‘A New Jack Swing project that got progressively housier’, Citizen is the alias of Midlands-born producer Laurence Baker. As innocuous as it may sound, Citizen is anything but run-of-the-mill.
As one of the house scene’s new prodigies Citizen has made quite a name for himself in a short space of time. He exploded onto the music scene with a slew of releases via
Kerri Chandler’s Madtech label, Waze & Odyssey’s Street Tracks and London-based party people Love Fever Records. Support for his music has come from far and wide, with Radio 1’s Pete Tong throwing his weight behind him as well as many of his peers and, of course, the godfather Mr. Chandler.
Though Citizen started out as a drummer, he quickly progressed into more computer-based composing as the self-confessed control freak shunned playing in bands to take charge and make his own music. “I wanted to be in full control of the music I was making, rather than being the rhythm behind it,” he says. Working alone allowed him to fully unleash his creativity. “If I’m not being creative, I feel lost,” he admits. That innate urge has led to some impressive achievements with hisside projects, as well as his musical endeavours.
Having grown up in Nottingham, Citizen headed south to London for university where he turned his hand to Fashion Marketing and began putting on his own disco nights, called Glastique, at Bungalow 8 and the Dalston Superstore – where he honed his DJ skills. The party’s Disco policy was soon abandoned for House and House, in turn, made way for Garage as Laurence explored his roots through the events. Music, he says, was always a constant presence in his life; a companion, a support, a guardian angel – and, inevitably, it has become his main focus.
Before his solo career really began to take shape he was “messing around” producing for others and finding his way. “It took a long time for me to get confident enough to say, ‘I can actually do this, this is the sound I want to put forward, this is how I feel about music right now’”, he reveals.
After seeing the video for Bicep’s $tripper he decided to send a demo to Alex from Love Fever Records. The track, Room Service, which was instantly snapped up. Just before that he’d had anearlier release signed to Madtech, and since then things have skyrocketed – from his first Madtech signing the Deep End EP, to Room Service, So Submissive up to his more recent Trax EP, the second release with Love Fever.