Riordan Scores a Beatport #1 with “Needle On The Record”

We chat with the rising UK dance music wunderkind Riordan, whose righteous tech house weapon “Needle On The Record” has just hit Beatport’s overall top spot.

9 min
Riordan BEATPORT 1 1536x715
Nov 22, 2023
Cameron Holbrook

Congratulations on scoring your very first Beatport #1 with “Needle On The Record!” How are you feeling? Have you had a chance to celebrate yet?

Honestly, I feel like I am on top of the world! This has been one of my biggest goals since I started making music in 2020 when the pandemic hit. I always had faith that it would happen eventually, but I am so grateful it’s happened at this stage in my career. I definitely did some celebrating! First when I got into the Beatport Top 10, and again when I hit number 1 a few days later. Once I had called up my family and my team, I headed straight out in London with friends to enjoy the moment.

It’s pretty out of control that you straight-up “manifested” your song going number one on Beatport by photoshopping an image and putting it on your wall. Can you tell us more about this?

Haha! As I mentioned, this has been one of my biggest goals, and when I finished Needle On The Record about six months ago I had a really special feeling about it. Over the last year or so, I have gotten better at editing, so I decided to photoshop, print, and cut out a piece of paper that looked exactly how “Needle On The Record” would appear on Beatport if it went to number one. It wasn’t so much me pinning it up and hoping it would magically happen, but looking at it every day made me feel like it was possible and helped me refocus on it, which led me to the right decisions to get there. I knew I could do it, but trust me when I say I was still SHOCKED when it happened. When you spend every day focussing on something and it finally comes true, it’s a pretty surreal feeling.

Your father suggested that you sample the Criminal Element Orchestra track “Put The Needle On The Record” and create this modern dance floor weapon. Can you tell us more about your musical relationship with your family and father?

Yes, that’s true. Both my parents often send me old songs they used to listen to when they were younger in case I find some inspiration from it – they know I love sampling old records. With this song, my Dad texted me the original 1980s track along with a few others, but something about this sample really stood out. I immediately started working on some ideas, but what I didn’t know at the time is that it would take me 6 months to get to the final version! Although, it was definitely worth the wait. I’ve got some of my best ideas from my Mum, too. She loves a lot of old groovy disco records that I’ve sampled. I’m very lucky to have such supportive parents who are both really into music. They used to rave back in the day, so they understand the music I am making and are always showing me stuff I never would have heard otherwise.

How did you get linked up with Gorgon City’s REALM Records imprint? The track was previously unsigned when you made it, correct? Did you have a feeling that REALM would be the perfect home for it?

I first met Gorgon City in 2022, when I went out to Chicago for a music festival called Arc. I got introduced to them by my manager who I was hanging out with, and we immediately connected by our mutual love for house music and similar backgrounds. We all grew up in the UK, and when you are around a group of Americans, you realise how much you have in common! I’ve always been a big fan of their music and knew that I would love to get a track signed to REALM Records. I made “Needle On The Record” taking lots of inspiration from UK Garage, which I know Gorgon City love to play out. Honestly, I had barely even finished the track before I was calling up my manager to send it to them. I knew that it matched the REALM vibe perfectly, and they basically agreed to sign it that day. Pretty soon after that, I was seeing videos of them playing it at massive festivals like Lollapalooza, and it all snowballed from there.

Gorgon City were the first DJs you ever witnessed performing live at the young age of 16. How does this full-circle moment make you feel?

They were! Gorgon City was DJing at a big event called Goodwood 3 Friday Nights, which happens to be about 10 minutes from where I grew up. Me and all my friends bought tickets to go – we were only 15 or 16 at the time. I absolutely loved it, I was front and centre from the first song to the last. This set was one of the main reasons I asked for DJ decks for Christmas that year. I continued to DJ locally for the next couple of years, and started producing when I was 17. It’s a crazy feeling to go from standing in the crowd and idolising these guys, to now being friends with them, releasing a record on their label, and then going number one! I still can’t believe it.

What’s on the Horizon for Riordan as we move into 2024? Are there any New Year’s resolutions you plan to pin to your wall?

In my eyes, I am only just getting started. I’m 21 years old, so I have plenty of time ahead to develop my sound, produce, tour, and grow as an artist. I’ve spent the last three years working every day behind the scenes and seeing very little return until now. It’s so rewarding to see your hard work turning into something tangible, and it makes me so excited for 2024. I have loads of new music to release, which I am hoping to land on some of my favourite labels. You can also expect me to dip into other subgenres like Garage and Afro House, as I’m always experimenting and pushing my own boundaries. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into a niche sound. I’ll also be playing lots more shows and hopefully some festivals over the summer. I haven’t added anything new to my wall yet as I want to be 100 percent certain that it is my main focus, but that space is there and is ready to be filled. 2024 will, without a doubt, be my most exciting year yet.

Cameron Holbrook is Beatportal’s North American Editor. Find him on Twitter or Instagram.

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