Just Got Himself A Rep’: Oneman Interviewed

On the pure power of DJing…

Steve Bishop’s DJing can only be compared to the best shuffle your iPod ever had. When Clash calls up the Streatham-based don, otherwise known as Oneman, he’s just got back from registering his marriage and is perched with a cuppa while browsing through his TV on mute.

“I get stuck on the news channels for a bit too long these days,” he admits with obvious grief. After all, his humble Digibox setting is quite the antithesis to his frantic summer of globetrotting.

Somewhere amidst a tour with larger-than-life Scot Jackmaster on the collaborative dance project, Can U Dance, and an exhausting festival schedule, he’s found time to put together the third in his series of mixtapes. ‘Solitaire Vol. 3’ completes a triumvirate of worldly collabs that have taken Oney from LA to Amsterdam via Red Bull’s continent-conquering set of studios. In those spaces, he’s helped join the dots between the likes of Mickey Pearce, Denzel Curry, Trim, Mumdance and Sam Tiba.

Los Angeles proved to be his most memorable point: “I was out there for a week, so I was working with Todd Edwards and Sinden in the Red Bull Studios. When Todd told me he was making his first garage tune in 10 years for the mixtape I was blown away. I used to be in Black Market Records and kids would be arguing with me about who’s got the earliest Todd record, and now he’s in LA making an exclusive track for my mixtape.”        

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‘Solitaire Vol. 3’

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It’s a testament to the respect Oneman has garnered within his field since those early days at FWD. Previously, Scott Garcia had gifted him with one of only three clear vinyl versions of ‘It’s A London Thing’, and Edwards has confessed he’d never want to play a set after him. He’s no small fry.

Any doubters needn’t step further than XOYO this August, where Oneman skipped between grime, garage and everything between, like the disc-spinning Messi he is. It’s quenching refreshment in a world where the DJ is slowly becoming second-rate to the producer.

Taking another sip from his tea, he laments: “When I started DJing and playing at FWD, it was still this thing where the DJ had this power. That carries through to pirate radio where no one would know what the track was called or who made it; there was mystery back then. We’re losing the mystery in the music.”

After all, it’s a simple mantra. You go out to listen to music you can’t find anywhere apart from your favourite disc jockey’s USB drive. Something that Oneman well and truly appreciates: “I just enjoy not being bored.” Amen.

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Words: Errol Anderson

‘Solitaire Vol III’ is available now. Oneman online

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