Having recently started a new Nasty FM show, and with his own productions cropping up on guestmixes all over the place, I thought it was time to talk to Glasgow’s Dvsty about Grime, production, influences, radio, why he hates Breaking Bad, and more. There’s also a guestmix from Dvsty himself, which you can download below.
GrimeDisciple (GD): Tell me a bit about yourself. What got you in to music, how long have you been mixing/producing, and was anyone an influence on you?
Dvsty (D): I come from Glasgow, Scotland and probably the first sound that I was really interested in was East coast Hip Hop – that sound is a big influence on me with producers like: RZA, The Alchemist, DJ Muggs, Havoc, DJ Premier etc. As far as mixing/producing, I started getting more into Grime and electronic music on a whole around early 2007, and I would say since about 2008 I have always fucked about with FL Studio, but, having absolutely no musical knowledge, it has been a long and slow climb [he laughs]. Shout out Fresh Paul though because he showed me the way and helped me understand a few things.
GD: I think it’s fair to say that your production output has been sporadic up until recently, but there have been a few tracks posted on your Soundcloud lately, so is this a sign of you making more stuff? Is there anything that you find helps you get in the zone creatively?
D: As I said before I have been messing about with FL since about 2008, but by that I mean trying to make beats on a fucked laptop with no monitors, no headphones or soundcard. Roughly about a year ago I invested my money into production and got a half decent laptop, good monitors, headphones, soundcard and a midi keyboard. Since then I have put a lot more time into it and I think I am getting to a point where I can create the sounds I want, and therefore the production process is easier and I am able to finish more tracks.
As far as getting in the zone, I like to smoke and listen to music on Youtube or check some recent mixes. Listening to a Slackk mix usually inspires, and I’ve also been checking Grandmixxer’s show a lot recently, he is a sick DJ.
GD: Is there any kind of ethos behind your sound?
D: I think my sound is moody, always in minor scales – people say I am quite a negative person [he laughs], so I guess that comes across in my beats. With my sound, I just try and have nice drums and nice bass and, from there, try fit some music on top. I love nice melodies and I am trying to improve my key playing.
GD: Which producers do you currently rate?
D: There’s actually tons: The Phantom, Slackk, Fresh Paul, Dark0, Inkke, JT, Murlo, Mr Mitch… I could go on all day. I think there is a really nice creative space at the moment, and when the levels are so high it pushes everyone to go harder.
GD: Moving on to this mix – what was the thought behind the tracklist?
D: Regarding the mix, I like to start off with a lower tempo, maybe somewhere around 125 bpm and build it up from there. The good thing about Grime is rhythmically there is no set format, so if I start at a lower tempo I can start moving up the bpm range and it can still be broken down at any time really. Regarding the tunes featured -I tried to include dubs from producers I am rating at the moment, as well as some classic tunes and a few of my own.
GD: What happened to your Subcity show?
D: I did that for 4 years, and it was originally myself and Fresh Paul, but after he moved city I brought 2 other friends in to join the show and instead of being a dedicated grime/dubstep/garage/ukfunky show. it turned into an anything goes show mainly playing vinyl. and whilst It was fun for a while, it lost direction and got boring and repetitive so I killed it.
GD: It seems like your still on this DJ thing though?
D: Yeah. For years I actually only DJ’d on vinyl, but about 6 months ago I sold my turntables and most of my records and I only recently bought CDJs, which I am still getting to grips with. So I have been quiet on the DJ front as I took time to focus on my production, but I am getting comfortable with the CDJs and I now have a Nasty FM show every other Sunday from 4pm-6pm – producers feel free to send tunes [he laughs]!
GD: What’s the deal with the tunes on your Soundcloud then, are any of them going to be released at any time?
D: Although I feel I am improving, I still don’t feel like I am at a level to release tunes yet. I am going to put in as much work as I can over the next year and try get to a level where I feel suitable to chase a release. As far as the tunes that are up there just now, I just send them out to some DJs and probably will one day just let them off as free downloads.
GD: You’ve collaborated with Fresh Paul in the past, are there any plans to collaborate with any one else soon, and, in an ideal world, who would you most like to work with?
D: [laughs] Me and Fresh Paul shoulda dun made an EP by now, but life gets in the way. We both have full time jobs, and he is concentrating on a lot of tunes that are due for release at the moment and I can say that they are sick.
Collaborations? I am open to those, I have been swapping tunes with Sheik and we said about the possibility of a collab. I am really rating his style at the moment, so if we did collab, I would want to be on a 130 funky flex.
Who I would most like to work with? I would have to say Horsepower Productions, or El-B. Them dons are from a different era and their productions techniques would be a lot different from my own, so I think working with them two would be really insightful. Plus they make some of the best music.
GD: What do you think of the vocal side of Grime at the moment? Is there anyone you rate, and would you like to work with any MCs?
D: It’s had its moments this year, I guess – “That’s Not Me” and “Take Time” obviously being highlights. MC’s I rate: Prez T, Big H, Rapid, Roachee, and The Square are doing a lot right now. I done a couple beats for DeeJillz, and I am looking to get more work done with him soon. He’s a sick MC.
GD: Name an MC and a producer that ghosted that you’d like to see back on Grime, and why them?
D: MC? I would say Ice kid, there is nothing worse than an MC forcing a “deep” verse, but with Ice, he spits pain on a track and it’s believable. Producer wise, I would have to say Oddz. Every tune is an anthem and he has a nice warm sound to all his beats.
GD: Finally, I gotta pull you up on one thing: you said, “wasted two weeks of my life watching Breaking Bad. This show is shite”, so what’s your problem with Breaking Bad?
D: [laughs] As I said earlier, I am quite a negative person, so I am due to hate on anything. The thing with Breaking Bad is that I watched it all too soon; the first 3 seasons I was hooked, and then, after that, I feel the show took a massive decline and I was losing interest but still watching, so it felt like a chore. But I am weird, I like the Walking Dead and nobody likes that show.
Follow Dvsty on Twitter for updates on his show and tunes. You can grab a few free downloads off Dvsty’s Soundcloud too, so don’t forget to follow him on there too. If that’s not enough, lock in to Dvsty’s show on Nasty FM this Sunday from 4pm-6pm (GMT), and every other Sunday.
Breen – Amber
Modeselektor – Skilion (Grime remix)
Sheik – NYADH
Twwth – Naomi xx
Desto – 4AM
Dark0 – Skelly
The Phantom – The Way the Alien Kills
Glot – Death Shard
The Phantom – Complex city
DVA – What We Do
SRC – Crystals
K-RO – Prevail (Wiley acapella)
Dvsty – Thickers
College Hill – Muhammad & Malvo
Grobbie – War Dub
Dvsty – Custom
Lolingo – Taliban (Grandmixxer remix)
Inkke – Tenchu Riddim
Dvsty – Scarlett
DJ Marsta – Hollow
Chemist rns – What Am I Saying To U
Plasticman – Section 7
Prez T – This Likkle Yout