Interactions with the luscious vocal chops and addictive basslines of UK Garage artist Conducta has become an inevitable fact of British life in recent years. The Bristolian producer behind AJ Tracey’s record-breaking 2019 “Ladbroke Grove” first emerged with debut EP “Galaxy” in 2013 and has since permeated playlists with a string of smashes, racked up an enviable CV of collaborations with the likes of Stormzy, Jorja Smith and Mabel, and established award-winning label Kiwi Rekords along the way.
However, his perhaps definitive release to-date comes in the form of upcoming debut project, “In Transit”. Made, as the title suggests, literally on the move – amidst inter-city living between London and Stockholm – it’s a release a long time coming for Conducta who originally set out to craft it in late 2021. Struggles with depression, burnout and a period in rehab intervened before a re-emergence of sorts that saw him not only reclaim his creative flow but rid himself of limitations he’d previously self-enforced on his artistry and life in general.
Launched by a team-up with grime MC Novelist, “Get Busy With It”, in April and succeeded by latest cut “3FALL” in May, the summer of Conducta is well and truly in session!
Head below to read our chat on the new project, evolving as an artist, making music on the move, his hopes for the Conducta empire, and which iconic artists he’d love to recruit for a collab…
Hey Conducta! How are you? Where are we chatting to you from?
Currently I’m in Brooklyn, New York having some down time on tour and about to dig into a brioche French toast!
Massive congrats on “3FALL”! Can you tell us about the day you made the track?
The idea initially spawned on a flight back from Stockholm into the UK. Since the end of last year, I’ve been able to make a lot of music on the go and this track was a prime example of that. I was looking outside of the plane window and the clouds and fields beneath looked so picturesque. I wanted to make a track that matched the mood of sky below. I got off the plane, continued it in the Uber and then boom, the demo was done!
Congratulations are also in order for your upcoming project “In Transit”. As the title would suggest, the period in which you made it was quite an evolutionary one for you. Where would you say we find you now?
I would say that I’m just about to land! I feel I’m in a great moment where my sound has begun a new chapter, and I’m really looking forward to exploring what comes from this project and the different avenues that I’ll continue to explore with my sound from this point. Coming off of a complete change of country but also being on tour, connecting with people, being exposed to new music and environments has heavily influenced me
How would you say the changes you’ve experienced have manifested in the music?
I will say the biggest thing that I’ve learnt has been to create with no boundaries. Prior to this point, I had a very rigid structure and idea of where and how I would execute my creativity. Now I’m able to gain creativity and be inspired from many different sources but also channelthat into my music in different ways. And more importantly feel confident in doing so.
You made a lot of the project on the move! What was your approach to maximising creativity despite being outside of the comfort of the studio?
The big one was not being afraid. The other was that there’s no rules, just get it done. An idea is an idea and that idea can lead to something great if you follow it through. I had really struggled, in the previous two years, to get back into the swing of producing. It got to a point where I actually felt as if I’d forgotten the basics. For me, it was the process of practising, even if I was getting just 0.01% better each day. After a period of constantly making idea after idea, I hit a sweet spot, gathered momentum with my production and the EP began to take shape.
You’re paving the way for other UK Garage artists like yourself with your label Kiwi Rekords. What are the key things you’re looking for in a signee?
I think one of the key things that I look for is potential and [to feel we could] provide a platform for them to go and push on and do bigger things. A lot of the time it doesn’t necessarily have to be an artist’s best song. It just needs to be something that they’re proud of, represents them but also the Kiwi sound!
You recently teamed up with Novelist on “Get Busy With It”! What was the process like of getting into the studio with him?
So actually, with this song, I had the pleasure of being in the studio with Novelist for his verse on the “Ladbroke Grove” remix with AJ Tracey which I produced. I was actually recording a mix and I placed an a cappella over an instrumental of mine and was like ‘Woah. This could be a crazy loop.’ So I cut up the vocals and put it over the instrumental, shouted Novelist and said ‘Yo, we have a banger here. I may have recycled an old verse, but it still sounds super fresh.’ He loved it and then we set things in motion
We read you’ve also been spending a lot of time in Stockholm! Tell us more about the allure of the city. Is its rich musical history a draw?
The biggest allure, other than my partner, is that I believe it to be the perfect small-big city. There is enough going on that it’s busy but in the same breath, you’re able to isolate yourself and be at one with nature, your surroundings and enjoy the beauty. There’s a great scene going on there and great venues such as Trädgården. The final track on my EP is made with two of my friends from Sweden, some of the most talented people I know, and it was a real pleasure working with them as they just brought out the best of me for the project.
As an artist and label head you’ve already bagged multiple major milestones. What’s the long-term vision for the Conducta empire?
For me, I would like to establish the label to almost replicate the work of conglomerates such as Defected or Bad Boy Records. Those have been labels that I’ve looked up to and admired catalogue-wise and how they’re run. For me, I’d also like to get an album out soon. That’s been a big goal of mine. And also just to be blessed enough to keep on travelling, playing music and to maintain consistency. I definitely want to be able to give back in a sizeable way and provide a platform for creatives and artists to connect with each other to educate and inform about the trials and tribulations within the music industry.
You’ve already worked with so many incredible artists, whether producing, remixing, or as a credited collaborator. However, if you could pick any five artists to come together as a supergroup, on a Conducta track, who would be on there?
[It’s a] thought to whittle it down, but: Bad Bunny, Missy Elliot, Usher, Kano, Q- Tip.