DirectLyrics Interviews The HeavyTrackerz: On UK Chart Success, "Old Habits" & Possible Ed Sheeran Collaboration!
We recently reviewed The Heavytrackerz’ hypnotizing new single “Old Habits” and now it’s time for an exclusive interview! Last week we spoke with the British production trio about going from behind-the-scenes producing to stepping out as an “act”. Composed of Lord Teedot, G.Tank and RasEye, The Heavytrackrz have been making records for a quite a few years now but their big breakthrough came in April this year when Grime rapper Meridian Dan’s “German Whip” single (produced by our “Heavy” boys) reached #13 on the UK Singles Charts. A big deal for them! “Next thing you know we are having meetings with labels and management”, told us Ras.
They’re still producing tracks for other artists but realizing they have gained somewhat of a mainstream momentum thanks to “German Whip”, The Heavytrackerz have decided to walk on the spotlight and release their own single – their debut it is!
Called “Old Habits” and featuring Yana Toma, the song is a bit of surprise because it’s now grime but all-the-way dance music! The Heavytrackrz are making a statement with this song that they are very versatile when it comes to producing beats. “Old Habits” is pure hypnotic stuff, it’s impossible not to dance, nod along to its mighty beat the second you hear it.
In our exclusive interview, we asked The Heavytrackerz about their beginnings, the success of “German Whip”, “Old Habits”, their future projects or expecting to record a collaboration with none other with Ed Sheeran!!!
The HeavyTrackerz is a production trio based in the UK. How exactly did you all three get together and how did you discover your passion for creating music?
Ted - It started off with Tank, Tank's older brother and me roughly ten years ago making music in a home studio. We were in to grime, pirate radio stations (déjà vu, rinse fm) and the local area youth clubs. We are all from the same area in Walthamstow and everyone was in to grime and Ras later caught on and came a part of it. We then became a duo because Tank’s brother could no longer do it, but it always felt better as a trio and it was unique in the UK at the time. We always felt three worked well.
RasEye – Like they say three is the magic number! So, I got involved through Tank.
Ted- Tank got in contact with me and said I need to check out this guy, he played me a tune and said there you go. Ras’s sound was similar to ours. Our music is more melodic and instrumental than the normal style of grime. For a while people did not like our style of music and felt it was hip-hop and trap’ish. We tried working with other people, but we did not gel with anyone else until Ras. Ras embodied our sounds, he can make a beat and I don’t need to tidy up.
What was the first song you created as The HeavyTrackerz? Did it have a cool story behind?
Ted – So, it wasn’t like the first song, but I think it is a cooler story in terms of us creating the tune. We were at Box Music Studio, which is now our home for our writing camp, we made this tune and nothing came out of it. Tank started a drum pattern, Ras worked on the bass and I added some melodies, but it was really cool because the guys at Box were going around and checking out the music.
Ras – It is not often we get to make music outside of our own studio. It was a whole different setting a really nice environment.
Ted – So, imagine you have all these different room with people making music, right opposite us there was this girl with a pianist making these nice, classic melodies. We started hyping up the place shouting ‘Hey! Hey…’ and making noise, then everyone around us started paying attention. At the end of the tune, everyone around us was going crazy. Box loved it! After we took it back with us and Wiley got in contact and sent him that beat and it is featured on his new album.
You have produced/wrote in the past for the likes of Wiley, Big Narstie, Roll Deep, J2K, JME, Boy Better Know, Jammer or Ghetts (we’ll get into Meridian Dan in a sec). Out of these artists, who did you feel most comfortable working with or were pleasantly surprised by?
Ras – For me there is two - Solo 45 and Big Narstie. Getting in to the studio with them you have so much fun, they are literally the two funniest people…
Ted – Big Narstie, he is coming to work, but he is also coming to see you and you and you just have this good vibe.
Earlier this year you produced grime artist Meridian Dan’s “German Whip” song. It was a hit in the UK. It reached no. 13 on the Official Singles Chart. No denying the song is fire but did you expect the success it had?
Ted/Ras – Noooo.
Ras – At the time we made it, it was a long time before the actual tune was released. It was 2012 at the time and we were in my house making tunes.
Ted – Funny story, we got kicked out of our studio because people were partying, so were really down and it was 2012. At that time, you know when you have a feeling that you’re going somewhere? I had a feeling…we had been doing music for a long time, 10 years, in 2012 it really felt like it was going somewhere and about to take off. Dan got in contact with Tank, who sent the tune over.
Ras – We didn’t even know, the video came out on SBTV and by the time we checked it, it was roughly on half a million views. We just kept watching the views rise and next thing you know we are having meetings with labels and management.
Ted – We kind of got labelled as ‘urban’ we would go out and people would associate us with German Whip, but they didn’t know we could play piano or the other sounds we produce. People would come to the studio and be shocked to not hear grime beats, we would play dance, trap and other sounds.
How long did it take to create (write and record) “German Whip”? And, for those who haven’t heard it yet (but should!), how would you briefly describe the song?
Ted – Ras and Tank produced the beat and if you pick up on the drum and bass sound that was me.
Ras – The beat took about no longer than ten minutes, Tank and I just got in the zone one day and made about 20 beats.
Ted – I think it was the frustration from losing the studio
Ras – We are not sure how long it took to record the vocals, but that was our production.
Ted – The sound is the biggest issue
Ras – We all have individual thoughts…
Ted – People called it grime, but I have seen people discuss and argue about it saying it is Trap, Hip-Hop. It is music and that is how we produce our sounds, even our latest tune with P Money at the end it switched. Rarely do we make a tune and have it follow the same pattern. ‘German Whip’ stems off Grime…
Ras – We don’t like to limit ourselves, as producer we like to push ourselves.
At the end of the summer, you premiered The HeavyTrackerz’ official debut single “Old Habits”. How did it feel to have MistaJam and BBC 1xtra support it?
Ras – It was a relief. The grime stuff everyone play it and we are used to it now, but having Mistjam support it is acceptance in a different feel.
Ted – We were debating it, the release, going from grime and what you are recognized for to doing something completely different…
Ras – Our studio has a different set up to most. It is very community focused and there are always friends and family around, when they heard ‘Old Habits’ it really caught their attention.
Did it feel natural to you to go from an urban/grime sound to dance music?
Ras/Ted – We didn’t go from grime to dance. If you went through our old files 2005-2014 you will see our sound has always had diversity about it.
Ras – We have worked with singers for years, before grime, so you can tell we have done other stuff.
Ted – When it comes to production we think what can we do different to what is already out there. Rather than making a grime track for Skepta, what about the next grime track for Emeli Sande? We want to evolve the sound
What’s the story/message behind “Old Habits”?
Ted – The story, we were making a bunch of tunes and had this instrumental and we had this writer from Universal who recorded the vocals, but was not pursuing singing. So, it was March and we had this track but no singer and one day Yana came in and we went from studio to studio mixing and mastering.
How did you get Yana Toma to get on board the song? And, were you fans of her music?
She is part of the family to be honest, she has worked with Labrinth, Krept and Konan and Ghetts. Yana got in contact and we went to record it, made some changes and Yana sounded really good.
You recently premiered the official video for “Old Habits”. It’s very fun and high-energy! How did you come up with the treatment?
It was Directed by Carly Cussen. We had a completely different idea, this London thing with different shots of Brick Lane, have rollercoaster scenes with people on rollercoasters, people splashing water at each other. Then Carly came to our studio and saw the red, she loved the studio, the mask and the vibe, Carly said why don’t we do something else and go with the red and paint stuff. So, it was fun recording in our home town.
Is a debut album (or EP) by The HeavyTrackerz something that is in the works? If so, would it be all dance music or dance and urban?
We have done too many EP’s, free downloads so it just singles for the next two years. We want to make people dance and have people be intrigued by what we do. We will be doing grime, dance, house, drum and bass so singles would be more fitting.
What’s The HeavyTrackerz’ Top 5 songs of the moment?
Kendrick Lamar – Love Myself
Clean Bandit – Rather Be
Kieza – I like the way
Meghan Trainor – All about that bass
Ten walls – Walking with elephants
If you could choose any Top 40 artist that's hot on the charts right now to record a collaboration, who would it be, why and how do you imagine your song to sound like?
Ed Sheeran. Few opportunities to meet and work with him but we have a vision of what we would do already – something a bit up-tempo, but definitely keep his guitar.
Thank you for your time, guys! Best of luck with everything. Is there any last thing you’d like to share with our Directlyrics.com readers?
Buy Old habits ;-)