Northampton drum’n’bass doyen Connor Osborn aka AON has been wowing crowds with his DJ sets, and now he releases his own sounds on the ‘Moonlight EP’. New Boots pinned him down for some insight.
AON, tell us – how did you get involved in the world of D&B?
I’ve been listening to Jungle / Drum & Bass since I was a child. At the age of 12 I had my first go on a set of decks, and I’ve never stopped mixing. That was 10 years ago now. It’s flown by!
How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
In terms of DJing, my main influences would be Andy C, Randall & AMC. Their mixing styles have massively influenced my sets. In terms of production, guys like SPY and Break have done a lot in terms of my sound.
Was it quite a natural step to go from DJing to creating your own beats? Any particular people help you on your journey?
I’d been dabbling in making beats over the years, but never took it too seriously. But over the years of networking, I had made some great friends who are awesome producers. People like Bagafilth, RV, Vibe Chemistry & Spectre have massively helped me over time. Answering my endless questions giving feedback, etc. There’s so many people, but them guys have helped me massively on a technical level.
Tell us everything about your debut EP, ‘Moonlight’.
This EP is something that I have been working towards the best part of two years. Over time tracks have been replaced and changed to go with the direction of my sound. These four tracks finally hit the standard that I was happy with, so here we are. The tracks vary in style so much. I initially had another track list, but decided that the contrast between them seriously reflected upon my Drum & Bass journey.
Being an ambassador for NN Drum & Bass, I wanted to include some old friends and local artists. The title track ‘Moonlight’ features Spectre and Megan. Spectre and I met in a college class when I was about 16. He was playing a jump up track on his computer; we connected right away and we’ve been making music together ever since. With Megan, I met her around a similar time. She’s always been a massively talented vocalist. I convinced her to come on this track with us. This is her debut, and I expect people to hear much more of her!
Another collaboration on the EP is with upcoming NN producer Phadix. Over the last two years he has released with some of Drum & Bass’ biggest labels, including our RCO imprint. The rest of the tracks are solo projects, as I wanted to reflect some pure ideas into the EP. I just can’t wait for people to hear it!
What should one expect from a live AON set?
I’ve been told it’s a life-changing experience…mainly because you’re gonna lose your phone and house keys in the process! It really depends where I’m performing, because if you catch me at festival you can expect to hear the full spectrum of Drum & Bass on four decks. Whereas if you find me playing in an underground London club you can expect to hear a drawn-back dark set geared for the headz. You’ll be able to stand there and appreciate your £11 can of Red Stripe knowing you made a great decision.
For those that don’t know, explain how [events brand and label] Random Concept has developed in recent times. You’ve been smashing it pre-lockdown, correct?
Random Concept has been around for over 15 years. It’s ran by Garry K & Presha. I’ve been luckily enough to be given so many opportunities with them over the years. Last year I began running the label side of things. Both events and label have been going well, and I can imagine RC will be back at the Roadmender as soon as it’s viable.
Has lockdown helped or hindered your creativity? What have you missed most about normal life?
The upside to lockdown is that it’s given me the opportunity to work on more music. It’s really been the catalyst to get this EP out there. I’ve missed a lot about normal life, but the main thing has to be going out and playing raves and gigs.
What was the last artist you bought or streamed?
The last track I bought was Bru-C – ‘You & I (Bou Remix)‘ – absolutely love it.
What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’ve been very fortunate to play at venues and festivals around the world, but one I’d love to tick off the list is Glastonbury. It’s always been a dream of mine. At the moment I’m just really looking forward to getting out and playing new music in front of people .
The Moonlight EP by AON is out now via the usual digital platforms