Behind The Streets Antonio's 'Hyperfunk' and countless other UKG classics such as Bklava, UK's most iconic Garage label Locked On, celebrate their 25th Anniversary with exclusive collections and re-make vinyl classics.
Known for taking rare cuts of the underground music and taking them to the top of the UK mainstream, Locked On latest collection celebrates their first-ever compilation album, curated by the young prodigy to be Todd Edwards. With exclusive screen-printed apparel designed by music visual connoisseur Matthew De Jong and a limited edition run of original vinyl classics, including tracks from Crazy Bank, Antonio, Suburban Lick and The Streets, Locked On, pay homage to the past but are ready for the future.
With a host of young creatives working together, Sabotage Studios photographer Isaac Lamb joins in with his collection of enigmatic images to honour Locked On anniversary and reminiscent of legendary Brit-culture photographer Ewen Spencer. Whilst also looking to the future of the UK’s most beloved genre with a host of fresh talent, Locked-On 25th anniversary is poignant, classic, and a new twist to the scope of modern music.
Alongside exclusive work and collaborations, we got to ask founder Tarik Nashnush a few questions about the rise of Locked On and what the future holds.
What does this 25th Anniversary mean to Locked On Records, and what was it like collaborating with Matt De Jong for the limited edition merchandise?
Mathew De Jong, a super cool designer who has worked with Tyler the Creator, Mura Masa and FKA Twigs, created our 25th-anniversary piece. It's inspired by Locked On, the first compilation album with Todd Edwards, we love it. Also, a big hint to what we have coming in 2022.
Alongside the collection of exclusive screen-printed apparel, you have paid homage to your original work by re-releasing a limited edition run of original vinyl classics. How did this come together, and why did you want to re-release original vinyl?
Vinyl has always been at the core of Locked On and the UKG scene in general. So when we were looking back over the catalogue of Locked On, we thought it was only fitting to re-release the eight on the most iconic tracks we had on vinyl as an exclusive collection.
Being the first label to put out UK Garage and pulling out artists The Streets to future star Bklava, how would you describe your 25 years in music?
The genius move was signing The Streets. It enabled us to work with album releases - an area we wanted to explore but hadn’t found the right artist until then. The one piece of advice would be that the records would be as popular today as they were 25 years ago.
Working with Bklava on a hyper funk remix for us last summer was great. It's great to work with more women and non-binary artists in a genre that can be slightly male-dominated. Her take on the track and the influence of garage on her artistry was really cool to hear. All the new stuff the contemporary UKG kids are making is really exciting.
And what does the future hold for Locked On Records?
The future of the label is busy but exciting! Next year we have the 20th anniversary of Original Pirate Material, and we are working on a very exciting, Locked On Project with a new UKG artist; all will be revealed soon.
We have also started to move into a new clothing era. The fashions that surrounded UK Garage in the 90s/2000 has really come back on-trend and Locked On being the backbone of UK garage has meant some really cool designers have approached us, and we've begun collaborating on pieces and clothing. The gravitas and history of the label have inspired some really cool pieces. We are excited to share them, and it has been cool to see how quickly it has started growing and all really naturally.
Continuing to champion the best new faces on the scene, 2021 couldn't have been bigger, even in the middle of a pandemic.