Vaski became a household name for dubstep fans early on with his great success. Tracks like ‘Get Down' and ‘Brennenberg' the artist took the scene by storm. But recently Vaski has started to change his styles. This is a common theme among producers in an attempt to stay relevant but Vaski's changing of the guard felt entirely different. This was not some ploy to gain attention or new fans. This change came from an organic place deep within his heart. We were lucky enough to have a few words with Vaski and get to the bottom of exactly what he is trying to accomplish and why he has gone through with a total style shift. His answers might surprise you but overall he paints a strong picture of why his change was timely but more than anything, necessary.
For an artist who found a lot of success with dubstep it seems like a hard concept to grasp why he would change everything. But Vaski has clearly seen his career develop in front of him and has more than legitimate reasons for taking his music in a new direction.
I never sought out to change my style, what I'm about to share with you will explain what went down and why it appears I went completely left-field with my music. First of all, its pretty wild to have such a long history and back catalog to look at. Everyone has pictures of themselves to look at and see how they changed over the years, but In addition that that I have songs. If you were a painter you'd look back and say “I made this painting during this specific time in my life and you can clearly see that I was feeling ____ at the time”. All creative people have things that they have done to express themselves and I am grateful that I have all this music Ive chosen to share publicly that people really dig. Its not realistic for an artist to make the same music over and over, maybe for some people it is, but I think thats fucking boring. I know one of the things my fans like about my music is that you can always hear that its vaski, but there's an incredible diversity. To be honest my attention span is really short and I get tired of things quite easily, I'm always looking for new and exciting experiences and I think thats something that comes through in my music and my fans really connect with.
Vaski goes on to further discuss the connection of his emotions to what he produces musically. It is clear that Vaski as an artist is someone who pours blood, sweat, and tears into his work. He is not creating music for money, he is creating music as self expression. And just as he has changed as a person, so has his sound.
People talk about “staying true to your roots” alot, and the funny thing is, by making hard dubstep I was doing far from that. My first real hit was this track:
It went number 1 in dubstep on beatport and dominated the charts for months. I identify with this song much more then songs like ‘Take me there', but they are both me, and they both represent what I was feeling and going through at the time. When I started touring I figured out that the crazy songs got people to dance the hardest, and I reallllly love making people dance.. So I became obsessed with making the wildest stuff possible. Songs like ‘Hardstyle' and ‘Spaceman' are great examples of this. I mastered that, I slayed it, I made the craziest heaviest songs I had ever heard. If you want to hear the peak of heavy shit:
Its so heavy that its like whoa, why are you so angry.. haha. Everyone has different definitions of “heavy” or “hard”, some people would tell me a drop in a dubstep song was the heaviest shit ever and I would see it as totally weak. What I'm trying to say here is that you may think you know songs that are way heavier, but thats your definition, I have my own definition and I achieved what I wanted to in that realm.
Vaski looked at his catalog of productions to date and realized that he had achieved what he was trying to do in terms of creating the most monstrous bass tunes. He continued to try to produce dubstep until he had a realization. One that would in turn be the catalyst to his change of styles.
So I completed my goals, I made the heaviest shit possible. Then I realized, “this is boring, I already did this, I need a new challenge”. What I had never done, was made a song that just made you feel good. At this point my knowledge of musicality and melody was pretty lacking, I was using the same notes over and over and I didn't want to milk it much further. I was in a tough spot, I could feel the expectations, everyone wanted dubstep from me. I am a bit of a people pleaser and it never really occurred to me that I could make music that wasn't dubstep, but I wanted to make something that pulled your heartstrings. ‘Insane' was born. I fucking LOVE ‘Insane', its some of my best work to date. (Here I want to shoutout the lovely voice of Ava and her incredible lyrics). Its difficult to make an emotional song that sounds cool but doesn't sound dark or cheesy. This is simply because the number of notes and chords used is much more. Songs like ‘Hardstyle' only have a few different notes and much less of a melody. Making amazing music using chords and scales is weirdly both emotion driven and mathematical, and it's been my goal to develop in this area. I thrive on challenges and this was the first time I really buckled down and set my sights on making music that wasn't dark but still sounded cool.
I think dubstep is set, its not dying but its formulaic.
At some point, I discovered Flume, I think my manger showed me one of his songs. Absolute game changer for me. The depth and subtlety of this music blew my mind. I was hooked right away. His album ‘Flume' is in my top 5 of all time. My dubstep was mostly inspired by old Bar 9 like ‘Midnight' and Nero songs like ‘This Way'. I never found electronic music I truly loved in the same way until flume. Deep down I could feel I mastered dubstep, and now it was time to master something else. I still felt the pressure to make dubstep inspired music and I couldn't let it go. ‘The Explorer' EP was born. I was exploring new sounds and new styles without fully committing. In my opinion some of those songs are trying too hard and confused about what they are. ‘Cant Bring Me Down' is dope because its a shameless dubstep song. Inside I felt equal pulls of “you need to make dubstep” and “you cant make dubstep anymore”, so some of the music came out weird and overwhelming. Around this time my management heard the beginnings of ‘Last Night' and lost their shit. They had no idea I was capable of making stuff like that and were very excited. I was encouraged to keep messing around and not think about what I felt like I should do, just make I wanted to make. That's pretty much where my head space is right now, I'm just making music and sharing it, not concerning myself with the labels that people feel they need to put on it. I know people like to make sense of the world by labeling things, but I am not here to be predictable. I'm here to show you through my music how I see the world, That's what I feel the best music is, someone's experiences and world view put into sonic form. When you really vibe with music you are really vibing with whatever the artist was tuned into when they made it. I think that's why we put artists on such a pedestal, because we feel that a deep unexplained part of us connects with them.
Clearly Vaski had strong sentiments of his own experience with dubstep. He reached a point of production in the genre where he felt his creativity was becoming hindered by trying to stay within the accepted realms. I had to consider this on a scale outside of just himself as an artist. If this was the case for him, then what did he think of the dubstep genre as a whole? Was dubstep dying as a whole?
No, I think dubstep is set, its not dying but its formulaic. To me its a shame that dubstep was locked into bpm and drum pattern. There's sounds in many other types of music that came from dubstep, it could have been an umbrella like “rock music” but for whatever reason it wasnt. Honestly to me a lot of this deep and future house is dubstep. You know that future house Jauz song?
Thats 100% dubstep. Tell me how its not. Because of the house beat? Because dubstep is a dirty word? Because people want to be cool and be “over” the previous cultural movement and into new shit. But guys, its the same, its just a bit updated so we gave it a new name. In the UK underground, people are all about real deep house. Its exactly the same as dubstep was years ago but with better production and a different drum pattern. Underground deep house 2014 —>
Listen to this, if it was at 124 BPM with a house beat it would be a pretty tight deep house song.
I should also say here that what americans consider deep house is Disclosure, but in the UK deep house is much darker, for them Disclosure is just straight pop music.
For real tho, people love to talk about “IS DUBSTEP DEAD?”…I've realized we all just need something to talk about, something to buzz about and get social media interaction, so heres your answer. YES, the word DUBSTEP is dead. Its not cool like it was. However, the dubstep culture and musical sound is well and alive and changing the world on a daily basis.
Deep Down I Could Feel I Mastered Dubstep
Vaski is without a doubt shaping his future. With strong ideas, and strong music to back them up. Some of his latest work including his remix of George Maple's massive hit, ‘Talk Talk' have been my favorite to date. So with a magnum opus of what the dance music scene has become and with his future shifting before his eyes, what exactly does Vaski want for himself…
Ive replaced the wobble sounds with vocal sounds. The human voice is something that resonates with everyone, and there are endless possibilities when I mess with it digitally. I felt like the dubstep bass sound war of “who can make the dopest sound” was pretty much over after skrillex came on the scene. I haven't heard anything that pushed the envelope ever since. Yes everything sounds bigger and cleaner but its all just the same ideas processed better. Going forward in 2015, theres going to be some crazy developments in sound design. Im excited about what using chords instead of single notes within heavy synths is going to do. You hear that lead synth?
Thats like 4-7 notes on top of each other. With the exception of Flux Pavilion almost all dubstep is a huge synth playing a single note. Im always inspired by whats hot and what no one has done before. My sound is going to continue to evolve and change, but its going to continue to be stuff you can nod your head and vibe to….. and its always going to have some nice bass 🙂
With all of that being said. It is time to judge for yourself of Vaski's new style. Here is the exclusive premiere of his latest remix: Muse's ‘Starlight'.