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Annelies Rom

Q&AWNTTA

We Need To Talk About Basstripper

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We Need To Talk About Basstripper

Basstripper is taking the D&B scene by storm. He started mixing in 2015 at a local rave in Belgium after he got inspired by his best friends. Thinking to himself, “I can do this too. Why not give it a try,” he quickly got the hang of it, took up music production, and found his way into the Belgian drum & bass scene. After about four years of combining music with a part-time job, he became a full-time musician.

This proved to be a wise decision. Fast forward two years, his megahit ‘In The City’ went viral last summer, and he supported Bou and B-Live on their Australian tour in November 2023. He also remixed Netsky’s ‘Hell in High Heels’ at the end of 2023 and had his remix of Friction’s ‘Supersonic’ released in January of this year. 

With no plans to slow down, 2024 is already shaping up to become the best year of his life.

How’s 2024 shaping up for you so far?

It looks like it will be the best year of my life. The diary is filled with some amazing shows. As much as I’ll be touring this year, I’m taking extra time to make a lot of new music and trying to release as much as possible. I’m also looking to collaborate more with other producers, as much of my work has been solo. It’s going to be interesting to see how my sound shapes up with others. 

I will make a lot of new singles and collaborations. I also get a lot of questions about remixes now because of my latest Friction remix and the Netsky remix in 2023. Still, I mostly want to focus on new original music and collaborations with other producers. I’m going back-to-back with Sota on Rampage, so I’ve got a couple of collaborations with him that we’ve been working on, and I’d love to make some tunes with Bou as well. Because, with Bou, we’ve been talking about working together for years. We started making music at the same time, so we’ve known each other for a while now. 

Your ‘Supersonic’ Remix for Friction is out now, a good start to the year!

It was such an amazing start to the year. If I remember correctly, I made this remix shortly after ‘In The City’ came out. I’ve played it out a lot, and the crowd has always reacted well. It’s been exciting to get it out finally, and it’s doing really well. It was such a cool project to work on as well; everything came together quickly and nicely. I really want to thank Friction and the Elevate team for that.

When they asked me to do the remix, I didn’t hesitate at all. From the moment I got the stems, I started working on it immediately. Everything actually came together very smoothly. This was the first time I’ve done remixes, really. After ‘In The City’ the remix requests came flowing in, but these two were kind of the first ones and instantly the biggest ones I had ever done. It was an amazing feeling to be able to remix Friction and Netsky. If you had told me a few years ago I would be able to remix such sick tracks, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are, it’s fantastic. 

On your socials, you mentioned that 2023 was the year many things changed for you. How so?

The last few months of 2023 were by far the busiest of my entire life. Multiple shows every weekend for months on end, something I’ve not been used to. I’ve had bookings for many years now, but not to this extent. All the travelling to different countries whilst doing what I love is a real blessing. It’s truly overwhelming, and I hope to keep doing this for as long as possible. Touring Australia with Bou was an amazing experience as well. I was surprised by how many people there knew me. I was unaware of how far my music had spread across the globe. Huge love to Bou, Evil and the Higher Grnd team too.

It all still feels insane. I was only there for five days, and to have done such a crazy tour for such a short period, it’s surreal. They asked Bou who he wanted as a support act, and he immediately said he was thinking of me, for which I’m still super grateful to him. Touring with him and B-Live, the MC, was a crazy experience. During that tour, we created a good bond because we were together all the time. It was such a nice and unique experience for which I will forever be grateful.

How did you come to this point?

‘In The City’ with the DnB Allstars team gave me a massive push in my career. That song changed a lot for me. It’s grown my fanbase massively, and it’s also helped push my previous releases. We’re almost at 13 million plays on Spotify now. I didn’t expect that at all. You can see the countries on Spotify, in which countries that track is doing well, and it’s always crazy to see that on the other side of the world, for example, it does so well there. That’s insane. Of course, you always have confidence in a track. Especially with this one, I had a hunch that it would do well, but not at this level. Before ‘In The City’ was out, it had been sent out to other DJs and had already gotten quite a bit of live support. A lot of footage was made and thrown online. That also did a lot, I think. 

How are you going to continue this momentum?

By doing what I do best: make tunes, get them out, play shows, and create content. The goal is to get better at what I do. I want to really perfect my sound whilst expanding my audience. I also feel like drum & bass is generally growing, which also helps. It’s such an honour to be a part of this. I’ve got such an amazing team and support network around me. I really feel like the sky’s the limit at the moment. As cliche as this sounds.

Take us back to when you first started DJ’ing. Who were the people you looked up to?

I used to watch my other friends DJing at age 15 or 16. And why not give it a go too? We used to sit together every weekend and have mixes on these tiny controllers.  There weren’t many jump-up or drum & bass events in our town yet, so we organised our first party ourselves, and that’s also where I played for the first time. I remember it being quite late but still relatively crowded. I was super stressed, but as soon as I played the first tune, I felt amazing. I just thought, “I really want to keep doing this. This is it,” and it was my own event, which made it extra special. 

After just mixing for a while, I realised I always wanted to make my own music. Learning production is what really pulled me into this genre. I took huge inspiration from the sounds Hedex and Annix were creating. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing music full-time for two years now. I worked part-time in combination for about four or three years, so to be able to do this full-time now is a blessing. My previous job was physically hard, so I think back to that every time I complain about something from the music industry because I don’t have anything to complain about. It really is a blessing, this job. I feel really grateful that this is my daily life. 

Was it always your ambition to bring it this far?

Of course, like everyone, I always wanted to do well and make it far. But I love making music so much that I didn’t really care where it would take me. I am 100% sure I will make music for the rest of my life. It gives me a feeling nothing else can. The fact that I’m doing it as a full-time career is just a bonus, which I’m very blessed with. 

How has your sound evolved throughout your career?

I have always tried to stay true to my original punchy production, but I make improvements as I learn and grow as an artist. Getting better mixdowns and creating catchier tunes is my focus. I think ‘In The City’ really showed this. I spend a lot of time reading and watching videos from other producers. Having conversations with other artists about this helps a lot; we learn from each other, and I think everyone wants each other to succeed. The community is really strong at the moment. 

You’re from Belgium, a country known for its jump-up. How do you feel about that, and what has that done for you?

Belgium has a very unique scene. One that, of course, has become popular for its jump-up. The Belgian shows used to be solely international artists, usually from the UK, but the Belgian artists have taken over over the years. Most Belgian shows have Belgian headliners now, which is nice to see. All of us Belgian artists are good friends; we see each other regularly, and it’s not even to work on music or anything; we have just become best mates over the years. I love that most of us are in the same boat, especially in touring and travelling. Knowing I’m not in the unknown or on this adventure alone is comforting. 
We have a group chat with all the Belgian DJs like Used, Andromedik, Primate, and others. If we have something questions about music or other things, we always give feedback to each other. We don’t hate on each other, but we give each other advice. So that’s what I really like about this group of friends: we have each other to lean on and go to if we need support. It’s not a competition. There’s no jealousy, either. It’s really pure friendship and pure supporting each other. To get the best out of ourselves, actually, which is super nice.

Follow Basstripper: Soundcloud/Instagram

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