When meeting Derwin you are face to face with a contradiction. He is a successful musician in his own right, and remixed the likes of Bloc Party, Zero 7 and Little Boots. On the other hand, he is a shy character that is dreading going on stage in 15 minutes time.
How does performing make you feel?
I guess I’m a bit shy, it’s really stressful. You get the feeling you should cater to the audience, but at the same time you just want to do what you do, and not be bothered about what anybody wants. I mean the problem is the audience, they just don’t get it. It’s not their fault. I just feel uncomfortable on stage, like I’m there to perform like a monkey or something. When you are on stage in front of loads of people and you aren’t well known it’s difficult, when they are there to see you it’s great, but I think I could take it or leave it at the moment, the live thing.
You used to lay lyrics over your tracks. Why did you get out of the rap game?
Yeah well, I was never in it I think, that’s why. No, I used to do freestyling with this guy Infinite Livez on Big Dada, and I was making beats as well… We had an improvised noise rap group called Kiss Akabusi, It was good fun but I didn’t really feel comfortable doing it. I mean I loved to rap because I grew up listening to hip hop and stuff and I really wanted to be a rapper, but when I realised I was shit I gave up.
I heard that you used to work in a sex shop?
It was probably one of the best jobs I ever had, it was easy. It was just long hours and a lot of weird customers. It was quite depressing; I’d get invited to weird orgies by 60 year old guys asking me to bang their wives. And I got a lot of questions about erectile dysfunction, and making your cock bigger, quite a lot of that. The most depressing thing was how many fake vaginas and blow up dolls I sold around Christmas… one guy bought a blow up doll on Christmas Eve and brought it back on Boxing Day because it didn’t work. So he’d had it over Christmas and thought “right, I’m gonna get a shag out of this blow up doll” and it didn’t blow up, so his Christmas was ruined. Grim.
You sold your entire record collection to pay for a Japanese diploma… Was that hard to do?
Not really because I got to a point where I didn’t know what else I should do with my life, it was a real teenager kind of thing, even though I was 23. I kind of just sacrificed one thing for another. I love being able to speak, read and write another language. It’s not a language that a lot of people would take the time out to learn I don’t think.
Which record do you miss the most?
A few old Aphex Twin records from when he wasn’t called Aphex Twin, he was called something else… Also this track by Intelligent Hoodlum and Craig G – Live And Direct From The House Of Hits. My mate gave it to me on a 12”, and I fucking sold it. And I’m really annoyed that I sold it because it’s amazing.
How did living in Japan for a year affect you?
I get really inspired when I’m there, I like the way things look. It taught me to be more independent, and trust myself. Trust my own judgment, and just do what I’m doing.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I just bought the Mount Kimbie album, and an album by a guy called Forest Swords. And Jason Derulo I guess.
Finally, do you have a joke for us?