Jake Hodgson, better known as the mammoth bass heavy producer and DJ ‘Pharaoh K’ is a well established name up and down the country. From grime nights to bassline events, Jake has seen his popularity spiral up into orbit over the last three years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. With multiple releases on Project Allout Records and upcoming releases on Formula Records, Pharaoh K creates a sound recognised and respected by DJ’s across the four corners of the UK.
We caught up with him to find out what happens when a drunk fan climbs over into the booth and where the name originates from.
When did you start DJing and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started DJing when I was around 14 with my two mates. We were really into Dubstep and Drum & Bass at the time so we played that a lot, stuff like Caspa & Rusko, DMZ, Spor, Noisia etc. I was also brought up on Funk, Reggae and Rock so I’m majorly influenced by artists like Lee Perry, Led Zeppelin, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Alice in Chains, King Tubby etc.
What has been the high point so far in your career, what really sticks out to you?
Probably the support I’ve been getting from big names like DJ Q, My Nu Leng, Champion & Flava D. They’re all massive influences and it’s such a lift to know that they’ve been playing your stuff!
If you had to choose between DJ’ing or producing, which one and why?
Definitely producing. I love DJ’ing however creating music is my main passion and I find it much more rewarding. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you’ve put time and effort into a piece of music and then see it being played out by big names along with getting an ace response from your fans. I also find the process of producing really fun, there are just so many weird and cool sounds out there, and you can take any of them and mash them up and reverse them and filter them to create all kinds of mental stuff that nobody’s made before.
What is one subgenre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
Probably mutant bassline, I just find it so jokes.
How do you normally go about preparing a set? What influences the track listing?
I try to incorporate a few genres into every set I do, which are usually Bass House, UKG, Grime, UK Funky and the occasional Disco tune or old classic. This keeps the set flowing nicely while stopping it from getting too repetitive. I usually just read the crowd but sometimes I have a vague tracklist in mind, which is made up of tracks that I’m into at the time along with some old stonkers.
The worst thing that has happened to you whilst producing / DJ’ing so far?
A few months ago I was playing at Lakota in Bristol to a pretty packed room. About half way through my set this jarring drunk girl managed to get behind the decks and started jumping around and trying to touch everything. I asked her to get back to the crowd but she wouldn’t, so I let her stay but told her to not touch the decks. About a minute later I was about to do a double drop, which probably would’ve been the highlight of my set, when suddenly the girl came out of nowhere and smacked the jog wheel which rewound the track, put them both out of sync and ruined my life.
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
That’s a tough one, probably White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. I’d say it’s my favourite tune actually, I love the simplicity and calmness of it.
What is one track that got popular that you can’t stand?
‘Diego’ by Tory Lanez. I find it too slow and whiney and I think the beat could be much more interesting as it’s just a generic Trap break with some gunshots. I’m not a huge fan of that kind of music to be honest but I do like a lot of Tory Lanez’ Dancehall stuff.
What’s the story behind the name Pharaoh K?
Well, my Dad loves Egypt so there’s always been Egyptian things around the flat, so that’s where the ‘Pharaoh’ comes from. I thought it sounded a bit generic by itself so I stuck a ‘K’ on the end. The K also makes the name sound like ‘fair, okay’ which I thought was quite cool!
And finally, what can we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on a lot of music at the moment actually. Release wise, my Crocodile EP is out on Project Allout Records, I’ve got an EP coming out on Low Pitched Records in a couple of months, and I have a few other unfinished bits and remixes too. I’ve also got a release in the works for Champion’s Formula Records which I’m well gassed about! As well as all that, I’ve recently been working on some more ambient, techno influenced, left-field sort of stuff. I don’t know what to do with it yet but I’m very excited to get it out.
DJ’ing wise I’ve got a few sets lined up, including the Bassline Festival in Manchester and a few ones in Bristol. I play around Bristol regularly though and post all my dates on my Facebook page so you can keep up to date with them there!
If you’re feeling the sounds of Pharaoh K, why not follow him on his social media accounts to keep up to date with all his latest releases and events:
Facebook: Pharaoh K