Photo Credit to Oh Dag Yo Photography
We had the chance to sit down with one of bass music's biggest trap stars last week at Ultra Music Festival. Bro Safari opened our eyes and let us dive into his creative process and his view on dance music as a whole. Take a look at what he had to say below.
How does it feel to be back at Miami Music Week and Ultra this year?
It feels great. I’ve been coming to Winter Music Conference and this whole week since 1998, so almost 20 years now, and it’s a good feeling to know that I’m still relevant and that people want to catch me play down here.
Tell us more about your first trip down here in 1998.
I was Djing and learning how to produce at the time as part of a group called Evol Intent. Drum n bass was everything to me back then and it had a huge presence in the late 90’s when I first came down here. Early on, every year this was the place for me to come as a DnB kid.
You are set to play at 6pm today, is there anything in this set that we are going to be extra surprised by?
Well I just released a song today called Proper with Dion Timmer and that is going to be something I am going to try and highlight towards the end of the set. Other than that, my DJ sets are almost like a production themselves. I edit every track I play out whether it’s customizing the intro to play off a different song. For example, say I have a track that doesn’t really mix well with any other song, I’ll just write music on top of the song to help it flow into the set more than it could before. I really strive to have a set that is coherent, that flows well, that doesn’t stop but gives people a break. I put a lot of thought into it and I don’t think that is something that people realize to be a very good thing, but it really is in my eyes. It makes it smooth and it’s not obvious that I am trying to do something different. It might be odd for me to say that, but I’m okay with people not noticing how much effort I put into a set.
Do you find that through the intense process of editing music for your sets that it allows you to be much more diverse with your song selection and removes any previously present barriers to mixing?
I just play what I want to play. Often, I’m playing a lot of music by other people and one thing I try to do is to dive really deep into Soundcloud and try to find music by the smaller guys that maybe not a lot of people have heard before. Without the big name, their talent is harder to see in the general public’s eye, but it’s there and I want people to have a chance to discover that. I play with as much diversity as I see fit and lately I’ve been playing a lot of dubstep because I am really loving it again and I’m loving the way the genre sounds right now. I think today my set will be mostly dubstep and trap. Last time I played Ultra I went more for some housier vibes, but this time I just want to throw down as heavy as possible.
Give us some names that you are really into right now who you could see making the jump to stardom in the next year or two.
There’s so many guys out there but someone I am really watching is the guy who I just released my tune Proper with today, Dion Timmer. He’s only 17 right now and I don’t even remember how I met him but I think he tweeted at me and I listened to his music and was blown away by how incredible it was. Now he’s on tour with Excision and he’s definitely going to blow up soon. Another guy is an artist who goes by the name of Crystalize, and I had him do a remix for my last release. He does a lot of dubstep type stuff, but he really can show a lot of diversity in his productions. He sent me an EP that he is working on right now and it is just all over the place genre wise but the diversity is unreal from track to track.
Do you see EDM as a whole moving more towards a weird, experimental, diverse place where artists are opening themselves up to a lot more styles and are diving into uncharted territory in order to forward their sound?
I love that right now there is a lot of this drunken beat, slow sloppy trap sound is becoming hugely popular. Riddim is super awkward for dubstep but like in this really cool and really progressive way. I think that things have gotten better in electronic music in the case of these experimental and diverse sounds because for a little while I was nervous that the genre was going to fall apart. During the big room house boom I felt pretty shaky about our scene, as it seemed like it was just getting to be too basic and people were not striving to stand out. I grew up listening to weird music, a lot of IDM, Aphex Twins, Squarepusher, etc. and I’m all for people getting as weird as possible.
Do you see the bubble of electronic music bursting or do you see it continuing to rise?
I honestly have no idea. A year ago, I would have told you for sure the bubble was going to burst, but now we’re here a year later and it seems that it isn’t stopping. It’s a movement in it’s own and it seems to have already lasted longer than most fads in the music industry going back to the 90’s with grunge which as an example was huge for a time but than slowly petered off. Now you have artists like Skrillex who have been relevant for 5-6 years and have been making it happen for themselves consistently staying as big as he was. Obviously, if the music stays stagnant, the genre is going to die. However, like we were just talking about, people are really pushing the boundaries right now and whether the fans will follow and get a little more weird with us remains to be seen at the moment.