As far as impactive artists go, you’ll be hard pushed to find an act with as much influence in recent years as WEISS. His relentless pursuit of chart-topping dancefloor anthems has been nothing short of astonishing over the last half a decade.
Needless to say, his individuality has a definitive role in his continued success as he seems to have created a blueprint for melody-rich piano-led house jams.
Since bursting on the scene in 2013 with the hit single ‘My Sister’, Weiss’ late-’80s / early-’90s rave inspired sounds have caught the attention of a host of industry heavyweights including Annie Mac, Groove Armada, Green Velvet and Loco Dice.
His 2018 single ‘Feel My Needs’ garnered critical acclaim, earning the #1 spot on 5 international music charts as well as a spot on the R1 A-List. He’s remixed for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Robyn and Calvin Harris, and has shared the stage with House legends including Todd Terry, Armand Van Helden and Pete Tong.
His latest work comes in the form of a largely uplifting and euphoric cut featuring the powerful vocals of Sharlene Hector – Lift Me Up, on Island Records.
We caught up with WEISS (real name Richard Dinsdale) to celebrate his latest release and got to know him a little better. Here’s how it went…
Hey WEISS, thanks for stopping by. Let’s start with you telling us a little about what you’ve been up to during the pandemic and how you’ve stayed mentally prepared for the re-opening of UK nightlife?
It’s been a crazy one, but I’ve kept myself busy in the studio. Before Covid was around, I was touring a lot and finding it hard to schedule full consecutive days in the studio to work on my music; so being at home has helped a lot by enabling that. My studio’s in an outdoor building at the end of my garden, so I’ve made more music and put more ideas down than ever before. I think we’ve all gone through the motions on the being mentally prepared front. Obviously, things are going to be different in some ways; at this point, I’m really ready to get back into it!
Your latest single – Lift Me Up – cuts an exquisitely euphoric line. Tell us about the inspiration behind the record and what went into making it?
I wanted to make a track that took me back to my younger days as a clubber and a listener of rave music. I had the idea in my head for a while before venturing into actually layering the sounds down on my computer. The instrumental was actually made just before Lockdown but had some vocal ideas on the track. I wanted the top line to make you feel good in these dark times, so I and Sharlene got together and wrote the topline along with Ella Henderson, Camden Cox and some other amazing writers.
It’s no secret that you have an appetite for chart-topping records. What are your three best tips for creating the next summertime anthem?
Try not to copy what everyone else is doing and make music from the heart. Sometimes it takes me 3/4 attempts at what I want before I get the result but if it’s not working, I put it to bed there and then. Make the music interesting and go back to your roots, on what you grew up on. The most important thing is that you enjoy doing it.
What are you most looking forward to when the clubs re-open?
Getting stuck in it and connecting with the people again. It’s been far too long and miss that interaction with the crowd. Plus, I have a whole load of new material I can’t wait to share with you guys on the dance floor.
Do you have any unusual or interesting hobbies outside of music?
Apart from being with my family, I love to collect models and Art. I’m a movie fan so collect these models called Hot Toys and they’re scaled-down versions of a like for like character from famous movies such as Star Wars, RoboCop and Batman. I’ve just started Golf up again so that’s been “fun” playing catch up with all my mates who aren’t out of practice like I am haha.
What part of the creative process do you spend the most time on?
Getting the lead or vocal right. Everything kind of falls into place after that.
With the pandemic giving the environment a bit of an enforced break, have you considered any options to reduce your carbon footprint after it’s all over?
I try and get public transport to shows wherever possible and I’ve just upgraded my motor to a hybrid number for when I can’t. As a family, we also do meat-free stints. I think there’s a lot of important changes being brought to the front of our minds at the moment and we’ve all got to do whatever we can to make sure we’re looking after each other and the planet – for our kids and their kids, and so on.
How would your parents describe you in three words?
Cheeky, Caring and fun.
What artist influenced you most growing up?
Paul Simon, Prince and Quincy Jones. Right through to The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers.
Lastly, what is your number one tip for a long and sustainable career in the music industry?
Stick with it. Do whatever job you have to do to get to where you want. I did many many hard grafting jobs I didn’t like – so I could do what I love doing now. Think outside the box and don’t copy what is the “in current” sound at the time. Make music you love, as this will show in the final product. Most important thing is, be humble and STAY humble. We’re all human beings and should be treated in the same way.
WEISS’ latest single, Lift Me Up, is out now on all major stores and streaming platforms!