Illustrious drum and bass duo Hybrid Minds dig into their latest single, “Bad To Me,” their record label, life after lockdown, and more!
As trends in the dance music scene continue to ebb and flow, drum and bass has stood the test of time and continues to carry valiant support from passionate fans all over the globe. UK-based duo Hybrid Minds has been steadily climbing the ranks of that community on their quest for greatness for the better part of the past decade, carrying the torch and elevating their status along the way.
Despite the pandemic shutting down live events, Hybrid Minds kept their pace steady in 2020. They released “Don’t Ever” with DRS, along with the monstrous hit “Let Me Hold You” alongside Netsky, as well as a remix for Above & Beyond‘s hit track “Love Is Not Enough.” Further adding to their legacy, the duo also spun up a sensational Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 that kept fans in a groove.
Now, as the scene begins to emerge from the dark times of last year, Hybrid Minds is primed and ready to continue their hot streak. After a sold-out tour across New Zealand earlier this year, the pair have set their sights on a handful of iconic venues such as Drumsheds and Brixton Academy, and will also be taking the stage at some of the UK’s top festivals, including Creamfields and Parklife.
Before the heat of the summer truly takes hold, Josh White of Hybrid Minds swung by to chat about their latest single, “Bad To Me” which features stellar vocals from Grace Grundy. And he spills the tea on that track and everything else – from their early days releasing tracks on YouTube to minting their very own record label Hybrid Music back in 2016. So listen to the track on Spotify or your favorite platform and read on for the full conversation!
Stream Hybrid Minds – Bad To Me (ft. Grace Grundy) on Spotify:
Hi Hybrid Minds, congrats on the release of your latest single, “Bad To Me,” with Grace Grundy! Can you tell us a little about how that track came to life and how you chose Grace to collaborate with her?
Thanks! We are so chuffed with how this track has ended up. We were actually sent the vocal from Grace’s management and wrote the whole thing around that. We loved her from the first second and just knew she was perfect. We always look for vocalists who sound authentic and passionate about what they are singing about and Grace is a prime example of that. The track went in a couple of different directions until we could finally nail the mood we wanted the song to achieve. We really wanted to capture the emotion and darkness of the lyrics and once that clicked we knew we were onto a winner.
The two of you have now been producing and touring the globe together for the better part of a decade; how has your sound evolved over the years as Drum and Bass’ popularity has ebbed and flowed?
We have always stuck to our guns and tried to make music with feeling to it. Once you do that then I think you have a better chance at standing the test of time. It has been a slow and steady build and we have gained a very dedicated, lovely, and passionate group of people who like to listen to us and have stuck with us. Drum and Bass will always be here and it’s a very exciting time for it right now in the UK and a lot of other countries. The hype in New Zealand during covid as the only place with raves allowed to happen has just been insane.
When you guys sit down to start a new track, are there any “key” elements or anything your songs require to be true to the Hybrid Minds sound? Or do you prefer to let the track develop naturally?
We find it quite hard to not have a piano or guitar involved in some capacity. We quite often find that is that thing that makes something have ‘our sound’ as it were. You kinda know if it’s us from that first reverby piano chord and atmosphere. All that stuff can come later on in a project though sometimes. We are really enjoying producing in different tempos at the moment and not being bound by making dnb single after single as we have had ample time in lockdown.
Despite being removed from live events, the pandemic did not slow down your productions. 2020 saw an official remix for Above & Beyond’s “Love is Not Enough” and a hit collaboration with Netsky on “Let Me Hold You.” Can you tell us a bit about your production process; has it evolved at all during the pandemic? And what works so well about producing together while living in separate places across the UK?
It’s been a funny one. At first, we were so grateful for all the time in the studio and we churned out so many ideas but around Christmas time we kinda hit a wall with it as we have so many ideas stockpiled and felt we were just making more of the same. We have tried to learn as much as we can and evolve in lockdown as well, finding new sounds and instruments. We have also been playing around with our sound at different tempos which we are very excited about.
You guys launched your record label Hybrid Music back in May of 2016 with an exclusive focus on Hybrid Minds material. What does the future of your label look like in a post-pandemic world?
Something we are very, very glad about and proud of is that we have managed to be in control of ourselves, and having our own label has made this all possible. We are just going to keep on going with it and using it as an outlet for our own music. The moment other people tell you what to do you can lose the love for it. Keeping yourself happy with your work vs pleasing a label is just so genuine. You don’t have to try to be something that you aren’t or don’t enjoy making.
In the early days of Hybrid Minds, your tunes were spread across the internet among hubs like UKF on YouTube. How influential do you think that platform was in exposing the world to your songs?
We have been great friends with UKF since our first upload and I think they are incredibly influential amongst others like DNB Allstars, Liquicity, and DrumAndBassArena. These kinds of platforms can make such a big difference to your career at the beginning. It was our first UKF upload that inspired us to pursue a music career together. There are so many great producers and tracks out there and these guys can really make something stand out. We are so grateful for their support and it’s just a joy to work with Luke and the UKF gang on anything, they are so fully invested in the culture.
This summer is shaping up to be massive as you just wrapped up a sold-out tour across New Zealand and can look forward to shows at the iconic Drumsheds and Brixton Academy. What can fans expect during your live shows this year?
A lot of excitement. Lockdown and then the vibes in New Zealand have just reinforced our love for the music and we can’t wait to get back out there again. We are going to be going all out with production at Brixton and celebrating finally getting to do the big headline London show we were about to do before the pandemic hit. It’s going to be emotional.
You guys have played some incredible shows all around the globe. How do drum n bass fans differ from place to place? Who goes the hardest? Any glaring differences that stand out as you play in different places?
Since lockdown, the buzz for drum and bass in New Zealand is just insane. It is the go-to music out there, period. It couldn’t get bigger. It was already massive before the pandemic and now it seems it’s gone up a notch. The UK is always brilliant as well, it just has that culture and I can expect it’s going to get wild once we can party again. LA is always a vibe as well. Everywhere we play is great really. Just lucky to be a part of such an amazing scene globally.
Where do you see the future of drum n bass going as a genre? Do you think it will continue to grow exponentially?
It seems so healthy and ever-growing to us. Once you find it it’s a very hard genre to put down. I think it will just keep going and evolving.
Finally, if you could collaborate with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
The Cure would be a dream collaboration for me as I grew up listening to them and know their style would sound amazing as drum and bass.