DRS aka Delroy Pottinger is one of drum & bass’ most prominent voices. The Manchester man met LTJ Bukem in the 1990s, and his career was propelled from that point on, as he was invited to add vocals to the legendary producer’s tracks. His complex vocal stylings, the perfect complement that early jungle sound, thus became the emblem of Good Looking records, and his influence has endured into 2017. He has continued to make beautifully emotive music with thoughtful lyricism, collaborating with contemporary legends such as LSB, and releasing on the huge Soul:r label.
He has inspired Wire’s flagship drum & bass night, Overflow, to do something a little different, and put on a live gig at HiFi, taking place on 1st June. DRS will be performing live with Tyler Daley, Fox and 8 Gold Rings, while support comes from Children of Zeus. We spoke to Delroy about some tracks that have influenced him up to this point.
Your first musical memory
“My first musical memory is growing up in a house with my aunties, my mum and my nan. We had a long corridor in the house and basically every single door had a different style of music. One auntie was into reggae, one auntie was into Motown. My mum was into soul, reggae, funk. So that’s where my original influence came from.”
The first record you ever bought
“The first record I ever bought was from Rumbelows: Shakin Stevens – Green Door, which is some kind of English Elvis rip off rock n roll cheese.”
A tune from your teens
“Black Box – Ride On Time. I think it was the first big dance music tune I heard, and it made a big impact on my life. Or I’ve Got The Power by Snap. One of them two. I’ve Got The Power, the breakbeat in it. Hmmm.”
A record that changed your life
“I’d say a record that changed my life was Genaside II – Narra Mine on HUM (Hardcore Urban Music). First pre-jungle. I think it was pre-hardcore as well. It was just big breakbeats, big raga vocal by Killer Man Archer. Artwork by Jazz who was a big graffiti artist at the time. The whole thing was just mind-blowing to me. The artwork, the sound, the vibe, everything.”
An unlikely influence
“For unlikely influence I would say Ray Lamontagne. His album Trouble came out late nineties/early 00s and it’s been a massive influence on my songwriting and in general. Country and western. Mad influence.”
A current influence
“I have a few current influences that range from Kendrick Lamar to Sampha to Drake to Little Simz and the sort of the new wave of intelligent music coming from the UK. When I say influence I don’t mean influence my music I just mean general influence. I love Boogie (not the style of music, the artist), Post Malone, just anyone who’s dealing with melody and real life shit.”
A record you want played at your funeral
“Leo Sayer – You Make Me Feel Like Dancing. I’ve always buzzed off this tune. You know what I mean, it’s just one of them tunes where no-one cares if it’s cool or whatever and when it comes on everyone has a dance and feels loose. So, a mad one, but I’m sure it will make everyone feel relaxed and that.”