious ones.
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Handing a CD to label boss Tobie Scopes outside a club seemed like a long shot, but it only took one play of that track in his car for Tobie to spot the potential. He immediately got out of his car, went back to the club to find Sam and signed him on the spot. When your music forces someone to do that, you know you’re doing something right.
And if you’ve been to a drum & bass rave in recent months, you’ve probably heard the track that forced the Serial Killaz boss to evacuate his car, too. It’s bouncy, it’s infectious, and it’s called Gunshots. It’s also a tune that encapsulates what he’s all about – making music that makes people want to dance – the fundamental essence of drum & bass.
>span class="SpellingError BCX0 SCXW224419658">Killaz releasing his debut for the label ‘The Killer Business E.P.’ which included, the now massive, ‘More’ and thanks to some relentless dj support from the likes of Hazard, Micky Finn, Guv and many more, Upgrade has become one of the hottest producers in the drum & bass scene in just a few months.
Not wanting to be pigeonholed as one-dimensional, Upgrade is a producer constantly looking to diversify and evolve, which is what makes him such an exciting prospect. Well aware of the fact it’s an increasingly saturated industry, he’s working harder than ever in the studio to hone in on his production and stay ahead of the game.
Now with his next release being scheduled for the label, a passion for meticulous production and backing from some of the best and plenty of releases forthcoming, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the movements of DJ Upgrade as there is even bigger and better things to come…