After a sift through your soundcloud it is clear that you are a man who isn’t in any way done, so thanks for taking some time out to get grilled by the goats inside the shed.
A: All good, all good. Big up for taking the time to interview and write these questions for me.
We know that you are Bournemouth based so could you tell us a bit about what the city has to offer in terms of venues, events and musical platforms and maybe how you slot into all that?
A: In terms of venues for underground music, you have Bomo Bunker & Eden for smaller capacity events, the Old Fire Station and I guess Halo if that’s the vibe you’re going for) for larger cap events (1000+). I started DJing at Bunker & Eden which helped me grow as an artist, branch out to people in and around Bournemouth and allowed me to network, not just online. I don’t get too many bookings now but I’m continuing to produce. There’s not a lot of labels in Bournemouth suited to the stuff I do, so I have to branch out elsewhere.
Do you have any other cities of choice when it comes to playing out and making connections?
A: Yeah definitely. London, Brighton & Bristol are the main ones for radio shows and DJ sets at clubs but there’s also places like Walsall, Nottingham & Southampton for the label side of things. I travel to London for Subtle FM (big up them guys) or Reprezent FM. Trickstar FM is also in Brighton and we guest there sometimes. Gotta show the love for Goat Shed obviously. You’ve been supporting for a while now!
Stripping it back to the basics, can we ask who or what your initial inspirations were? Would you say there is a particular moment which marks your entrance into the UK bass scene?
A: I wouldn’t say so personally. I was just making tunes for fun for a while with whatever I was listening to at the time. I was making bassline, garage, jungle, grime, a bit of everything really and then I sent some 130ish stuff to Project Allout Records, Southpoint & a couple other labels. Nothing happened for a while but eventually the tunes were semi-good (when I look back and listen now, I’m not too happy with them). I progressed from there really. In terms of inspirations: people like Dizzee Rascal, Skream, Shiverz, J Dilla, Funtcase – a mad variety of stuff really, mostly Neffa-T though. He’s such a g at what he does, he played at the first grime event I went to in 2014 with Flava-D and it still baffles me what he does on the decks today. Mad respect & love to him.
Ok so, as a grime producer, what are your thoughts on the genre recently taking a more mainstream stance in the wider music industry? And, dare we ask, Wiley or Stormzy?
A: I don’t massively see the problem with it. Most genres progress over time and most artists want to make revenue for themselves so getting it on a mainstream platform only means good for the money side of things. It happened in the early 2010’s with grime artists making pop songs, only now you can still have that raw and ‘original’ element of grime for what it was back in the day and consumers will stream/download it. You’re always going to get the underground heads producing, MCing, doing radio sets and putting on events alongside it, which is obviously healthy for a scene. As for the clash, there’s been a lot of input back and forth with other MC’s too like Cadell & Dot Rotten, but I’d probably go with Wiley’s. I like Stormzy’s but Wiley is just the OG overall.
Grime is clearly the focal point of your productions, but tracks such as ‘Space’, ‘Orca Style’ and ‘Light it up’ certainly emanate that deep, dark and dangerous dubstep vibe. Which of these is the future direction for Dunman? Or are you just exploring new territories?
A: I’m just making what I feel at the time. If I’m listening to a lot of dubstep, I might make 5 dubstep tracks that month & then listen to drill, make a couple drill tracks, garage, grime etc. I’m always exploring different ideas and I wouldn’t say I’m tied to one genre, but definitely between the 130-160bpm mark. There are a few grime, R&G and other bits coming out in the next few months on my Bandcamp which sticks to the sound I was making between 2017-2019. I’m always looking for progression in my sound though, always room for improvement.
You have gained support from the likes of LUCY and Dobby, two females at the forefront of the UK bass scene but some would argue that the scene is still predominantly male dominated. Do you think this still stands or do contemporary movements such as their 6 figure gang prove otherwise?
A: I mean there are still a lot of males within the scene, but there are so many female artists killing it right now doing their own thing and making a big impact, whether DJing or producing. Obviously you’ve got L U C Y, Sherelle, Fauzia, Dobby, Jossy Mitstu, Yazzus but also artists like Kira, DJ Ama, Buer, Barely Legal, Tino, Wine N Grime Collective, Ila Brugal, Naina, BethBethBeth, Sian Anderson, A.G, J Oh Zee, EVE, Minty Belle & hella more… List is endless. Keep doing your thing gals!
You have recently been involved with Southpoint Music, one of the UK’s leading grime and bass movements. How did this come about and how would you describe your experience working alongside such a prestigious label? How does it compare with smaller labels and previous self promotion?
A: I was sending stuff to artists here and there seeing if they could play it on the radio or in a mix and if it did I’d get super gassed! I never really put out any self releases, only free downloads and that’s proper easy to do. I had releases on other labels (Chameleon Audio, Siege Collective, Boxed) who were super easy to work with. I’d send a track and if they liked it, it went on a compilation or an EP. I sent stuff to KXVU and in the end he asked if I wanted to release something on the Southpoint Introducing page. I did a few tracks, then he asked if I wanted to be on the December compilation and I put a track forward. It was a big step as it was a label I looked up to and they were consistently putting out good releases so it was sick to also be on that platform – big up Jay & Josh on that!
What do you have envisaged for Dunman 2020? Have you any potential collaborations lined up that we should look out for?
A: So, 15th February I had my first self release over on Bandcamp called ‘Dunman 001’. It’s a bunch of previous re-fixes, edits & originals I produced from 2017-2019 that I never did anything with, so thought I’d do an EP. It’s 14 tracks. I also have an EP coming out on Influx Audio soon, one on Simply Deep towards the end of this year (I think) & a few other bits and pieces with artists that I can’t say too much about as yet, but yeah, a lot of stuff in the works! I’m working with a few vocalists now as well which I never really explored so that’s sick too. Big up Reeko, Grizz, Cappa, KY, JoSo & more.
Is there anything else you want to achieve this year outside of your musical abilities?
A: I started uni last September so obviously I’m wanting to achieve well in that so I’m trying to keep my head down. I wanna move out this year as well to get more space and try to be more creative so moving out will be a big achievement for me lol. I wanna try to pursue other musical areas as well with ESC_, the label I run with DV-US & Vexxy. Going to try to be more active within the collectives as well – Shade Militia & Soul Minimal Crew.
The likes of Big Zu, DJ Martha and Mala have recently highlighted the importance of fitness within the music culture’s creative aspect. Is this something that you practice and do you do any sports or fitness regimes which help maintain your musical focus?
A: I can’t lie, I do absolutely no exercise at the moment. I used to play football & do some running here and there. I either work a job, go to university, make music, DJ or eat. I’m planning to be more active though, easier said than done. I understand it’s key though, to a healthy brain and body, so I’m definitely changing up at some point.
On the contrary, we all have our vices. Do you have any distractions or guilty pleasures which contradict this musical focus? Be honest.
A: Lol. Guilty pleasures. Not really tbf. I play PS4 a fair bit when i’m chillin out and trying not to do too much, I say ‘chill out’ but it actually pisses me off more when I play it. Shoutout Yung Chro, PUBG Gang tho. S/O Donny Duns FC as well. Fifa 20 glo up season.
Ok, to take things off piste a little bit… Let’s say you were staying in tonight cooking up your best dish and rinsing your favourite album.
A: Best dish is plain and simple – Cajun spiced chicken breast with grilled halloumi & rice with some Tangfastics after. Simple but it tastes too damn good. Is it bad that I don’t really listen to albums? The last one I listened to was – Tyler The Creator – IGOR. So yeah, that one.
You have the power to create a button which can do literally ANYTHING. What does it do?
A: It would have to be something to do with money right? Click a button = Infinite Money, I know my choice. Nah but from another point of view, probably a button that could cure a serious disease or a button that could save world domination in the end, with global warming and all the rest going on at the moment. I tend not to see the news though, so I can’t comment too much on that. So I’ll go with the original statement, infinite money. OHHHH or a button that gives you a lifetime supply of Flamin Hot Cheetos, they BANG!
Strangest dream you have ever had?
A: I literally have not remembered a dream for at least 4-5 years. I just wake up in the morning like ‘wat?’ If I do somewhat remember the dream when I wake up, by the time I’ve had breakfast I’ve forgotten it anyway. It’s properly strange but at the same time at least I don’t get nightmares. Maybe I should see someone about that?
Most overused phrase, if you have one?
A: ‘Safe, My Bro, ALRIGHTTT, Nice One’ – They’re quite generic but when you go back and see your conversations, fuck me do you end up saying the same stuff over and over. I need a new vocabulary.
And finally, as summer is on the distant horizon and to round off the grilling…
Do you have any festivals planned for this year and are there any lineups we can expect to see you gracing?
A: Currently I have zero festivals lined up, but we’re still early in the year. I wanna try and do Boomtown with the ESC_ lot if we can sign up in time (we’ll wait and see). I wanna go to a couple festivals as a punter as I haven’t done too many the past couple years, but yeah fingers crossed I can maybe pull some strings for some stuff, we’ll have to wait and see. (Promoters, if you see this, book me!)
Check out our interview with Uprise Audio honcho Eddy Seven HERE