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"Come To Dada"


'Come To Dada'

Every so often new music falls into our hands that we're so blown away by we just have to share. Such is the case with Colin Waterson, the Glasgow born, blue-eyed soul singer whose debut album Dada is pure electro-heaven. Think Annie Lennox or Billie Ray Martin's younger brother. Think Boy George and Alison Goldfrapp's love child.

The album is dramatic, both high BPMs and low. First single "Fa Fa Feel," reminiscent of Goldfrapp, bounces along while his filtered vocals slowly build. On "Cool Connection" he sings "walk down the street, feel the heat, I'm electric." Indeed he is. You'll want to dance. Trust us. He's part disco belter and part glam rocker.

He's also a torch singer. Although the upbeat, electro-pop gems on Dada are near perfect, it's the slower parts of the record that truly show Waterson's vocal prowess. Sad love songs are a dime a dozen, but they rarely sound this freaking cool. "Every Shade of Wrong" and "Can't Go Back Again" are slow, moody, and complete with heartbreaking lyrics. You can hear the hurt in his voice and it's a wonderful contrast to the over-produced pop and soulless dance music we gays consume in mass amounts.

Very rarely does an artist's style equally match his substance. Waterson's accomplished just that. Dada delivers musically, lyrically, stylistically, and vocally. He looks goods and sounds even better. The album is now available in the US via iTunes. If you buy it, we'll forgive you when you grab Paris Hilton's album next month. Well, maybe we will.


"Waterson Interview"

After a stint dancing in the first ever all-male production of Swan Lake and co-creating legendary London club-night Drama, Waterson is now recognised as an artist in his own right and has produced his debut album DADA to an appreciative audience.

‘Fa Fa Feel’, a track from the album, is currently an underground club hit and word of mouth and CDRs have seen this track permeate the dance floors of the East End electro scene.

We caught up with the unique, eccentric and electronic Waterson to find out more.

Your new album is out now. What can the uninitiated expect?
The bleeps and beats typical of electronic music together with the gentleness of a more ambient and soulful recording. The tracks are all ‘proper’ songs which started life on the piano and you can hear that in the work. It’s got loads of traditional instruments on the album like a Rhodes piano and organs right beside a Roland synth, programmed parts and the on-board Logic sounds.

What is it about Dada that you’re most proud of?
The fact that I did it all myself. I wrote it, produced it, played all the instruments, sang all the vocals, programmed all the beats and got it into HMV! Taking control of your creativity like that is really rewarding. I’ve been signed to this label and that, been with this manager or the other and they always exercise so much control over what you do that the end product doesn’t end up sounding anything like what you had in your head to begin with.

So I’m proud that I got out of my last label deal and was brave enough to at least try to do things my way!

So, how would you describe your musical style?
It’s a mixture of so many things, like most artists these days. I think it’s impossible to categorically state that you belong to one genre over another, but I suppose I could describe it as “electronic soul with a healthy dose of off-centre gorgeousness!” [Laughs] How’s that?

"It was so glamorous that people used to think nothing for queuing for hours at the hope of getting just a glimpse of the people inside!"

The album showcases your versatile vocals and during the album you appear as a torch singer, a glam rocker, a disco predator and a soul singer. Which guise is the real you?
I truly am all of those things. I’m heavily influenced by Bowie through to Grace Jones, Bjork through to Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan through to Little Jimmy Scott so you see all those elements showing up in different songs.

I like it when my favourite singers show all their different styles and I think we’re all so multi-faceted anyway (you know as human beings) so it’s simply an extension of that.

If we forget the singing you’ve also been a dancer and co-created legendary London club night Drama with Terry Hart. Do you look back fondly on those hedonistic days?
Oh yes, I loved it but you can’t keep that level of hedonism up forever though! At the height of Drama I was working with Terry on three different club nights all over London - we were as in demand then as he still is today - as well as doing all the big parties with Laurence Malice at Trade and with Miss Dee at Café de Paris every week, so as you can imagine it was pretty full on!

If I wasn’t working at our own nights then I was out at other peoples’ events or doing PR on the streets - and that’s not a euphemism for anything else! But it was a great time, which I look back on very fondly indeed. It was the wildest of wildness and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

“I was on Broadway and I felt bored! I mean you know something’s not quite right when you feel like that."

The club was regularly full of A-list celebrities. Was it all as glamorous as it was made out to be?
Actually, in this case it was! I know everybody who’s ever been to an iconic club or run one always says that, but I can safely say that it really was like that at Drama every month. It was so glamorous that people used to think nothing for queuing for hours at the hope of getting just a glimpse of the people inside!

We never set out to be exclusive or anything. Most of the people were our friends. There was never any VIP room or any of that bollocks – everyone in there was VIP! Even at the very start of it - when it was just a few hundred people in the basement of Eve Club- it was a collection of all the young London fashionistas wrestling with the fiercest of drag queens, nestling up to Dolce & Gabbana watching Kevin Aviance on stage!

I remember looking round the club with Terry one night and we looked at each other and there were literally stars. I can honestly say that we stood together and felt that we loved each and every person in that room!

You toured the globe with Adventures in Motion Pictures but left the dance world to launch yourself onto an underground audience. It was big change in direction. What made you take the new path?
I had always had music in my life and it just felt like the time was right, you know? I was on Broadway and I felt bored! I - Rainbow Network

"Subba-Cultcha Feature"

Subba-Cultcha: So why did you call your album ‘Dada’? What’s the inspiration behind the title?

Waterson: I thought it was a great title for a debut album because it’s amongst the first words that come out of our mouths as babies and it was also meant to represent (with it’s tongue planted firmly in it’s cheek) the anti-establishment viewpoint of the Dadaist artists. I like the idea of going against the grain and doing something even if everyone else says you shouldn’t in fact especially if they do! It was kind of like that with the making of this album. The deal I had with a label and manager and all the other ‘trimmings’ fell through and the company folded and loads of people said it wouldn’t work doing it on my own but I did it anyway. I laugh in the face of danger! Ha!

S-C: You really don’t sound like any else around at the moment. What do you think the reason for that is?

W: It’s funny because I am likened to many people whilst at the same time a lot of folks say I sound entirely unique. But everyone has their own idea of who I remind them of or how I make them feel and that’s cool. But the real reason for not sounding like anyone else I think is just timing and doing what comes naturally. Not trying to copy or compare or get worried about fitting in or anything like that.

S-C: How did you first get into making music and are there any highlights so far?

W: I met an amazing keyboardist called Simon Walters and we started making drum and bass tracks. We did covers of negro spirituals and everything just sort of evolved from there really. I’ve been in a band, recorded pop songs with super-producers, done the vocal MC thing in nightclubs all the while shaping my sound and developing my act. I think the highlight has got to be making ‘Dada’. The whole process has left me feeling very accomplished.

S-C: Your recorded the entire album yourself. Was it lonely?

W: At times it did get a little bit hairy (read mental home material) and I flipped out and longed to able to bounce ideas off someone and have a creative shoulder to cry on but ultimately I was very comfortable making the album in solitude. With the new material I’m spending more time working on sound and arrangements with the very talented Matt Foster (who mixed ‘Dada’) but am still playing all the parts myself and producing and creating on my own. Just give me a pipe and some slippers and a cave and I’ll be fine!

S-C: What is it that drives you?

W: The thought of doing something ‘normal’ for a living! I’ve always been involved in one form or another with something to do with the arts and I don’t see myself at a desk anytime in the near future.

S-C: What are your personal favourites from the album and why?

W: Well now, I love all the songs equally of course! Ha ha. Don’t make me choose!
S-C: How would you describe the Waterson sound? What kind of act do you want to be known as?

W: I’d describe it by cleverly bringing together all the little bits and bobs that people have been kind enough to review me as sounding like and it goes something like this. “…Eccentric, electronic soul. Off-centre gorgeousness. Modern and underground…” I don’t know, it’s hard to describe yourself musically but I definitely think that I take a soulful approach to making alternative sounding electronica. I’d love to be known as an act that keeps developing and evolving and as someone who isn’t afraid to move on and try a slightly different angle, you know?

S-C: What albums changed your life and made you want to be a musician?

W: ‘Nightclubbing’ by Grace Jones, ‘Maxinquaye’ by Tricky, ‘Post’ by Bjork, ‘I Want You’ by Marvin Gaye, ‘Is This Desire’ by PJ Harvey, ‘Parade’ by Prince. I could go on and on and on. There is genuinely so much amazing music out there that resonates with me and inspires me to make my own tunes.

S-C: And who around at the moment who gets you going?

W: I really love The Streets, Akira The Don, Mr Hudson and The Library, Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello and M.I.A.

S-C: Any advice you’d give aspiring artists? What advice have you been given and did you listen to any of it?

W: I’ve listened to a lot of the advice I’ve been given but I haven’t acted upon most of it! It is essential that you know your own mind and act on your own impulses rather than anyone else’s. I’m not saying don’t listen because you should but you have to exercise you own personal judgement on what seems like it would work and what wouldn’t. The best advice I’ve ever been given is from people like Gary Mandell at SSB lawyers or Martin Morales (K T Tunstall A&R). You know people like that know for sure what they are talking about so it’s worth a lot. That is quite honestly the best advice I could give anyone.

S-C: What are you up to creatively right now? What are your future plans for Waterson?

W: I’m working on new material for album number 2 and I’m bringing out a 12” with remixes of ‘Fa Fa Feel’. I’ve collaborated with so - Jeremy Chick for Subba-Cultcha


“…Pure electro-heaven…” QUEERTY

“…Every shade of fabulous…” BILLIE RAY MARTIN


“…Remarkably unique and powerful…” GLASSWERK

"...A mixture of hip-hop beats and electronica, the more you play it the more you like it..." DJ MAGAZINE

"...You can trace his bloodline back to early Eurthymics and Grace Jones..." MARY CIGARETTES

"...A richly dramatic debut album..." GLASSWERK

“…Hypnotic…Sumptuous…Sensual…Infectious…” TOXIC PETE

“…Killer soul vocal…” RHYTHM ONLINE

“…Stunning…Slick…Imaginative…Moving…” LEONARD’S LAIR

“…Haunting…Mesmerising…” WHITECHAPEL ART GALLERY

"...Really doesn't sound like anyone else around at the moment..." LEONARD'S LAIR

"...Dada Diva..." MIX BRASIL

“…A new urgency instilled in the traditional electro genre…” TASTY MUSIC MAGAZINE

“…Fills the gap between the electro pop of The Eurthymics and trip hop of Massive Attack…” TASTY MUSIC MAGAZINE
- Various

"Leonard's Lair Album Review"

Colin Waterson started out as a member of the theatre company 'Adventures In Motion Pictures' and since then has won a BBC Re:Covered competition with his performance of The Eurythmics' 'Here Comes The Rain Again'. This mixture of the theatrical and the melancholy gives a big clue to what his album sounds like. 'Dada' is an exercise in imaginative electronic-based songs, further enriched by Waterson's split personalities on the vocals. He reveals himself as a torch singer on 'I Can't Go Back Again', a strutting glam rocker for 'Fa Fa Feel', a disco predator on 'No Ism', a young Horace Andy on the slick 'White Whispers' and a soul singer on the moving 'Every Shade Of Wrong'. It's to Waterson's eternal credit that he manages to fit into each guise with considerable aplomb; producing a stunning highpoint on the sparse and vulnerable 'Tomorrow's Been Already'. A great beginning for a solo act who really doesn't sound like anyone else around at the moment.

4/5 - Leonard's Lair

"Toxic Pete Album Review"

Dada' is a completely self-made underground project by Colin Waterson. A work of subtle, often dark sounding, electronica that sits somewhere between the dancey grooves of Moby and the mournful, meaningful lyrics of Nick Cave. However, Waterson is very much his own man and 'Dada' is deeper and more thought provoking than either of the aforementioned individually.

'Dada', throughout its eleven sumptuous tracks, carries a essence of dreamlike musical visions that are often hypnotically rhythmic yet naively catchy ('Sun Is Shining', 'Fa Fa Feel' and 'Dada') whilst retaining subtle dance-floor qualities ('Cool Connection' and 'White Whispers'). Cool and inspirational vibes ('No Ism') pour from the speakers with unnerving ease as Waterson digs deep into his creative tool box to come with precisely the right tool for the job-in-hand. Waterson isn't just a creator of modern underground electronica, he's also a formidable lyricist ('I Can't Go Back Again' and 'Tomorrow's Been Already'), instrumentalist, arranger and producer. Other tracks to get the juices flowing in equally diverse ways are the punchy and infectious 'Every Shade Of Wrong', the vocal acrobatics of 'Momentum' and the deeply sensual 'Give Me Love'; each having a character of its own and each demonstrating Waterson's pretty unique musical prowess.

At no time does this excellent album even begin to sound contrived or samey. Just as Moby managed to meld blues and soul tinged elements with bright modern dance vibes, so does Waterson. 'Dada' will hit the spot with many out there and for various reasons; some will be drawn by Waterson's hypnotic, underground dance vibes, others by his passion and creativity and still more by the fact that this guy's got something more to offer than many of his contemporaries.

9/10 - Toxic Pete

"Rhythm Online Album Review"

Electronica and blues are not two words I’ve ever heard being associated with one another but somehow new Glasgow born, London based artist/producer Waterson manages to pull off just that.

Echoes of Bessie Smith usher in the album and remain at various points throughout the remaining 10 tracks of this fantastic debut release, which the artist has called ‘Dada’ – a nod to the anti-establishment art movement perhaps? Or the first words a baby utters may be an even more telling explanation, mirroring the primal and raw emotional content of the songs.

From the radio-friendly chorus of ‘White Whispers’ to the delicious oddness of ‘Momentum’, the dark longing of ‘Cool Connection’ and the sweet, heartfelt tenderness of the stripped down piano ballad ‘I Can’t Go Back Again’ this CD covers quite a few styles in the broadest sense. However the song-writing style is one of adept uniqueness and the whole journey joined together by the artist’s killer soul vocal.

For the most part production is equally obscure and commercial, in particular the abstract torch song ‘Every Shade of Wrong’. It’s a love ditty with a twist and definite airwaves appeal, swelling and quieting, resting and running, culminating in a string-lead release of the senses in the most thrilling and wonderful way.

I hear that Waterson has lent his vocal styling to various producers/DJ’s for a slew of upcoming projects. I for one am really looking forward to those and to the success of ‘Dada’ and rest-assuredness that we are all going to be listening to albums 2, 3 and 4 in years to come with as much excitement as this one. - Rhythm Online


Strip Down - CD, Download, 12” (Junior Boys Own) 2006

Rollercoaster - CD, Download (Devore/Crazy Diamond) 2007

Fa Fa Feel - CDR (White Label) 2007

I Love Linda - Download, Promo CD (Kinky Malinki) 2008

Boys On The Dancefloor - Promo CDR (Motherless Child) 2009

Paradise - Download, 12” (Sinq Recordings) 2010

Halo - Download (Axis/On The Run) 2010

Wasteland - Download (Axis/On The Run) 2011

When You Tell Me That You Love Me (Axis) 2011

Fa Fa Feel - CD, Download, 12” (Oxyd/Universal) 2011



***Currently working with Billie Ray Martin, Ashley Beedle and Olene Kadar!!!***

London-based electronica artist Waterson was recently called an “a one-man electronic band” by quirky movie star Alan Cumming. And as frontman for electro band Detroit Starrzz he was described as “an underground electro sensation” by Music Week!

He writes, produces, and mixes everything himself and is currently as much in demand overseeing other artist projects as he is for his own work.

Previous hits include Pete Tong-discovered, top ten download, ‘I Love Linda’ (Kinky Malinki), after-hours anthem ‘Strip Down’ (Junior Boys Own) with Smokin’ Jo and underground electro club smash ‘Fa Fa Feel’ (now signed to Oxyd Records and described as “innovative and eclectic” by Beatport), with a brand-new version being co-produced with Essential New Tune man-of-the-moment Olene Kadar and is due for international release through Universal.

He is published by 23rd Precinct/Notting Hill Music where his credits as either writer, remixer or producer include legendary queen of electronic soul Billie Ray Martin, upbeat dance diva Shena (BBC Radio 2 B Playlist), cooler-than-cool Glasgwegian band A Band Called Quinn (Number 6 in the UK Indie Chart) as well as a blinding, forthcoming collaboration with none-other-than Ashley Beedle.

He has performed all over the globe from New York to Los Angeles, Copenhagen to Paris, Hong Kong to Singapore in venues such as Crobar, Ministry of Sound, Les Bains Douches, Vega and Sub Club. The Scotsman newspaper said quite simply “Waterson brings the house down”.

Radio airplay has taken in BBC Radio 1 & 2, 6 Music, BBC Radio Scotland, XFM, Virgin, Kiss, Choice FM, Miss Moneypenny’s, Push FM, Global Ibiza House Radio, House Nation France, Radio Beach FM and many, many more from Tokyo to Toronto and everywhere in between. TV credits include BBC, ITV, Channel Four, MTV, MTV2 and The Box.