INTERVIEW | Vanilla Ace

London based Sam Young, now better known as Vanilla Ace, has been making quite the name for himself over the past couple of years. With releases on renowned labels such as Toolroom, Ministry of Sound and Suara as well as support from artists ranging from Seth Troxler to The Magician, Young has earned every bit of success thus far and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.


With 2013 being a big year for Ace and 2014 following suite, we were happy to grab him for a Bang Bang date (following a killer Splash House set). Don’t miss VA himself at Bang Bang tonight, and be sure to take a listen to his latest release on LouLou Records, “I’m Hot.”


Long vanilla


What’s your first memory with dance music?
Dancing to 80’s soul and funk at school discos and watching artists like Cameo, Michael Jackson, Kool and The Gang on Top of the Pops, also early 80’s electronic synth pop like the Eurythmics, Gary Numan etc. Early house music became pop in the UK, I’d hear Inner City, S’Express, Snap, C&C music factory on a daily basis on the radio. But I remember hearing Daft Punk’s ‘Around the World’ in my friends car when it first came out and thinking ‘Wow! So cool!’.

You’re currently on your #USAce tour and will have had a gig in nearly every major city in the states. How do you prepare to go on tour? Do you find the crowds stateside to be much different than in Europe?
If you have never toured before it can be a bit daunting and you have to be well organised and prepared mentally. Lots of time by yourself on planes, away from family and friends. Luckily my girlfriend came with me on this tour so half the week I am with her in LA and the weekends travelling for gigs, so it has made it a lot easier. The crowds in the US are fun, they love the G-House/Bass house style…in the UK the proper house style is big now, hence why Disclosure, Route 94, Duke Dumont are topping the charts, rest of Europe depends on the club and the night but you can play a mixture of styles.



You’re a self proclaimed advocate for the travel pillow. Any other travel hacks up your sleeve?
Apart from the travel pillow its a must to have a eye mask and a good relaxing playlist to fall asleep to. If I’m not tired I rent a movie from iTunes and watch it on the plane, passes the time quickly.

One of your wishes from 2013 was a residency somewhere warm. If you could choose a residency at any club, where would it be?
I’d say European summer months in Ibiza at Amnesia then European winter in Brazil! Sun all year round.

You used to do A&R for various labels. What is it like being on the other side of the biz now? Do you think it’s prepped you as an artist?
Yes it has, it helps to know how the business works and what is needed to succeed. Don’t get me wrong I had years of putting out tracks under my real name on my old label and having no success whatsoever.


vanilla vinyl


Which of your works (original or remix) are you most proud of?
Hard question indeed, but I’d say ‘Musicology’ for my original work and my recent remix for Moon Boots is a current favourite of mine.

You used to be a vinyl junkie. Do you still find yourself buying records?
Sometimes, I have such a huge collection I still haven’t found the time to go through a lot of it. But if I see a good record shop I do find myself having a dig.

Any up and coming artists to look out for?
Thee Cool Cats, KulKid, Blende, Daniel Fernandes, Anthony Toga, Stonez, Sebb Aston…



You’ve been plenty busy in the studio and will be wrapping up your U.S. tour next month. What’s in store for the rest of 2014 and beyond? Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Yes I have a new EP with Chad Tyson coming soon on Bunny Tiger, a EP with DJ Lora on KLANGKULTUR SCHALLPLATTEN, a EP with Barber on Go Deeva, a track with Stonez for Toolroom and a bunch of remixes for Destructo, Incorrect Music, Dear Deer etc.