We catch up with South Africa’s biggest Trance export – Headroom

Headroom captured by Diego nunnes Fotografia — at Mairiporã, São Paulo | 2019


Adam Metcalfe aka ‘ARTELLIGENT‘, aka ‘HEADROOM‘, is a local psy-legend currently taking the globe by storm. Born in Zimbabwe and now based in Cape Town, HEADROOM has over 17 years experience and has developed into one of the regions most successful electronic artists and a much-loved ambassador for the South African Psy-Trance scene as travels the globe repping SA at some of the most prestigious psytrance festivals known to man.

Metcalfe recently returned from his tour in Brazil and while he’s back in SA we’re excited to see him back on the local bill. Next month, Jozi stompers can catch him headling The Rank Rave’s rooftop party alongside a mega lineup of local talent including international guest KAHN all the way from California. We decided to catch up with Headroom ahead of the festivities and see what life’s been like abroad and more…

Allan Horton Photography — with Geometric Flux at Elgin Grabouw Country Club.

MCBN: It’s great to catch up with you again. We see you’ve recently returned from some exciting time spent abroad, tell us more about your trip/s to Brazil & the UK and the gigs you played over there alongside some phenomenal artists.

HEADROOM: That’s right, I have had a busy travel month including two separate tours to Brazil and one to the UK.

Brazil is always a head-spin with massive lineups and eager crowds. My 1st gig, Solaris, saw me performing straight after Infected Mushroom, which was a real pleasure, but a little daunting of course. I have a lot of respect for them. In general, my new music went down a hit at the Brazilian parties which have left me feeling pretty confident and content that I am doing something right.

The UK trip saw me perform two sets at Noisily Festival (ARTELLIGENT, which is progressive tech and HEADROOM). Both performances went down great I felt, especially my Headroom set. I love the UK scene. It’s wacky but serious at the same time, just like me. Noisily is such a lovely creative gathering and I recommend everyone check it out if they get a chance.

HEADROOM – Zimmo 3

Hope you enjoy the after movie from my recent gig in Brazil… ZIMMO ?NANO RECORDS // Nano Bookings // Infinite Music //Beats ArtVIDEO: Frame CreativeTRACK ID: HEADROOM – EDMdma (unreleased)

Posted by HEADROOM on Thursday, 11 July 2019


MCBN: Travelling abroad and playing some of the biggest festivals across the globe has surely brought about some unforgettable moments in your career. To date, what would you say has to be one or some of the most memorable moments on tour?

HEADROOM: Always struggle to pick one because it’s now been over 13 years of travel. BOOM FESTIVAL last year was a real honour and psy life goal! Performing the NYE slot at UNIVERSO PARALELLO (Brazil) right after the release of my 1st album was intensely awesome. Another highlight was the SYMBIOSIS ECLIPSE gathering at Pyramid Lake (NEVADA, USA). My set felt inconsequential compared to the drama of the setting and the eclipse itself. Other festival highlights have been TRIBE (BRAZIL), RAINBOW SERPENT (AUS), ORIGIN FESTIVAL (RSA), GLADE (UK), SOS FESTIVAL (JAPAN) & ECLIPSE FESTIVAL (CANADA) to name a few.

Had the best time at @liquidsky_festival . It rained the whole set but the people stayed, played and rocked all night! Massive love @liquidsky_festival & Recife ??? TRACK: HEADROOM – Acid Trip Advisor (unreleased) @infinitemusicbr @nano_records

Posted by HEADROOM on Monday, 22 July 2019


MCBN: We’ve just discussed how much you’ve been touring but we have to ask – can we look forward to any more new releases in 2019? Asking for the fans…

HEADROOM: Yes! I am at least three-quarters of the way with this new album (ACID TRIP ADVISOR) and I’ve promised myself, NANO and everyone else that it’ll be out before the end of the year. I will also drop two or three singles from the album as a build-up to the full release. Sawtooth Fairy will be out 1st.

MCBN: We’re excited to see you’re back on the local bill while you’re home, like your headline set at The Rank Rave rooftop party in Jozi next month – from your experience is there a notable difference between the Jozi and Cape Town party crowd? If so what difference?

HEADROOM: In the past, I would say the Jozi crowd likes it faster and harder (no innuendo intended hehe) but that’s not such a factor nowadays as most psy styles get their attention. I guess the most notable difference today is the size of the scene. Jozi, being smaller, means it’s a bit more personable at the events and therefore feels more like a community. I enjoy this a lot when I come up.

MCBN: Any favourite Johannesburg-based artists you feel are “killing it” at the moment?

HEADROOM: I see Hippie Mafia are doing good things, bringing their own twist to trance. It’s fun, funky and a little quirky. Characteristics I too like to bring to the scene.

MCBN: What are the top tracks you’re currently playing during your sets?

HEADROOM: From my own tunes, “Hang Ups and Downs, Sawtooth Fairy, 16Bit Masterchef and Acid Trip Advisor. CLOCKWISE (Cape Town) is making great stuff like ‘Entangled’. MODUS – Fluid, 3OL – Santa Catarina, TALPA – Madness.

MCBN: Describe your upcoming set for The Rank Rave in three words.

HEADROOM: Wonky, serious and of course fun.

Be sure to check out Headroom‘s latest single on Nano Records right here and catch him alongside an incredible list of local and international supporting artists in Jozi next month at The Rank Rave’s lavish indoor/outdoor rooftop event. For more information join the event page on Facebook or simply book your ticket right here.

Related | HEADROOM to headline The Rank Rave’s rooftop event this August in Jozi – Find out more below

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