Viv Castle is a British-born DJ and producer, now based in the US. While living in the UK, his first taste of dance music came in the late 80s and early 90s while going to clubs like Manchester’s legendary Haçienda and Thunderdome.
A regular feature behind the decks at Atlanta’s premier venues including Believe Music Hall, District, Opera and others, he made his Imagine Festival debut in 2017 with superstars Tiesto, Deadmau5 and Above & Beyond, and has since shared the stage with AAA artists such as Green Velvet and Oliver Heldens.
Viv Castle spent much of the last two years in the studio honing his craft, and is now set to release his debut single Control on Hausa Groove this March.
Follow on Instagram: vivcastlemusic
Thanks for talking to us Viv. We know the last couple of years haven’t been the best in terms of travel, but have you discovered any new locations that you’ve enjoyed visiting?
I’ve actually been to two new destinations over the last few years. I visited Costa Rica in January, and only just got back from Mexico. Costa Rica was a family trip which we started planning once we though COVID was on the outs. Omicron proved us a bit wrong though. We still had a fantastic trip exploring the rain forest, beaches and local street food around Esterillos. My trip to Mexico was a little more mundane as it was mainly for work, and I couldn’t really get out to enjoy Canun. That being said, I will most definitely go back. It looks gorgeous.
Is travel a big part of your life under normal circumstances?
I used to travel a lot more when I was still in school, but now my travel relates to the odd trip for work, and trips back to the UK to see my family.
Do you have any bits of tech or home comforts you never hit the road without?
I always have my laptop with me. No matter whether you are on the beach, in a city, or the mountains, there is always down time to work on music.
Where in the world are you currently based? Does it feel like it’s pretty much back to normal in terms of restrictions/lockdowns?
I’m currently based in Atlanta Georgia (USA). In many ways it’s back to normal here. All restaurants, events, etc, are all back up and running, and turnouts are returning, however, some people are not ready to take the leap back into full normal activity. I totally get that. Once COVID hit I hibernated and while I was offered gigs I did not feel comfortable taking them. After vaccinations (3 of them), I’m back out there though. I do understand how difficult that choice must be for those with health concerns. It’s been a rough few years for us all.
You were a Hacienda regular back in the day – do you have any particularly vivid memories of those times?
Wow that takes me back. I think the biggest difference is how mainstream Dance Music has become. Back then you would see all walks of life, and very different walks of life, becoming one body of energy. That was a beautiful thing. It gave you hope that one day we would all truly move as one, and not just within the confines of a club. Now you don’t see as much diversity in the crowd, but maybe that is the point or goal, now we are all closer to being one. At least that is the hope. I’m definitely an electronic hippy in many regards
Internationally Atlanta is probably better known for its rap and hip-hop scene than for house music… as an insider, who are some of the local electronic artists that have made an impression on you?
You are right in what Atlanta is known for, but I’ve never really lifted my head from the Dance Music scene. It’s a bit of a shame that I did not explore such a rich and amazing scene more. However, if I was to answer the question in a global sense, I’d have to give a huge shout out to Pete Tong. Without his Essential Mix, I don’t think Dance Music would have reached the worldwide enjoyment that it has. Back in the early days Sasha, Diggers, Micky Finn, Allister Whitehead, Danny Rampling. Now though I am more into guys like Will Clarke, Green Velvet, Hot Since 82 and others in that style.
You’ve been DJing for years, but this is your debut release right? What made it feel like the time was right to start putting your own music out there?
Control is my first release. I’ve been dabbling with Abelton for years now. I’ve nearly given up so many times too, but COVID hit, I stopped taking gigs and really focused all my free time on making tunes. There is only so much Netflix and chill one can do.
How did you hook up with Hausa Groove for the release?
I’ve know Eduke for many years now and have always respected him as a great human and DJ/Producer. Like most artists at some point, I was in the mindset of veiwing my tracks as “it’s never good enough.” One day I had a WIP of Control and shot it over to him for a little feedback. There was a near immediate response of “I love it” Honestly having seen the quality of tracks on Hausa Groove I was floored. It did not take any arm twisting to jump at the opportunity of signing with him. That is when I realized that while I may never truly finish a track, there is a point where you have to say it’s finished and that your time is better spent on other projects.
What should we be looking out for from you this year?
With Control out I have lots of other projects in the pipeline. A few of which are getting to that “finished” point. My goal is to start pumping out solid tunes, and hopefully I’m on to something with my sound.
Finally, if you could play NYE at any club in the world, where would you pick?
Do we have a time machine? If so I think Twilo NYC would be pretty tough to beat. Looking at the clubs today, whilst I’ve never actually been, Printworks looks insane.