NuBass has been riding high in the bass house scene lately. We got to catch up with him about his recent releases, record label, and more!
Many will agree that when you’re looking to get the party started and need tunes to get the job done right, throwing on some bass house is the best route to go. Hordes of outstanding artists have been cropping up on labels like Night Bass, looking to put their unique variation on the genre. Burgeoning producer NuBass is chief among them. His tunes, characterized by punchy kicks and snares alongside commanding basslines, are taking over dancefloors with increasing velocity.
Over the course of his career thus far, NuBass has grown notable for his mind-melting bassline and bass house cuts. Look to some of his earlier tracks like “Meltdown” and “Evidence” with Dread MC for proof of his unrelenting beats and ferocious production style. Alternatively, check out some of his releases with Night Bass. His 2019 EPs Fuego and Supreme as well as more recent singles “Toxic” and “Noisy” testify to his aptitude behind the decks by staying on heavy rotation to this day. He even formed his own record label, The Archives, where he’s recruited other up-and-coming artists to lend their production talent.
If you’re just recently hopping on the NuBass train, you might recognize his name from his recent appearance on Night Bass label boss AC Slater‘s June album Together. The two producers, along with Kaleena Zanders, collaborated on the wicked “Lose My Mind,” which quickly became a fan favorite of the album and found its way into house sets far and wide. Now, NuBass is back again with another collaboration, this time with Michael Sparks. The two put their creative minds together on “Magic Carpet” which boasts a hearty dose of in-your-face bass and striking drums.
In light of this recent release, NuBass put together a banging, bass-fueled house mix for us. To make matters even better, he sat down with us to talk about how he got started making electronic music, how he grew into his current sound, and plenty more. He provided tons of great insight, so listen to the mix and make sure to read on for our full chat after you’ve cued up his exclusive guest mix!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 385 | NuBass on SoundCloud:
Hey NuBass, thanks so much for chatting with us today! First things first, give us a little background into how you got where you are today. What got you into electronic music — specifically bassline and bass house — and when was the moment you decided you wanted to become a DJ and producer yourself?
No problem at all! I think I’ve been doing the NuBass project for about seven years now. It started out as just getting a set of decks using Virtual DJ at school (what a throwback), and then from there, I started to produce as I got more and more into music. I think the wave of jackin’ house and the introduction of UK bass and bass house from the likes of Chris Lorenzo, My Nu Leng, and Holy Goof a while ago started my love for it, and I can definitely still hear influences of it in my production today! I’d say from the run-up to COVID in 2018 and 2019, I started taking it more seriously to where releases were getting traction and sets were becoming bigger and more regular. Since then, I have been very fortunate to ride this wave.
One consistent characteristic of your tunes is their sort of gritty, subterranean sound design. Is there any specific reason why you gravitate toward this darker sound?
That’s such a good way to describe it — I’ve not thought of it as subterranean before, but that’s perfect. I have always tended to stray towards the darker end of music regardless of genre, whether that be garage, house, dubstep, or drum and bass. It’s the power and atmosphere you get with the dark sounds that made me absolutely love the scene I’m in now. I’d like to think my sound is a fairly unique take on this. I don’t intentionally create dark tracks but that’s just come more naturally. My music theory is pretty terrible, but my technical side of production probably compensates for that — so naturally darker, more basic (note wise) tracks are my strong suit.
A specific release that sticks out in your discography is your collaboration with Frankie Polari, “What You Say” — not only because it’s garnered tons of listens but also because it showcases a more melodic, less punchy side to your production. Did it take you out of your comfort zone to co-produce this track, and do you see yourself continuing to explore new sides of your sound in the future?
This track was a complete fluke and not something I originally intended to be a single. It was, in fact, a remix I did for Frankie Polari of an upcoming track he did, but he and Selected rated the track highly enough to simply release it as the original. It was a huge compliment! It’s only really taken the vocals and some pads and elements from the background, and I built the piano around it from there.
I’ve always wanted to experiment and push myself into something more melodic at times to break from the usual formula of my tracks, and this just worked by chance. It gave me particular insight to produce a track that was destined to be more stream-focused than playable in the club and learn how priorities in elements and mixdowns completely change. It has to be really concise and focused on one element, in my opinion. I think it’s just passed four million or so streams on Spotify, so it’s a massive relief that it stands up to other incredibly produced tracks on Selected. Definitely something I’d look to do again!
Speaking of collaborations, some other artists you’ve worked with include AC Slater, Kaleena Zanders, MPH, and, most recently, Michael Sparks on your latest release “Magic Carpet.” How does working with other artists and observing their creative processes influence your own creative direction?
I’ve had the privilege to work with some great producers who have inspired me with music. AC Slater, for example, was a real full-circle moment as one of the first tracks I remember listening to loads was his iconic track “Bass Inside.” To be able to have worked extensively on collaborations and label releases with him has been such a great experience, and now he’s someone who I’d consider a close friend.
More recently, Michael Sparks was a long-overdue collaboration as we both have a pretty similar mentality with music and direction with our sounds. “Magic Carpet” is probably the third complete track we’ve made, but the first we’ve felt was right to release. I’d say it’s fairly unique for both of our sounds, but that’s what’s good about it. Really pleased with how the release is going so far!
A few years ago, you founded the record label The Archives. How do you make sure that it reflects your artistic vision while also allowing your signed artists to express themselves and their individual sounds?
That’s a great question, and it’s often one I ask myself with the direction of the label. I really felt The Archives was needed to bring all of the producers I rated together under one umbrella. Most of the tracks on there are primarily club-focused and high-energy. I focus on signing the ones that I really, genuinely love and feel push the sound forward.
In today’s world, genres become saturated so quickly — and unfortunately, that does mean there are a lot of tracks that just don’t hit the mark. I feel quite passionately that each release on the label stands up individually but also as an all-around project under The Archives sound. I’m looking to branch out genre-wise on the label soon into garage and dubstep primarily, too, but the general mood of releases won’t change. Really excited to see what comes next for the label!
You’ve been all over the map in terms of playing shows, including Australia, New Zealand, all over Europe, and — by the time this interview goes live — Tokyo. Is there any one location you’ve played that stands out to you as being one of your favorites, and do you have a dream destination you would love to play in the future?
I am literally doing this interview on the plane to Tokyo right now! In recent times a show in Perth, Australia really does stand out. It was a 360-degree show with the DJ booth in the middle of a sold-out crowd, which helped with engagement. I had such a fun time doing a 90-minute set closing the night, meaning I could branch out into other genres towards the end.
What aspect of your career as a DJ and producer are you most proud of thus far?
I tend to take things in stride and not really take moments to appreciate my progress due to being so busy. But thinking about it, I’m particularly proud of my recent touring around the world. I never take any set for granted, and I’m lucky to be able to share my music with people from all different cultures and backgrounds. It’s amazing how they all have some common ground of liking this new direction of music — I find that incredible. Release-wise, I’ve been focusing more on just reaching a wider audience whilst keeping the heart of my sound the same. Numbers are just numbers when it comes to streaming, but it really is encouraging to see some tracks going above a million, for example. I really consider every track I make a fluke still!
Finally, what else can you tell us about what’s in store for you in the rest of 2023 and beyond?
I have a Canada tour to announce in 2023, can’t wait to go back as that was a highlight of last year. Otherwise, I am just trying to work towards playing in the US. That’s a logistical hurdle to cross, but myself and the team are working on it. I have a few more singles ready to go and will be announcing them soon. I’m also starting to explore the concept around an extended piece of work such as an LP or album, something I can really look to push my sound and the concept of NuBass further.