When I asked my friends to describe bassline they genuinely struggled to find words that define it. To me bassline is a blend of music that I never tire of, to some people its just considered ‘noise’ but I rarely go a day without listening to it and it can flip my mood in 0.5 seconds. The powerful sound of bassline originates from UK garage and has since stemmed out into various sub-genres.
The atmosphere at bassline events is crazy! Crowds, of course, differ in size depending on the venue but I feel as though that does not even matter, everyone is there for the music and it never disappoints. Bassline is thriving within UK music culture, DJQ & Jamie Duggan have just released the Pure Bassline album which on the day of its release went to the number one dance album in the UK.
Countless raves happen up and down the country every week with quality line ups in quality venues. However, this wasn’t always the case, the genre has a bit of a reputation for drugs and bringing trouble wherever it goes. I wanted to find out about the eventful past bassline is trying to shake off so I gave established DJ, Bassboy a call to pick his brain regarding bassline’s interesting past and find out what went down for the stigma to turn so sour.
First he warned me has ‘no filter’ which in other words meant he might slip up with his language a little, but to be honest I don’t think he swore once in the whole 25 minutes we were on the phone. As I said before, when I asked my friends to describe bassline they couldn’t find the words, so I asked Bassboy if he could attempt to define it and to be honest I think he hit the nail on the head
“It’s party music! If you wanna have fun, personally bassline is the music you can get wild to. It’s just got the drive. If someone said to me ‘so boom… describe bassline’ that is exactly how I’d describe it, its music to have fun to, it just brings people together”
It was interesting to hear why Bassboy turned to making music in the first place
“I started making bassline in like 2006/7 ‘cos I was just like weird child, I stayed in my house all the time. I grew up in a really bad gang related area and I didn’t get involved with anything outside my house so I played games. Then I got into music, but that’s when everyone was calling it Niche in Birmingham, everyone was playing it off their phones and stuff and that’s when I started listening to it and getting into sound designer stuff.
I totally locked myself in my house for two years and I got fat” He said to himself laughing.
Since then Bassboy has gone on to be one of the leading names in bassline. He has DJ’d all over the country, often joining in with the crowd, with some quality videos on Facebook showing he wants to be raving just as much as the next guy! Although he tells me it wasn’t always fun and games…
“It did get bad at one point, I did get BANNED from playing in Birmingham for like 5 years. There was drum and bass event at the Custard Factory, as I said I come from a gang related area and these people came and shot up the event. All the DJs that were involved in the event just got blacklisted for 5 or 6 years. It only finished in 2014 when I was allowed to play here again, so yeah… it gets crazy. Now it’s totally different for me. Everything has changed. The faces, the crowds have changed, the energy is totally different. Right now it’s good cos it’s thriving and it’s moving forward.”
As Bassboy says, the scene is thriving and moving forward these days, and I can definitely say I haven’t seen any violence at raves I’ve been to in the past couple of years. The vibe is just great and, as previously mentioned, everyone is simply there for the music and to have a good time, rather than smacking each other in the face.
So I’ll finish the blog with some wise words from the man himself, for anyone trying to break it in the music industry.
Bassboy suggests’ “whatever you do just be yourself init and stay humble. Just don’t ever get an ego and treat everyone how you wanna be treated. I know it’s cliché and everyone says that but not most people live it but I literally live my life that way. I don’t care who it is, if I meet someone and they’re cool I don’t feel like am too good to learn anything off anyone.”
“Just stay positive, doing music you don’t always get paid for it, I do music when I’m broke like be passionate about it and never be too proud to learn!”
I can 100% vouch for the fact that he lives by those values, he took the time out of his day to chat to an undergraduate about his music and was more than happy to help me out, so shouts to him for that one!
If you want to check out Bassboy’s sounds then head over to his SoundCloud, you will not be disappointed! As for my podcast containing interviews from Bassboy, Blazer Boccle, DJ Q, Jake Burdass and Luke Kash, it will be airing very soon on BCB Radio. So keep your eyes locked on my social media (Twitter @becksthompson, Insta @b3cksthompson) to find out the exact date and time as to when you can listen to all these influential artists and find out what they think about grime & bassline.