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Roni Size to receive MPG’s 2017 Inspiration Award

The Bristol-born producer and DJ is being honoured for his role in giving electronic music an entirely new direction

The Music Producers Guild has announced that producer and DJ Roni Size will be the recipient of its 2017 Inspiration Award.

This award, which is sponsored by Audio Note, is given to a recording professional who, in the opinion of the MPG board of directors, is responsible for a body of work that has significantly inspired others. Previous recipients have included Nile Rodgers, Damon Albarn, Glyn Johns and Sylvia Massy.

A Bristol native, Size’s ability to create fresh sounds and styles has given electronic music an entirely new direction by allowing it to move from its original club base to large arenas and festivals stages. Reprazent, the drum and bass collective he founded in the mid-1990s, took the world by a storm when their New Forms LP won the Mercury Music Prize. The album quickly went platinum thanks to modern day classics such as Watching Windows, Heroes and Brown Paper Bag.

Tony Platt, managing director of the MPG’s Awards Group, says: “Roni is an inspiration on so many levels. His fresh and inclusive attitude to music production and performance has opened doors for so many aspiring artists and musicians. Staying true to his roots he has avoided the stereotyping of the modern music industry. Perhaps these words from his website sum up why we are delighted to give him this MPG Inspiration Award – ‘he has at each stage created completely afresh not just a sound or style but an entire methodology of how music can be made. And each time, that new creation has reflected his heritage, his surroundings and the precise moment in which he’s operating’.”

Size has worked with artists including hip-hop legend Method Man, Rage Against The Machine’s Zac de la Rocha and beat-box master Rahzel. More recently he collaborated with the BBC’s Nature’s Great Events composer, William Goodchild, to mark the re-opening of Bristol’s Colston Hall.

He will be presented with his award at the MPG 2017 ceremony, which takes place at the prestigious Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London, on February 16.

Size is taking part in Pro7ect 2017, an annual songwriters retreat hosted by Hotel Pelirocco in Brighton, from 12-17 March.

He will operate one of four pop up studios at the hotel Pelirocco, each of which is equipped with the latest recording technology. He joins other producers, including Youth, John Fortis, Andrew Levy, Stew Jackson and Liam Howe.

“We are absolutely thrilled that a producer of Roni’s calibre has signed up for the Pro7ect experience,” says singer/songwriter Lisa Fitzgibbon, who co-founded Pro7ect with Ivor Novello nominated producer/composer Ian Wallman. “Roni has played a pivotal role in developing a musical genre that has become ‘main-stream’, and our dedicated Drum & Bass studio is going to erupt! Roni is a total bonus to the Pro7ect experience for all of us.”

For the duration of Pro7ect, participants work in producer-led teams to write and record a track a day for four days. The teams are changed each day and the songs are either written for one of the artists in the room or to spec using tip sheets. Every evening there is a feedback session where teams play the result of their day’s work to the entire group.