We caught up with rising bass artist LAYZ to chat about her influences, producing music under quarantine, and plenty more!
It’s rare to see an artist with such a unique level of sound design and energy in their work, but it’s even rarer when the artist is just 19 years old. LAYZ has done just that, churning out some crazy bass-fueled tunes over her young career. With tracks featured on albums by GRL GANG and Later Tonight, fans from all over have already taken notice of the Maryland native.
While her sound draws inspiration from bass titans like Excision and Svdden Death, make no mistake that LAYZ is constantly developing her own unique production style. Ominous melodies, ripping bass and demonic vocal samples are just some of the things that you can expect from her stellar tracks like “Umbra” and “Break Away” with Kliptic.
In her exclusive guest mix, LAYZ shows off her incredible skills over some wicked double drops and high-energy sound. This one’s for all the headbangers out there, so make sure to blast it out when you’re in need of a boost and make sure to read on for the interview to get a piece of her mind as well!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 219 || LAYZ on SoundCloud:
Hey LAYZ! It’s awesome to have you here chatting with us today. How have you been holding up during quarantine? Has there been anything specific you’ve been doing to pass the time?
Hey, thank you so much for having me today! I’ve actually been really busy between school, teleworking eight hours a day, producing, and mixing. I’m getting quite tired of being in the house all day but live streams and making music has been keeping me sane. Working out in my backyard and going on walks has also been a big help!
How has quarantine affected your workflow? Do you feel like you have more free time or do you think there’s more pressure to create?
Some days I have a rush to create music and other days I just feel like staying in bed all day and not touching Ableton or my CDJs. I’m definitely putting extra pressure on myself since I have more free time and I just wanna use it to build my unreleased music catalog, but it’s been hard to find inspiration in a time like this.
Plenty of artists, including yourself, have taken to the virtual stage over the past few weeks. How do you get yourself mentally prepared to play a livestream? Is your strategy different from preparing for live shows?
When I did my first live stream back in March, I felt the same rush as I would get before an actual show. Now, I’m used to the live streams and don’t get nervous at all. I also always do a test run on my personal account to make sure the volume, camera angle, and lighting is perfect.
Your most recent mix on GRL GANG Radio comes on the heels of your track “Umbra” which was featured on the recent compilation album. What does this community mean to you?
I am so grateful to be a part of GRL GANG. This community is so loving and it allows all of us to bounce ideas and give feedback to each other. In a male-dominated industry, it’s great to have a support group of ladies with the same mindset and goals. I want to give a shoutout to JEANIE for creating GRL GANG and bringing all these talented female artists together.
Let’s dig a bit into your own history. As an artist you’ve developed a sound that is incredibly unique and powerful, who were some of the first artists in the dance music realm that you listened to?
I’m still developing my own signature sound. I’m happy where I am at, but there is always room for improvement! My dad is the one who introduced me to EDM. When I was around seven years old, we would always watch Ultra and Tomorrowland live streams together!
More specifically, I first started listening to Tiesto, Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, and Avicii just to name a few. I first discovered dubstep artists like Skrillex and Flux Pavillion from Call of Duty montages back in 2010. I was a huge gamer back then! However, when I saw Excision at Moonrise 2016, that’s when it all changed and I fell in love with dubstep.
Building off that, which artists influenced you the most when you were first starting out as a producer? Was there a moment you decided to make the jump?
When I knew I could mix, I knew I had to start producing if I wanted to take this to the next level. Excision is a big reason why I started producing, the energy and production quality in his songs blow my mind. Marauda and Svdden Death are also huge inspirations in my music. I love the heavy and dark vibe they give off and that’s exactly where I want to go with my music. My track “UMBRA” was actually inspired after seeing Svdden Death presents: VOYD at Fright Night in Baltimore!
For those of us who haven’t been to Maryland, can you share what the scene is like there (when the quarantine isn’t in place)?
Whether it’s a national headliner or an all local line up; between D.C. and Baltimore, there is no shortage of shows. The number one club in the country (Echostage) is only a 20-minute drive from my house! I’m super fortunate to be a part of Later Tonight, which is an artist management and record label based out of Maryland. Having a support group of other local artists makes the world of difference whether its a local show or producing in Ableton.
What are some goals of yours for the rest of 2020? Are there any releases or upcoming streams we can tune into?
For the rest of 2020, I just plan to keep on producing and releasing music throughout the rest of the year. I’m also planning to do my first merch drop later this year! When we are safe to play shows again I would love to play in new states I haven’t been to yet, specifically the west coast. Additionally, playing Lost Lands 2021 is a huge goal of mine that I hope to achieve!
Finally, what’s the thing you’re most excited to do once quarantine is lifted?
Going back to shows/festivals and seeing all my friends again!