Big up fam’. As I had said on Tuesday, I have a very special interview today with a Bristol-based producer. There’s got to be something in the air in Bristol because the amount of top-notch musicianship that comes out of that city is just massive. I’m going to have to collect some air in a jar whenever I get over there and take a huff each time I get in front of my beat machine ;). Anyways, let’s get down to business!
Today’s feature is with Calum Lamont, aka Calski. If you’re not familiar with his sound, I strongly urge you to look into it. This is a producer who, in less than three years, has gained himself support from some of the scenes rising stars like My Nu Leng, DK, and The Town as well as dominators such as Phaeleh. To try and pigeonhole Calum’s sound is nearly impossible (he’ll even tell you himself) as he is constantly changing the tempo, approach, and style of his productions. What is very clear about this man is his ability to make beautiful music, so it should be no surprise that the King of melodic bass music, Phaeleh, has been showing his support. Don’t want to say much more because his responses are quite informative. Take a look below to find about what Calski has to say about being a musician in Bristol and why he feels it best to produce a multitude of genres rather than stick to a single formula…
1. Just to get the formalities out of the way, can you give the readers a quick rundown about who you are and the music that you make?
Im Calski, I’m from bristol and I make sub bassy, melodic and percussion based music. It’s always a tricky one when someone asks that because I dont really know what to say. I tend to cross between genres and try messing about with different styles so it hopefully stays interesting for people.
2. How long have you been involved with music production? What was it that sparked your passion?
I’ve been producing for about 3 years now. When I was younger I played the saxaphone and piano, which is what started my passion for music. I only moved onto computer production after I downloaded a free demo of fruity loops on my mums computer and started making cheap grime tunes, but it was pretty pointless because you couldnt save your beats on the demo! After I got bored of the FL demo I just enrolled in a music technology course and it all went from there really.
3. You seem to really have an exceptional ability to work your drum tracks. Is this something that just manifested itself through your production style, or do you make the conscious effort to create the cleanest and fullest drum tracks?
Percussion is just something I’ve slowley progressed on over the years. I love fat, punchy drum beats and anything with rythm and a nice bouncey vibe to get your head nodding. I always find its important to work the drums as much as you can because in my tunes they are usually the main factor along with the sub and they can make or break the tune.
4. Furthering on your production style, your sound is undeniably distinct. I don’t know if it’s just something about Bristol that injects creativity into people, but the amount of artists w/ fresh sounds in massive (Die & Break, Addison Groove, Phaeleh, Guido, Kahn, Appleblim, list goes on…)! How would you say the environment in Bristol has transposed itself into your productions, if at all?
Yeh its a hugeley inspirational city for music, arts and culture. I’ve lived here for about 4 years now and dont think I will ever move. I believe the city has had nothing but positive effects on my music, Bristol has some sick producers and labels in so many different genres so I try to take inspiration from everywhere I can. I started getting booked for small gigs for no money when I first moved to Bristol and it made me see just how big it all was, seeing people making their own tunes and doing well at their own thing drove me to try it myself. I believe its important to be around people with similar goals and aspirations as you because you motivate one another.
5. You tend to cross genre platforms when writing music. Some people believe that when trying to build a name for yourself, it’s better to identify with a particular sound in order to “brand’ yourself, in a sense. You seem to have transcended this philosophy, so I’m curious as to hear your thoughts about cross-genre beat making.
Personally I think its important to cross different genres. Most of the people I look up to and aspire to be are versatile producers. I think if you use the same drum pattern, synth or stlye in every tune you make, you might make a few bangers but eventually people will get bored because its too predictable. When I start making a tune, I never have any idea where im going to go with it. I usually start with percussion and see where it takes me from there, but it never usually ends up where I thought it would! I also listen to all different sorts of music so I can hear something that will inspire me to take a tune in a whole different direction when I’m half way through writing it. I can be pretty annoying sometimes as well!
6. You and KeyedUp make quite the team. How did you guys get linked up? What more can we expect to hear from you two in the future?
We live in the same sort of area and just met through the music scene and started making tunes when we were chilling at mine. We dont really make tunes anymore because we are just heading in different musical directions.
7. Your debut EP on Overcooked Records will be seeing a released October 1st. I’ve listened to the tunes, and they’re top-notch! How has the reaction been so far on the release?
Thank you :) There has been a really positive reaction so far which I am really greatful for. It’s had a few good reviews and its being played by some of my favourite artists. People like ‘Enigma Dubz’, ‘My Nu Leng’ and ‘Phaeleh’ have been supporting it which is a real honor for me because I’ve been listening to their stuff before I even began producing. I think the good thing about the EP is there is a variation of styles and hopefully a track for everyone on it, and if not.. wait for the next release!
8. Is there anything else in the near future that the readers should keep their eyes/ears out for (gigs, releases, etc.)?
There should be multiple releases dropping in the next couple of years. A few EP’s on Overcooked Records and some releases on various different labels in between. Lots of different vibes to come!
9. What’s the one piece of advice/knowledge that you have today that you wish somebody would passed down to you early on in your career?
Without sounding too cliche …Just work hard at what you want to do, be persistent and determined in life and one day, eventually, it will pay off.
10. Who shot Biggie & Pac?
Much respect out to Calum for taking the time out of his day to contribute to our Bassweight Sessions series. If you haven’t already previewed his EP on Overcooked Records, the ‘St. Andrews EP’, be sure to check the link below as it’s most definitely one you’ll want to add to your collection! Featuring 3 Originals, a collaboration with Enigma Dubz, and a remix of an Inkarv production. Big sounds no doubt. The EP is available for pre-order of iTunes currently and will be officially released on October 1st at all good online record stores.
Also, to top things off Calski has been generous enough to build a mix for all your listening pleasures. Unfortunately there were some complications while trying to upload the mix to Soundcloud, and I was not able to use that particular platform. I have uploaded the mix to Mixcloud but, since the ability to embed the players used by Mixcloud to a WordPress site is non-existent (C’mon WordPress, seriously?!) you will have to follow the link below to our Mixcloud profile. Believe me though, it is WELL WORTH the extra two clicks you will have to endure ;). Check the link below…
I hope you all enjoyed the words and the mix! Will see you next time.
To the gods.