FREESTYLE BRISTOL

Apocalypse Now

#AfterDark showcases the best underground artists in Bristol from the up and coming to the legendary. Chris Knight speaks to another local icon from the Lucky House family about lockdown and how this inspired his new single Bussa Bottle.

Words: Chris Knight

For the second day in a row I find myself at Glen’s Cafe in St Pauls. This time I’m looking at my phone and catching up on some last minute research on Dash Villz’s Insta when I look up and see the man himself approaching. Off with the app and on with the voice recorder…

Image: Lucky House Management

So what have you been up to recently?

I’ve just been working on my releases really, I’ve got my next single coming out this Friday, the 29th and a music video as well to follow that. I’ve got my next following releases prepped so just trying to stay ahead of the game.

And what’s the new single called?

This one’s called Bussa Bottle. It’s a good vibes tune inspired by what everyone went through during lockdown. Basically if they try to lock us down again we’re gonna bussa bottle and have a party because we don’t believe in what they are telling us. That’s what it’s inspired by, so just a good time tune and when you see the video it reflects that too.

So how did you find the experience of lockdown yourself?

Me personally, I do like to go out and stuff and obviously it slowed things like that down but I’m a homebody really anyway so it didn’t really affect me that much, I could go in the garden and chill.

A lot of artists got more prolific with their output because they had nothing to do. How did it affect your music? 

In terms of making music, not at all. At the same time though it can kind of kill your inspiration because you’re not doing anything, you’re just sitting down. You have to venture into your mind to be creative and I didn’t really find that too much of a problem but I had a lot of work that I needed to complete so I didn’t have to so much have to make new music, I had to finish what I had. 

Did you find it changed your music at all? With a lot of artists having so much to reflect I find that you can hear this in the music that’s come out since lockdown.

For me personally I don’t think it changed much because my music has always come from a space within myself. Even if I’m making a tune like this new one Bussa Bottle coming out, it’s still a reflection of me. So my music is always coming from that point so it didn’t really make me look into myself any deeper than I already do.

You’re originally from Gloucester but you’ve lived in Bristol for about ten years now.

Ten or twelve years now.

What inspired that move?

Music, everything is music. Gloucester is a nice place in terms of family and things like that but in terms of things going on there’s nothing going on. In Bristol there’s multiple clubs, raves, whatever genre of music you like to go out and hear, those options are here.

How easy was it for you coming from the outside?

Pretty easy as I’ve got family here, I linked up with my cousin Gilly and he took me around and I got to know people and stuff like that and everyone kind of rates me as I’m good at what I do so I got embraced. 

Then I started working with other people, shout out to Koast from Durkle Disco. He’s heavily involved in the bass scene and got me involved doing shows and from that things just started building and I think I’ve pretty much played every club in Bristol that I would have wanted to do.

In terms of getting your music outside of Bristol, how has that been? 

That’s been alright as well, you can’t really go wrong in terms of Spotify and all these things you can put on your ads and check out your stats. I’ll be honest, in terms of my music being listened to outside England is where I get a lot of hits. It depends on the single but I was checking my stats the other day for my single Apocalypse and they seem to love it in one particular city in Ghana.

Really?

Yeah, I get a lot of plays so I had to research the name of the city. They’ve been spinning it a lot over there.

Have you made any connections over there from this?

Not through that, that could have been just anyone there just going out and showing their friends and they’re showing other people but when you check your stats it’s quite incredible to see how you’re getting played everywhere. 

In terms of festivals and events like that, what have you got coming up?

Witcombe Festival in Gloucester, possibly Glastonbury but I’m not too sure yet but hopefully that one goes through. 

Glastonbury 2019 was the best festival I’ve been to. I did quite a few festivals that year, NASS, Boomtown and Love Saves The Day I touched on as well. That was a good year for me and definitely broadened my audience with more people taking me in and listening. 

It’s funny because at Glastonbury I was only booked to perform but then one of the MC’s who was supposed to come and host a DJ battle with two crews didn’t turn up so unexpectedly I had to step in. That was a highlight as well because there were loads of people in the crowd.I had to take control of a scenario with both DJ’s getting vexed and hotheaded. So I had to calm it down but that was a good experience as well.

In terms of working with other artists in Bristol, how has that been?

I was on the Bristol City Remix with Jay0117, I’ve worked with a lot of people like Ellis, Wish, Kilaze and Pun. I just spoke to King Aggi the other day and we’re going to get some work done. A lot of artists and apologies if I’ve missed anyone out.

You’ve got a few singles coming out, is this working up towards an album?

I’m working up towards an EP, not an album at the moment. One will definitely be coming but I would rather build up more of a following. With my releases I haven’t been as consistent as I would like to be so now I’m in that space where I would like to be doing that.

Image: Lucky House Management

So in terms of influences, what were they and what brought you to the mic?

I would say my dad who used to be a sound man in Gloucester. Music just runs through his blood. He was the guy that had all the rhythms before anyone. I’m talking about the Jamaican stuff, your lovers rock and your Dennis Browns. I think that’s literally in the blood and where I picked up this music. I started writing lyrics when I was about ten. But my Dad is like HMV, he listens to everything so I would listen to a wide selection of music growing up which influenced me. 

Would you put stuff like lovers rock into your music?

I don’t know but it’s possible because I don’t think there’s a beat I couldn’t do something to. I just want my music to be easy listening for one because my music was always known to be fast-paced but that’s not easily digestible. It sounds great at the time but when you’re sitting down chilling in your yard you might not want to hear that so I want to make easy listening stuff.

And finally where do you see yourself going?  

All I know is that I’m not going to stop. My output with my work will get me what I’m supposed to get. I can’t predict the future but I know how hard I’m going to work. 

Catch Dash Villz at Witcombe Festival

Bussa Bottle is now out on all streaming platforms.