This purveyor of bass-heavy, party-centric house is going from strength to strength right now
Endor, known to the taxman as Dan Hardingham, is a young house DJ and producer from Brighton who's come a long way in a short time. Emerging a couple of years ago with a bassline-tastic bootleg of La Roux's In For The Kill, his remixing talents have since been sought out by artists as varied as Roger Sanchez and Leona Lewis, while with his DJ hat on he's found himself spinning on respected stations such as Rinse and Reprezent.
His reputation as a producer, meanwhile, has been growing steadily thanks to a series of well-received releases on labels including Armada Music, Night Beast and One More Tune - the eccentric Snake Charmer in particular (a Night Beast release) pricked up plenty of ears with its Indian stylings. But he hasn't stopped messing about with other people's tunes entirely - released late last year on Island, his Youngr collab Give It Up was a reworking of a 1969 Lee Dorsey soul tune of the same name.
Peddling a distinct style that's heavily influenced by UK garage, bassline, UK funky and even grime, yet remains firmly "house" in nature, this 24-year-old could well be the next of the new breed to break through to the big leagues. His latest single Gunna Be Mine - which revisits the same Jocelyn Brown vocal that Bizarre Inc sampled on I'm Gonna Get You, then chucks in a mahoosive Higher State-ish rave synth riff just for good measure - certainly hasn't been going short of club and radio play. His track Fever was recently used in a River Island ad, too, which won't damage his profile any.
So with that in mind, we decided to find out more...
A lot of iDJ readers will have first heard of you thanks to your bootleg of In For The Kill, so tell us about how that came into being and how you made it. Were you surprised by the reaction it got?
"Yo, I was very surprised! It was just meant as a dubplate for my sets… but when my DJ friends were asking for copies, I thought I better go public with it. Fast-forward three months and MistaJam is giving it repeat spins on Radio 1! I never saw it coming, but it did amazing things for me."
And for those that have yet to have the pleasure, how do you describe your sound? It sounds like there's a pretty strong UK garage/bassline influence…
"There’s definitely a lot of garage and bassline flavours in my sound. I’d say it’s UK-centric, bouncy house music. It’s maybe not for the purists, but that’s because I take influences from a lot of genres."
Your latest single Gunna Be Mine also revisits a very famous vocal. As a young producer, do you feel it's important to have a strong sense of dance music's history and heritage so far?
"I feel you can get away with not paying attention to any of music’s history or heritage, if you are carving your own sound! However the sample on Gunna Be Mine is a vocal that I have loved for years, so I was dying to use it!"
Give It Up, the single you did with Youngr, is a much more hard-to-pigeonhole affair. Does that signal a new direction for you, or is it just the result of working with someone else?
"Give It Up isn’t really the direction I want to take my sound in. I loved making the tune, and I think it’s a cool groove, but dusty Ibiza-style records (as fun as they are) don’t really relate at 3am in a grotty UK club night. You have to be way more brash and harsh with your sound. I believe you can do that and still stay true to house - so that’s what I’m gunna try and do."
Your track Fever features in a River Island ad on TV. How did that come about... and did you have any qualms about doing it?
"I was contacted by River Island in the summer of 2017, but the trail went cold. I didn’t hear anything from them for six months, and then all of a sudden the advert popped up on TV and I was stoked! I had no problems, the track fits the advert and the campaign is all about breaking down the borders of race and gender, what’s not to like?"
You started producing when you were 15, I've been told. What software/equipment were you using then, and what's in your studio now?
"Not a great deal has changed to be honest! I started on FL Studio 7, and I think I use FL Studio 11 now. I’ve got some nice KRK monitors and a MIDI keyboard, but to be honest, the keyboard collects a lot of dust… I like to click on the screen instead. I keep it simple: I don’t have a lot of gear and I’m happy without."
Which came first for you: DJing or producing? And if you had to choose just one, which would it be?
"I learned to DJ vinyl about the same time I started producing. I saw a YouTuber called Woah-B doing grime mixes and decided I needed to learn. But if I had to choose one I’d have to go for producing - there’s something very special about communicating through making music."
I also read something about a live B2B stream you do from your kitchen... tell us a little bit about that?
"Yeah! I have a livestream series on my Facebook page. I invite DJs over and we play a back-to-back mix, one track each for 60 minutes. It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to meet my peers in the scene. We always have a cup of tea or a Sainsbury’s meal deal and chat about our experiences doing music."
How's your DJ diary looking at the moment - any particularly exciting gigs coming up?
"It’s looking pretty good, there’s some very cool things happening this year. On Saturday I’m playing a really cool gig in Birmingham, which is a great place to play, and with a bit of luck I’ll make it out to Ibiza this year."
And finally, what else is going on in EndorWorld right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"Well, slightly unrelated to Endor, but I’m working on about three side projects exploring other styles of music that I love making. They won’t be anything too serious, but people will see a different side to my production that they’ll either love or hate. So stay tuned for Gungan, Text Ur Ex and Teflon Dan!"
Words: Russell Deeks