Photography by Joseph Fordham


Fybe:one and Herse are graphic designers by trade, who produce, DJ and who now co-run Shades Recordings. Greg (Fybe:one) began producing sample based Hip Hop working alongside a number of MCs and DJs. George (Herse), also focused on Hip Hop at this time, making the turntable his instrument of choice.

Constantly experimenting, the duo began to branch into the more left-field side of Hip Hop, later exploring more electronic based music and eventually leading to the birth of their own imprint: Shades. 4 years, 15 releases, a few tonnes of wax and countless parties later, Shades continues to gather momentum. With previous releases from artists such as Royce Wood Jnr / Stanky / Manni Dee / Sieren, plus of course their own output, we caught up with the boys for a chat at one of their recent gigs...

You two have grown up in London, what is it about this city that has helped shape your look and sound?

Greg: There is so much great music to come out of UK, one of the biggest influences the rest of the world musically. London alone has given birth to so many scenes. There always seems to have been an abundance of great clubs showcasing both established and underground producers & DJs.

George: Before we were old enough to go to any of them we would share & make music with a big network of talented heads, in fact a lot of the music we listened to was stuff that our mates had made. Theres still a tight group who we hang out with regularly, plus social media has definitely expanded this network and made it possible to connect with even more like minded folk.

Your sound and aesthetic feels rooted in a sense of hip hop and soul. What specific era do you draw inspiration from?

Greg: Our progression has encompassed so many types of music. This means that being open-minded and not restricted to any rules is an important part of the labels ethos. I wouldn't say one specific era influenced me personally.

George: I'm straight up golden era east coast mate.

Favorite venue to play in London? And your favourite to venue to visit as a fan.

George: We've always had a strong connection with Plan B in Brixton (now Phonox), we ran a hip hop night called Throwdown there every month for 10 years straight. Some of my fondest memories were made there!

Greg: Yeah, then we ran a Shades monthly night in the basement there with people like Gang Colours / Randomer / Pariah / Lando / Kidnap Kid coming to play for us. Whenever the full Shades team are out, we always seem to end up getting silly in Corsica for some reason. I guess we like it there too.

Who would you list as your main musical influences? Greg: this is a hard one, I was and still am very much into old Motown music, it plays a big part in my sampling days, and I guess the sound & process still carries through to what I'm doing now. Current influences to name a few are Trentemoller / Portishead / Mount Kimbie / Eliphino.

George: Again, the same for me, I'll take inspiration from anywhere; Boy Better Know, Beatles, Bowie, Biggie... it's all good (baby baby).