Meet The Team: Footshooter

By Joe Brooke-Smith

Barney Whittaker has been delving into the world of broken beats and jazz rhythms under his Footshooter alias for a few years now. He’s put together a string of excellent releases with the likes of Dance Regular​, Famous Friends and recently dropped an EP with Peckham stalwarts YAM Records that really showed the depth of his creative talents. With his Sonic Fruits show running on Balamii for a little over a year now, we were happy to catch up with Barney as part of our Meet The Team series to see what makes him tick.

With Sonic Fruits, Whittaker tells us he likes to explore “the spaces between soul, hip-hop, jazz, house, broken beat and much more.” And it seems that his productions as Footshooter have a equally eclectic outlook. “My production style is indebted to lots of different musical traditions, and morphs depending on what sounds I’m into at the time, however I try to keep a consistent sonic palette going even if the musical style varies. There’s bits of broken beat and house in there, along with hip hop and soul.” Collaboration also plays a big part in his creative process. “Collaborating with vocalists and rappers has always been a big part of what I do,” he tells us. “I’m a huge hip hop and soul fan, so I’m super excited by trying to combine ‘dance’ tracks with poetry, MCing and vocals.”

Before becoming part of the Balamii community, Whittaker admired the station from afar, listening avidly from Brighton before moving to the big smoke. “I was a big fan of the station for a few years before first guesting on a show, and so when JB gave me the green light to start up Sonic Fruits I was super excited.” And now that he’s a fully paid up member of the Balamii stable you can really tell how much being part of that community means to him. “There’s a very tangible and vibrant scene surrounding this area, and I think Balamii occupies the space very well. They have a genuinely diverse roster of different styles and people from all sorts of backgrounds running shows."

Whittaker has always brought a wide range of guests through on his show, and we were keen to see if any stood out for him as a highlight. “Everyone’s been amazing" he says, “but I think my favourite show has been the one I did with And Is Phi and Eva during lockdown... About a week before Andrea and Eva were doing a live stream from their house in Hither Green on Facebook. Andrea’s an amazing vocalist, and Eva was spinning vinyl while Andrea was toasting over the top. It really cut through the anxiety of lockdown for me seeing the ease and freedom coming out of the sounds they were producing, and so asked them to record a 30 min mix for my next show. The flow of that show was really special.”

With a solo EP on the way, and the next record for his SAUL project that he does with collaborator Jack Stephenson-Oliver currently in progress the future is looking bright for Footshooter.

Catch the Sonic Fruits show on the 3rd Monday of every month @ 7-9pm.

You can listen back to all Footshooter's previous shows via the host link underneath -

Host: Footshooter