Soundchecks are all about checking out new sounds behind the scenes. In these exclusive chats with bands, producers, rappers, singers and musicians, those upcoming artists that deserve the spotlight get a chance to shine.
Bassheads, get those gunfingers ready. Albzzy doesn’s just manage U Wot Blud? Records, but also a restaurant – that must be why he’s so good at dishing out that meaty bass. He stopped by to speak about new music, Chance the Rapper saving SoundCloud, collaborations, and more.
Hope you’re having a very musical summer. What’s been the best night you’ve had recently?
“Thank you! Lots of exciting projects in the works. That’s a tough one. I’ve played a few shows in Worthing at Bar 42 with my boys Tengu and Mofaux which are always sick. Very intimate venue which is always fun!”
Your new track ‘Wanna Do’ bangs and takes more of a liquid DnB direction. How did you go about creating that tune?
“I’ve always been a fan of drum & bass really. I used to absolutely love UKF Drum & Bass around 2008-10, and that really inspired me. Now I’m more into the liquid side! It’s taken many attempts to make something like ‘Wanna Do’ because I really had a set vision on exactly how I wanted it to sound, and it was pretty hard to get it down and get it finished up.”
Props on becoming U Wot Blud? Records’ manager. How did you accomplish that?
“Thank you! I’ve been a fan of the label for a few years. When I first got into music that was the label I was aiming to be involved in. I entered every competition they held and got involved in as much as I could, and eventually I was asked to be a part of the label which was an absolute blessing.”
How are you planning on using your new responsibility in the scene?
“I’ve actually been with the label for over a year now. My job is to manage releases and keep artists in the loop. I provide essential information about their releases, plan premieres, network with other channels etc etc. The main thing we’re pushing with the label right now is artists who just need that opportunity to get their music out on a bigger platform than they can give themselves.”
I guess you know about SoundCloud going bust. What do you think this will mean for producers and artists that have thrived on the music platform?
“I’m really glad you asked that actually. Something I’ve been thinking a lot about. For me, (the same for the majority of producers in my community), SoundCloud is my hub. It’s where I find new music, upload releases, connect with other artists and so on. If/when the site goes bust I think a lot of us will have to move over to Youtube and Mixcloud (for example), and find a new platform where we can start fresh and start building again. I really hope that something similar to SoundCloud will come from the ashes in the future.”
Can artists save it? Or is a greater power from elsewhere required?
“Realistically I’m not sure on what us artists can do. I know there was talks about Chance the Rapper investing in the business but it’s very hush hush. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the outcome is. What I do know is that if the site does go down, it won’t slow me down in the slightest. The grind and passion will carry on as I’m sure the community will agree.”
Are you going along to any festivals this year?
“Unfortunately not! My day job as a restaurant manager takes up so much time.”
How are you managing to find time for your music life when you’re also a restaurant manager?
“I struggle. It’s hard balancing it but I love my day job. It’s nice to have dedicated time for music and time for my job if you get me. I don’t mix business and pleasure! [laughs]”
We’re digging your recent collaboration with J. Kong ‘Road’. Got any other exciting collabs in the pipeline?
“Thank you! Me and J. Kong are working on a few projects actually. James (J. Kong) is so easy to work with and we seem to make music really quick and effortlessly together which is always a bonus. I’ve been working with a few rappers/vocalists recently as well – I’m trying to branch out and experiment with grime, drum & bass and dubstep a bit more so expect some of that very soon.”
Variety is always good. What up and coming talent are you keen to recommend to people?
“So many names I could mention! My boys Tengu are working so hard right now, each track is better than the last. Mofaux just released a new one called ‘Dissect’ which does absolute damage. The absolute gangster Forbid is killing the house game. TK Vicious, who recently dropped a fire remix on my label for Mofaux. And I can’t forget J. Kong, young guy doing big things.”
What’s next for Albzzy?
“My aim for the rest of year to work with more vocalists. I have new music in the works with some extremely talented people which I’m super hyped about releasing! We’re doing a lot of work at the label (U Wot Blud? Records) as well which the world will see soon. Trying to release less now, but make sure the quality of each release is the absolute best it can be. I feel like I’ve released too much music I’m not 100% happy with.”
Interviewed by: James Wijesinghe