For Daley Padley, the Yorshireman behind the Hot Since 82 project, putting out his first full-length album collection was about much more than gathering a cohesive collection of his standard techno and deep house bangers. Out now on Hot Since 82’s very own Knee Deep In Sound imprint, the 8-track LP is a smooth journey through complex emotions that doesn’t seek to impress.
He’s penned the album’s title so as to not be suggestive of pain or loss in the least. However, the body of work is really about Padley’s best friend of almost 15 years, Paul “Coop” Cooper, who took his own life in May 2017. The two met in 2005 when Coop was on a mental health leave of absence from active police duty. Coop would eventually leave the force due to depression, which was born out of the traumatic encounters he experienced while patrolling the run-down areas of south London.
“He saw some traumatic things in the five or six years he was in the force – dead bodies, stabbings, shootings – and I think that really hurt him,” Hot Since 82 told MixMag about his late best friend.
“For me, making it was part of the process of healing. I was writing for Paul, writing for myself and for people to gain something from it. It’s probably not something that you’re used to hearing from me. Some kids just want big basslines, banging records, 5:AM main-room stuff, but this wasn’t about that.”
Crippled by the confusion and guilt of the grieving process, Hot Since 82 coped with his wingman’s untimely suicide by partying and appearing overly happy on the surface. Then he manned up, realized he needed to channel his feelings in a healthier way, and began pouring himself into production. The result is 8-track, which addresses loss as well as odes to the pair’s platonic bro-love partnership. Just look to some of the track’s lyrics in titles like “You Are The Light” and “Street Lights,” both featuring the crooning vocals of Jem Cooke, along with “Rest Your Head,” a secret track on the long-player which he wrote during the week of Coop’s death.
“Three days before Paul passed, I was shopping in Leeds and got a message from him out of the blue: ‘Can we meet up, been too long’ etc. I wanted him to just explain what was up. And he replied that he couldn’t go into it, that life was too short: ‘Just remember, this ship never sinks.’ The ‘ship’ he meant was friendship. It was the last text message I got from him,” Padley elaborated about the guilt he felt after Coop’s death.
The news naturally led Padley to question what more he could’ve done to save a life. As it turns out, Padely is doing much more. All album proceeds from his long-player are going to support UK-based mental health charity, MIND. “It was Paul’s parents’ charity of choice. There are people out there who want and need help. I wanted to contribute to that. The album itself is centered around mental health.”
Padley says he’s gained more clarity than ever before, becoming more sensible and compassionate over the past year during the creative mourning process.
“I’ve learned that you should never be too shy – or too proud – to put your arm around someone and ask if they’re alright. We don’t talk so much, men; we don’t let our feelings be known… But it’s important to speak up. We need to teach people that there is help and that we aren’t a failure if we go and seek it… You don’t know who’s hurting around you. So that little hug, that little word, that smile… well, it could save someone’s life.”
Stream Hot Since 82’s 8-track LP below.