Exclusive Interview: Jauz talks about origins and influences at Electric Brixton show
American sensation Jauz has had a huge 2017 so far having toured all over the world in many magnificent venues and festivals. He also launched his exciting new label ‘Bite This‘ and celebrated the launch by releasing a huge album full of treats including remixes, originals and collaborations.
The album featured a couple of upcoming artists from the UK, Skepsis & Notion, showing Jauz had an interest in the UK bassline scene. The US mogul also had rising stars of the UK scene, Darkzy and Holy Goof, to support him at his recent show at Electric Brixton which was his biggest club show in London to date.
We Rave You caught up with Jauz for an exclusive interview before he took to the stage…
You’re headlining Electric Brixton, what can we expect from tonight’s set?
“I always try to do something different whenever I come to Europe or the UK and then I realise, halfway through making my set, that if kids have bought tickets its probably because they want to come see me play music that I would play. Obviously when I’m in the UK there’s a lot of stuff that I would like to play that I wouldn’t normally in my sets so im definitely gonna do some of that but I’m also gonna give Jauz fans in the crowd the opportunity to hear a real Jauz set like I would play anywhere else and also take the opportunity to play the stuff that inspires me from the UK”
What genres do you tend to opt for in the UK rather than the USA?
“I always like the opportunity to play drum and bass because you literally cannot find a single place anywhere that plays drum and bass in America where as here in the UK is the home of drum and bass”
What’s the reaction like when you play Drum and Bass in America?
“Literally dead, you can play the most crazy drum and bass track and kids are like ‘I don’t get it’. The other thing is with Holy Goof and Darkzy on the lineup tonight, the whole bassline scene that’s coming up around here is super super inspiring to me because that was what motivated me to start writing all the records that made me who I am. Back in the day I was listening to like Chris Lorenzo, Taiki Nulight and My Nu Leng. All of that stuff I would hear and I was like okay this sounds like dubstep but its like at a house tempo and I really like dubstep so I thought maybe I can give it a house groove. That’s how stuff like Feel The Volume and Deeper Love happened”
You’ve recently discovered upcoming UK talent Skepsis, how did you find him?
“It was during the back to back that I did with Alison Wonderland and Diplo at EDC. We met up a couple times beforehand to trade tracks and build on a setlist that had a bunch of tracks that we all knew and then we can branch off from that on our own. One of those times, Diplo was like yeah there’s this track from the UK that’s pretty tight and he played it and I was like that’s sick. Then I started playing it everywhere and it’s massive here now, it’s crazy”
What’s your main aim for your new label Bite This?
“My only real goal with the label isn’t to be better than any of the current big labels such as OWSLA, Confessions, Mad Decent. I’m never trying to be the next somebody or better than somebody. There’s lanes for everyone to do their own thing and as long as you’re doing your own thing then you can find success and that’s what I want to do with the label. First and foremost, it’s a way for me to put out my music however I want whenever I want which is the main reason I started it. Also, it gives me the opportunity to show my fans if you like what I do then you’ll like these guys because that’s whats inspiring me”
What was the most important piece of advice that Icon Collective gave you?
“There’s one class called The Art Of Flow and it’s all about your mindset as a creative person and the way you have to train your brain to write the music you’re supposed to be writing and not the music you think you should be writing. One of the big take-aways from that is that as long you’re doing your own thing and you’re not doing anything because you think someone is going to like it or that there’s already something that sounds like that (which will feel safe). Do the opposite of that. When I started writing songs for the Jauz Project, I didn’t care what it sounded like, I didn’t care what the genre was, I didn’t care if people like it or not. I was just gonna do it and see what happens. That’s when I began to write music that people actually gave a s*** about”
What’s your favourite festival memory in the UK?
“It was last year when I did Reading and Leeds. I did Leeds first on a Friday. I remember everyone talking about me saying this is going to be sick. I was the only American act on the entire stage so that made me quite nervous. I remember that they had 5 or 10-minute set changes between acts which I normally hate because kids just wanna keep going and if there’s a cut in the music they may go. The act before me, Fred V & Grafix, end, and everyone leaves the tent and I was like this is gonna suck. All I was thinking in my head was that everyone told me this was gonna be so good. However as soon as I hit play the entire tent rushed back and to my understanding, everyone took those 10 minutes to grab a beer and then run back. It was a really crazy thing to see.”
Finally, who would you most like to collaborate with at the moment ?
“I really love all these kids that are coming out of the UK and smashing it right now. That’s a lot of what I wanna focus on with the label, showcasing that kinda stuff to America. There’s not really a market for that sound in America so I wanna help be a part of bringing them over as well as working with them on records. I’ve always wanted to write music the way they’re doing it but I was just too American and I could never figure it out. That’s how shit like Feel the Volume happened as I was trying to sound like Chris Lorenzo but like I’m American so it came out Americanised but that’s also the reason that it doesn’t sound like what anyone else has done.”