Love Island and drum & bass may not seem like the closest of comrades, but in the hands of Jacob Donoghue – AKA Waypoint – the relationship is a perfect 10. It’s all thanks to an unofficial remix of Never Gonna Love, a song by one of its current contestants singer / songwriter Atigoni Buxton. File under: cheeky.
“It’s a guilty pleasure,” laughs the 22 year old Norwich artist. “I heard her singing and thought it was really good. Made a bit of a bootleg, posted it on Tik-Tok and it blew up massively!”
His video currently clocking half a million views on the platform, Antigoni’s label reached out to him after 200,000 hits with an invitation to make it an official remix. Before he knew it, Jacob was in a professional music studio in London and a release is imminent. “It was mad, I’d never had a proper studio session like that before. I took some mates along, met Antigoni and we made a banger!”
It might have been his first session in such a high end studio, but it’s not his first sampling success story. Last year he sampled Vano 3000 for a dusty summer jam – Running – that is well over half a million listens deep on Spotify. Earlier this year he turned his hand to 2012 cult hit Sweet Disposition by Aussie soft rockers Temper Trap, rebooting into a D&B power ballad electrifying enough to help ease the rise in heating costs… It’s since been picked up by a well-known a D&B platform and a singer has already been hired to re-voice the original’s instantly recognisable emphatic vocals. An official release isn’t far off on that, either.
These instances highlight how well bootlegs can work and how quickly they can become official in the right circumstances, and both the Antigoni and Temper Trap remixes have potential to become ubiquitous sing-along anthems before the year is out. Most importantly, these remix examples more than showcase Waypoint’s skills and sonic range. But there’s plenty more to the young producer than cheeky, well-timed, weighty, wavey flips… He’s loaded with plenty of impressive original material, and deep roots, too.
This week alone sees him return to DJ Ollie’s Love That Bass. Following his remix competition winning take on Kleu on the label earlier this year, he’s now dropped two sterling originals – Ready For Love / Breathless. Heavy and spacious in the groove, yearning and emotional in the vocals, both hit the spot and confirm Waypoint’s status as one to watch.
Other evidence landed in June, too, as he made his debut on the one and only Ram Records with two high grade flamers – Forever / Myself Again. The former, a pant-swinging breathy strutter with bulging subs. The latter, an aggier, tension piece with depth plunge basslines and chiseled two-step beats, both hit hard and utilise vocal elements remarkably well.
Plenty more originals are expected later on in the year, too. “I’ve also got a bigger project in the works,” Jacob reveals. “So far a lot of my biggest releases have been big remixes, but I want to put a new original project out there.”
The four track release can be expected towards the end of 2022 as he goes into his third year as a drum & bass producer and continues to develop his style and spread his wings. Previously making hip-hop and trap, Jacob came into drum & bass with a view to developing his artistry. “About two years ago while I was making hip-hop I realised I wanted to be seen as an artist rather than a producer,” he admits. “Drum & bass is somewhere where you can make yourself known as a producer and an artist. You can translate in other genres what you learn in drum & bass, too.”
Making the leap up-tempo allowed Jacob to translate something deeper, too: His first taste of drum & bass came from his father. “I’ve always listened to D&B, I’ve always rated it,” he tells us. “My dad’s got a little record collection. That’s how I started getting into it through compilations like Ministry Of Sound ones and records by people like Andy C and Shimon and Shy FX. He doesn’t listen to D&B much anymore, but he listens to mine and always comes asking for music.”
A shared bond over drum & bass and an early jungle schooling could hint at Waypoint’s edge. A big lover of sample culture, ever since his hip-hop producing days he’s sought inspiration and samples from well beyond the confines of the genre. “I don’t listen to D&B too much,” he admits. “I listen to music from all over the world. Every time I hear an inspiring idea or sound or style or artist I’ll write it down, or make a mental note of it, and use it as a foundation for a track or inspiration.”
And while inspiration ranges from Love Island to Cinematic Orchestra, one thing remains constant; Waypoint is on a mission to take his craft as far as possible. “I’m literally working on tunes day in, day out, every day, all the time,” lists Jacob who recently graduated from uni and is making the most of his free time before full time employment beckons. “I want to put together tunes that stand the test of time that I can listen to when I’m older and also make music that makes my dad proud of me and really enjoy.”
File under: wholesome. Watch out for some major league Waypoint missives before the year is out.