As the UK Bass scene continues to grow and new exciting artist continue to emerge weekly, there has been a rise in the number of Bass duos; MODA, S70 and todays featured artists, Altered Focus, to name a few, are all example of duos that are coming through the bass scene with unique sounds and styles, catching the attention of many.
The two producers behind Altered Focus are Gaz and Byron, two young men from the UK with a passion for UK dance music. With past experience each producing genres such as Bassline, Bass House and Drum & Bass, the two debuted under the Altered Focus alias in December of 2019.
Since their inception it’s been non-stop consistent releases, and the duo has skyrocketed to become one of the scene’s biggest names – a 2020 release, ‘Headrush’ on our very own 3000 Bass as well as features on 2 of CruCast’s 2020 compilations series, ‘Shake The Bass 4’ in August as well as ‘Bass Cracker 2’ at the end of the year.
The latest venture from Altered Focus was to expand their duo into a trio, enlisting the help of Damzy, a well-established producer and DJ in his own right. Damzy has also recently dropped a single on 3000 Bass, ‘Lost’ and continues to build momentum early in 2021 with this heavy collaboration.
The 3 producers combine their unique, big room bass styles to conjure up their latest offering, ‘Disaster’ which is out now exclusively on Beatport, before the singles full release on the 29th January.
Prior to the singles release, I caught up with the duo to talk about collaborating, producing in the current climate and hopes for the future!
Q) Hi guys! Thanks for coming to chat with us today, let’s get straight into it: who are Altered Focus and where do you guys come from?
A) Thank you for having us! It’s great to be here. So, Altered Focus. Well it’s us, Gaz and Byron. We are a reasonably new sort of UK Bass duo from the south of England. Making what we’d say is dance music, like bassline, drum and bass. Most people would say we are drum and bass artists but if you look at our Spotify or anything, that’s not really the case. We are both from a sort of EDM background, Avicii and Martin Garrix is what we loved growing up but found more underground music was what we were more exposed to when it came to going out. And I think it’s safe to say we fell in love with it.
Q) You both had experience producing before forming AF, what made you decide to link up and work together, rather than taking separate paths?
A) Well, speaking from my own experience I was really struggling being a solo artist as it is a very lonely career and I didn’t like doing all the train journeys and car rides with nobody there to speak to. Also I used to get writers block a lot. We met where we work in Bournemouth and off one conversation we knew that we wanted to at least collaborate on a song together and that was actually our first release with 3000 Bass ‘Headrush’ that didn’t start as an ‘Altered focus’ tune. It was just us sitting in a studio messing around with each other presets and sounds. Then it just sort of started from there where both realised we would make a killer team and now we are. A year later and we’re on over 100K streams!
Q) What is the dynamic like in the studio? How do you go about splitting the workload and are you able to bounce off each other’s ideas easily?
A) Well, sometimes it can be difficult as one person has an idea that they want and the other has a different one. The way we have sort of managed to divide that is if someone has an idea that we both like then whoever started the idea takes the creative lead with the other adding in elements that they both agree can boost the song. That rarely happens with us, can I add. Most of the time, we are sat in a studio together just literally messing around with no intentions of making anything, messing with synths and just see if we can knock up a 30 second clip and decide if we wanna carry on with it. If we do, then we go into more depth. Like our track ‘States of mind’ that was the product of getting Sophie Rudd round, a few beers and messing with a piano where she just wrote as she went. No planning, no direction, no inspiration and it has to be one of our best to date. We make music because we enjoy it, we can’t make anything if it’s being overthought.
Q) Have you ever had any disagreements of fallings out when it comes to making decisions for the group?
A) We’ve defo had disagreements as is expected with any duo that are chasing the dream but nothing that has ever led to a falling out. I’d like to think that wouldn’t happen because we both know what we are both pushing for, there isn’t anything that can’t be talked out between you. If it does ever accrue it isn’t anything to do with music, more any marketing or decisions to be made then we have made sure to surround ourselves with people that give us advice when needed.
Q) With things being the way they are in the world right now, how are you coping and has it made any differences to how you two both work?
A) I think we are coping okay, in the beginning it was tough to see all your shows and tours just get cancelled with something that is out of your control, it’s a tough tough pill to swallow but with that considered. There are many things that we have taken for granted. With all this extra time on our hands, we’ve been able to make more music than ever before , via zoom calls I may add, with us living in separate households that made it a lot trickier with us having to keep bouncing and sending projects constantly. Makes the process slower. But we’ve spent a lot of time with our families, which i can imagine we will be grateful for when we are going to be away a lot once restrictions are fully lifted.
Q) Your next single with Damzy drops later this month! How did you get into contact with Damzy about starting this track?
A) We’ve been a huge fan of his work for a long time. We got in contact as we all featured in a Crucast album together and just DM’d him through that. Well, funnily enough we are all in a group chat. Everyone in that album, speaking about all sorts. collabs, music, life etc. You should see some of the stuff that is said in there. So, we spoke to him about the idea of a collaboration because his sound design is unmatched and can’t be under appreciated. Then it was all in motion, I can’t remember who started the collab but it was so much fun doing it. Zoom quizzes, throwing ideas in and everything. He is a super talented and legit nice guy, I hope we get to collaborate more in future.
Q) As for the single itself, what can we expect to hear?
A) Well, it’s defo going to be a bit different than what we’ve released before, it is truly a collab of Altered Focus melody and lyrics with Damzy’s sound design and hard hitting energy. Expect to be bopping in your seats and wishing it was festival season. We love the track and had loads of positive feedback with some of the biggest DJs using it in their sets, we’ve seen footage of it being played in New Zealand right now that we can’t wait to show to everyone.
Q) Looking forward, what are some goals you have set yourself for the year?
A) We just want to be another step ahead in the music game and being happy. Hopefully we want to be touring and playing festivals but need to see the situation around the world before we get our hopes up. We should have something big to announce soon, keep your eyes peeled for that but for now that’s gotta be kept under wraps. I dunno, maybe a collaboration with Martin Garrix. That’s our goal for 2021.
Q) Thanks so much for chatting with me today, best of luck with the single and in the future – before you go have you got anything you’d like to plug or shoutout?
A) Just for everyone to stay safe and look after each other! We will see you all in the dance soon!
‘Altered Focus x Damzy – Disaster’ is out now exclusively to Beatport, full release 29th January.
Pre-save on Spotify and Pre-order on Juno Download here