Q: Introduce yourself and tell us a bit of the history behind (you)
A: My name is George a.k.a. Spekski, I grew up in Manchester (UK), but currently live in Boston Massachusetts where I study Film Scoring and Classical Composition at Berklee College of Music.
I started getting into writing music when I was young, producing really shitty house and dubstep in my early high school years, releasing my first passable Deep House track on Immoral Music at the age of 16. However shortly after that, my growing interest in Classical Music started to take over leading me to join the junior section of the Royal Northern College of Music where I studied classical composition and piano, along with advanced music theory and ear training.
I started to get back into production shortly before going to university, this time very rooted in the world of Drum & Bass. The frustrating part is, just as I started to focus more on DnB, I moved to the US where the scene is very much still growing. I landed my first DnB release with Divination Recordings just over a year ago, followed by my two tracker Beg/Veil where I tried to combine the two worlds of DnB and Classical Music.
Q: Where did you get your name from?
A: When I was a kid, I listened to a lot of Electro House and Complextro Artists like Farleon and Madeon which definitely inspired my choice of name. Spekski doesn’t really mean anything but I think it sounds pretty good and encapsulates my aesthetic as an artist.
Q: Who is your favorite non-dnb artist?
A: This is a really hard question, I’m not sure I could name just one. I listen to a lot of Indie Rock when I’m trying not to throw my shoes at random people on public transport listening to Neuro, artists like Palace and Cosmo Pyke especially. I also draw a lot of inspiration from some of the greats in the world of Classical Music such as Mahler, Ravel and Stravinsky.
Q: What was your first experience with Drum and Bass like?
A: I think the first Drum & Bass artist I ever heard was Pendulum when I was super young, I remember being obsessed with the sound design and energy and the fact they could perform all of their tracks live. Then years later going to a rave for the first time at Antwerp Mansion was a crazy experience, the system there was crazy, and I couldn’t hear properly for days afterwards.
Q: Talk about your recent << Release / Signing to label >>
A: My new double single “Open Your Eyes/Leave You Here” has been a while in the making. Both tracks are vocal Drum & Bass bangers aiming for a more anthemic feel than my darker past releases. I’m making my vocal debut on Leave You Here which is slightly terrifying, and Open Your Eyes was sung by Audiopixie (who I may or may not be teaming up with to form a new DnB Duo). The release is dropping exclusively on Beatport on the 19th of March, then coming to all platforms on April 2nd.
Q: What is your biggest break / thing you are most thankful for to date in your music career?
A: I guess the most notable part of my musical career so far would be having the opportunity to collaborate with The Upbeats and Joe Ford respectively on projects in the world of Trailer Music. The first time my music was performed in concert by a full orchestra would also definitely be up there, that was a seriously surreal experience.
Q: Who are your top 5 current Drum and Bass artists?
1. Noisia absolutely have to be up here
2. Camo & Krooked
4. Black Sun Empire
Q: If you could collab with any artist, of any genre / style, who would it be and why?
A: I would love to collab with Magnetude, they bring a lot of story and drama into their music which is something I also try to do, as well as integrating orchestral instruments and creating arrangements that move outside of the usual DnB format.
Q: Describe your favorite bassline of all time, preferably by just describing the sound (no technical terms- this is supposed to just be a fun answer).
A: BVVVAAAAAAUUUUUA BVVVAAAAAAUUUUUA A A A A A A
Q: Tell us about the strangest / most embarrassing experience you’ve had before, during or after a show.
A: One of my first proper DJ gigs I was opening for Aries, GOLD Dubs and Chopstick Dubplate. I was young and still pretty new in the scene and didn’t really know what the vibe was going to be, so I prepared a Jump Up/Neuro set. I found out it was going to be a jungle/dub night the day before the show so had to scrap together a set very last minute but managed to just about get together enough music to fill my slot. Then on the night I played my set, thought it went pretty well, but the guy who was meant to be playing after me just hadn’t shown up and I was completely out of appropriate music. The promoter told me to keep going so I just thought fuck it and went back to my original Jump Up and Neuro set, the crowd loved a bit of screechy Jump Up before a jungle night, but the promoter definitely wasn’t so happy…
Q: Where do you see / hope to see the sound of Drum and Bass evolving too in the next few years.
A: I think DnB has been evolving a lot recently, especially since clubs have shut down producers seem to be pushing the boundaries a little more instead of churning out dancefloor shakers. IMANU and Buunshin for me are making some crazy genre bending stuff at the moment, and Camo & Krooked (especially when they’re working with Mefjus) are redefining the more melodic side of DnB. I just hope we get to keep watching influences from all kinds of other music be brought into the medium of Drum & Bass and watch the genre keep evolving.
Q: What is one tip you would like to give to aspiring Drum and Bass artists?
A: I’d say one of the most important parts of producing is your fundamentals, once you have the fundamentals down that enables you to start being creative and breaking the rules. Learn how to use Serum or Massive, learn how to mix, and learn some basic music theory to broaden your harmonic pallet. Beyond that though just listen to music you love and try to figure out how/why those songs work so well, try to practice recreating the sounds they use and figure out the harmony, rhythms and arrangement they’re using.
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