N-Trance, unstoppable with boundless energy
N-Trance, pioneers that are still on a roll
Responsible for some of the most instantly recognisable club anthems of the 90s, N-Trance are the British duo behind the iconic singles “Set You Free” and “Forever”. With over 6 million records sold globally, fourteen Top 40 hits and four No 1 hit singles, this pioneering duo took the world by storm with their boundless energy and future-facing sounds.
This pioneering duo took the world by storm with their boundless energy and future-facing sounds.
Made up of producers and performers Kevin O’Toole and Dale Longworth, N-Trance began recording their uplifting, disco-tinged take on 90s dance music after meeting at university and bonding over a shared affinity for New Order and The KLF. They enjoyed a meteoric rise after their debut single, “Set You Free”, took the European dance-pop scene by storm, instantly hitting the No 2 spot in the UK charts and selling over 600.000 copies, making it 1995’s highest-selling dance single.
Etched their names in the pop music history books forever!
Featuring vocals from Kelly Llorenna, the popularity of the single propelled them to new heights as live performers, capturing the imaginations of audiences across Europe with extraordinary and theatrical sets that featured flame-throwers and choreographed dance routines. The years that followed saw N-Trance go from playing songs in their bedroom to signing a record deal with Peter Waterman, playing Top of The Pops and completing incredibly popular worldwide tours.
N-Trance’s debut album, Electronic Pleasure, firmly established their place as the decade’s most iconic dance duo, etching their names in the pop music history books forever. Expanding their musical range to take influence from techno, pop, hip-hop and euro-beat, the album featured a cast of vocalists interpreting timeless classics such as the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”: debuting at No 2 in the UK and breaking into Europe, the USA and Australia, it brought N-Trance global fame and critical acclaim.
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N-Trance have maintained a consistent presence in global pop music over the past three decades. Let’s talk.
How are you doing these days?
I’m fine but older and uglier and still not acting my age… being a musician seems to keep you feeling young. Still managing to avoid getting a proper job.
We’ve noticed a full touring schedule for the coming months? What’s going on guys? Is this a revival?
We haven’t stopped gigging since our first gig in 1991. We started out by playing at specialist dance clubs & now we mainly perform at the big festivals. We also do DJ sets as well, as there’s a huge demand for those now. Also, the gigs have been building rapidly over the past few years due to the number of huge events there are now. Everybody seems to love the 90’s!
When on stage bringing the vibe, how do people react?
It’s always a fun party atmosphere…. it’s great that most of the people that come to see us weren’t even born when the majority of our songs were released yet they still know all the lyrics. In the old days we used to invite members of the audience to come and dance on stage with us. Then we’d squirt the crowd with water cannons at the end of the show for a bit of fun… some of the fans brought their own water pistols and used to squirt us back… Nobody seemed to be bothered about health and safety back then!
It’s great that most of the people that come to see us weren’t even born when the majority of our songs were released yet they still know all the lyrics.
Are the hits from back in the days still very much alive? And how does it feel when you get that crowd jumping?
Yeah, we’re constantly updating the production of the old songs, but try not to change them too much. We actually encourage the crowd to jump about, as everyone has a better gig if it feels like we’re all part of the show together. Audience participation is key.
Can we expect new work in the coming period? If so, what can be expected, talk us through?
We are working on a new album & have a new single called “Higher” ready to be released. We’ve been testing it out on the gigs & then tweaking the track. We might even film the new video on tour as the song lyrics were inspired by the festival crowds reaction to our performance.
Have you been working on other notable projects?
I’ve done some production for a few new acts that aren’t associated with N-Trance & we have recorded a few demo ideas under our other alias “Freeloaders”. We’re also trying to get our own record label setup which we named “DaForce” in tribute to our deceased bandmate & friend Ricardo Da Force. I’ve not really had any time to work on other projects recently as N-Trance are so busy, but would love to write songs for other artists in the future as well.
Looking back at 3 decades of music. What are the fondest memories?
Getting in the back of a van in the early 90s & driving to some sweaty dingy dance nightclub. It seemed bad at the time and now I look back and know that they were some of the best times. Recording with Ricardo Da Force, as he was a member of the band the KLF, which was our biggest inspiration to start a band. Flying all over the world to perform in countries we would probably have never had the chance to visit. Meeting the Bee Gees. And most of all… watching dance music become the dominant music genre… and smugly knowing we played our part!
Getting in the back of a van in the early 90s & driving to some sweaty dingy dance nightclub. It seemed bad at the time and now I look back and know that they were some of the best times.
Are there things you regret or wish you would have done differently over the years?
No, we don’t regret a thing… even when things did go wrong we now look back on them fondly and smile. Oh, there is one thing that happened recently I regret tho. On a gig, I didn’t check what was behind the curtain at the back of the stage. It was a sheer drop behind the curtain and I fell off the stage and broke my ribs. Luckily I’m fat and bounced off the flight cases stored below. I’ve still not fully recovered from that fall but starting to see the funny side… as I was filming when I fell off the stage and caught it all on camera.
How long do you want this great story to last?
As long as possible. It doesn’t even feel like a job (apart from the admin), as we’re earning a living from doing our hobby. It’s a nice feeling when you get messages of praise about a song or performance. Been making music since 1989 so we’re only 30yrs into this journey so far and still living the dream! Always believe in yourself and if somebody says you can’t do something… prove them all wrong and DO IT!!
We’ve been making music since 1989 so we’re only 30yrs into this journey so far and still living the dream!