It’s surprising enough that an up-and-coming dubstepper might emerge out of a relatively small UK city like Brighton.
So much so that it suddenly doesn’t seem unusual at all that he might be talking to you in his pyjamas. “I’m actually in bed with a cup of tea at the moment,” laughs Will Knighton. “It’s 9am over here. I’m just getting ready for the day.”
Most of us are already at work by that stage of the morning, but you can forgive the 19-year-old Knighton for taking things a little easy. As Dismantle, he’s just come off the back of spending two months on the road with Skream, one of dubstep’s biggest names. It’s been an eye-opening experience.
“Yeah, it’s been going really well,” he says. “Skream has been a massive help to get me where I am today, and the shows have been great – wicked crowds. I’ve gotten to travel to a lot of places, and it was just great all round. It was wicked.”
Knighton’s rise to the top of the UK dance scene can be traced back to the northern autumn of 2011, when his track ‘Computation’ swept like a tidal wave across both radio and the club scene. Its furious riddim and house-laden backdrops quickly made it a favourite with DJs and listeners alike. Kutz played the track on Hatch’s Kiss FM radio show, and dubstep’s infamously tight-knit community did the rest. Soon Skream and Benga were onto the tune, packing it with them on a tour to America, and suddenly the blogosphere was onboard.
“Diplo was in Brighton the other week and he played it. It’s still getting played now – like at festivals throughout the summer. It’s still going off.”
But ask Knighton what in retrospect he thinks was so special about ‘Computation’ and he’s still not totally sure.
“To be honest, I’ve preferred other tunes that I’ve made. But I think it hit in the right place at the right time. I think timing was just key: Skream and Benga happened to be going to America the week they got it … and I think the way that dubstep was going at that point, there needed to be a change or something fresh. I think that if I’d made that now, it just wouldn’t have done as well. I think the timing was just lucky, really.”
It’s a life that’s been running on fast forward ever since. Knighton signed to Digital Soundboy in January and began to draw on the resources of one of the most respected labels in the business before releasing his debut EP in July. Next up, a move away from Brighton to the brighter lights of London.
“I’ve actually been looking for places to move up to London recently,” he says. “Brighton’s a wicked place – I’ve lived here all my life – but I’m in London a lot of the time really, and I just love it up there. So I think I’m going to be moving in the new year, around January or February, but of course those sorts of things take time.”
Before he makes the move, though, Knighton is set to land in Australia for a four-date run around the country. He hits Brisbane tomorrow night with what promises to be a typically furious set.
“It’s been in the works for a couple of months, yeah. I’ve just always wanted to go, really. It’s just one of those places that my manager was talking about. And I remember receiving an email one day saying, ‘This is the plan’, and I was just like, ‘Wicked!’ You know what I mean?” he laughs.
“I’m going to be dropping some new stuff, playing my remixes. I’m just gonna be rolling things out how I’ve been in England, really. I have mixes that I do that go through a chain of four mixes together and stuff. I’m just gonna roll it out and do my thing.”
Dismantle Plays Coniston Lane Thursday December 6.