Seb Zito has been immersed in the dance scene since the mid-90s, emerging out of London’s pirate radio scene to become a lynchpin producer on Enzo Siragusa’s Fuse imprint, not to mention releases on Memoria, Kaoz Theory and many more besides.
This year promises to mark a milestone in his career, with the release of his debut album Truth In My Steps, which lands on 9 April on Eats Everything’s Edible Records. You can pre-order the album here.
909originals caught up with him.
Hi Seb, thanks for talking to us. 2020 was a particularly prolific year for you – eight different releases by our count, and now a forthcoming album? You must have found lockdown a particularly creative period?
It was my work rate in 2019 that provided the music for 2020. The end of 2018-19 was most definitely my most productive. I had a baby on the way and that whipped me into shape both physically and mentally. Changed my whole perception of life.
I actually finished this album round the end of 2018/beginning of 2019 so I’ve sat on this for some time.
Last year was probably my least productive year, I honestly found it difficult to be inspired through not playing/touring but I’ve held in and just put my head down and cracked on with it.
The album is your first on Eats Everything’s Edible label – why was that label a good fit?
I released Twenty.2 in 2018 on Edible, but this is my first album and I believe the first album on Edible. After the success of that single, Dan [Pearce, aka Eats Everything] asked if I was up for doing a mini album and obviously I said yes.
I wanted to do something different from my dubby signature sound and Edible was the place for it.
Are we correct to surmise that the album tells the story of a night out – as in going from the club (2am Lover) to the after party (Charlie’s Gaff)?
It’s a story from thousands of nights out, from my first rave at Sun City to where I am now. 2am Lover in my opinion is that hook up you call after a night out and Charlie’s Gaff used to be the place we’d all go to party ‘after’ the after party.
What’s this we hear about you ‘custom-designing a handful of Walkmans’ to coincide with the album’s launch?
Yea I thought it would be a great idea to promote the album and also give some of my listeners an insight on how I used to listen to music. Theres something special in holding something physical and hearing music in a historical way.
Last year’s Don’t Leave was very rave influenced, while the last track on the album (Let It Never Go) is straight-up hardcore. There’s been a bit of a ’92 revival’ thing going on recently, with Altern-8 and Acen releasing new tracks for example. Why do you think that sort of sound is having a revival?
I think everything comes in cycles and this is that cycle for that sound. It’s all about what frequencies resonate at a specific time and right now it’s a rave revival.
Also I believe the demise in clubs and rise in festivals also plays a big part in that sound, because in a big space those type of tracks works so well.
A recent release of yours that caught our eye was Put Your Phones Down (featuring Woodzy). There’s a message in there for the nightclub-going public, right?
I get the need to wanting to promote what you do and of course capturing moments on camera is the best way, but for the crowd to constantly have their phones out is beyond me.
Enjoy the moment and be present with your friends, those moments are special and priceless and no video recording will replace that.
You cut your teeth in the world of pirate radio – what influence did that have on your sound?
It was my start on this music journey, I played on Subjam FM and then moved onto Unknown FM – that’s where I clocked up hours on perfecting my craft as a DJ. As a sound, it was always underground music played on these stations, so that’s where my sound has been to the present day – underground.
There’s a varied blend of styles in your music (house, rave, garage, dubstep) etc – it must be important to you not to get pigeonholed into one genre?
Most definitely – that’s why I created this album in that way. If you listen to me live, or even on recorded sets, you’ll hear a range of styles played, so obviously that’s what I do as a producer.
I always make what I’d like to play at a rave first before even considering a label or what people want. I guess it could be seen as selfish, but I think I’m just being true to what I want to create, rather than what needs to be created.
How is your label, Seven Dials, progressing – what are your plans for it?
Its going really well. I have some amazing artists like Zac Stanton, Mad Villa, Timmy P and I also have a lovely release from Skream coming towards the end of the year.
I plan to tour my album with the guys from my label to then potentially putting on label parties.
You were one of the instigators of what came to be known as the ‘London sound’ around a decade ago. How has that ‘sound’ evolved in the years since, do you think?
With Fuse London we created a dubby sound that projected the party and us as artists.
Over time, we’ve all evolved as individuals but as a collective we are all still very much connected because that original sound and vibe is still with in us all.
What sort of clubbing industry will emerge once the pandemic has passed? What will have changed?
Without touring we all have more time to be creative in the studio. Ive found myself making music outside of the clubbing environment.
I’d say I’ve experimented more with sound, pushed my creativity more than ever and hopefully this will transfer to the dancefloor.
It’s not all about playing bangers, one after the other, it’s about creating a vibe and taking the clubber on a musical journey. hopefully we’ll see more of those sets.
[Thanks again, Seb! Truth In My Steps is released on 9 April. You can pre-order the album here.]