Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview

Hot Toddy Interview

Originally from October 2010

 

I'm often amazed how so much of the deep house scene is still made up of the names I cut my teeth on way back when untitledmusic started. My view is that it's a testament to how good and important those first pioneers where, the likes of 20:20 Vision, Paperecordings, Glasgow Underground, Forensic Records, Classic, Music For Freaks and more have shaped the scene ever since, paving the way for the new breed of artists and producers. So, it was with great pleasure that I recently sat down to check out the latest Hot Toddy long player, a smooth, laid back CD of typically excellent grooves and got a chance to ask the man himself a few questions.

 

Hot Toddy aka Chris Todd is one half of the Crazy P formerly known as Crazy Penis. A man that's been steadily building his reputation as a solo artist since his debut release way back in 1999. Those first releases were on Nottingham based label Neon Heights and were part of a series call Bright Lights, a lot has happened since then...

 

What's the best rumour you've heard about yourself?

 

"Probably that we (Crazy P) turned down a million pound record deal from Hedkandi as announced, on the mic, by Stuart Patterson from Faith, just before we did a gig in Edinburgh. It was a great introduction, just completely inaccurate!"

 

A not entirely misspent youth that involved his father's folk/blues guitar playing and electronic keyboard, a 4 track home set up, the school music room's drum machine, Nottingham Trent Uni's mixing desk and Akai 1000 Sampler, an early viewing of Back to the Future, and Nottingham's vibrant early house scene have made Toddy the man he is today. And let's be honest Nottingham has for as long as I can remember been a hotbed of house music.

 

Following the Neon Heights releases came Crazy Penis's first long player on Paper Recordings 'Super Magic' in 2002. For me this was the first encounter with Todd, and that CD still sits on the shelf and gets the odd play - so must be good!

 

So much of the early deep house scene (Paperecordings for example) still has a relevance today - what's the secret of that longevity?

 

"Quality music, in a word (or two!). The early Paper stuff was a massive inspiration to me when I was just getting into house/Disco production. Paper, along with other labels like Nu Phonic and DIY, and acts like Black Science Orchestra and Faze Action were really setting the foundation to this “Nu Disco” scene we have today. There is a real musicality to this stuff, made by talented musicians who can really play, and use their gear with such originality."

 

As Crazy P began to tour the world with their acclaimed live show - of which Chris is of course one of the arrangers and guitarist, Hot Toddy had to take a something of a backseat, but releases still emerged on Nottingham's excellent Winding Road label.

 

As Hot Toddy/Crazy Penis you were one of the pioneers of UK deep house, what's the biggest lesson you've learnt along the way?

 

"I think, from my own experience, its don’t take the business/ legal side of things for granted, and allow complacency to set in. We’ve been guilty of this in the past and it’s got us into a bit of trouble. It’s easily done when all you want to do is make music, but you need to keep an eye on every aspect of your game."

 

After Crazy P's triumphant last album Stop Space Return, and the subsequent touring that came with it, was finished, the studio beckoned once again, and Toddy emerged earlier in 2010 with his second album 'Late Night Boogie' on San Francisco label Om Records sister label Smoke and Mirrors. A gorgeous stew of all his styles, it featured Crazy P's Danielle Moore and Jennifer Rhonwen on vocals, and sweetly dove tailed the sounds of balearica, soul, boogie, disco, and the kind of slow burning house that Toddy and Crazy P have made their own. Eskimo Records loved the superb 'I Need Love' (featuring a rare lead vocal from Crazy P production partner Ron Basejam) that they swiftly licensed and got Morgan Geist in on the remix.

 

You've history of working with stand-out labels, what attracted you to OM's new off-shoot Smoke and Mirrors for this album?

"Well Om have a great reputation and are one of the leading and longest running underground dance labels in the world. We’ve done a bit of remix work with them in the past as Crazy P, which worked out well, so there was a bit of a relationship there. To be honest, the fact that they believed in the project enough to want to release it was a huge attraction! Didn’t realise it was coming out on Smoke n Mirrors till later, but I think it’s a better fit, stylistically."

 

How would you describe this album?

 

"It's quite chilled, more than I planned, but its just the way it turned out. It covers a lot of ground, and quite a large time span. Some of the tracks I started around 2005, so it covers about 4 years. There was never a vision for it really, it was just a case of fitting in little bits, here and there, around the Crazy P schedule. Despite this hotch-potch approach, I think the end result has some nice subtle musical themes running through it. I really like the some of the psychedelic touches to it, as in “Floatation Tank” and “Phantom Jam” in particular, of course there’s plenty of my funk and disco influences coming through also."

 

Throughout your career you've had a team approach using guest vocalists and remixers, how does that effect your creativity, writing approach, production and of course, the end result?

 

"When you write with singers/ musicians, you need to find the middle ground, there has to be a bit of give and take, and the end result is something unique, that is greater than the sum of the parts..if that make sense! Me and Jim have to do this with each other all the time, but that’s what makes the Crazy P sound, neither of us could come up with it in isolation."

 

What's your favourite track on it?

 

"That tends to change on a weekly basis! At the moment it’s “All Night”. It’s probably the most dance floor orientated tune on there and think it’s a pretty good representation of my style at the moment."

 

As we approach the end of 2010, Hot Toddy is now in demand as a remixer, with his takes of Joey Negro, Mousse T, Lovebirds, and his gorgeous version of Crazy P's 'Never Gonna Reach Me' getting props and plays from the likes of The Revenge, Tom Middleton, Pete Tong, King Britt, Tim Sweeney, Tensnake, and Jamie Jones, and Wolf and Lamb.

 

With the release in November of the next single from the album ‘Freekend’, what's your plans from there to promote the album?

 

"It’s tricky because Crazy P is my main project and takes priority, otherwise I’d be doing a lot more. Most weekends are taken up by Crazy P gigs, so apart from the usual round of interviews there’s not much on the cards at the moment."

 

You’ve been making quality tunes for long enough to have seen a lot of change in the industry - what do you see as the biggest challenges ahead?

 

"The biggest challenge is how to adapt quick enough in this digital computer age. Its mind-blowing to think how much things have changed in the last 10 years, the music industry has been turned upside down. The old infrastructure, which was in some part built around a physical product, is now almost obsolete. Artists and labels have had to adapt quickly to this new environment and find new niches to occupy and survive in.

 

The challenges for the smaller artist/label are fundamentally the same, how to make enough money in order to keep doing what you love.  The relationship between gigs and “record” has flipped. Once you would tour to promote your record, now you release a record to promote gigs, the live experience is one thing that can’t be digitised, yet! So an important consideration for an up and coming artist is developing a good live/DJ show. It’s how Crazy P’s survived for as long as it has."

 

And here's hoping the Hot Toddy, Crazy P, Chris Todd brand of survival continues for years to come, leading the way for many more to be inspired or to discover an outlet for making music that entertains beyond the DJ booth conquering that all important live market - something that's sure to become more and more important as the industry changes, the digital age progresses and piracy and other factors further effect how and where we hear the music we love.

 

More like this

Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview
Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview
Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview
Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview
Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview

Hot Toddy Interview

Originally from October 2010

 

I'm often amazed how so much of the deep house scene is still made up of the names I cut my teeth on way back when untitledmusic started. My view is that it's a testament to how good and important those first pioneers where, the likes of 20:20 Vision, Paperecordings, Glasgow Underground, Forensic Records, Classic, Music For Freaks and more have shaped the scene ever since, paving the way for the new breed of artists and producers. So, it was with great pleasure that I recently sat down to check out the latest Hot Toddy long player, a smooth, laid back CD of typically excellent grooves and got a chance to ask the man himself a few questions.

 

Hot Toddy aka Chris Todd is one half of the Crazy P formerly known as Crazy Penis. A man that's been steadily building his reputation as a solo artist since his debut release way back in 1999. Those first releases were on Nottingham based label Neon Heights and were part of a series call Bright Lights, a lot has happened since then...

 

What's the best rumour you've heard about yourself?

 

"Probably that we (Crazy P) turned down a million pound record deal from Hedkandi as announced, on the mic, by Stuart Patterson from Faith, just before we did a gig in Edinburgh. It was a great introduction, just completely inaccurate!"

 

A not entirely misspent youth that involved his father's folk/blues guitar playing and electronic keyboard, a 4 track home set up, the school music room's drum machine, Nottingham Trent Uni's mixing desk and Akai 1000 Sampler, an early viewing of Back to the Future, and Nottingham's vibrant early house scene have made Toddy the man he is today. And let's be honest Nottingham has for as long as I can remember been a hotbed of house music.

 

Following the Neon Heights releases came Crazy Penis's first long player on Paper Recordings 'Super Magic' in 2002. For me this was the first encounter with Todd, and that CD still sits on the shelf and gets the odd play - so must be good!

 

So much of the early deep house scene (Paperecordings for example) still has a relevance today - what's the secret of that longevity?

 

"Quality music, in a word (or two!). The early Paper stuff was a massive inspiration to me when I was just getting into house/Disco production. Paper, along with other labels like Nu Phonic and DIY, and acts like Black Science Orchestra and Faze Action were really setting the foundation to this “Nu Disco” scene we have today. There is a real musicality to this stuff, made by talented musicians who can really play, and use their gear with such originality."

 

As Crazy P began to tour the world with their acclaimed live show - of which Chris is of course one of the arrangers and guitarist, Hot Toddy had to take a something of a backseat, but releases still emerged on Nottingham's excellent Winding Road label.

 

As Hot Toddy/Crazy Penis you were one of the pioneers of UK deep house, what's the biggest lesson you've learnt along the way?

 

"I think, from my own experience, its don’t take the business/ legal side of things for granted, and allow complacency to set in. We’ve been guilty of this in the past and it’s got us into a bit of trouble. It’s easily done when all you want to do is make music, but you need to keep an eye on every aspect of your game."

 

After Crazy P's triumphant last album Stop Space Return, and the subsequent touring that came with it, was finished, the studio beckoned once again, and Toddy emerged earlier in 2010 with his second album 'Late Night Boogie' on San Francisco label Om Records sister label Smoke and Mirrors. A gorgeous stew of all his styles, it featured Crazy P's Danielle Moore and Jennifer Rhonwen on vocals, and sweetly dove tailed the sounds of balearica, soul, boogie, disco, and the kind of slow burning house that Toddy and Crazy P have made their own. Eskimo Records loved the superb 'I Need Love' (featuring a rare lead vocal from Crazy P production partner Ron Basejam) that they swiftly licensed and got Morgan Geist in on the remix.

 

You've history of working with stand-out labels, what attracted you to OM's new off-shoot Smoke and Mirrors for this album?

"Well Om have a great reputation and are one of the leading and longest running underground dance labels in the world. We’ve done a bit of remix work with them in the past as Crazy P, which worked out well, so there was a bit of a relationship there. To be honest, the fact that they believed in the project enough to want to release it was a huge attraction! Didn’t realise it was coming out on Smoke n Mirrors till later, but I think it’s a better fit, stylistically."

 

How would you describe this album?

 

"It's quite chilled, more than I planned, but its just the way it turned out. It covers a lot of ground, and quite a large time span. Some of the tracks I started around 2005, so it covers about 4 years. There was never a vision for it really, it was just a case of fitting in little bits, here and there, around the Crazy P schedule. Despite this hotch-potch approach, I think the end result has some nice subtle musical themes running through it. I really like the some of the psychedelic touches to it, as in “Floatation Tank” and “Phantom Jam” in particular, of course there’s plenty of my funk and disco influences coming through also."

 

Throughout your career you've had a team approach using guest vocalists and remixers, how does that effect your creativity, writing approach, production and of course, the end result?

 

"When you write with singers/ musicians, you need to find the middle ground, there has to be a bit of give and take, and the end result is something unique, that is greater than the sum of the parts..if that make sense! Me and Jim have to do this with each other all the time, but that’s what makes the Crazy P sound, neither of us could come up with it in isolation."

 

What's your favourite track on it?

 

"That tends to change on a weekly basis! At the moment it’s “All Night”. It’s probably the most dance floor orientated tune on there and think it’s a pretty good representation of my style at the moment."

 

As we approach the end of 2010, Hot Toddy is now in demand as a remixer, with his takes of Joey Negro, Mousse T, Lovebirds, and his gorgeous version of Crazy P's 'Never Gonna Reach Me' getting props and plays from the likes of The Revenge, Tom Middleton, Pete Tong, King Britt, Tim Sweeney, Tensnake, and Jamie Jones, and Wolf and Lamb.

 

With the release in November of the next single from the album ‘Freekend’, what's your plans from there to promote the album?

 

"It’s tricky because Crazy P is my main project and takes priority, otherwise I’d be doing a lot more. Most weekends are taken up by Crazy P gigs, so apart from the usual round of interviews there’s not much on the cards at the moment."

 

You’ve been making quality tunes for long enough to have seen a lot of change in the industry - what do you see as the biggest challenges ahead?

 

"The biggest challenge is how to adapt quick enough in this digital computer age. Its mind-blowing to think how much things have changed in the last 10 years, the music industry has been turned upside down. The old infrastructure, which was in some part built around a physical product, is now almost obsolete. Artists and labels have had to adapt quickly to this new environment and find new niches to occupy and survive in.

 

The challenges for the smaller artist/label are fundamentally the same, how to make enough money in order to keep doing what you love.  The relationship between gigs and “record” has flipped. Once you would tour to promote your record, now you release a record to promote gigs, the live experience is one thing that can’t be digitised, yet! So an important consideration for an up and coming artist is developing a good live/DJ show. It’s how Crazy P’s survived for as long as it has."

 

And here's hoping the Hot Toddy, Crazy P, Chris Todd brand of survival continues for years to come, leading the way for many more to be inspired or to discover an outlet for making music that entertains beyond the DJ booth conquering that all important live market - something that's sure to become more and more important as the industry changes, the digital age progresses and piracy and other factors further effect how and where we hear the music we love.

 

Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview
Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview

Hot Toddy Interview

Originally from October 2010

 

I'm often amazed how so much of the deep house scene is still made up of the names I cut my teeth on way back when untitledmusic started. My view is that it's a testament to how good and important those first pioneers where, the likes of 20:20 Vision, Paperecordings, Glasgow Underground, Forensic Records, Classic, Music For Freaks and more have shaped the scene ever since, paving the way for the new breed of artists and producers. So, it was with great pleasure that I recently sat down to check out the latest Hot Toddy long player, a smooth, laid back CD of typically excellent grooves and got a chance to ask the man himself a few questions.

 

Hot Toddy aka Chris Todd is one half of the Crazy P formerly known as Crazy Penis. A man that's been steadily building his reputation as a solo artist since his debut release way back in 1999. Those first releases were on Nottingham based label Neon Heights and were part of a series call Bright Lights, a lot has happened since then...

 

What's the best rumour you've heard about yourself?

 

"Probably that we (Crazy P) turned down a million pound record deal from Hedkandi as announced, on the mic, by Stuart Patterson from Faith, just before we did a gig in Edinburgh. It was a great introduction, just completely inaccurate!"

 

A not entirely misspent youth that involved his father's folk/blues guitar playing and electronic keyboard, a 4 track home set up, the school music room's drum machine, Nottingham Trent Uni's mixing desk and Akai 1000 Sampler, an early viewing of Back to the Future, and Nottingham's vibrant early house scene have made Toddy the man he is today. And let's be honest Nottingham has for as long as I can remember been a hotbed of house music.

 

Following the Neon Heights releases came Crazy Penis's first long player on Paper Recordings 'Super Magic' in 2002. For me this was the first encounter with Todd, and that CD still sits on the shelf and gets the odd play - so must be good!

 

So much of the early deep house scene (Paperecordings for example) still has a relevance today - what's the secret of that longevity?

 

"Quality music, in a word (or two!). The early Paper stuff was a massive inspiration to me when I was just getting into house/Disco production. Paper, along with other labels like Nu Phonic and DIY, and acts like Black Science Orchestra and Faze Action were really setting the foundation to this “Nu Disco” scene we have today. There is a real musicality to this stuff, made by talented musicians who can really play, and use their gear with such originality."

 

As Crazy P began to tour the world with their acclaimed live show - of which Chris is of course one of the arrangers and guitarist, Hot Toddy had to take a something of a backseat, but releases still emerged on Nottingham's excellent Winding Road label.

 

As Hot Toddy/Crazy Penis you were one of the pioneers of UK deep house, what's the biggest lesson you've learnt along the way?

 

"I think, from my own experience, its don’t take the business/ legal side of things for granted, and allow complacency to set in. We’ve been guilty of this in the past and it’s got us into a bit of trouble. It’s easily done when all you want to do is make music, but you need to keep an eye on every aspect of your game."

 

After Crazy P's triumphant last album Stop Space Return, and the subsequent touring that came with it, was finished, the studio beckoned once again, and Toddy emerged earlier in 2010 with his second album 'Late Night Boogie' on San Francisco label Om Records sister label Smoke and Mirrors. A gorgeous stew of all his styles, it featured Crazy P's Danielle Moore and Jennifer Rhonwen on vocals, and sweetly dove tailed the sounds of balearica, soul, boogie, disco, and the kind of slow burning house that Toddy and Crazy P have made their own. Eskimo Records loved the superb 'I Need Love' (featuring a rare lead vocal from Crazy P production partner Ron Basejam) that they swiftly licensed and got Morgan Geist in on the remix.

 

You've history of working with stand-out labels, what attracted you to OM's new off-shoot Smoke and Mirrors for this album?

"Well Om have a great reputation and are one of the leading and longest running underground dance labels in the world. We’ve done a bit of remix work with them in the past as Crazy P, which worked out well, so there was a bit of a relationship there. To be honest, the fact that they believed in the project enough to want to release it was a huge attraction! Didn’t realise it was coming out on Smoke n Mirrors till later, but I think it’s a better fit, stylistically."

 

How would you describe this album?

 

"It's quite chilled, more than I planned, but its just the way it turned out. It covers a lot of ground, and quite a large time span. Some of the tracks I started around 2005, so it covers about 4 years. There was never a vision for it really, it was just a case of fitting in little bits, here and there, around the Crazy P schedule. Despite this hotch-potch approach, I think the end result has some nice subtle musical themes running through it. I really like the some of the psychedelic touches to it, as in “Floatation Tank” and “Phantom Jam” in particular, of course there’s plenty of my funk and disco influences coming through also."

 

Throughout your career you've had a team approach using guest vocalists and remixers, how does that effect your creativity, writing approach, production and of course, the end result?

 

"When you write with singers/ musicians, you need to find the middle ground, there has to be a bit of give and take, and the end result is something unique, that is greater than the sum of the parts..if that make sense! Me and Jim have to do this with each other all the time, but that’s what makes the Crazy P sound, neither of us could come up with it in isolation."

 

What's your favourite track on it?

 

"That tends to change on a weekly basis! At the moment it’s “All Night”. It’s probably the most dance floor orientated tune on there and think it’s a pretty good representation of my style at the moment."

 

As we approach the end of 2010, Hot Toddy is now in demand as a remixer, with his takes of Joey Negro, Mousse T, Lovebirds, and his gorgeous version of Crazy P's 'Never Gonna Reach Me' getting props and plays from the likes of The Revenge, Tom Middleton, Pete Tong, King Britt, Tim Sweeney, Tensnake, and Jamie Jones, and Wolf and Lamb.

 

With the release in November of the next single from the album ‘Freekend’, what's your plans from there to promote the album?

 

"It’s tricky because Crazy P is my main project and takes priority, otherwise I’d be doing a lot more. Most weekends are taken up by Crazy P gigs, so apart from the usual round of interviews there’s not much on the cards at the moment."

 

You’ve been making quality tunes for long enough to have seen a lot of change in the industry - what do you see as the biggest challenges ahead?

 

"The biggest challenge is how to adapt quick enough in this digital computer age. Its mind-blowing to think how much things have changed in the last 10 years, the music industry has been turned upside down. The old infrastructure, which was in some part built around a physical product, is now almost obsolete. Artists and labels have had to adapt quickly to this new environment and find new niches to occupy and survive in.

 

The challenges for the smaller artist/label are fundamentally the same, how to make enough money in order to keep doing what you love.  The relationship between gigs and “record” has flipped. Once you would tour to promote your record, now you release a record to promote gigs, the live experience is one thing that can’t be digitised, yet! So an important consideration for an up and coming artist is developing a good live/DJ show. It’s how Crazy P’s survived for as long as it has."

 

And here's hoping the Hot Toddy, Crazy P, Chris Todd brand of survival continues for years to come, leading the way for many more to be inspired or to discover an outlet for making music that entertains beyond the DJ booth conquering that all important live market - something that's sure to become more and more important as the industry changes, the digital age progresses and piracy and other factors further effect how and where we hear the music we love.

 

Banner image of Hot Toddy with heading over it of his name and Interview