Meet Blinkie, the Producer Behind the Deep House Hit ‘Don’t Give Up (On Love)’

It usually takes years of releases before an artist makes an impact on a national scale. But in the case of up-and-coming producer Blinkie, it only took weeks. Last September, the London native burst onto the scene with his infectious debut single, “Don’t Give Up (On Love).”
With its soulful vocals and deep house rhythm, the Ultra Music-released song has received support from British radio stations BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM, and Capital FM. In terms of numbers, the single was the sixth most downloaded track on DJcity UK in November and its music video has received over a million views.
In January, Blinkie maintained momentum when BBC Radio 1 premiered his remix of Major Lazer’s “Light It Up,” which became DJcity UK’s 10th most downloaded song that month.
We spoke with Blinkie about his impressive debut, musical background, and future plans.
You’ve been producing for over 10 years, but your first single didn’t come out until recently. What were you doing up until then?
I have and will always make music for the love of it. That’s the most important thing to me. So for 10 years, that’s been what it’s about. I have worked with some incredible talent and have a team of writers, artists and musicians that I work with on a weekly basis. There is quite an archive sitting here right now, which is a very exciting position to be in. It hasn’t been an easy ride, though. The challenges I’ve faced over the last 10 years have helped create the character and resilience required to keep going in a competitive industry.
It’s rare for an artist to make a big impact with their debut. How did you pull it off?
I think it goes back to why I make music. This single was made for the sake of creativity – for fun – and I hope that shines through and connects to people. When I made this song four years ago, I had no plans to release it, so every day is a blessing right now. The song is about expression — creatively and emotionally — a way of releasing a sound and a message that was inherent within me. The song was made because I heard it in my head, and wanted other people to hear it too. The impact it has made means a hell of a lot to me.

What equipment did you use to produce “Don’t Give Up (On Love)”?
I made “Don’t Give Up (On Love)” on my Mac with Logic Pro 9 and the first mic I ever bought, the Rode NT1. I also used my Yamaha HS8s and Apogee sound card. It was a small set up at the time, but one I was extremely grateful for. I made the song in my bedroom, in a room barely big enough to house a bed and my computer. I think that’s a testament to emerging producers, artists and musicians – you can make great music anywhere if you really want to.
The vocals on it have a ’90s vibe. Has that era of dance music influenced you?
I grew up in the ‘90s, so it has had a huge influence on me and my music. Whenever I hear music from that era, it automatically reminds me of a particular moment, feeling or experience. My older brother was really into house music; I would hear it all the time. I didn’t realize the impact of the ’90s and my brother until I made “Don’t Give Up (On Love).”
BBC Radio 1 selected it as their track of the day in November. What type of impact did that have?
It was a great opportunity for the song to reach as many ears as possible — that’s the one true goal in all of this. It was a fantastic platform for the music to be heard, and to have BBC’s support is incredible.
Why did you sign the song with Ultra Music as opposed to another label?
I like the way that Ultra works. When I was given the opportunity to work with them, it felt like a natural choice. Their support has been invaluable, and creatively, I’m still very free, which is extremely important to me.

Do you have plans for a US tour?
There are a lot of things I would like to do, and touring the US is definitely one of them. However, I tend to try and take each day as it comes, and enjoying the journey is particularly important to me.
How has DJing helped you as a producer?
It’s helped me become more in tune with people’s tastes and the tastes of the moment. I’m able to see how people react to a song’s arrangement and how the song’s energy moves the crowd. DJing has also opened my eyes and my mind in regards to element selection and FX use. I’m now able to see instantly whether my music works for the crowd; that’s incredible firsthand feedback that you’ll never get anywhere else.
What else do you have planned for the future?
More music! That’s the plan right now. I’ve got a lot to share, and I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions. I’m still in the studio every day, and I can’t see that changing much over the years. As a producer, I enjoy all genres of music. I work across genres and literally make anything and everything. I love house music and I enjoy the scene, but there is definitely more to come. 2016 is also looking exciting in terms of gigs; it’s definitely going to be a busy year.
Follow Blinkie on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.
Related: DJcityUK’s Most Downloaded Tracks of January 2016