Interview: Holy Goof

Sheffield had a massive influence on myself and my music career. Every time I come up it’s a great atmosphere; people enjoy themselves and really go for it.

One of the hottest names to surface from the bassline revival in recent years is Holy Goof, a young Coventry based producer whose Skepta bootleg caused a viral storm online this May. I caught up with him ahead of the Tuesday Club Summer Carnival on Tuesday June 6th, where he’ll be part of a huge line-up including Mike Skinner, Chris Lorenzo, Swindle, Wookie, Mollie Collins & IC3 and Channel One Soundsystem.

Hey Holy Goof!
Hey Exposed!

How you doing?
Good mate, just been working on some music as usual. I’m at home in Coventry at the moment and the weather’s actually pretty nice, so I’ve been enjoying that too.

It might be a question you get asked a lot, but what’s that name all about? It’s pretty jokes.
*Laughs* Yeah, it is! There isn’t really an explanation to it. I just wrote a load of names down on paper that were original, easily searchable and picked one out with the help of a friend. I’m not a former priest or anything like that!

We’re loving your latest release ‘Eyes On You’ – some serious energy there. Plus, the video f oryour Skepta ft. Young Lord “It Ain’t Safe” bootleg is unreal! Will that be getting a release?
Yeah, it was a long time back and forth until I felt I’d perfected it. As for the Skepta bootleg, I just made it for my live sets originally but the video got so much feedback and love. I just got a barrage of messages. So I decided to upload it to the internet; it’s going up tonight actually. But shoutout to Skepta for the original, obviously!

We’re looking forward to your set at the Tuesday Club Summer Carnival on June 6th. Have you heard about TTC’s reputation? It’s been a huge feature of Sheffield’s nightlife for over 18 years now.
I have. I’ve always seen big, solid line-ups and lots of my peers and people I respect playing there. It always looks busy and it’s a great brand. I’ve had a lot of messages over the last few years asking when I’d be coming to TTC, so I’m buzzing to be making my debut!

Considering its history of bassline/bass music, is Sheffield somewhere you have a lot of time for?
Definitely. 2007 was a golden period in my life. TRC is now a good friend of mine, and there was other artists like Mr Virgo, TS7, DJ Q and loads others all getting great support from Sheffield. It had a massive influence on myself and my music career. Every time I come up it’s a great atmosphere; people enjoy themselves and really go for it. In fact, I actually played my first big set in Sheffield.

What can you recall from that first big set? 
I was playing straight after Skepta on Halloween back in 2015, which was really early on in Holy Goof. It was mad playing to a sold out O2 Academy with everybody going crazy; it’s really made Sheffield a special place for me.

Last time you played here it was with Chase & Status. Do you change the way you play when you’re playing with DnB artists?
I play through loads of different sounds anyway, so it’s not something I worry about. I’ve found that DnB crowds at nights with artists like Chase & Status have enjoyed it from early on, so I don’t really feel the need to change much. I just do my thing and roll with it.

You’ll be playing alongside Wookie and Chris Lorenzo at TTC. Are they friends or influences of yours?
Yeah, they’re both very cool guys. I’ve met Chris a few times, Wookie once or twice. Wookie’s tracks like ‘Battle’, ‘Scrappy’ and ‘Far East’ influenced me from long time ago. I’ve been following Chris for years, back from when he was with Cause and Effect, and also before that.

We loved your Boiler Room set back in February. How was that for you?
Yeah, it was pretty special! Massive thanks to Butterz and Jamz for bringing me down to be part of that. I don’t get massively nervous before a set anymore,  but that was a bit different because it was recorded on camera. But I got down there and saw everybody having fun and the nerves quickly went. Cheers to Boiler Room for having me as well.

Are there any festivals you’re playing this summer besides Boomtown?
There’s a few including a once in a lifetime for me at Glastonbury this year. I’m also playing Detonate Festival in Nottingham, Love Saves the Day, Kendal Calling, Made festival in Birmingham – plenty! I’m also doing a headline tour in the autumn with a few dates around the UK, and Sheffield should be on there.

Any upcoming artists you’d recommend checking out?
Notion, Bassboy, Skepsis, although some of these have been around a while. There’s a young guy Skue-K who’s very fresh, and I’m really excited to hear what he comes out with next. It’s really interesting stuff.

See you on the 6th!
Yep, see you then!

Holy Goof hits the Tuesday Club Summer Carnival on 6 June alongside Mike Skinner, Chris Lorenzo, Swindle, Wookie, Mollie Collins & IC3 and Channel One Soundsystem. Tickets available here.

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