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Words Sam Whitmore
Photography Paul Hainsworth
Whoever said “it’s grim up north” might be right when it comes to the weather but when you consider the
breakthrough talent this end of the country provides – the north defi nitely looks bright and shiny.
Leeds-based DJ Steppa needs no introduction; he Hailing from Huddersfi eld, Kitcha found himself Since the completion of the studio in early 2008,
has spent the past few years reinforcing his posi- engaged in the northern dance music scene from both Steppa and Kitcha set off on their produc-
tion as the centrepiece of the north’s drum & bass an early age, utilising his best available resources tion journey and began collaborating along the
scene, destroying dancefl oors left, right and cen- to promote himself as a DJ on a local level. way. It was from then on the two started to work
tre whilst supplying us with hard-hitting releases together on a full-time basis and started making
including ‘Can’t Resist’ and ‘Gangsta Boogie’. “Steppa fi rst heard me properly when I was play- tunes on a major level.
Now teaming up with northern newbie Kitcha, ing on Galaxy Radio a few years back when I was
the two are gearing up to kick-off a new produc- still in my teens. I told him to lock-on and he got “We are planning to set up our own label, to pro-
tion line under their Northern Lights alias and back to me,” says Kitcha. “Back then my brother vide yet another outlet for our own music and to
help take jump-up drum & bass to a higher level. and I used to go under the name The Kitcher provide a platform to help the up-and-comers,
Brothers, and play-out on the retro house, hard- especially from this end of the country. We’re still
“I was working in the Tribe Records record shop core and old skool scene. I owe a lot to both my deciding a name, but it’s early days so we’re taking
when we fi rst met, and being in the position I’ve brother and my dad who are undoubtedly the our time to ensure we come correct!”
been in the past few years I always felt it was my main musical infl uences in my life and where my
responsibility to look for the next generation of passion for music stemmed.” Defi nitely something to watch out for. Steppa &
talent, although that makes me sound old!” says Kitcha’s debut release as Northern Lights is a col-
Steppa. Making full use of his infl uence within the mu- laboration with Serum – ‘Dangerous’ / ‘Rush’,
sic industry, in 2007 Steppa applied for funding and is available on Twisted Individual’s Zombie
“Kitcha used to bring me tunes he was working on from the Princes Trust for a new city centre based imprint.
and I spotted a real talent in him. We did a couple studio development to help satisfy the needs for
of one-off studio sessions and we both hit it off. local production talent.
It was during the time when ‘Gangsta Boogie’ was
getting set for release that Kitcha handed me a CD “As my interest in Kitcha grew, the more I wanted
with three or four heavy tunes on board. I then him to be involved in my future plans. At the time
passed this onto G-Dub, which then resulted in I was going through the Princes Trust for funding
Kitcha’s fi rst solo release ‘Animal Dirt Bag’ fea- a new studio in Leeds. I told him a year from that
turing on the fl ip. This kind of ignited the Steppa point it would be the right time to put our heads
& Kitcha connection…” together once all the business side was complete.”
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