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My Tech: Sigala

The DJ, 25, tells us about on-stage disasters in mexico, drone mishaps and creating the World Cup theme tune

How did you end up doing the World Cup tune?

The BBC wanted a modern spin on the folk song they were using in Russia. I usually remix stuff like The Jackson 5 so this was completely different. It was a challenge and I enjoyed it. They sent me the visuals, which helped. I love making music to video as it gives you another element to inspire you.

What kit do you use when you’re working?

I have a basic studio set-up: a Mac Pro tower, a MIDI keyboard, a Neumann U87 microphone and Adam A77X monitors. Live, I use Traktor D2s as they’re more flexible than CDJs.

Have you had any tech-related on-stage disasters?

I was performing in Mexico, the song was building up to a drop, there were 20,000 people in the audience and I tripped over the power lead and everything cut out. It was complete silence. The crowd started cheering and chanting because it felt intentional. Then loads of tech guys ran on stage to fix it. I’ve also fallen over when I was doing a selfie video. I was walking backwards and fell over a monitor in front of 10,000 people.

What travel-related gadgets do you use?

Sometimes the only time I get to sleep is on the plane so I use a pair of Bose QC35 noise-cancelling headphones and really dark sunglasses so I can doze off.

Do you prefer to meet the singers who do your vocals?

It’s common for producers not to meet singers because you’re working with people from all over the world but I’ll get on a plane for ten hours to work with someone for two hours rather than let someone else record them and send me the vocals. I want to be involved in the whole process. It’s important to meet the people you work with.

What tech made an impression on you as a kid?

I had the Talkboy, a handheld recording device that looked like a video camera. You put a cassette tape in it and recorded through a microphone. I used to go around the house recording sound effects and doing introductions like ‘this is the sound of running water’. I was a weird child. Then I started making sound effects like ‘old man falling down a well’.

What games did you play when you were younger?

I had two brothers and we used to play things such as Streets Of Rage on the Sega Mega Drive, then Crash Team Racing on the PlayStation One. My mum had to make up a timetable of who got to play on the console and for how long or we’d end up fighting. I’ve been playing Fortnite. I’ve won ten times.

Who are your favourite people to follow on social media?

I mainly use Instagram. I like following the Drunk People Doing Things account, which is like a 2018 version of You’ve Been Framed! Social media can spread joy and music and awareness of charities but it can also be depressing. I’ve performed with other artists who have spent the entire day running around going to different locations trying to find the perfect place to get a picture, rather than enjoying where they are and what they’re doing.

If you could invent any gadget, what would it do?

Something to get me out of bed in the morning — a Wallace And Gromit-style thing that would put me in my clothes and make my breakfast. I’ve been using the Sleep Cycle app, which helps wake you up at the most opportune moment so you start the day in a good mood.

Favourites: (from top) Crash Team Racing, a Neumann U87 microphone, a Traktor D2 and Bose QC35 headphones

What has been your most disappointing tech purchase?

A drone. I got it out of the box, my friend started egging me on to see how high it would go, and I kept flying it up until it disappeared into a cloud. We could hear it whirring but the remote stopped working and then I never saw it again.

Sigala’s single, Feels Like Home, is out now. He tours the UK in October, sigalamusic.com

Social media can spread joy and music and awareness but it can also be depressing