Bushbaby: memorable name / badman sounds
A key member of Brighton’s perennially on-point bass collective Southpoint, Bushbaby (real name Harry Bushby) has been bubbling away since 2015, solidly firing off bassline bangers and broken bumpers that have been supported by the likes of My Nu Leng, DJ Zinc, Chris Lorenzo, Taiki Nulight. They sound a bit like this…
Bitten by the production bug since he first played MTV Music Generator 2 on PS2 aged 10, Harry’s been through numerous musical explorations to arrive at this point from bands to deep house. These eclectic roots could be the reason why his sound is so broad and different to many other bassline artists: he doesn’t produce at 140, he’s uploaded ambient tracks to his Soundcloud, he references neuro drum & bass production techniques.
He’s also only just started DJing and has already played Fabric Room One. It’s time we find out more…
You’re one of Southpoint’s most consistent artists going right back to their second release. How did you hook up with them?
I know KXVU who’s a grime artist and co-runs Southpoint. I’d just started the Bushbaby project and asked if he was releasing house and he told me only if it was of a more bassier nature. That’s exactly what I was doing. I was making deeper house before…
Did you get into the bass stuff through grime or garage then?
Garage and bassline. I’d never ever heard of bassline until friends at university introduced me to it. I was into dubstep and everything I was hearing on channels such as UKF but the whole idea of bassline, bass house and the deeper stuff just didn’t click for me until I saw My Nu Leng play. Then it all made sense. My Nu Leng and Taiki’s BS3 and No 2 were especially key to me really understanding and loving the music. Then I heard stuff by Chris Lorenzo and other deeper, darker sounds from guys like Benton and Mella Dee. It all spiralled from here…
Where do much deeper tracks like She Ain’t and The End Is Built Into The Beginning come into this? They seem removed from any house or bassline or anything you’ve done…
Yeah those are the tracks I’ll make when I’m really not feeling anything bass heavy. Days when I just sit down and see what happens. Neither of them even have kicks, it’s just experimenting and seeing what happens.
You don’t see many bassline guys uploading ambient tracks every day! Makes me think you’ve got grander plans…
I definitely don’t want to be pigeonholed into any category and always want to show I’m capable of making more than bangers. I want to give people a taste of everything early on so it’s not a shock.
Do you get those non-banger days quite often?
It can be quite tiring just making straight bangers all the time. But you have to have two heads in the studio – you have to have the head of a producer who wants to make the best possible production you can and be really clever and detailed about it. But you also need to have the head of a drunk person on the dancefloor at 3am who just wants to have fun and kick off. It’s quite schizophrenic! Plus I get carried away on the technical side of things because I’m a producer first and DJ second. I’m constantly stripping things back and learning what works in a club. That’s developing a lot more now I’m DJing all the time
You seem to be playing a lot of shows. Are you one of those guys whose first gig was a packed room in Fabric or something?
I have played Fabric room 1. But that was maybe my fourth or fifth gig I think. My first gig was to a packed club, though. You know I’ve only been DJing since last September, right? My first show was Patterns, Brighton, supporting Flava D. Fun… But scary.
Yeah, it’s got to be done. Brighton’s got a great vibe and so much fun to play. The crowds keep you on your toes here – you’re not sure how they’re going to react to things but the darker, drum & bass influenced tracks usually get the best reaction because it’s got such a strong drum & bass sound.
Have you got any drum & bass roots?
I was always into bits of it – guys like Chase & Status and Sub Focus – but I was much more into bands growing up. My most recent drum & bass influence is through Klax who I met backstage at a show. Joel from Klax has been coming into the studio and taught me a lot.
So now you listen to drum & bass but from a purely technical perspective?
Totally. And that’s why I love neuro. That’s the highest of the high in regards to sound design and engineering. It’s right at the top.
Let’s talk about Know About Dat. Bru-C is everywhere – how did you link?
He is. Biggup Bru-C! I didn’t know him well until the end of last year when he was hosting a night I played. I had this instrumental and he sent me a video of him spitting over it, I loved it and he recorded the bars in one or two takes. He killed it. His hooks are the best. I’m really happy with how the track worked out. It’s one of my favourites.
I Will Never Die is a favourite of mine. It felt like a turning point for you as an artist
That was a key track for me and a turning point in my production style because I slowed it down to 127. Taking inspiration from My Nu Leng and Taiki, I realised you don’t have to hammer things out at 140 for it to be energetic. It felt natural from my house roots too.
Amen. So… Future stuff coming up?
I’ve got some big collabs I can’t reveal yet. I got some really cool gigs coming up, too. I’ve got my first festival show ever coming up at Boomtown and returning to Fabric the same weekend. That’s going to be a really good one.
Still not even a year after you started DJing! Do you still get nervous?
I can’t imagine the nerves will ever stop but there’s added pressure of playing on line-ups with guys who play the really heavy northern bassline stuff at 140. I have to take things down nice and slowly.
Ah you subtly drop it and not just rewind the shit out their last tune and do your own thing, then?
I try and do it as subtly as possible – bring their last one down to 135 then gradually slow my first one down to the right speed. It usually works!