South London based producer and DJ Skepsis is no stranger to any fan of the UK bass sound. Coming to public attention with a series of heavyweight originals and remixes, his gritty basslines and intricate rhythms have gained him support from both fans and acclaimed artists alike all over the world. Fast forward to the current day, and the 21-year-old Londoner’s meteoric rise shows no sign of slowing. We chatted to Skepsis ahead of his huge hometown performance at SW4.
Skepsis plays B2B Darkzy at South West Four festival on Sunday 26th August which is now sold out. The last remaining Saturday tickets are available here: https://www.southwestfour.com/
You’ve been busy this summer with multiple festivals and even touring in Napa. What has been your best show and highlight of the summer so far?
This summer has been my busiest by far, been pretty much travelling non stop for the past couple of months. Would be hard to single out a highlight, especially with international shows like Napa and Ibiza, but Boomtown last week was pretty special. Performing to 30,000 people on the Sector 6 stage was a surreal experience, and I feel very blessed to be able to do these things. Parklife in Manchester was insane too, crowd had mad energy – a couple other that come to mind recently are Hideout in Croatia and Amnesia Ibiza.
How would you describe your sound to people?
Bassy, gritty and hard hitting. To be honest I’m still not keen to call it bassline – I just make what I feel and don’t like being pigeonholed. The majority of my tunes are produced with maximum club impact in mind, and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of a new one getting a good reaction in a live setting. My sound is still evolving to this day as I change and learn more about production – it’s one of the most complex yet rewarding things I’ve ever come across.
The first tune of yours I ever heard was “Most High” ft. Bru-C – if you had to pick one of your songs to show to someone who had never listened to you before, what would it be and why?
Ahhh that was the first tune I ever did with Bru! If I had to pick one, I might choose Lock Off, my collab with Fineart off my latest EP. It’s a personal favourite of mine – either that or maybe Take It Slow, which is a bit easier on the ear if you’re trying to introduce someone to the sound.
When did you first take music seriously and think you could make a career in the industry?
I’ve been Djing and producing since I was 15, so for almost 8 years now. Some people tell me I’m young for what I’m doing, but trust me it hasn’t been an overnight thing! It was always my hobby and my passion in school (which is where I first learnt both), and before I found my feet with this sound I used to make all sorts. Grime, dubstep, drum and bass, even rap instrumentals! When I went to uni I started making 4×4 stuff and uploading it to Soundcloud, which is when things started to pick up a bit. Balancing my degree and music got harder as things got more serious at both ends, but after I graduated I decided it was the right time to try and take music full time – and luckily so far it’s been going okay!
UK Bassline is now a well established genre and seems to be growing year on year. Where do you see the genre going in the future?
Since getting involved in the scene in late 2014, it’s been pretty mad to see the direction it has gone and level it has grown to – I wouldn’t say I ever expected it, I just started off making tunes and the scene happened to grow at the same time I did. Obviously with the growth comes a certain level of commercialisation, and I think there could potentially be a big crossover chart hit, like with T2 – Heartbroken the first time round. With the current rate of year-on-year growth though, it’s hard to really say where it will go in the future, because currently there’s no stopping the sound.
You seem to have gone from strength to strength in the industry and are now involved in ‘Krudd’ which has been a big success. How did Krudd come about and what’s it like being involved in that with all the other artists?
Krudd is run by Bru-C; he used to run events under a different name with someone else, then broke off and started Krudd independently. In the short time since then they’ve gone from strength to strength in both music and clothing, putting out some really high quality pieces at both ends. The events are always a sick vibe as well… Nottingham ravers never let me down! As for the other artists, it’s pretty much all good vibes with everyone, like a community. We recently did a Krudd football match (below) which was hilarious but also a great experience.
‘Krudd’ recently released some fantastic home and away football shirts – have you always had an aspiration to release some of your own clothes and dip into fashion?
Those shirts are wicked! For me I’ve always really been into men’s fashion, in particular streetwear and trainers. It’s my vice and I spend way too much on it! I’ve got a small range of merchandise online (djskepsis.bigcartel.com) with hats, tees etc, but I’ve never really considered venturing any further into that field as I’m very busy at the moment. Can barely handle one job let alone two! Maybe in future I’d love to get more involved in fashion in general – Nike if you’re reading this my DMs are open.
I noticed in many of your photos you like to wear some cool football shirts – have you always been into football shirts and which is your favourite to wear?
There’s always been something about jerseys I love… my team is Crystal Palace being from South London, but if I like one I’ll cop it! Some of my personal favourites I own are a pink Juventus one (become quite infamous), PSG from a couple years ago, the recent England training kit (which I actually preferred to the match kit), and the Bayern Munich training kit. There’s loads of cool retro sites online for that kind of thing.
In your eyes, what makes the perfect crowd?
ENERGY. There’s nothing worse from a DJ perspective than pulling off a mad mix or dropping a banger, then looking up and seeing minimal movement or reaction from the crowd. Obviously there are many factors that cause this – set time, venue, event etc, but when you get a crowd which is bouncing and on point the feeling is just electric. It really does make a difference – so ravers if you’re reading this, get active! Obviously the majority of crowds are amazing, and it’s a blessing in general to perform to anyone really. I started off playing to 20 people on a Monday night warm up at university, so I’m grateful for every opportunity I get.
Finally, how much are you looking forward to performing at a sold out SW4 for their 15th anniversary?
I can’t wait for SW4 – the line up is unreal, and I’m excited seeing it sell out in advance. Being in my home town adds that special edge to it as well, along with the fact it’s with my brothers Darkzy and Bru-C. I love our back to back sets – I feel like the chemistry is top notch on stage and really reflects into the atmosphere of the set. Of course I’ll be going down early to check out the festival, and my Mum and Dad are also coming which should be funny! See you at the front.