New single due on Monday

Sheffield dancehall titan Toddla T has spoken to ClashMusic about work on his debut album.

Toddla T is an oddball. Growing up in Sheffield, the producer had to look hard to find any evidence of Jamaican culture. Yet from these scarce origins, the beatsmith has become one of the most celebrated figures in UK dancehall.

Taking his cue from Jamaican soundsystems, Toddla T has his own style. Mixing dubstep, electro and dancehall into one easy to swallow pill, debut album 'Skanky Skanky' was an enormous success.

Now signed to Ninja Tune, the dancehall don is close to completing his second album. ClashMusic caught up with the producer to chat about life on a new label, and where his music is heading.

"The first one was done when I was living in Sheffield, this time I’ve done it different. I’m living in London now, which is a lot different to work in than Sheffield" he explained. "I’ve been travelling all the time, I’ve been to Jamaica on it twice, I’ve been to America. I took it all back to England then went up to Sheffield to get it mixed, so it’s got an international dynamic. I’ve got loads of stuff already."

Sessions for the new album took Toddla T out to Jamaica, where he hooked up with original dancehall MCs. "It’s incredible. The first time I was like “why have I not been here before?” The second time I was out there with Major Lazer, just helping them out. I did some stuff with them and then did my old stuff. Some of the music I made has ended up on the first single, called ‘Skysurfing’. It’s gonna come out through Ninja."

"That came about through people I met in the studio with Major Lazer, we just started making music together. It was a great thing to come back with!"

The producer has worked with a vast assembly of guest vocalists on the new album. "I’ve got about 25 tunes but I want to refine it, take it down to ten. The stuff I did in Jamaica, you can hear in places that it’s not British – it’s a lot more full on."

"Wayne Marshall is on the first single, I’ve got a tune with Roots Manuva again, I’ve got a tune with Roisin Murphy. A lot of singers from back home. The same sort of thing really, just a bit more advanced."

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