Harry Lawrence has been one of my best friends for years, and ever since I’ve known him he’s been making music. He’s been experimenting with names and genres for a while and recently has taken on the mantle of ‘Prime’ or ‘Primitive Dubstep’. With an eclectric mix of dubstep songs to his name and the recent release of an EP, Harry’s finally made the leap into published musicians at 20 with his Unity EP under the name Prime for Stupid Fly Records. On the dawn of his release, I had the chance to interview him, and the result is below. Questions in bold, answers not.
You’ve tried many different styles of music before, what about the Dubstep genre particularly appealed to you?
Dubstep is cool. I kid… The thing about dubstep is you can put all the things in there that you can with any electronic music; arps, synths, hook lines, vocals, mad fx, but have the same emphasis that drum & bass does – that is – on the drums and the bass. These parts are the parts that really come out in a mix and the challenge to perfect them is quite enticing.
Do personal experiences help influence the music you make in any way?
Sometimes…I also write more mellow down-tempo and alternative tunes that more often that not reflect something that’s happened to me or how I feel. I write dubstep mostly because it sounds good, and has that high energy content that makes you want to move. There are some exceptions though…
Who musically has inspired you the most and how much of that shows through in the music you make?
The biggest influence that shows is probably early Muse stuff. They did a lot of square-based synths and arppegiated sweeps; I do this a lot, I just like the way it sounds. Inside of dubstep, though, Skream is a big influence; he’s good at creating danceable rhythms. I do like to try to have some sort of originality though.
When was the first moment when you really felt like your music was really taking off and hitting a wider audience?
It was either when I made the Bad Touch remix or the Muffin Man tune. I made both tunes as a kind of joke, especially Muffin Man, but they seemed to be getting a lot of views. so I used this to gauge what people liked and got going that way, then, when I had a few subscribers, I started to realise that it was an achievable goal. So I spend a lot of my time trying as many different things as possible ’til I stumbled upon the sounds that felt right to me, and that I thought people would like at the same time.
What’s the normal process you go through when creating a track? (from creation to sampling to naming it)
I won’t sit at the computer and think what should I write. Just at some point in the day, something will happen to make me think of a rhythm. Like, I’ll tap my fingers on the side in some way and it’ll make me think of a drum beat. Then I’ll spend the rest of the day thinking in my head what goes with it in terms of good riffs, etc. Then the next day, at some point in the day, the two just seem to naturally fit together in my head overnight and play themselves in my brain, and I can fill the rest in, so I’ll rush to the computer, write it down (the notation). Then I’ll tweak the sound until it’s the sound I want in my head and level it and name it after. I’m a big fan of naming a track after you write it…what’s the point in sitting there thinking I want to write a song about a girl and drawing your inspiration from nothing? Surely, you should wait til this girl exists and then write how you feel down, inspired by her…surely that is more real? Went on a bit of a rant there, but we’re back.
You did a mash-up years ago of ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’ which still gets frequent plays on my iTunes. Are there any plans to go back to mash-ups or find a way to combine them with what you do now?
Oh yeah, I think I’m a lot better at my selection now though, haha. Again, I did that one as a joke. I like taking tunes from completely different backgrounds and styles and making something good out of them. In fact, a theme of a lot of my work is “from nothing.” Remember that for the future, it might be useful.
You’ve had someone recently try to steal your songs and someone lifting your Muffin Man track for a rap track. How do feel about those, looking back on them?
Yeah, someone made an EP out of some tunes I kindly put up for free download, but I guess the world isn’t as nice as I’d hoped. So I’m on lock-down, no more freebies, which is a shame, coz I’d rather people just enjoy my music without some fuck stealing them and selling them when my work has gone into them. And then some guy, Koshir, took my Muffin Man tune (which is funny because that tune was made for a joke) and rapped over it. Badly. I mean, if the rap was good, I might not have cared as much, or if he gave me credit for my own fucking tune, you know? He does shout outs to all these people, even someone for SHOWING him the tune…I don’t even need to insult this guy, he insults himself through his own existence. I haven’t even contacted him, for fear of getting some sort of Stupid Virus. His flow is decent, but his lyrics are without a doubt the worst I have ever heard, which is saying something.
You’ve done a few events at clubs and you’ve even had offers to go to America to perform at clubs. What kind of preparation goes into DJ’ing for you?
I like to do an overview of loads of tracks in the genre I need to play out. So if I’m doing hard dubstep, I’ll play through Bar 9 tunes, Doctor P, a lot of Dub Police, some underground stuff, and some of my own, etc. to remind me of how they come in and come out and then assemble the mix as I go, maintaining the vibe, not mixing tracks that don’t go. I haven’t done nearly as many gigs as I’d like. But I haven’t really even put myself out there yet, I want to be 100% on top of what I’m doing first. Once I get to the level I aspire to, I can climb the ladder. I’m only 20, remember.
So how did the EP come about, and how does it feel knowing you’re now released?
Well, one of my goals in life was to get on iTunes. And I can say that now, so you can tell how I feel about that. Fucking amazing. I still can’t believe it. For the EP, I was looking at the track I had done recently to go on there, but I couldn’t decide, so I got Smitho – the guy I trust most in terms of electronic music – to select for me, so the EP was his choosing. Unfortunately, the label reversed the order that was selected, which isn’t too much of a problem, although the first two tracks were designed to merge. Oh well. Can’t have everything.
If you can, name your 5 favourite tracks you’ve created and why?
I couldn’t possibly say! Seriously, I create a lot of tracks for a lot of different reasons, but the reasons are all of equal importance, so…
Where can we get the Unity EP and how much is it?
A lot of places, actually: iTunes, Dogs On Acid, Trackitdown, Junodownload, Amazon, loads of places! It’s £3.16 on iTunes, and similar prices everywhere else. Go grab one, and do me a super favour!
Prime can be found at:
His Youtube Channel – http://www.youtube.com/primitivedubstep
His Soundcloud Channel –
And his Unity EP can be bought at:
Juno Download – http://www.junodownload.com/products/1678528-02.htm
And iTunes – http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/unity-ep/id409629348