Antares – a rising star of the electronic music scene who has come a long way in a short amount of time!
Through his events brand and record label Konflict, DJ and founder Antares a.k.a Huw Mitchell along with DJ’s Auric & Balzar have quickly become known for putting on some of London’s most legendary music nights.
Last week in the depths of the City of London we sampled what Konflict had to offer by attending Alkatraz at a packed The Steel Yard. Between sets from Ukrainian duo Woo York, Borja Marting, Cameron Jack, Licht & Sebby we managed to find time to sit down with Konflict mastermind Huw Mitchell to chat about this musical journey, the idea behind Konflict and what he has cooking in the studio.
What is the concept behind Konflict and the path you took to where it is today?
Konflict always has, and will be about bringing people together for the love of music and creating a comfortable environment for people to let go and enjoy themselves.
Looking back, what was the most challenging part whilst stepping into a new industry?
I guess finding our feet with the musical direction. It took about 2 years to really find the niche sound that we play today. Now we are a team of 3 artists, (Myself, Auric & Balzar) who have different styles yet compliment each other. Also, at the beginning it was trying to fill spaces, giving away a lot of guest lists and persuading people to come.
Besides Alkatraz what would you call your greatest achievement with Konflict so far?
I honestly I can’t choose a greatest achievement. The whole thing has been a massive rollercoaster from the start and even the more challenging times, for example Covid really brought us together and to understand what we want to achieve in life. The whole thing has been so amazing and I’m so grateful for the journey I am on and the people I am surrounded with.
What does it take to start and run such a successful events brand and record label?
Patience, determination & a passion for what you do.
I understand that Konflict feels like family. Tell us more about the team. What brought you together?
All of the team started out as friends and since have grown professional relations together. We all have our individual talents and this is why it works. But with a family occasionally brings the family dramas too haha!
You guys mention on your website that coming from the fashion industry helped you find the perfect balance combining both fashion and music culture. So how did this lead you to move from modelling to a profession in music and events?
Modelling allowed me to travel the world for a good few years. It’s actually how I met Tommy & Jack. A casting in Milan at fashion week. Young British lads let loose during fashion week in Milan… what could go wrong? Attending every single fashion week party possible, I saw how music and fashion go hand in hand. I was inspired!
Konflict is also known as a records label. Tell us more about the artists you have signed and what your plans are moving forward?
We can’t say too much about this for now as we are waiting to announce everything, But we aim to make an instant impact with some great artists including our own productions. We played a few of them at Alkatraz for those who attended…
Which artists would you really love to sign with? Are you open to different genres?
For me I think our own productions are the most exciting. We have been running the event for 4 years now and the feeling you receive when your own music gets a huge reaction at your own party is priceless. Our genres always fluctuate depending on the environment we play. For example, we all love organic and downtempo as well as the melodic/progressive side of things.
But if you’re referring to different genres such as tech house or R&B I would probably have to say… no…
Whilst doing my research on you I read about your DJ name and the meaning behind it. Can you tell our readers why you chose Antares? How important was it for you to build your brand behind this new name?
Sadly I lost my grandpa last year. His name was Anthony. I wanted a name that represent his name. Hence Antares. Once I chose this name and researched, it turn out Antares is a star, and the brightest star in the constellation Scorpio, which is when I lost my grandad. So everything just clicked and one of those ‘meant to be’ situations.
What’s your creative process in the studio like? And can we expect some new music soon?
There is a lot of music cooking up with the team, in fact we have just signed a contract to hire a studio for 12 months so you can definitely be expecting new music!
Can you tell us about the first-ever gig you put on? How did that go?
It was at the W Hotel in London. Actually it was a great night. We did a few more there and the vibe was always amazing.
You’re a DJ, founder of Konflict and now you’ve sold out one of the greatest venues The Steel Yard! What’s was the best advice you have ever received on your journey?
Follow your dreams.
Now, what can we expect from Konflict in the future? What’s next for you and your team?
The launch of the label and widen our audience with gigs world wide!
For all the latest info on Konflict visit www.konflictrecords.com
And in the words Antares himself “keep your eyes peeled for New Year’s Eve”
Words by Caroline Emilia Hawks