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Arts / Rising DJ catching the eye on the mainland

A DJ and producer from Shetland is making waves on the mainland – landing coverage in a respected national magazine in the process.

Jack Hardie.

Jack Hardie, who now lives in Edinburgh after moving south four years ago, was recently plugged by the renowned DJ Mag following the release of his new tracks Break Yo’ Self and Forgot My Brain.

The tracks were released under the 26-year-old’s artist name Bolam to acclaim on the Aberdeen-based label MELD.

Bagging coverage in DJ Mag and its website is no mean feat, with well over two million people liking its Facebook page.

Hardie said he is “super happy” about how the EP release – which features remixes from Sputnik One and Willy – has gone so far.

“Both of the tracks have been in the works for a really long time and I’ve always dreamt of having them put out through a label so seeing them totally completed, sounding amazing, part of a full release with the B-side featured on DJ Mag is a brilliant feeling,” he said.

“The MELD crew have had so much faith in the EP and they’ve really put in the work with getting the tracks out there to lots of DJs and promoters so I owe them so much for their continued efforts.

“Also getting two really good producers on board for the remixes was really cool because it was interesting hearing what they did with the tracks. Both results were a fresh take of the originals, so I couldn’t be happier.”

Hardie says his music is now veering towards “club-ready bangers” after previously touching more on “uplifting and euphoric” sounds.

He cut his teeth on the decks at Shetland events like club night Electric Soup and is now getting regular slots on the mainland.

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“My sound has changed over the years,” Hardie explained.

“I’ve always had attention to detail and I really like a solid rhythm with a clear progression and journey it takes you on, with loads of little ‘bits’ that draw your attention along the way.

“A few years ago I liked to create uplifting and euphoric tracks with a more positive emotion to them, stuff to dance to and lift you up at the same time.

“That kind of sound is very present on my first EP Artificial Flavours which I released in 2018. It’s a sound I still love, but now I’m moving away from that onto more of a focus on intensity and energy. Club-ready bangers that make you scrunch your face, Break Yo’ Self being the prime example of that.”

Shetland is naturally more known for traditional music and a penchant for country and rock, but its tight-knit DJ scene has always remained active.

Hardie said he was “heavily inspired by the music I was shown or exposed to while I was in Shetland, from my parents, my friends and fellow DJs”.

“Shetland is teeming with musicians and passionate music lovers in general and that is definitely part of the reason I love it so much and decided to follow it so avidly,” he continued.

“Electric Soup was a huge catalyst in my decision to move to Edinburgh because the nights we do are always so much fun and it gave me the desire to pursue it further.”

So is there anything exciting in the pipeline for Bolam? “Always,” Hardie replied.

“I’ve got some new material in the works and I’ve made a lot of new friends through releasing Break Yo’ Self, so things are starting to gain a bit more traction.”

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