Simon Patterson is no stranger to success, with 21 consecutive Beatport number ones, a closely followed weekly Open Up Radio show, two exciting residency runs on BBC Radio 1, and many more accolades to his name. In our interview he dives into the story behind “Vapour Trails,” his highly anticipated single featuring Dave Wright, which was premiered on ASOT and released on Insomniac. We also asked Simon about his celebratory Open Up 200 Open to Close shows, a massive accomplishment for him.
How did you come to work with Dave Wright on "Vapour Trails"?
Dave has been involved in a few of my previous records as a co-writer and he has sung on one of those too – “Northern Lights” – so you could say we go way back. I’ve always been a massive fan of his work and his approach to writing – in terms of his lyrical content as well as his awesome ability to come up with vocal hooks that are so catchy they get stuck in your head for days after only one listen.
With this track taking you over half a year to finish, can you talk about what the final version is like compared to the initial idea? What were some of the pain points that made you spend so much time on the track?
Well the first version, that was releasable, took about three months to complete. But the delay after that was because we toyed with the idea of trying out a female vocalist and spent a great deal of time recording and replacing the vocals with those. But that didn’t work out because the key of the track is a pretty awkward one for a female vocal range and all the vocals sounded too high and thin. So we scrapped that idea and instead moved back to Dave, but we asked him to re-record some of the lines we thought could be improved and then we also had some additional harmonies and ad libs – just giving the vocals a bit more thickness essentially. The condensed answer is that it took three months to make but then another three months was spent tweaking the vocals and making the radio edit – which is the version the official video is cut to.
How does it feel to have made it to the final result and to have it signed to Insomniac and premiered on ASOT?
It’s a relief. It has definitely been a labour of love, this record. There have been many moments of complete frustration along the way, but I’m delighted with the end result.
What does it mean to you to be approaching Open Up #200?
It’s certainly a milestone for the show and it has been a massive pleasure making every episode for the last four years, but we are about to announce some significant changes to the format of Open Up Radio which are really exciting. Watch this space.
You'll be playing open to close for two shows with John Askew to celebrate OU200. How excited are you for these events?
Massively. We’ve done some incredible OU shows this year – in Buenos Aires, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto…so to be closing out the year with the final two shows of the year in two of my favourite cities to play – NYC and Chicago – it’s absolutely perfect. These open to close sets have been a lot of fun to play.
What does the rest of this year and beginning of next year look like for you?
Well this weekend I have the OU200 show with Askew at Soundbar Chicago, then my wife and I take some time out to be with family for Thanksgiving. Then I have Dreamstate San Bernardino the next weekend, then Scottsdale and then the OU200 show in NYC. Between those I’ll be putting the final tweaks to my new single on VII which comes out in January and is an insane 140 tech banger – kind of in the vibe of Apex. And then at the end of the year I head to Malaysia to play on the 30th of December and then two shows in Australia for NYE and New Year's Day. Finally I’m going to take three weeks off in Thailand before coming back to Europe for a bunch of shows in February and March. That’s what’s coming up in the immediate future anyway.
You can find the latest from Simon Patterson in his weekly Open Up Radio Show, and we have all of the mixes and tracklists for you here.