Big Up Mix 92 ~ Compa


The youngest member of Deep Medi family, young Will Brown, aka Compa, strikes with enthusiasm and eloquence when it comes to talking about his musical journey. Co-running his own label WX/WL, preparing releases on a few influential labels, and embarking on his 8-dates North American Tour, Compa has lots going on. However, inspired by his recent show in Holland, Compa took time to make a mix for us, filled with unreleased dubs, 80% of his own production, yes, including “Alpha” VIP for those who know.


interview by Katya Guseva

You’ve done a handful of mixes for online publications like FACT Mag, Mixmag, etc… How is this Big Up mix different? Was there any themed selection of the tracks for this one, besides the stuff you’re feeling right now? Is this mix of what one can hear in your DJ set or something else?

I just got back from playing in Haarlem in Holland last night and I’ve decided not to plan this mix. I just pressed ‘record’ and selected records straight out of my record bag. I’ve just cut new dub plates last week so there’s a few brand new tunes in this that are literally fresh off the press. I tried to stick to just playing dub plates, but I’ve thrown in a few of my favorite records too. This is a good representation of what I’m playing in clubs right at this second. Hope you enjoy it.

[toggle title=”Track List”]
Compa – Mountain Chant (Forthcoming Hatched 12″)
Brunks – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us (Forthcoming WX/WL 12″)
Sound Control – Electrocution Dub (Lion Charge)
Loefah – Root (DMZ)
Compa – Tibetan Chant (Forthcoming 12″)
Compa – Shear Force (Unreleased)
YNGN & Gundam – Heat Stroke (Unreleased)
Compa – Prayer (Unreleased)
Compa – Gunshot Riddim (Unreleased)
Compa – Four Four Claps (Forthcoming 12″)
V.I.V.E.K – Rockers (Unreleased)
Compa – Waiting feat. Animai (Forthcoming Hatched 12″)
Compa – The Signal (Unreleased)
The Bug – Poison Dart feat. Warrior Queen (Ninja Tune)
Compa – Rules Of The Dance (Forthcoming Hatched 12″)
Mala – Blue Notez (DMZ)
Compa – Alpha VIP (Unreleased)
Compa – Hard (Unreleased)
Bob Marley – Exodus (Compa Dub Mix) (Forthcoming 12″)

Would it be safe to say that you are the youngest artist signed to the Deep Medi family? How did the signing come about and what did it feel like when you got the news? Are there any top secret plans of future releases on the label?

Yeah, I’m the youngest person ever to be signed to Deep Medi so far. I’m two years younger than Commodo. I was signed at age 21. It’s pretty nuts. I only started making music about two and a half years before that. This has all happened quite fast.

The story of how I got signed… well basically, whenever Mala played in Manchester I’d go to see him play, and I always tried to say Hello, which I did every time. The second and third times he played here I’d cut a dub plate for him with my tunes on and take it to him. He was very grateful. I hoped that this way he’d actually listen to my music, and maybe even play it.


I was shaking with excitement, pacing around my room, trying to stay cool. I was in absolute awe, man! One of my biggest dreams was about to come true.


Then, February 2012 I played a show at Cable club in London for Get Darker album launch, and the next morning I was driving back home to Manchester and I got a text message from him asking when I was free for him to call me. I called him when I got home and he asked whether I wanted to do a release. I was shaking with excitement, pacing around my room, trying to stay cool. I was in absolute awe, man! One of my biggest dreams was about to come true. I still can’t believe it now. He liked ‘Narabeh’, and in the coming months he started hammering ‘Alpha’ in his sets too, and… We had a record on our hands.

We have another release planned but that’s all I should say about it. If you’ve heard Mala play, you’ve most likely heard the music. The record’s coming soon.

Your own label WX/WL just made a new step towards releasing music other than just your own. How did you make the decision and will we see more of other artists’ music released on the label?

Yeah, the next WX/WL record is produced by Brunks. I’ve known him for years, we go way back. We used to skateboard together, went to college together, university together, lived together. I said to him, as soon as you send me a remix that works in my sets and goes down well, I’ll release it. He did, so I did. The track is called “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us” and it’s a fusion of Dark Garage and Funky House, it’s unbelievable, it’s absolutely killer. I play it every-set and have for over a year now. The record’s coming out in November.

It feels great to promote someone else’s music, and hopefully get him some bookings and share his music, it’s something I’ve never experienced before, signing someone and promoting them. It feels great. I’d love to sign more people. If anyone sends me remixes that work in my sets and go down well I will definitely offer to sign them to the label, but the label is only for bootlegs that otherwise couldn’t be released. It’s just a white label series, just some fun and an outlet for my best remix work, and my friends’ best remix work. Has to be said, I only started it because no-one would sign my track “Dem A Talk”.

That “Insomnia” remix though… Why did you pick that track to work on?

A friend of mine sent me a folder of about 500+ acapellas because he knows how much I love doing remixes (Big up Mack at Moonshine), the Faithless “Insomnia” acapella was in there. I knocked the remix together in one night, one session. Like most tracks that get finished in one session, it was decent. I started playing it and it was going down well in my sets, people where asking if it was coming out, so… I released it.

During your DJ sets, how do you gauge if the crowd is responding well to what you’re doing? Does it even make a difference to you at that moment? And if so, what are your most powerful weapons that you reach for when you need to shake up and get a response from the audience?

Usually, if a show is going well there’s just a feeling in the air. It sounds a bit cliche but I can feel a good vibe in the club or at the festival stage. Wherever I am. If people are dancing and smiling that’s a sure sign, but even when not everyone’s moving, I can usually tell whether they’re paying attention, I can tell when people are listening deeply, who’ve come specifically to hear new music and see me DJ.


I treat every show I do as if it's my first and my last. I treat each opportunity with respect and enter with an open mind and without any expectations of how the show might go.


But, to tell you the truth, it doesn’t always matter to me. I try to enjoy it myself first and foremost, play the music I love, represent my sound, take it all in… I treat every show I do as if it’s my first and my last. I treat each opportunity with respect and enter with an open mind and without any expectations of how the show might go.

Saying that, I definitely have secret weapons, tracks that I know will make people move, especially if the sound system is weighty. A few of my own tunes: “Alpha”, “Dem A Talk”, “Four Four Claps”, for example. They always seem to go off and blow shows apart. And of course classic records: “Midnight Request Line” by Skream, “Haunted” by Coki, “Blue Notez” by Mala, “Hard” by Breakage always smash it. I’ve got a lot of unreleased ammo too, I don’t want to mention any track or artist names, but I have ammo.

When you played in New York, we noticed you’ve got a very neatly organized collection of records, very compact yet you played a two-hour set. Is that your style? Do you pay a lot of attention to that aspect or does it come naturally (where from)?

I have quite serious OCD. My clothes always have to be clean for example, always freshly washed, organized. My travel essentials are all neatly packed, my suitcase, and of course my record bag… Everything is organized and packed with military precision. I can’t help it, I’ve always been like this. When I pack records, I only bring what I’m 100% sure I’ll play, to keep weight down and keep me from flicking through my records for too long whilst playing a set, and to prioritize brand new music that I’ve just cut on dub plate. It keeps me on-point. I’m glad I’m like this, I struggle with untidiness and unorganisation. Every detail of anything needs to be spot-on for me to be happy – It’s a struggle sometimes! It can be a curse!