I caught up with Oversight, a liquid DJ and producer based in Kent. With releases on Suspended Motion Records, UK Export and Direct Recordings.
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit of the history behind Oversight.
Hi, I’m Joe aka Oversight. I started mixing drum and bass records in front of other people around 15 years ago, started mucking about trying to make beats probably about 10 years ago. I used to co-run a dnb/ dub/ reggae night in Canterbury called “Sub Rapture” with my good friend Finn aka Darco which actually started life as a night in Ashford that I ran on my own now that I think about it… I guess that’s really the history as it were…. I’ve not been too active over the last few years, however I’ve spent the last year working on my craft and excited to start making and playing tunes for people again in 2022!
Where did you get your name from?
It’s actually a pretty boring story… I used to go by the name Joe Bastard, which was a nickname/ insult i got called back when i used to play drums in a punk band. Then it became my user name on a forum, then when I got booked for a rave (which I never actually played at because the police shut it down before my set lol) it just got stuck on the flyer so I went with it. I was playing a lot of jump up then and basically just partying pretty hard so the name kind of worked. Then my tastes started leaning towards the liquid end of the spectrum and I started making music and trying to get it put out. First tracks I got signed (which also never came out although I can’t remember why now) ended up with this label and the boss was like “that name’s shit, I’m not putting anything out under that name haha”. TBH I’d been thinking about a change as I’d outgrown it. then the boring part of the story is I think I just wrote down a list of words that I thought were cool or interesting over the period of a couple of weeks and just chose Oversight. It means literally nothing haha
Who is your favourite non-dnb artist?
Well… how long have you got haha….. at the moment I am listening to a LOT of Ivy Soul, I think they are absolutely fantastic on so many levels. This is really difficult but some artists who I absolutely LOVE and listen to a LOT include: Bob Marley, Nas, Led Zepplin, Jon Hopkins, Jorja Smith, Burial, Raised Fist, Pulp, Black Sabbath, Misfits, Ghetts, Roots Manuva, Jimi Hendrix…. not probably the answer you were looking for but that’s the best I can do haha, I go through phases too, like last yeah I listened to loads of drill… just got me for a bit you know?
What was your first experience with Drum and Bass like?
First experience was probably listening to mates Walkman on the bus on the way to school or whatever, i know that some of the first DNB tunes definitely included Bodyrock and Roni Size – Dirty Beats, I can remember that much. Then when I left school and went to collage I met new friends who were really into it. As far as seeing people do it out and about it was definitely down Alberrys in Canterbury when I was at Uni.
Talk about your recent signing
So lots of cool stuff happening over the last few months, I signed a couple of tracks with Love That Bass, which is a newish label run by DJ Ollie. I’ve worked with him before and he really pushes his artists so really looking forward to those bits coming out, I have a single out with them out 25th April (I think) called “Beautiful Lie” which I’m super proud of. We’re also looking to do an EP later in the year. On top of that I have an EP coming out this year with UK Export which I can’t wait to get out there. UK Export have been my label home over the last few years for sure and have been really open to me flexing my musical muscles as it were. I think the EP is really nice and definitely the strongest thing I’ve put out, certainly from a production point of view. I have also recently signed a collab I did with my bredrin Chris aka Drifta which is out on Grand Theft Audio later in the year… so yeah just waiting for stuff to come out really!
What is you’re biggest break / thing you are most thankful for to date in your music career?
I have two answers to this question, the first is undoubtably and for obvious reasons when I put out a two track with DJ Ollie’s previous label Direct Recordings about 6-7 years ago, it just blew up, ended up getting played on Friction’s show on Radio 1, got played on Btraits show on Radio1, got played by Crissy Criss on 1Xtra, was pretty surreal tbh just happened out of nowhere. was an absolute buzz, especially the first play which was on Btraits show, because I had NO idea anyone even liked it, it was a complete surprise!
The second was releasing my album “Interstellar” on UK Export a few years back. No where near the same level of “success” in the sense of radio play or whatever, but Will at Export gave me the freedom to put myself into the LP and some of the personal reactions that people came to me with about the album were amazing. people saying it helped them through dark times and stuff like that. And that’s really why I make music, it’s to connect with people on that level. Obviously if I connect with LOTS of people on that level and they all buy my music that’s even better haha
Who are your top 5 current Drum and Bass artists?
Some of the artists that I’m really feeling at the moment include Melinki, Low:R, Monty, Wingz, In:Most ….. these guys are all doing really good things
If you could collab with any artist, of any genre / style, who would it be and why?
Any? Like as in EVER? This is really hard…..I’m just gonna say Bjork…..before I change my mind again, because she’s fucking great and always pushing boundaries and making fucking cool music
Describe your favourite bassline of all time, preferably by just describing the sound (no technical terms- this is supposed to just be a fun answer).
bup crrrk mwwaaaaaaaauuuuh mwub zzrweeewwazzzwob brrrrzwuobboowah zzrweeewwazzzwob brrrrzwuobboowah (Noisia – Stigma obviously)
Tell us about the strangest / most embarrassing experience you’ve had before, during or after a show.
Nothing immediately springs to mind but I haven’t played out for a while before this year, the memories a little hazy… oh shit actually yeah I was playing at this pub once at a very modest night i was putting on, some out of town kids started beefing with the locals and basically turned into a massive brawl with one lot in the pub and the other lot outside the pup basically fighting just in the doorway. I had a really good view of it all and the front of the bar was all glass so could see both sides. I think I put some liquid on to try and calm everyone down haha That was pretty strange
Where do you see / hope to see the sound of Drum and Bass evolving too in the next few years.
Interesting question…. I think for me one of the best things about drum and bass is how versatile it is, and it feels like it’s always changing too. I think it’s really strong as a genre at the moment too, really good music being put out all the time. I would imagine that the new sounds will echo the rest of the music world, really i’d just like there to be more of it haha. I’d like there to be a MASSIVE funk resurgence so we all get some new breaks to play with haha
What is one tip you would like to give to aspiring Drum and Bass artists?
I mean I kind of think of myself as aspiring, despite how long I’ve been doing it. I guess I would say, don’t rush into putting music out, learn the technicalities of production, like really learn them, get nerdy with it. go sampling, find sounds that haven’t just come from a sample pack or that sound the same as everyone else. NOTHING wrong with using sample packs btw, just they aren’t going to set your sound apart from anyone else are they. And listen to lots of music that isn’t drum and bass to get those outside influences. Network. Networking has a lot to do with it and will create opportunities. Be humble, be nice. Don’t buy LOADS of plugins, but buy a few GOOD ones and learn them inside out. Sorry you said one, that was a bunch ah well. Oh yeah and support your local scene. or build one.