Get ready for a disco inferno! The Wild Wood Disco festival is right around the corner, and we had the chance to sit down with music industry legend Hifi Sean for an exclusive interview. From his early days in The Soup Dragons to his hit single “Testify” with Crystal Waters, Hifi Sean has been a force to be reckoned with for decades. In this interview, we’ll explore his illustrious career, get the inside scoop on his upcoming performance at Wild Wood Disco, and find out what keeps him ticking after all these years.
Thanks for taking the time to talk, where are you today and what are you up to?
I am in London just back from Nottingham after teaching a class of 14/15 years olds the rudiments of remixing which I do once a year for the last 5 years. I give them every year my track ‘Monday Morning Sunshine’ and get them to remix it in any style which they wish. When I get to 100 remixes, I am going to do an audio art exhibition called ‘100 journeys into a 14 -year-olds mind’.
Where are you from and where are you based these days?
I am from Bellshill in Scotland which is just outside Glasgow.
These days I live in London.
You have had a long and illustrious career in music. What was your first step into the industry?
Age 17 first NME interview and John Peel session with my newly formed band The Soup Dragons.
I’d love to know about your time with the Soup Dragons.
I was singer, guitarist and songwriter and later producer too.
The band lasted for roughly 10 years (just like The Beatles ha !).
What was the high point of your time in this legendary band?
Playing live two nights at Madison Square Gardens in NYC.
Also being nominated for an MTV award.
How did that time come to an end?
Usual inner band politics fueled by one bad apple.
When did you first start to DJ?
I have always played records in public at a very young age.
In fact, at early gigs with bands I was in I would play records from age 16 or 17 at those nights sometimes. Playing records is DJ’ing right? But as Hifi Sean it was the weekly party I run with DJ Hush called ‘Record Playerz’ which was the place to go in Glasgow around then and where my Hifi Sean monicker came about.
What kind of music were you playing in the early days?
Disco , funk , electro , electro-clash and a bit of cool old school and electro house.
When did you first step into the studio?
Right from the first record I made I have been fascinated by production.
Sadly, I gave many engineers the production credit not knowing I had actually produced it myself.
What was the first record you put out?
First record was The Soup Dragons a 7” Flexi disc which was free on a fanzine. It got single of the week in the NME and to this day is the only Flexi and record you could not buy in a shop ever to have that single of the week position.
What do you think has been your most notable release?
Obviously as The Soup – I’m Free ….one we are most known for as it was a worldwide hit. As Hifi Sean likely ‘Testify’ with Crystal Waters which got to #1 in the USA billboard dance charts. More recently my remix of ‘Shout To The Top’ by Loleatta Holloway / Fire Island that has became a vinyl collectors item.
What kind of stuff can we hear in a Hifi Sean set these days?
I always answer this by saying “stuff that I like” …cheesy but true.
What’s the last new record you bought?
I bought Eddie C – “Do you wanna dance on 12” as its insanely ace.
What’s the last old record you invested in?
Likely that ‘Prince – Lovesexy’ album mispress with The Soup Dragons first album ‘This Is Our Art’ on the flip. We were on the same record label and the factory buggered it up. Cost me a fortune that did.
Who do you think is making great music at the moment?
Do not want to pick out anyone specifically but I am liking how many are being genre un-specific in a club culture of hash tag genre deep rabbit holes.
You’re playing at Homoelectric this weekend with the brilliant Josh Café. Why do you think this is such a special affair?
Homoelectric has been running for years and is easily the best little whorehouse in Manchester. Never played one of those parties that has not been off the scale.
As festival season gets closer, we see you are playing at Wild Wood Disco in June. Is this your first time at the event?
Yes. I am a Wild Wood virgin.
What can you tell us about the Wild Wood Disco?
All I know is everyone says it’s fantastic and I am going with everyone.
Inclusivity is high on Wild Woods’ list, with a star-studded cast representing us all. Who do you hope to catch on the line up?
As many as I can as a lot of friends are playing too.
What will be your festival secret weapon record?
I got a few new things I am road testing one in particular will go off !
Will you be staying the whole weekend?
I hope to stay all weekend depending on what I got on the day before / after.
What is your festival survival tip?
Don’t eat yellow snow.
A few last words.
We were thrilled to catch up with Hifi Sean, who shared his memories of his first foray into the music industry at the tender age of 17. He also gave us the lowdown on his time with The Soup Dragons, including some of the band’s highest highs and lowest lows. But it’s not all about the past, Hifi Sean is as passionate about music as ever, and we got an inside look at what he’s currently spinning and what we can expect from his Wild Wood Disco set.
Wild Wood Disco Festival.
We’re beyond excited to see Hifi Sean make his Wild Wood Disco debut this year. He’ll be joining an incredible lineup of artists, including a few of his own friends. And we couldn’t agree more with the festival’s emphasis on inclusivity, after all, music is for everyone. With a weekend full of dancing, great tunes, and good vibes, Wild Wood Disco is set to be the highlight of the summer.
We want to thank Hifi Sean for taking the time to chat with us, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us at Wild Wood Disco. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the scene, this festival is not to be missed. Get your dancing shoes ready and come join us in the wild woods for a weekend you won’t forget! More info and tickets here.
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