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Interview: Bru-C On Bassline Bits, ‘Original Sounds’ And 2020 Plans

2 February 20 words: Will Ryan

Fresh from a series of international shows last winter, Will Ryan caught up with Bru-C ahead of his homecoming gig this February...

Bru-C - a local figure making waves on the bassline scene alongside the likes of Darkzy - is the creator of event and clothing brand Krudd, and a Crucast signee. Shifting from grime to rap battles and then emceeing, Bru first released music in 2014 with Flex Records and has been growing ever since. Bru’s journey has seen him shift through dubstep to bassline, dipping into various subgenres of drum and bass, and even a little hip-hop too. But ask any fan and they’ll say that bassline has always been Bru’s main association.

Following the release of his debut album Original Sounds, out last November, he’s been busy packing out huge venues including a recent Printworks show in London, and the tour schedule is looking just as packed for 2020.

So what are you listening to at the moment?
Right this second I’m listening to Flava D Return to Me.

Your new album Original Sounds has done really well really fast...
I’m really happy with the numbers on it man, it’s growing every day.

The album’s different to your usual stuff, it’s got more of a liquid drum and bass focus 
I’d say it’s like half and half really, but to be completely honest I think my sound’s developing and drum and bass is something I’ve always been into. And I feel like I can have more freedom in the genre and just be a lot more musical. I’ve definitely enjoyed working on more drum and bass bits and I’m going to continue to work on them in the near future.

Your new song Life is more introspective, less of a party song and more dealing with personal issues, is this a new direction for you?
Yeah, so that song was actually meant to go on my album, but the beat that I had at the time didn’t fit and I didn’t really have time to squeeze it on. That’s not the direction I’m taking completely with my music - I still have party tunes and my usual sound, but it kinda showed progression not only in my career but in my life, and in my mental space. 

It’s definitely something I’ll keep touching on because I get really good feedback from some of my fans that struggle with their mental health, and I enjoy getting that feedback as well as helping people.  It’s something I’ll continue to do, but it’s not my direct path if that makes sense. I’ve still got the bangers coming.

You’ve become a bit more international recently e.g. your collaboration with Jauz, are you planning on more international collaborations in the future?
The last international collaboration I had was with Wa-Fu on the song Dirty from my album.  I’m not gonna say too much, but I’ve also got a few more. I’ve have some bits coming up with an American producer, possibly coming later this year.  

I wouldn’t say I’ve got plans with who to work with, I kinda just work how I work. You know, just take it as it comes with collaborations so it’s definitely a possibility.

Are you planning on more international tours this year?
Yeah, I’ve got a few shows around Europe, and I’m planning on going back to New Zealand and doing a full tour there, because I only got to do one show last time I visited.

Hopefully, I can do America and Asia next year as well. My fanbase is growing around the world so I want to make sure I’m going to places where I’m wanted really. 

Bassline has grown a lot recently, how do you think it has changed since you first started making tracks?
I first started listening to bassline I was 14/ 15 in 2006/2007. This is when it was a big Northern sound, with a speed garage and grime influence. There were a lot of emcees involved in the genre and a lot of trouble came into it too - just a lot of gang crime involved in the scene. Coming back to four years ago when I got involved myself, the sound still had the old-school elements, but it was also definitely a lot more housey. The South took to the sound massively and added their own elements. The dubstep and house inspirations came into the mix and those sounds have just continued to grow.  

The two genres (bass house and drum and bass ) go kind of hand in hand, and I think the sound’s developed in a positive way. It’s not quite taken the mainstream turn that I thought it would like dubstep did, because it’s pretty similar to dubstep in a way that it’s just got so popular so fast. But it’s not really happened which is a good thing and a bad thing I guess, but at least it’s still got its core underground roots. So yeah, I’m excited to see where it goes.

It’s definitely still true to its roots...
Exactly, exactly. Dubstep did very quick you know, a lot of the artists moved to America and left the scene and that’s what killed it. So I think it’s still got legs but there’s definitely been a growth in the sound.

So Nottingham is seen as a hub of UK bassline, why do you think this is?
I think partly because we’re in the middle of the country, it’s got a big student fanbase and we’ve got two big universities. There are loads of big nights, Krudd and Bubblin’ Tuesdays to name a couple. There are also a lot of local artists that are involved in the scene; myself, Darkzy, Window Kid, so the city is definitely representing the scene as a whole.

You collaborated with Nottingham based singer Ella Knight on the track Snakes & Ladders, how did that come about?
I’ve just known about her from being in Notts; she’s a wicked singer and good character. She has a unique sound so I got in touch with her, told her the concept of the song and she wrote all her bits and smashed it.  I took her with me for the Original Sounds tour. Ella is amazing live. She’s a wicked talented girl and it’s been a pleasure working with her.

I heard you had another tour planned for this year. Is that right?
I’m going on tour next month actually. I’ve got a tour with Livenation, it’s a completely sold out 14+ tour., I’m looking forward to that and showcasing the album, as well as doing the solo shows.

I see there’s a Crucast festival tour popping up next year too
We’re doing a spring tour as well: Leeds Southampton, Oxford and Manchester.

Catch Bru-C performing at Rescue Rooms on Friday 13th February.
Info and tickets.

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