Euphonique celebrates 10 years of Subwoofah Records
It starts with the beautiful M4DZ collaboration – Gazing
Fresh from tearing up the legendary Arcadia spider last month at Glastonbury, Euphonique delivers a massive new record with brand new songwriter talent M4DZ – Gazing.
Released exactly 10 years since Euphonique launched her Subwoofah label, Gazing goes a little like this…
With plenty more Subwoofah gas in the tank throughout 2023 and beyond, Euphonique has big plans for the freshly relaunched label. Having been responsible for early breakthrough cuts from the likes of Sl8r, Epicentre and Motiv, Subwoofah will continue to bring through exciting new talent and feature many old friends over the coming months.
You can catch some of the forthcoming fire in this exclusive Subwoofah past, present and future mix that Euphonique has mixed up especially for 1 More Thing with M4DZ on vocals. Enjoy it and read on as we join them to find out more about Gazing and beyond.
Exactly 10 years! June 2013 was the very first Subwoofah release…
Euphonique: Yeah that’s right. It goes back further; in June 2011 we launched the Subwoofah events, then two years later we launched Subwoofah Records. Plus it’s the 30th release on the label which is really cool. But yeah, I took a bit of time out to focus on Euphonique stuff. But behind the scenes I’ve been working with a lot of new artists and a lot of amazing new talent like M4DZ and it felt like right time for a relaunch and use the Subwoofah platform again.
So much has happened for you as an artist in the time that’s passed since the last Subwoofah releases.
Euphonique: It’s been crazy, a lot has happened. I was thinking about this when I did the promo list for this release. I know a lot of people on that list now. Years ago I’d be begging for emails. Now they know me and my music. The response on this has been great so far.
This is your drum & bass debut isn’t it M4DZ?
M4DZ: Yes! I’m very new to drum & bass. I only discovered it a few years ago. I started doing acoustic and songwriting stuff, and I still do that, but I’m finding myself more and more inspired by the drum & bass and jungle stuff. It’s very fun and exciting.
That’s quite a pivot. What was the flip?
M4DZ: I can tell you the specific moment. It was raining, it was dark and cold. Just a really miserable winter day. I was drowning in assignments and I was in an awful mood. I was listening to Spotify Discovery and these two tunes came on and they genuinely changed my whole brain chemistry. They’re why I’m sat here now… Nicotine by Goddard and Never Too Old by Emily Makis & Monrroe. Ever since I heard them I haven’t been able to shake the feeling. There’s nothing like it is there?
Too right! Big up the algorithms! So when did Euphonique come on to your radar after that?
M4DZ: She was my tutor in college. She sent out a folder to us all and said, ‘Hey here are some tunes of mine, see if you feel a vibe and want to do anything with them.’ I listened to one and was like, ‘God, I have to try this!’ A melody came into my head, I recorded it, sent it over and Nikki was like, ‘Wow!’ That’s pretty much how Gazing was born.
That’s really cool. Nikki, did you do that as teacher on the regs?
Euphonique: That particular class had loads of talented singers and a few of them were into the electronic vibe so I thought I’d challenge them and see what they might come up with on something new. M4DZ’s drive is incredible. To have someone write a tune, record it and send it to me within a really short space of time demonstrates her drive and thirst to be in the music industry. It helps you recognize who does have that drive and professionalism. The original idea has changed a lot and it’s down to M4DZ wanting to perfect it as much as possible. That progression has been amazing to see. And there’s a lot more coming from M4DZ with other producers, too.
Was Gazing the catalyst for the relaunch?
Euphonique: Yeah I think so. Representing the underdog has been our motto – that means bringing new artists through, guys like Epicentre, Sl8r and Motiv back in the day and now amazing artists like M4DZ.
M4DZ: I’m really excited to be the first artist on the relaunch, it’s an amazing label and I love the concept. Not going to lie, I really love the dog theme too. Dogs are my favourite animals! But yeah it’s all really inspiring and I’m excited to see where this takes me.
What’s up after Gazing?
Euphonique: Next on the label we’ve got some new artists. I’ve signed called Contra:Flow – I’ve been mentoring him a little and he’s such a sick producer. He’s been on Liondub and a few other labels. He’s done a wicked track with M4DZ which is still in progress. I’ve also signed an artist called Phaase who is a wicked jungle / jump-up drum & bass artist who’s wicked and got some amazing sound design. In general I’m A&Ring a lot right now now and in the process of signing a few other artists so expect a lot of new talent and plenty of crossover with established artists working with the new ones and vice versa. We’ve got some big remixes in the works too, with a lot of respected names across the board involved. It’s keeping me busy!
I love it when generations work together. It’s how we move forward.
Euphonique: You’ve got to move with the times and part of that is bringing people through. The legends brought me through and gave me opportunities. Kenny Ken, Ragga Twins, Ray Keith, DJ Hybrid. Now I want to pay that back and give people the same opportunities and allow them to tap into the existing following. We should always be welcoming the next generation.
Definitely! What’s happening next for you M4DZ?
M4DZ: I’m working with a few other artists and seeing what happens. I want to focus on my songwriting and establish myself as a writer who can write for other people and help people make banging tracks as well as write my own.
Bringing the skills from another musical world! What were your highlights during your explorations in the acoustic world?
M4DZ: I’d say that’s where my songwriting abilities came together. I’d practice so much! I used to put four chords together and write a whole bunch of songs over the same arrangement. Just to test or push myself and explore my lyricism. From that I turned a few of those into D&B tunes since.
Another highlight from back then would be my first few paid gigs and how I was able to find my sound vocally. In acoustic music there’s so much space to explore your vocal range and tone. That really helped me find my vocal sound and realise the tones I like using. All of this I can translate into drum & bass and hopefully be able to bring a different twist.
Drum & bass is definitely enjoying a boost from many talented songwriters!
M4DZ: Absolutely. I’m loving artists like A Little Sound, Emily Makis and Charlotte Haining. They’re all smashing it and are amazing at using harmony and dynamics that you might usually find on pop in drum & bass tracks. They do something instruments can’t bring and I feel it brings a unique texture to drum & bass which has brought a fresh energy.
Totally! So tell us about Gazing and how it came about…
M4DZ: I jumped in the studio, popped it into Logic and just let my creativity flow. The feeling I got when writing Gazing was just a rush of energy similar to that nostalgic feeling of being out at 3am and the mischievous feeling, maybe that one night romance that you might get meeting someone in a rave, and just living in the moment. The last part of the songwriting process was the best part for me as I found it really fun to be able to sit down with Euphonique and be able to go through the lyrics and tweak certain melodies to fit the overall aesthetic with the track and definitely helped me gain a lot more confidence when it came to suggesting changes and working together in tweaking parts of the instrumental to compliment my lyric structure.
What’s your writing process like usually?
M4DZ: To begin writing I usually sit down and listen to the track about three times just to get my brain familiar with the vibes that I feel from the track. Then I usually whack it into Logic and start freestyling and humming some melodies or phrases that I like. After this is when I start writing what comes to me and seeing what phrases and words I can link together and what story I can create. Although this is my usual process it also depends on if I’ve been given a brief or not too – which can change the process, but it’s still about getting into the vibe of the music.
That’s awesome. I’m inspired by how you’ve embraced D&B since it came crashing in your life. What’s your advice to any other aspiring songwriters or singers who want to explore more with drum and bass but don’t know where to start?
M4DZ: I would say my one and only rule is to have fun with it and try not to overthink it. Remember the only way to improve is to step out of your comfort zone. It’s all about finding the little pockets of gold in heaps of bad material and sticking at it. Collaborating with as many different producers as you can really helps too, as D&B is such a versatile genre and everyone structures it slightly differently means each song can be built using completely different building blocks and sounds – so it allows you to be versatile as a vocalist, too. Most importantly enjoy every moment along the way when finding your sound.
Wise words! Euphonique, anything else to add?
Euphonique: Yes! We’ve got an event on July 28 in The Attic, Bristol. It’s a launch party for Subwoofah and the next release. We’ll be linking with legendary Bristol label Ruffneck Ting and on the line-up we’ve got K Jah, Jinx, myself, Dazee, Jenny Friday, Gold Dubs plus the legendary DJ SS as headliner. Come along if you can!