2019 was a very exciting year for the Brighton / Worthing based Tengu, a producer whose sound has been present for a substantial period of tome within the UK Bass scene. As an entity he has become known as somewhat of a tastemaker, constantly bringing new and exciting artists through to the forefront of bass music whilst also putting some incredibly hard hitting compositions of his own.
2019 saw Tengu become one of the driving forces behind the YosH imprint, becoming a part of the staff in an A&R capacity, which again has given him the opportunity to both his own productions and the producers he has rated through top quality release drops throughout the course of the year.
Today however, we’ve managed to pull him to the side for an exclusive interview, following an explosive start to the year. For those who follow him on Instagram, this will be quite apparent as we have been seeing a major influx of activity from him in the form of a new release every single day. Now, these are by no means random singles, no, they are in fact the individual singles that make up Tengu’s highly anticipated debut album ‘Coming In Tough”, a phrase kindly coined by our very own Duke Sky during a collaboration we heard from the pair a few years back.
There has been some scorchers floating around so far, and we can’t wait to see what is still to come. We have attached the full playlist below which is seemingly being updated daily with each new upload. You can also find KXVU’s exclusive interview with him transcripted below:
First of all how was your 2019 music wise?
Yo! My 2019 was incredible Thankyou, I hit some crazy milestones such as playing my first big stage at nass festival to 5000 people! Played aboard in Amsterdam and other places!
Actual release wise it was probably the slowest year for my music as 2019 was the year of “quality control” for me! I released little but I feel the tunes were up to my best standard and quite groundbreaking!
What was your favourite release?
My favourite release would either have to be Valhalla with Duke Sky or Lost In Love! Both these tunes took a long time of fine tweaking before the releases. They also shocked people when I played them out (in a good way!)
So this album, it’s kicked up quite a buzz, did you expect it to be so impactful?
Yes it really has, honestly I’m quite over whelmed! I didn’t expect it to be so impactful, how ever I did expect it to be spoken about and in people’s faces with the whole “20 tunes in 20 days” plan. I’m constantly being seen by everyone!
The tunes that have come out so far have gained myself quite a lot of new followers from all sorts of musical and fan based backgrounds, it’s been amazing I’m so glad it’s coming out!
How long has it been In the works?
Since April 2018 and it was finalised in the 2nd week of December 2019! So a long time haha. There was actually 10-15 tunes that didn’t make it on this project so it’s been a real graft!
What made you decide on the track a day theme?
Myself and Gavin from Foor we’re talking about how we could hit people right in the kisser with a unique marketing plan. He suggested we used the “new decade” as the theme. 20 tunes for 2020 sounded cool, but if you really think about it 20 tunes in a year is doable for anyone! But 20 tunes in 20 days? now that’s a different story!
So far it has done really well, people are even tweeting that they only know what day of the year it is because of what number tune I am releasing haha!
There’s quite a host of guests, do you enjoy collaborating?
I love collaborating so much, it actually really inspires me into making solo stuff. I would say for every collaboration I will end up making 3 solo tunes. Which, potentially could become another collaboration!
Is this your proudest body of work?
This is definitely my proudest body of work, I’ve done this all on my own (obviously some guidance and some networking from the Foor and Yosh team and the contributions from the collaborators) but I decided on the style of music I wanted to go for, it’s all bass music but I had so much creative freedom that the ideas just flew out! I’ve also been able to work with some childhood hero’s and people I’ve looked up to for a while on this album!
What’s next for 2020?
A tour. I am currently sorting one out. I have a few shows sorted, but we need some more!
Also new music, new press shots new everything! I would also love to go on tour WITH a bigger name and be their main support. As much as my own tour is going to be sick, being the support for another is exciting!
1 producer you think is about to pop?
Kirbs. I’ve heard his bass stuff, house stuff and dnb stuff and it is all incredible. I can’t wait for him to get the recognition he deserves!
Any other shouts?
I want to shout out the Yosh Team and Foor for helping out this album together and the guidance they have given me.
Kissy Sell Out for being brutally honest and helping me craft my sound with his incredible knowledge!
I also want to shout out: Foundry, Isenberg, Greed, Mofaux, MC Jakes, Kirbs, RightMind, Griz-O, Dread MC, WayV D, Maddy V, Duckworthsound, Ruby Creed, Josh Brown, Pavv, TZ, PVC and Burt Cope for being all involved with the album!
As a year, we feel 2020 was great for dance music in so many aspects. For one, it was a year of fusion, of coming together as we saw producers from the full spectrum of dance music both join forces with each other and set sail to explore before undiscovered landscapes of sound. The hybridization of 140BPM based music and the splitting of UK bass between niche and tech forming two perfect examples of our point.
Straight from the off it seems that 2020 is going to be a serious stand out year for the 140BPM community, primarily those involved with the re-emerging deep dubstep scene, which has seen a colossal resurgence throughout the last 18 months to begin with. We are seeing more and more producers flexing their dungeon-style muscles as every week we are gifted a sack full of incredibly potent new steppers gems.
As we have said multiple times this year already, we feel 2020 is going to be an incredibly versatile year for underground dance music. We feel that this will be a year of genre expansion, fusing and experimentation. A year in which we will see trends shift dramatically and new genres become born out other genres splitting in two. For this reason, we couldn’t be more excited to see whats on the way.