Hurtling into the UK bass game at 100mph, Holy Goof has been unstoppable since he first emerged two years ago. Currently levelling up with his own label HGMusic, he’s just dropped the massive rave-referencing gully jacker Eyes On You
With heavy support from some of the most critical DJs in the genre – Zinc, TQD, My Nu Leng, AC Slater and many more – and his recent set for us at Printworks still ricocheting around our minds, we caught up with Holy Goof to find out where he’s coming from… And where he’s heading.
How are you?
I’m good, thank you, I’m enjoying life…
Things seem to be bubbling over for you right now?
Yeah certain things have helped me gain momentum. My appearance on Boiler Room was a significant moment that helped push things a long – so shouts to Butterz for that opportunity.
That grime connection is strong for you isn’t it?
I’ve been listening to it since day one – early 2000s from a very young age. It had a really strong impression on me. Another really influential time for me was around 2007 when bassline seriously exploded. Those two moments in music had the strongest effect on me. First the more female-based sound which was very vocally and then a year or two later with the MCs getting involved – that was a really interesting time where two sounds I loved really merged for a moment and led me on this path and get me learning to DJ and start exploring making music.
I really like the old school reference on Eyes On You
The lead sound is a horn but it I pitched and manipulated so much it turned into that ravey sound that informed the rest of the track. I made it a while back – last summer – but I’ve changed it numerous times. I’ve been trying to make a synth like it for a while but wasn’t quite happy with it until now.
Not a preset guy then?
I’ve never used a preset ever. It’s all from default patches. All basslines are my own creations. They have to be don’t they? If you want to become your own artist and really progress then you can’t sound anyone else…
Speaking of progress what comes next on the label?
Plenty more of my own music! I’m looking for new talent to bring on to the label too – to really progress the sound, showcase the exciting state of health of the music and how many talented people there are out there. In terms of my own music I’m working with a lot of incredible people. I’m doing a track with Zinc, I’ve just done one with Skepsis and a few others I can’t mention..
Zinc’s a legend!
He is. He’d been supporting my music for a while, so when we talked about working on something together I jumped at the chance. He’s just always been there hasn’t he? He’s always kept relevant over the years which is a hard thing to do. He’s so knowledgeable – it was a proper experience to be in the studio with him.
Who else is in the same A-list support league as Zinc then?
Obviously the TQD guys have all been massive supporters. Royal T was the very first person to play my music on Rinse – a track called Girls back in 2014. Right at the start of the Holy Goof project. My Nu Leng have also been incredible and over in the US AC Slater has been really supportive.
What music background do you have? Were you musical growing up?
Nope. I’ve never had a music lesson in my life. Even in school – we had extra maths instead because our music teacher left and the school couldn’t be bothered to replace them. My head wasn’t really into the music at that stage, though
Where was it at? What was your focus?
Boxing for a lot of it. I was English school champion boxer at 15.
That’s quite cool. Do you still box now?
No no…. Too busy making music but it was a great discipline – focus is the main thing. Although with boxing you train with other people and have a team pushing you, at the end of the day when you’re in the ring you’re on your own, it’s all down to you. No one will help you in that moment so you have to have that mindset all the time – and that’s definitely a mindset that helps me as a producer, sitting in the studio on my own. You have to really push yourself in the same way.
Yeah totally. What a cool comparison. Do you come from a family of boxers? It’s not the first sport most teenagers get into unless it’s already there…
To this day me and my dad disagree – he reckons I was pestering him to go and I reckon he was pestering me to go. Either way, my mum didn’t want me to go! But I loved it from the first time I went and I ended becoming national schoolboy champion.
Amazing. Anything else to add or hype up?
Yes, I’ve got the UKF live stream at DJ Mag Bunker – the Holy Goof takeover on March 16. I’ve also got a headline show in London very soon and a smaller UK tour later on this year so watch this space. Who knows, we might progress into merchandise soon as well.