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January 12, 2016Feature

These are the good times for Ireland's leading light in disco

Although not based in Ireland, you can’t keep Dec Lennon from returning home to reaffirm his status as one Ireland’s best selectors.

Each set, every production and even the releases off of his new label Cold Tonic have a distinct party feel to them. Now, with projects including collaborations with Chic’s front man Nile Rogers and big plans for his label, we speak to him about life in the ascendancy.

Why do you think radio culture has never really died out?

Because radio offers you the medium of finding new music while doing something else. I can cook, clean, go to work, work in an office and still hear new music as opposed to searching Soundcloud or record crates (which I love) and it offers personal taste.

When you listen to the radio you are listening to someone’s point of view so it gives you a personal reach to what they are about musically, which you cannot find elsewhere so widespread.

Benji B played the titular single off your debut EP back in 2010 and things seemed to really get going from there. How much do you owe to this Radio 1 air play?

I think I owe a huge amount to both Benji and of course the BBC for the ever riding support with every release I have done but I certainly owe a great deal of where I started to Benji. He played that record a lot and really gave me a platform and I will forever be grateful for that.

Many people have pegged you as “the next Annie Mac”, is radio your future?

What? Annie Mac is a beast! Do they mean having me get a perm? I’ve actually never heard that but who knows, I enjoy radio and love doing it but I’m focused on other things right now.

You also started ‘Cold Tonic’ relatively recently, how important is that for the future of your career?

Massively… I never start anything without a future idea in my head and with CT I am excited to see how much I can make it grow, but with CT I’m searching for natural growth and it’s a passion project strictly about self indulgence which is tough to get when you are working with other labels.

In terms of live sets, I saw you play a set in the basement of the South William a while back, do you prefer those intimate sets or big room shows?

I like both to be honest. I love that small rooms can offer me huge possibilities to play a variety of music as that level of intimacy offers that. While I naturally feed off the buzz of playing in front of 2000 people in a rave so I think it’s kind of swings and roundabouts really.

"[Nile Roger's] management got in touch thanks to the suggestion from Skream and before you knew it we were writing music together."

You’ve been working closely with Nile Rogers recently, can you tell me a little about how that came about?

His management got in touch thanks to the suggestion from Skream and before you knew it we were writing music together.

Will you be working with him again in the future?

Lips sealed.

Finally, I have it on good authority that Olàn from All City Records gave you the greatest advice you’ve ever received, what advice was it and how much do you feel that advice has helped you in what you’ve achieved?

Olan has offered me tonnes of advice over the years and has been a huge mentor in everything I have done.

One thing he always told me was to never be ironic with anything you do as it will never stand once the wave has crashed so when I was initially make new jack and boogie he really pushed me to avoid jumping into a day glo suit and over-egging the retro aspect and thankfully I listened to him like I always do.

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