If the name isn’t familiar to you right now,then just give it a while, because Bazza is a guy with a finger in a whole lot of pies. Based in Bristol, Bazza is a DJ and a producer, and he also runs the Straight Up! blog too, so I thought I’d ask him about his music, influences, who we should be keeping an eye on, and um… emo grime…
GrimeDisciple (GD): First of all, tell me about yourself. How long have you been producing and mixing?
Bazza (B): I’m Bazza, I’m 19 and I come from Bristol. I’ve been mixing for around 4-5 years now. It all started when I was 14/15, I got my first pair of turntables and took a massive interest in dubstep. I used to ride to the local record store to pick up the new dubstep releases pretty much week in and week out… I just remember being in that store for ages deciding which release to get, and what it would go with.
GD: Can you recall the first grime song you heard, and how you reacted?
B: Wow, well I cant really remember the first ever, ever ‘grime’ track I heard, but I was a massive fan of Joker. I pretty much bagged everything he put out when I was younger, and every vinyl release he did to this day! I would say one of the first tracks that stood out to me was Lemzly Dale – Warrior, that had me gassed for so long.
GD: How would you describe your sound? Has anybody been an influence on you?
B: Describe my sound? I don’t even think I have one to be honest. I just make what I feel sounds right. I don’t think there’s any certain way that I make stuff, it just sort of happens, man. People who influence my music? This is a hard one, because If I hear something I really like, I sort of take influence from that. Artists such as Lemzly Dale, Sorrow, Joker, Boofy, and Asa always have me gassed when they upload anything, you could say I take influence from them!
GD: Do you have any releases in the works? What are you working on at the moment?
B: To be honest man, I wanted to lay-low this year, I just wanted to focus solely on my actual production, and try not to run before I can walk . I’ve have potential releases lined up, but I’d rather put in the work before trying to jump the gun just to say you have a release. I want to create the right image for myself when I am ready, I don’t want to rush and paint everyone a picture – a bad picture. I’ve got a couple things lined up track wise, I tend to make tracks. I hate them, then uploaded them and people want them. Its odd!
GD: You also run a blog. Why did you start that and what’s the ethos behind the blog?
B: Yeah, that’s right, I run ‘Straight Up!’. Let’s keep it simple, I started the blog because I have noticed a lot of talented and very, very hard working artists don’t get a chance, or as much attention as I feel they should. I set up a blog to spotlight new/existing talent, and help them get the attention they deserve. It’s all love. I just want to help people out. There are so many events who book the same people, because it’s a friend of a friend, when it should be about talent and skill, not who you know, but nowadays it’s more important to know the right people than it is to even mix!
GD: What do you think of the health of the scene at the moment, from both a vocal and instrumental perspective?
L: I’m going to be straight, I don’t really keep tabs on the scene man, I just watch the people around me and how they’re doing, and keep an eye out for new talent. I’m not really interested in opinions about a scene. The MC side of it, I don’t really know massively, if I’m honest. Obviously you have Novelist making a huge stamp on the game, and of course LOTMs, but apart from that, I’ll check a freestyle now and again, but my interest really is in the instrumentals.
Anyone who has had an eye on either Grime Forum or on Twitter over the last week would have probably noticed the whole “emo grime” debate that has been going on with regard to sound of some of the newer producers. What are Bazza’s views on the different styles of music? Does he think some producers are pushing things too far away from the “original” grime sound? “I saw the post (on Grime Forum), got half way down on the first pag,e and just couldn’t be bothered to look”, he begins, “Grime’s grime. Why stereotype it with all these petty sub genres?”
GD: Obviously, you produce, DJ, and run a grime blog. What comes next for you? Any plans to run a label or to pick up mic?
B: No plans yet for anything, but never say never! I’ll look to put a night on in the future, but whether that’ll happen or not, I’m not sure!
GD: No plans to pick up the mic then?
B: [laughing] I’ll leave the mic duties to the MCs who are booked. I wouldn’t wanna show man up.
GD: Who should people be looking out for that are coming through?
B: Wow, I knew a question like this was coming! Well, there’s a lot of talent around this year. Novelist is obviously one to look out for, on the vocal/MC side of things, but a few people I would personally say to look out for would definitely be: Notion, Chemist, Drone, Lington, and Fallow. These guys are seriously talented. Each have something ‘new’ to bring to the table, and always surprise me with something that gets me gassed! I’d also like to say look out for Grandmixxer! That guy is a myth on decks! Mad talent.I feel that he’s overlooked way too much. I would love to see people give him the spotlight he deserves… big up him!
Follow Bazza on Twitter here, and on Soundcloud here. Get your Straight Up! blog updates here, and it’s well worth following, as they give away heavy guest mixes, and also come with good video output.