With past releases on Moda Black and Glasgow Underground, New Yorkers Walker & Royce are no strangers to UK soil. They’ve spun in cities all around the British Isles, plus played alongside much-loved UK duo Jaymo and Andy George at Lost Village Festival last year, before jetting back to the Big Apple over the Christmas break.
This year is set to be even bigger for the affable pair. They’re tipped to team up with another successful UK duo — Waze and Odyssey. They’ve got a new EP coming via W&O Street Tracks in the next few months, plus even more new material on Catz N’ Dogz’s ultra-popular imprint, Pets Recordings.
In the wake of what’s set to be their best year yet, we thought it time to take a New York minute with Sam Walker and Gavin Royce to talk hangover cures, Big Apple hot-spots and future plans...
Hey Walker & Royce! You hail from New York, what’s your favourite thing to do in the Big Apple?
Sam: “New York is full of weird and interesting characters you don’t see anywhere else, so one of my favourite things to do is just go out and people-watch. Just go for a walk!”
Gavin: “Same. I try and walk as many places as possible, especially in the summer. I think it’s the best way to get to know any city — not just NYC.”
You’ve been spinning together since 2011, how did you meet?
Gavin: “We were interns at Studio Distribution here in NYC around 2003/4. We ended up becoming fast friends and ran in the same circles. We were both involved in throwing some parties back then as well, but it wasn’t until 2011 that we officially worked as a duo or even played records together.”
And when did you make the jump to production?
Sam: “I’ve been producing for a long time, since even before Gav and I met, but it was in 2010 that I quit my job and started doing music full-time.”
Gavin: “I only started production a little before I started working with Sam. We actually ended up working together because I needed help on a remix.”
You must spend a lot of time together, what are each other’s worst habits?
Gavin: “I’m not sure it qualifies as a bad habit but Sam hates seafood, it drives me nuts!”
Sam: “GAV ALWAYS LEAVES THE TOILET SEAT UP. GOD!”
You’ve played lots in the UK — we bumped into you last time at Lost Village festival. Tell us about your best ever festival gig?
Gavin: “As epic as UK festivals are, our best experience happened here in the States. We had the honour of being on the first Dirtybird Campout last October, and it was such an amazing time! There were two stages, one for the day and one for the night. It really gave every artist a chance to shine. So many times we have been to festivals with too many stages operating at once. On top of that, the vibe of the whole weekend was perfect.”
Speaking of festivals, what’s your ultimate hangover cure?
Gavin: “My hangover cure is a nice solid meal that is probably way too much food and very unhealthy. Recently I have become a big fan of the ‘Full English’.”
Sam: “I went to Rutgers University, and around campus there were these things called grease trucks. At the grease truck, you could get a Fat Cat which is a sandwich with two cheeseburger patties, lettuce, tomatoes etc... with the fries on the sub too. Plus mozzarella sticks, fried egg, chicken fingers, still all stuffed in one sub. One of those would basically mop up any hangover you could throw at it.”
In your opinion, what was the best tune of 2015?
Sam: “I am in love with Lorde and Disclosure’s ‘Magnets’... also The Weeknd ‘Often’.”
Gavin: “I really love Janet Jackson and her new album was good but it’s no ‘Control’ (which I still listen to all the time).”
You’re also about to drop an EP with UK favourites Waze & Odyssey. What can we expect from that?
Sam: “Our sound, through and through!”
Gavin: “We’re really excited to be working with the W&O guys, we have always been huge fans.”
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Gavin: “In addition to the EP with W&O Street Tracks, we have a remix coming out on Billy Kenny’s This Ain’t Bristol. Billy and his label have really been putting out some amazing music and we are happy to be a part of that in 2016. We are planning to return to Moda Black and Pets Recordings as well, and work with a few new labels we really respect. We also plan on spending a lot more time in the UK and Europe.”
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