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Mentis, Liverpool DJ/Artist interviewed by Matt Jacobson

Liverpool DJ/artist Mentis teams up with vocalist Kate Wild to release his debut single ‘Excuses’ on Columbia Records UK. ‘Excuses’ features spaced out vocals, thumping kicks and a catchy M1 synth top line, reminiscent of classic 90s house anthems. The debut track is destined to be the soundtrack of summer.

The track has already been streamed more than 5.1 million times worldwide in the past few weeks and has been massively reactive to Shazam since release, building week on week and currently sitting in the Shazam Top 40.

‘Excuses’ is now climbing charts quickly too, peaking at No.1 on the Apple Dance trending chart, entering the Spotify viral chart and already hitting the Top 40 on both iTunes and Apple Music UK. With early support including BBC Radio 1’s Party Anthems, it has since picked up additional plays & radio support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, Capital Dance (playlist), Kiss FM (playlist), Kiss Dance (playlist) & more.

Kate Wild, who provides the vocals for the record, has previously been featured on tracks by ShiftK3y, Hot Since 82, Luciano & Low Steppa.

Mentis initially caught the attention of Liverpool based record label & management company Sinister Sounds. Founded in 2016 and specialising in dance music, the record label was established as a branch off from the iconic SIN who host events from wild pool parties to glamorous brunches in Ibiza, Dubai, Amsterdam & Marbella. The label has now broken some of the best up-and-coming artists within the industry, including Mentis, Anto, Ben Rainey, Bissett, ESSEL & Lyle M.

Talking about the brand new lyric video for ‘Excuses’ which confused many city dwellers when the track’s lyrics were recently blown up and projected large across various iconic Liverpool landmarks (including the Royal Liver Building, Radio City Tower, Tate Liverpool and The Liverpool Museum)

So i interviewed the DJ himself, about inspiration, record labels and the future.

The younger years, was it a musical household full of influence?

Well, I have an older brother and the club scene was huge back then and he used to go to Cream, Paradox and O51 and he used to have a set of decks and turntables and he would show us a bit on the decks. He would also bring back some mixtapes from Lee Butler and Lee Graham. So that’s how it kicked off really.

What made you take the leap of faith into being an artist?

It grew over time really. From my brother who was into the music at the time and that got the juices flowing with the music. I had my first set of decks at 14, a £200 set from Argos. I ended up buying Technic turntables. After school, we would all meet my mates and mix together for hours. And I then DJ’d fomi there, from Ibiza to clubs around Liverpool. I only really got into production in the last couple of years. Two friends of mine are really into it and I sat in the studio and picked up bits from them really… and then this all happened.

Did Liverpool clubs influence you and your work?

Yes, massively,the scenes from the early 90s, plus House music and clubs like Society – House music is huge in the city, it’s massive at the moment. But its always been a massive music city.

Do you constantly think about writing, or do you have to make time for it?

To be honest, I don’t think about it – I just do it, because I enjoy it. It’s not like a job. I’m constantly listening to music and playing music. If I don’t feel it, I don’t worry about it, I just leave it until the next day. Lockdown gave me more time sat in front of the computer and keyboard and trying out different aspects and angles of music.

Are you looking forward to getting back out there?

Yes, I can’t wait, I am really excited to get out in front of a crowd – it’s a great experience. I may have a few gigs lined up in Liverpool, but yet to be confirmed. I’ll put it all on Instagram when all confirmed.

Your debut single ‘Excuses’ has been streamed 5 million times! 

Yes, it’s been wild, it’s been crazy. We had loads of support from KIss Radio and Radio 1. But it really took off when it was played on Capital and the number of Shazam’s when the song was played, we used the figures to get Colombia on board?

Matt Jacobson interviews Liverpool DJ/ Artist, Mentis

Did you have many labels chasing you for it?

Yes we had a few, I was signed to Sinister sounds but once the Radio got onto it we had a few chasing us. But once I spoke to Columbia, it was a no brainer. They weren’t corporate, they were very personal, and quickly I was in a zoom meeting with the head of the label and that was it.

You have also mixed the James Arthur single, ‘ September’?

Yeah that’s doing reall well at the minute, so its all good!

And what next?

Well, I’m hoping to mix for a singer I’m really into and it’s very exciting but I can’t say too much as it’s still being organised. 

And finally – Liverpool.

What is it about this city that breeds so many creatives in music?

That’s a good question, I’m really unsure but it’s a socialist city, it’s a city that’s together’ and we also enjoy going out and listening to music. It’s hard to answer, but if you’re from the city you are into music, from The Beatles and beyond. It’s social and a community thing… We are very proud of the music from here. From Cream to Mathew Street festival…. we all love it.

Can you name three Liverpool Streets that mean the most to you and why?

That’s another great question!! …. what a question!! … I’m struggling to define.

It’s a tough one to nail down…

Yes, there are so many that mean the most to me…

Mathew Street – because of the influence on the city. It must also be great for tourists…

Smithdown Road – because it highlights the diversity of our city… many cultures in one area. It’s rough and ready but so friendly.

And the Dock road & dock itself, the development down there is taking off.

Well on behalf of  myself & Explore Liverpool, thank you.

I appreciate your time Matt, thank you!

READ MORE: Matt Jacobson interviews Liverpool singer/songwriter Mason Owens

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