In case you haven’t yet heard, there is a new drum and bass producer on the block that is making some amazing sounds. The young gun known as Toronto is Broken sat down with us for a quick interview and to give us a glimpse into his past, talk about his newest release with Sub Slayers, to drop a quick tip and let us know a little about whats soon to come.
Bestdnb: Tell us a bit about yourself, and how you discovered drum and bass?
Toronto is Broken:
Hi, I’m Christian, my artist name is Toronto Is Broken, and I’ve been signed to Sub Slayers for the past four years, whilst also having releases on Technique and Viper Recordings. I’m actually based from Leicestershire, smack bang in the centre of the country here in the UK, despite what my name might suggest.
I discovered drum and bass by accident, after doing a Myspace search into IDM artists eight or so years ago. Back then I made ambient and IDM music, but didn’t actually know of my other similar artists. I did a genre search on Myspace and an artist that popped up was Spor. I checked out his profile, gave a listen to his remix of “Stompbox” by the Qemists, and I guess the rest is history…
Bestdnb: What inspired your name, and how do your Canadian fans feel about it?
There’s no crazy or deep-founded story behind it, it’s purely random. Someone suggested that I make my name by combining a place name and random word, so I tried it out and Toronto Is Broken is the first thing that came to mind. Eight years later, and it’s a bit too late to change it now.
I don’t really think people care all that much or are offended by it, if anything it’s helped. My name is super easy to find on google and I’ve gained many followers from just pure curiosity about the name who have then go on to enjoy my music.
Bestdnb: You work a lot with other genres of dance music, what are your influences from those genres, and does it affect your approach or sound in DNB tunes?
Well it’s not just other genres of dance music; I’ve also been playing around with styles such as ambient and drone, and even recently getting back into making weird IDM bits. I think the variety of tempo regions you can play with from time to time help freshen up your perspective. There’s no point just listening to drum and bass, because otherwise your tracks will sound just like other drum and bass tracks. I think it’s the fact I draw the majority of my inspiration from non-dancefloor styles of music really helps me with making my music stand out.
Another thing to mention is that I’m a conceptual writer, and I write to a narrative or a theme, of which I truly explored by writing “Section Nine” over the course of two years. Probably most of the track I release these days haven’t been inspired directly by another piece of music, but by simply a pre-determined title. I’ve been casually starting to think about my second album, and I have the album title and tracklist finished, I just need to make the music!
Bestdnb: We know you’ve been working very closely with Sub Slayers, tell us about your relationship with them.
I’ve been working with Jay Cunning who runs Sub Slayers for over four years now. As well as running Sub Slayers, he manages Toronto is Broken on a whole so I only really have to worry about making the music. Over the years I feel like I’ve grown incredibly as an artist, and so has the label. Jay’s always allowed me to pretty much make what I want (I’m still trying to persuade him to let me release some Psy-Trance on Sub Slayers), and I’ve been able to fully pursue my conceptual way of making music, that I don’t think I could be able to do on other drum & bass labels.
Bestdnb: Give us a little background on your massive new single “Voyager II / Want You”.
“Voyager II” is essentially a drum and bass mix of my old breakbeat track “Voyager” that was released on “The Outer Circle” EP back in 2013. I really liked the idea of the call and response drop, and wanted to do a remix of “Voyager” anyway so it felt like a suitable time to get it down. “Want You” is a track I’d been working on for quite a while and always been really proud of. It always worked really well within my sets and has a nice even blend of both melodies and the harder neuro stuff. It felt like a fitting time to release it and works really well as the flip to “Voyager II”. “Breathe Clear VIP” is also part of the release that features Jodie Carnall on vocals. I feel like the original was a highlight of “Section Nine” and it’s very different in terms of the drum and bass I make. However, as it was so different, it always found a suitable way to mix it into my sets, so I ramped up the energy and made this VIP!
Bestdnb: What is an embarrassing moment from a show you can share with our readers.
I borrowed my mate’s laptop years ago to play in a tiny bar but had to cancel. Whilst setting up and only about thirty minutes before being due to play, I picked up my beer and it exploded all over his Macbook Pro. It was safe to say it never worked again…
Bestdnb: Is there one quick tip for up and coming producers you would like to share?
If you make dancefloor orientated music, don’t just listen to other dancefloor music. The best writing conventions you’ll learn are from outside of your usual musical safe zone.
Bestdnb: What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I am on 99.9999999999999999% completion of my biggest project to date since working on my debut album “Section Nine” that came out this time last year, a brand-new 4-track EP that continues the story on from that album. It’s called “The Reconciliation”, but apart from that I can’t divulge any details on what it contains or where it’s coming out just yet. However, it’s (hopefully) only a couple of months away from release.