After landing a gigantic hit with ‘Afterglow’ last year and turned heads with his debut album, fast-rising drum ‘n’ bass star Wilkinson is one of the hottest names in dance right now.
When ‘Afterglow’ made the Top 10 a few months back, what was your reaction?
“It was all pretty hectic. I’d had a month of non-stop DJ-ing, press and promo, and so I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was just trying to get from one place to the next without missing a flight.
“Then I got back, and they sent me straight off to Radio One to do the chart show. It was a complete blur at the time. I hadn’t slept. Looking back now it’s fantastic. It’s done a quarter of a million sales, and that’s mental to think about.
“When you have people singing the tune back to you at shows, it’s a pretty cool feeling. It’s gradually sinking in.”
One critic dubbed you the “new golden boy of drum ‘n’ bass” – how do you feel about that kind of label?
“It’s quite funny, really. I don’t know. The thing with drum ‘n’ bass is that it’s an underground genre but it’s crossed over. The important thing was that I had a full album to fall back on. Having a big hit is great, but you need something else to back it up.”
You’ve already been confirmed for Leeds and Reading Festival 2014 – what are your thoughts looking ahead to it?
“We’re going to try and do something big. For the festivals we’re taking on some visual guys to put on a real show. That whole weekend is going to be hectic.”
In your pre DJ-ing life, is it true that you used to deliver plants to celebrities?
“Yeah! Gardening was my thing before drum ‘n’ bass. I worked in quite a posh garden centre. Fearne Cotton and Jo Wood go there a lot. I used to deliver to Ronnie Wood’s house.
“It was quite fun. I used to get 40 quid a day, go out and get drunk, and then come back and sleep under the tables. I don’t know how I wasn’t fired quicker.
“Kate Moss did a photoshoot there once, while I was trimming the shrubs. That was pretty weird.”
February 8, The Warehouse, Somers Street, Leeds, 11pm, £14, www.theleedswarehouse.com. Wilkinson also plays at Leeds Festival, August 22-24, weekend £210, www.leedsfestival.com