An absolute legend within the music industry, we caught up with Dub FX to see what the multi talented beatboxer/rapper/singer and everything between has been up to.
We spoke about his new 9 track album ‘Roots’, what his views are with social media, what his favourite equipment is to use in the studio plus so much more.
Let’s start by talking about your new album, ‘Roots’. Why have you decided to call the album ‘Roots? Are there any hidden messages behind the name?
So the music on this album is a throwback to what I grew up listening too, so you could say its my Roots, but the genre is also quite Rootsy so its fitting. Im also dropping another project in a month called Branches which is essentially me branching out into other genres such as Drum & Bass, Glitch, House and even an acoustic Pop Ballad for good measure!
In today’s music industry, how important would you say social media is?
It’s crucial, but its also flawed. It used to work properly but now all the big companies have put in algorithms that don’t let you share to your full fanbase even if you pay. The media realised they would become obsolete if artists and companies could communicate directly to fans, so they probably put pressure on the big social media companies and threw a spanner in the works!
Now it’s going back to how it was before social media where you need to pay a publicist and get your advertising in the Media. I have over 600k fans on Facebook, I remember when I would make a post and get thousands of comments, now I only reach 3% of my fanbase and get 20 comments. Its so messed up because I earned all those fans organically by street performing, they want to know what I up to but I can’t communicate with them.
How do you keep your followers engaged in what you are posting?
Again, it’s not easy when you make a post, pay to boost it but it goes to the friends of your followers and not your actual followers. So I don’t really think about it. I just post my tour dates and my latest music and hopefully word gets around.
How did you first get involved in music and who would you say your biggest inspiration is?
I don’t have a ‘biggest’ inspiration because I wear so many hats as an artist. I’m a fan of many music producers, vocalists and musicians that inspire me. I first got into music as a teenager because I went through a bout of depression when I was 13. In that time I learned to play guitar and it healed me.
What do you personally consider to be one of your biggest ‘moments’ of your career so far?
There have been a bunch of important moments. The day I discovered I could loop a beatbox on the street and jam over it was very exciting. But in hindsight, having one of the first ever viral videos on YouTube back in 2008 was pretty cool. Last year I looked into the crowd and saw Robbie Williams going crazy in the front row. Maybe that was a big moment too haha.
How long have you been involved within the music industry?
I did my first gig in a pub as a front man for a funk band when I was 17. I’m now 37.
Festival season is soon upon us, where will we be seeing you perform this year?
I’m not entirely sure of my schedule but I can tell you I will be all over Europe! Check my website for a full breakdown.
If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Frank Sinatra… you know why!
When working on new music, how many projects do you have running at one time?
I have no idea, but it’s a lot. I’ve always got a bunch of unfinished bits and pieces either lingering on drum machines, my computer or in my head.
What’s your favourite food to eat?
My wife’s cooking!
What is your favourite animal? Why?
My doggy Obi is my favourite animal in the whole world. He’s a big cuddly teddy bear who follows me everywhere and always wants a cuddle.
If you could pick Anywhere in the world, where would be your dream location to perform?
I’m not going to be cheesy and say the Moon because the sound would be terrible there anyway. My favourite gigs are the small intimate one’s that I do for free so… my lounge-room performing for my daughters.
When working in the studio, would you rather use hardware or software?
I use a combination of both which I believe is the key to getting a good sound with a fast workflow.
What is your favourite piece of hardware or software to use?
The heart and soul of my live sound is My GT10b FX pedal. Without that pedal I don’t sound like DUB FX. When it comes to the studio I have so many bits of gear that all work synergistically together. I love my saturation plug-ins, I love my analogue preamps and compressors, I love my vintage Space Echo. Being able to reach for all those things makes the experience so enjoyable.
From other artists in the scene, what are your top 5 tracks you are feeling at the moment?
I’m old school, I don’t really single out tracks, I listen to albums. I’m really into a New Zealand artist called Lord Echo, all his albums from start to finish are super awesome. Fat Freddie’s Drop just released a new album which is banging. There is a track by Calibre called ‘Lit’ which I keep coming back to. I love the live performance on YouTube by Sahida Apsara of her track ‘Radiant Star’. And I really love Anderson Paak’s latest album too.February 5, 2020