The migration of mass music production from professional studios to bedrooms has completely shifted the way in which people make music.
The accessibility, lesser cost, and ease of use have opened up the possibility for much more quality music to be made at a rate of knots, something that has catapulted drum and bass music to the finely-polished heights of production standards it sits at today.
An artist who truly encapsulates this ethos is Devon-based Amplify, whose explosion onto the scene in the past 18 months has been defined by an unrivalled work rate and a face wrenchingly good level of high-octane music.
Firmly at the front of the new wave of jump up artists that have emerged through the lockdowns, Nury is reaping the rewards of his hard work through a plethora of bookings and what feels like a weekly appearance at the top of the Juno Download drum and bass charts.
Having ticked off seven singles and nine EPs in 2021 already – including appearances on SASASAS’s Unite series, along with releases on Pick ‘n’ Mix, Pick The Lot, Zombie Recordings, Gorilla Warfare, High R8 Digital, Cave Records – and many more since the start of 2020, it’s clear as to why Amplify has become a household name in the jump up scene so quickly.
We caught up with Nury to explore his meteoric rise, the importance of his inner circle of fellow producers, the progress of his own imprint, Gradient, and to find out just how he and Master Error have managed to collaborate on a few hundred tunes (!!) in the past two years.
Honestly, I can’t think of another artist who’s put out more music than you consistently over the last 18 months. Where do you find the time to make it all?
I don’t really know to be honest. I’ve got a lot of people in my inner circle, so I’d say there’s always ideas flowing around me. It’s all done through Discord, but there are always people telling me to try this or try that, or asking me to jump on a track. It’s always fun, so it has become my uptime and my downtime. As well, with me, I like a tune for about a day and then I want to make something new again.
Since that release on Zombie Recordings, it’s just been one release after another.
I had a bit of a back catalogue of music that I didn’t want to put out, but then I started to send it around. The first people I sent it to were Zombie and they took six tracks straight away. It ended up doing really well and going straight to number 1 (on Juno Download). It all just sort of started from there. This started off a certain way of me making EPs as well. I’d start by making a big tune and then the target would be to make five other tunes as good at that one. I did this with the release on Pick The Lot and it worked really well Nick’s such a great guy and a pleasure to work with, I’ve got another EP coming out with them next month.
You and Nick have remixed quite a few of each other’s tunes as well haven’t you?
Yeah, we always do little swaps. We swap music for the labels as well as we’ve both got our own so that works well.
When you talk about your inner circle, are these all other producers you’ve met through Discord?
Essentially, they’re just producers I’ve met along the way. Obviously, me and Master Error consistently work together, Metalwork and I run Gradient together, but Master Error is on the label all the time as well. I also work closely with Pengo, Stillz, D-Fuser, Profile and Breakout, who have projects coming on the label over the next year too!
I see a lot of Master Error on the label.
Haha yeah, that’s because his output is like mine. We’re just on the same wavelength. He was a lot further ahead of me when we started, so he’s helped me out a lot. We just clicked straight away and because we have the same flow, we’re making loads of tunes together and both adding to our arsenal at the same time. We’ve probably made a few hundred tunes by now.
A few hundred? That’s absolutely mental. Have you two met in person yet?
Yeah, it is haha. We met once back in August when he came over to the U.K. It was an absolute mission, but it was worth it and was good to meet up, he got to meet all of the lads at the same time and played his debut UK set. We’ve got a couple of shows coming up together too which will be sick.
I find the Discord aspect of your journey quite interesting as it reminds me of hopping into an Xbox lobby and playing games with your mates. Does it make producing music feel like a game?
It’s a little bit like that. We’ll jump on and then get onto making tunes with each other. It’s how most of our collaborations are done. You show each other music as well which leads to remixes, which all stem from a label Discord group.
That solid network of people around you is so important, especially for up and coming artists.
Definitely man. I’ve got a network of people that I work with and we’re all driving the same movement. I feel that the speed of the label’s growth is because of this. It’s moving much faster than we anticipated and we’ve got loads in the pipeline.
You and Metalwork have achieved a lot considering the label is still in its infancy.
Metalwork has helped me a lot. Not just with the label and things to do with production, but with advice on how to navigate the scene as well. It’s mad to think that it’s only been a year since we launched the label.
To take a step back from what you’ve accomplished in recent years, let’s talk about you first got into drum and bass?
Honestly, I never used to like it. I used to like grime and more mainstream stuff. Then, I turned 18, started going out, and wanted to start going to places that were open a bit later. Round here everywhere shuts at around 3 am, but The Attic in Torquay used to shut at 4 am, so I went with my mates and the first time I went Serum and Voltage were playing. I proper enjoyed it, kept on going to raves, and eventually got myself a controller. It’s all been a bit mad from there.
It must all be a bit of a blur from there…
It all just started changing quite quickly. I played my first set at The Foundry in Torquay with all my mates there which was wicked. They don’t come as much now, I think they’re a bit bored of it haha. I’ve got to thank Profile, Nicky, and Fatman for taking me under their wing at the beginning and pushing me in the right direction, to lead me to where I am now.
That first set is an awesome feeling when your mates are all there hyping you up.
I used to play at parties, but everyone is so gassed to see you at a rave. Because I’m travelling so far for events now, they only really see the videos, but they still message saying that it’s mental.
You said that you’ve been producing for two years. Was it a natural progression from DJing?
To be honest, I hated it at first. I couldn’t get along with it. I forced myself at first, then I started to get a little vibe with it, and it just went from there. I just kept doing it, 18 hours a day sometimes.
Did you do it through tutorials?
Nah not really, I just sat there making stuff. New drum loops, new basses, I’d just be sat there for so long consistently and I started to get an ear for it. I know it’s subjective, but I feel like I’ve always had an ear for what sounds good and what doesn’t. Now, it’s sort of surreal to think that I can make the music that I do.
It’s good to take a step back and realise how far you’ve come. Even after going through your back catalogue, you can hear the rapid progress through the first few releases.
I sometimes listen back to the early stuff and I don’t regret it, it’s just part of the journey. There’s so much that goes into my tracks compared to the start, but there’s still so much to learn. The thing with me is that I’m never satisfied. If I don’t do something for five minutes, I feel like I’m slacking or that I’m lazy. My production will probably never be where I want it to be because I’ll always want to improve.
I guess that’s the point though, always striving to make something better. To finish off, what’s your dream scenario five years from now?
I just want to be constantly active and releasing music and playing bigger shows. My goal is to play Rampage, Boomtown, and Nass. I’ve been going to Nass since I could go out. With Gradient, I’d love to still be pushing the people we have on the label now and a few new people that’ll come around. I love the thought of taking in people to grow with me and the label.