Twenty-year old DJ/producer Neus has been quietly making moves and plotting to takeover the local Grand Rapids music scene. What started less than two years ago has quickly transpired into a project that’s led to performances at Billy’s iconic BassBin showcase and the production of some of the best bass music West Michigan has to offer.
Neus will be kicking things off on Friday, May 5th, alongside locals Biff Tannen and DJ Uno, when Defunk makes his Grand Rapids debut at The Stache! We decided to sit down with Josh to talk about how he got started producing, his inspirations and what to expect from the producer come Friday night.
For those out there who are not familiar with the style of music you produce, how would you describe it to them?
It’s very broad; my whole experience with electronic dance music has never been secluded to one genre. I’ve always loved everything, whether it’s house, dubstep or trap, I find myself connecting to all genres of electronic music. You have artists like Mija, who has her curated event ‘FK A Genre’ and I kinda go along with that same philosophy, but I relate better to dubstep than I do other genres. When it really comes down to it, I love everything in electronic music.
When in life did you realize producing music was something you wanted to do?
My whole life I have been really involved with music; I was three years old when I got my first drum set. I pursued drumming all the way until the beginning of high school and then I actually dropped out. Drumming was kinda forced upon me growing up, so I felt like I had lost the fun in drumming.
Then in 2015, I went to Lollapalooza and the first show was Peking Duk and I had the most fun I had ever had in my entire life. After them, I saw What So Not and seeing him onstage, he didn’t look stressed out or worried about anything. He just had so much fun and I literally just stopped moving and I was like, ‘this is exactly what I wanna do with the rest of my life’. So literally that Monday I got back, I went to Guitar Center and spent all my savings on music equipment. Lollapalooza was really where it all started for me; the whole experience of the crowd moving in one giant motion was really inspirational.
Monetary value aside, what do you consider to be your most valuable possession.
Honestly, what I consider to be most valuable to me is my faith. I’m a Christian; I love God with my entire heart, but going into the EDM scene is different. Most people don’t expect a Christian to be DJing and partying at shows, but I love it. For me, I love when people come up to me and notice me wearing my cross necklace. They might ask me about it or even ask me if I wanna do this or do that and I’m always just like, ‘nah, I’m good’, because I can have fun and a great time just being myself.
What can you tell us so far about the next project you are working on?
My next project is changing up my whole production style; it’s a chill, future bass song. It has a lot more emotion into it and it’s very laid back, but I think it has a lot of potential once it’s released. I think it’s something a lot of people could connect with and vibe to and that’s the biggest part of music, being able to connect with what you’re listening to. So yeah, my newest song is gonna be a future bass song with a whole lot of wubs!
Is there a specific area in your production you’ve been working on improving?
Sound design has been my biggest focus because that’s what really makes you stand out as a next level producer. I’ve talked to artists like Rettchit, who’s signed with Firepower Records, and asked, ‘what makes your sound so powerful?’ What it really comes down to, is whether the noises you’re creating sound real or not. Does it sound electronic? Or does it sound real, like somewhere, someone could be making that sound?
That’s where sound design has been a struggle for me because my sounds haven’t always been at that level. As of recently though, I’ve been developing my sound design to the point where it sounds more real and pleasurable to the ear.
Watch below as Neus drops a dirty dubstep track at The Un-birthday Party in Muskegon.
Last question, what are you looking forward to most about your show with Defunk?
I’m super excited to see Defunk perform. His style of music is unique in the fact that it’s funky, but he also knows how to bring the heat and throw down. I’ve been trying to find this happy medium to where I can play something chill, but then play something a little more exciting, build on top of that to really get the crowd going and then bring it back down to set the mood. The whole show is gonna be a challenge for what I do with music and that’s what really excites me. Through challenges comes new learnings and understandings.
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To read our full interview with Neus, click here.
Lift Spirits, Drop Bass.