Drippy by name, dripping by nature… Drippyboiii have done absolute bits for the drum & bass scene since launching in 2020 and achieved a huge amount in a very short space of time.
Like so many other platforms and brands that established around the time, Drippyboiii thrived off the benefit of downtime that lockdown provided many people. Already rooted as an event company, lockdown flipped the Drippy vision into more of a platform focus. A community minded place for mixes, free downloads and – within a matter of months – fully paid releases, too.
With eyes and ears fine-tuned to the new league of artists – and a specific penchant for the sleek, slimy and stripped back underground side of D&B – over the last two years they’ve been focussing on helping the new generation of bright sonic sparks supporting the likes of Joely, Hickupz, Neman, DJ Komatose, Axis, Caramel, Tomix and many others.
This week sees them celebrate their last two years of achievements with the first of two big EP releases – Joely’s Sectioned EP lands on Saturday November 12 and will be followed by an equally massive release from Alex SLK featuring Teej and Screamarts. To mark the occasion Drippyboiii resident MIINDA has put together this crucial 30 minute showcase mix of established Drippy damagers and exclusive Drippy dubs. Check it out while you read the Drippyboiii story as catch up with the brand founder Luke Davies…
Dripping for two years now. This began as a lockdown thing didn’t it?
That’s right. We set up the Drippyboiii events prior to lockdown and had done two in Lincoln by that point, we were on a good run, but everything changed very quickly, as we all know. I’d been an events promoter for 10 years and had always wanted to run a label but juggling work and everything else alongside it is a difficult task. So that period gave me time to put everything into place and put something I’d wanted to do for years actually into action.
It gave you time to pause for a second!
Yeah I was on furlough for most of the lockdown and indoors. A lot of producers were also at home making a lot of extra music. It was a great time in that respect. Time to think about the details, the artwork, and the business side, things like contracts, building relationships with artists. I never wanted to just bang out music from random artists, I’m much more interested in forming friendships and building a community. Also, I have to shout Jack Brewin. He was my business partner at the time and was right up until December 2021. He played a very special role in all of this and was a huge driver in making things professional from the very beginning and getting the right contracts and things like that, which gave me time to really work on the A&R side of things.
I was going to ask you about A&R and new talent. You’ve nurtured a lot of new generation artists on the label. Artists like Hickupz, Joely, Neman…
Yeah I really invest in every release. Whether it’s free download or a paid release, we treat it the same – I get them all mastered by Dapz, we provide feedback to younger or newer producers, give them knowledge they need to develop. That’s a big thing for me. It’s a real buzz and my favourite aspect of all of this. I used to DJ years ago but now helping people and giving them their opportunities is the most fulfilling thing and a priority for me.
Do you not DJ or produce yourself?
Back in the day I was all about DJing. Couldn’t get enough of it. I was part of a group of students in uni who formed the rave society and it took off. The university invested in it a lot and we were funded to put on events and that was the side I really got into and found a passion for. I played some great shows and got to play in venues like Stealth but the more hands-on aspects of bringing a party together is much more interesting to me.
Willing something into existence!
Yeah totally. And having a label and a platform to celebrate the music I love is a dream come true. I didn’t think it would even be possible when I first started out. A lot of tools and knowledge didn’t exist or wasn’t as easily accessible as it is now.
What other nights did you run?
I was part of Rave Trent which is now known as Trent Bass, then I had a night called Tektronik which was multi-genre, especially a lot of dubstep. We had a residency at Stealth. I’ve moved around a lot and done events in 10 different cities. Recently I’ve moved to Birmingham, which is one of my favourite cities up here. It’s got a huge wave of producers and artists. I’ve signed around 10 people around here. Lincoln will always have a special place in my heart though, that’s where all this began!
Now you’re celebrating your birthday…
Yeah we got two big EPs, the first launching on November 11 which is an EP from Joely. He’s a great friend and huge talent. He’s been one of the artists I’ve booked the most and we could have released a big EP together a long time ago but I wanted it to be a special release. He’s so talented I can overstate that. His EP is called Sectioned, it’s four tracks and we’re so proud of this release.
Sick! And the other EP?
Well that’s another dream artist to be honest; Alex SLK. I had him fly over and play for us in Manchester at an Off The Bloc x Drippyboiii night we did. We’d done a free download with him in the past but this is our first big release with him and it’s got collaborations with Screamarts and Teej. Musically it’s exactly where I really want the label to be and to have people like Screamarts featured on a release is more than I expected the label to be at in just two years.
The way I see it is if you’ve got a vision, then it’s only you who can hold yourself back. In your brain you’re already there, you’re just processing where you want to be. And you can’t be afraid of failure if you get it wrong a few times. With Alex, I asked him a few times and he wasn’t able to commit but I got to the label to a level where he wanted to release with us and he was up for it. That’s a real buzz.
What buzzes do you have planned in the future?
Not a huge amount to reveal right now. I’ve got some exciting producers sending me music. Induction has been exciting me, he’s been on 31 and he’s got some impressive music. Yatuza will hopefully release on the label next year. In terms of events I don’t want to give too much away but I’ve got some really exciting events lined up with some very respected acts across a few different cities. Exciting times.
Very exciting! We need to big up MIINDA for this Drippyboiii mix don’t we?
We do. Miinda is a close friend of ours from Birmingham and has been a feature on the label since its emergence, having performed on the streams we did during lockdown to launch EPs for both Sematic and Hickupz. He’s been on our mix series, too, and he’s someone who really gets and invests in our style. Technically he’s also a wicked, wicked DJ. We asked Miinda to do this mix because of all these things and the fact we believe in him a lot. Trust me, it’s only a matter of time before pushes himself much further in the scene!
Love that. That seems to sum up the Drippyboiii spirit. What does it represent to you?
Community is a huge factor for me. We all support and back each other and you don’t see that all the time in drum & bass. And I like to think we’re representing the darker, low end of the spectrum, too.
And a love for DJing! The Art Of Blending series you’ve had with your releases is in tune with the love for the craft
Actually that was a bit of a joke. I kept mentioning blends and a friend said to me, ‘What doesn’t blend? Everything is a blend.’ He described it in a very scientific way and that really resonated with me.
The fusion of life!
Yeah yeah that’s it. And actually I’ve got to say, Art Of Blending was going to be a free release but Madrush MC was a big influence on that. He said, ‘Do you think these releases are good enough to sell?’ I said ‘Yes or otherwise I wouldn’t have signed them.’ So he pushed me to go fully paid earlier than I thought I would. A lot of labels wait until they’re at 10,000 followers and put in a lot of hard work to get to that number with free downloads and things like that.
I do totally get and respect that concept but if it’s good enough quality then why not put value in that from the off? Taking that plunge was a big moment for us so big up Madrush, respect for that guidance. Because that quickly led to one of my proudest releases so far: the Rise Up compilation. That had 12 artists who had never done a fully distributed or paid release in their life but it went to number one across all genres in the Juno Download charts. I thought that was a good example of work we’re doing with releases… And a sign of things to come in the future. Big up to everyone we’ve worked with and everyone who’s supported us so far!