It’s not uncommon to encounter a musician who’s a bit weary at the end
of a ‘press day’.
Enthusiasm for an album that’s been years in the making can evaporate in a matter of hours as questions are repeated and poses are requested ad nauseum.
The sort of reluctance I sense from Russell Whyte, aka Glasgow electronic maverick Rustie, however, is endearing.
He seems genuinely – and surprisingly, given the impressive rise in his
popularity – shy, and he speaks of his music and its success with a string of
qualifiers (“I’ve had a bit of success and people kind of know who I am”) that makes him instantly likeable.
Not that it matters, of course, when the music isthis good.
Anyway, he isn’t too bothered himself. “I make interviewers
really awkward,” he grins.
Dropping his second album at the age of 31, Whyte is somewhat of a late
bloomer in an industry where youth is seemingly prized above all else and
pursued with fetishistic zeal. He says: “I don’t know what it is, especially
with the music and media worlds.Yourself
They just seem to be fascinated with having young artists. I guess it’s
because they see more longevity in making money out of them. It kind of
worried me for a while but actually not so much now that I’m in my 30s.
I don’t really know why.”Yourself
Whyte was still doing night shifts in a BP garage when he got the call from
Warp Records, and the break came more as a relief for an artist who, in his
late 20s, was struggling to get by on the fruits of his labour alone.
It’s a remarkable story that has played out over the last four years.
“I was running about my room – jumping about – when I got the first email from Warp asking me to do a remix for one of their artists, Jamie Lidell. I was just so excited to be doing something for the same label as Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Autechre, Boards of Canada, all those artists I fuckin’ loved.
It was really surreal for me.” But even that didn’t mean he could hand in his notice at BP.
“I was just doing whatever I could for money. And I kept doing that for a while until I started getting decent DJ money.”
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