Up and Coming: An interview with the creators of ‘RedEye’

By Mo Hafeez



If you’ve heard anything about the nightlife in Durham, you’ll know that they lay on the cheesy pop quite heavily. You’ll walk past Klute on a night out, and 6 days out of 7 you’ll probably hear the same tunes blaring out – strange remixes of Adele, Taylor Swift, and the same three Kanye West songs are all staples of a Durham night out.

Sure, you learn to love it, but after a while you deserve a well-needed break – RedEye promises to bring that change in 2016, and I sat down with Chris Photi and Guilherme Hefler to have a chat about what the group plans on doing.

What is RedEye?

We literally have no idea. Really hard first question to answer. To be honest, it’s a new music night for students in the North East that focuses on 140bpm music: so grime, garage, dubstep, bassline…

Could you give a general outline of what RedEye events will bring to Durham’s nightlife?

It’s gonna give a more gritty element to the nightlife here. Imagine that feeling when you start playing bangers out of your Sony Ericsson at the back of the bus. Or being at a car park rave… except it’s not in a car park… it’s in a club.

What inspired you to create RedEye, and to put on the events?

We were really starting to get bored with what seemed like the same music every time we went out in Durham. Everyone would love the chance to put on a night with music that they love and I guess we just followed through. On top of that, the more people we spoke to, the more we realised that there was a market there for us.

Which artists are you working with for your first event on the 21st, and who would you like to work with in the future?

We’ve got the Six Sunsets boys coming down from Newcastle to drop a vinyl only set and we’re really excited for them to make their Durham debut. Expect naughty subs and anything bassy. We’ve also got Def Republic mixing as we’ve been really impressed by his frequent Signal sets, and he’ll have support from MC’s, Photes, and Sleepy coming up from Manchester for the night. He’s a massively versatile spitter – watch out for him in the next year or so. Finally we’ve got Valera opening with some garage – his sets always pop off and it’s a pleasure to have him for our launch night.


There’s a few we’ve got our eyes on for the future but we don’t wanna give too much away. We’re gonna focus on local artists for the time being and hopefully we can pull out some bigger bookings in the summer and beyond.

What’s been the biggest obstacle so far? How are you trying to get over it?

We’ve done some promotion and stuff, but we’ve never put a night on before. There are loads of little details that you wouldn’t normally consider which have popped up, and it’s been a bit of a learning curve for us trying to follow through with all our plans. But we’ve had a lot of support from friends and the guys at Loft/Studio in setting up and it’s shaping up to be a large one.

What other events are you involved with, with RedEye and beyond?

We’ve got some big plans for the coming months but we’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. There’s the possibility of a joint event, or something like that, with another night in Durham (we don’t wanna say who just yet). We’ve also floated about the idea of starting up a sister-night which focuses on hip-hop, but at the moment we just want to get this first night under our belts and go from there.

What’s the best grime/garage/hip-hop gig you’ve been to?

Oooh this one’s tough. Seeing 50 Cent in London years ago still sticks out in my memory, but I’d have to say a Fabric night a couple of years ago. Things got a bit messy so I can’t remember everything exactly, but we thought we were going to see Elijah & Skilliam, Royal-T and Wiley. So many MC’s like Frisco popped up that night that weren’t on the lineup – we lost our nut!

Looking forward to any releases this year?

One can only hope that Skepta finally releases Konnichiwa but we’re not holding our breaths. The J Cole and Kendrick collaboration looks like it could be quite live as well.

Which artists do you have pegged for a breakout year in 2016?

Capo Lee’s someone we’ve been listening to recently and ‘Cake and Custard Flow’ is an absolute banger. Elf Kid as well is looking like he’s starting to make movements, which is sick because a lot of people thought that some of the Square members would fall off after Novelist left the group. Very gassed to see him at WHQ later this term.


If you fancy catching the very first RedEye event in Durham, you can grab tickets here:


You can also like RedEye’s Facebook page for upcoming events:



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