Arts

Brothers beyond: Disclosure set for Belfast 'rave-up' at Belsonic

It's been a few years since Disclosure last visited Belfast for a "rave-up". Michael Jackson spoke to Howard Lawrence of the chart-topping English dance duo ahead of next week's gig at Belsonic

Disclosure duo Howard and Guy Lawrence are Belsonic-bound
Michael Jackson

BROTHERS Guy and Howard Lawrence, better known as Disclosure, broke into the underground music scene almost seven years ago, with commercial success following soon after.

The duo's seemingly continuous stream of chart hits and their innovative live performances have ensured that they are one of the most sought after electronic acts in the world right now – and next week they will bring their energetic live show back to Belfast for a headline show at Belsonic.

When we think about artists involved in the electronic music scene it often conjures images of the DJ, the turntable virtuoso.

However, Disclosure started out in their own unique way by playing live dance music.

The pair played their first Disclosure gigs when they were just teenagers and, according to Howard, their relative inexperience helped shape them as musicians.

"When we first got booked for a show we weren't at all educated about the electronic music industry," he explains.

"We just started out making things in our bedroom for fun. When we got booked for our first show we didn't realise that they meant a DJ set, so we turned up with all our instruments and played a live show in the DJ booth."

Playing live music in the small confines of a DJ booth may seem like a logistical nightmare, although having the versatility to adapt is one of Disclosure's distinguishing traits.

Their music straddles a number of genres which Howard believes helps the pair to continue creating.

"We just write whatever comes naturally," he says.

"There's such an element of song-writing and composition in what we do as opposed to just music production, so I think we would just run out of song-writing ideas if we only wrote at one tempo."

"We like to switch the speed up and naturally when you do that you switch the genre up a little bit too."

Whether they are producing house, dubstep, UK garage, or anything in between, Disclosure have consistently released a high calibre of music.

The brothers have enjoyed multiple Grammy and Brit Award nominations and have collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry.

They even helped launch the career of five-time Grammy winner Sam Smith when the trio collaborated on their early club hit Latch, which Howard says was the result of a chance meeting.

"We were writing with Jimmy Napes at the time and he just said 'there's this singer over the road working at a bar who's really good', we should work with him," he recalls.

"It turned out to be Sam Smith, and obviously we were like, 'yeah this will work.' We ended up becoming mates and making the tune."

When it comes to collaborations, friendship is key according to Howard.

"If we're not already friends, then we try to make friends with the people we make songs with because it's quite a personal thing to do."

Disclosure's most recent release Moog for Love saw them collaborate with prolific house music artist Eats Everything, AKA Daniel Pearce, who just so happens to be a long-time friend and mentor of the dance music duo.

"Dan's amazing and he has been a good friend of ours for a long time," Howard reveals.

"He has always supported us music and he has been kind of a big brother figure to us, especially on the DJ circuit.

"I remember the first couple of times we went out to play in Ibiza, we would always hit up Dan to ask what the deal was or what we should be doing differently.

"He has always been there as a guiding hand, which is great because he's definitely my favourite DJ.

"We had always said that we wanted to collaborate, but the time was just never there until recently."

Guy and Howard have a hectic touring schedule which is indicative of their success. The workload is tough, so they like to fill their downtime with the essentials.

"As soon as we get some time off we tend to just go asleep," he laughs.

"We see some family and then we go to bed."

Thankfully, Disclosure had some time to relax on the beach in Bali following their recent DJ tour of Asia. They are well rested and excited to be coming back to Belfast for Belsonic.

"We're bringing our full A-game," Howard enthuses.

"It has been a while since we've been back in Belfast and it's going to be great to see all the fans again.

"Every time that we've played there so far it has been an absolute rave-up, so hopefully we can repeat that on an even larger scale."

:: Disclosure play at Belsonic on Wednesday August 24. For tickets and full line-up information see Belsonic.com.

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