If you haven’t heard about iO before: He is a rising UK artist who is currently introducing his signature sound to the buzzing Garage scene. His official artist page described his sound like this: “Soul samples flow smoothly over precise percussive punctuation, with sweeping synths and bass from the deepest depths.” iO recently teamed up with bass music collective Diamond&Raw and is working on his first official releases for a number of labels.
I wanted to know more about his use of Soul samples and his musical background in general, so I asked him about this.
iO:” I grew up listening to all kinds of music, but there was a focus on R&B and Soul. I use a lot of acapellas. There is something about female vocals that I really like in my tracks. When I listen to a track, I want to be able to remember it, and a vocal helps a lot.”
iO:“Its the most precious thing i own! I got it when I was 18. I fell in love with that sound. I saved a bit of money, and spent months trying to find the right one. It was used in a recording studio before I bought it, so it was in good condition. Unfortunately, I lost the pedal and the lid in a fire at my house a few years ago, which was a bit of a shame. But yeh, I love using it in tracks.”
iO’s sound can be described as a mix of down-to-earth grooves and spacey sounds. This also reflects in the meaning of his pseudonym iO, which is one of the moons of Jupiter.
iO: “Yeh, its the name of one of Jupiter’s moons. Im a bit into space. (laughs) People have asked me if its a refrence to binary code, or ‘ins and outs’ in production. But the truth is that i just liked the name!“
Talking about computers, iO tells me that the internet plays a big role in his development as an artist. Even his involvement with Diamond&Raw wouldn’t have happened without it:
iO: “Adam from Diamon&Raw got in touch with me via Soundcloud. It sounds crazy, but we have never met in person. The internet is so amazing for connecting people like that.“
iO: “If you want to have a career in music, working hard is what you have to do. I have three jobs right now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”