Rosa Festival Interview 2024 Headliner 'DRZ'

Rosa Festival Interview 2024 Headliner 'DRZ'

7 March 2024

| The Rosa Team

A couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to sit down and have a chat with one of our headliner's for this year Matt aka 'DRZ', this is how it went down:

Rosa Audio: Alright, Matt, great to have you here. What have you been working on in music lately?

Matt (DRZ): Yeah, so music-wise, I've been quite busy over Christmas, spending a lot of time in the studio - especially after January, it's a quiet month show-wise for most people, so I've just been locking myself away. I've got a few releases planned already, which is exciting. My most recent single is actually out now on Nu:Form, which is a label that focuses on melodic vibes. Then in March, I've got two tunes - the only way to describe them is proper filthy, naughty, gritty ones coming out with Skank and Bass, which is quite cool. I've always wanted to work with them because they're a cool platform for up-and-coming artists I feel, so I was really happy to get some stuff out on there. I’ve been working on a couple of tunes with Sub Zero and Haribo that are coming out called "Abyss," and one called "Paradise”, we're just trying to decide where we want to put them at the moment but they’ve been going off when I've been testing them out which is sick. They’re definitely some of my favourite artists to work with; so that was a really exciting project to get involved with.

Rosa Audio: You're from Reading, aren't you? Are you still there now?

Matt (DRZ): Yeah, still there. Are you close by Reading?

Rosa Audio: Nah, I lived there for a year, so I know my Purple Turtle.

Matt (DRZ): Oh yeah, I've had a few DJ sets in there before - pretty much when I first started, that was one of the go-to spots for sets. You can't beat a nice skatty set in the dungeon over there.

Rosa Audio: Is that where you started out playing out live?

Matt (DRZ): No, so I actually started out in Brighton; I went to University in Sussex and did my undergrad and masters there, and I started out down there. There was this brand down there called 'The Alley' who were a student brand, and my mate ran the Drum and Bass society down there, which connected with The Alley who run this side room at a local club night called 'See You Next Tuesday' at The Arch. I've actually got a poster here from my first ever set which was back in 2019, and a photo of me playing. I just keep it on my wall because it's a nice memory. I went on to run the Drum and Bass society down at Sussex for 2 years before I left - we rebranded them into 'SB Audio’. I think they're still going now actually, and The Alley still run events down there, so it was a good opportunity to get started in Drum and Bass.

Rosa Audio: I've heard of SB Audio because I actually also lived in Brighton for a year. DnB in Reading and Brighton have their little communities.

Matt (DRZ): Yeah, so SB Audio I started with my mate Ruben, we were just ‘Drum and Bass Society’ but we wanted to rebrand to include all the universities in Brighton because there's a couple, so rather than being just Sussex Drum and Bass Society, we turned into SB Audio. It's great, I've met so many friends through that, people that I'm still mates with now, it's a good little community down there.

Rosa Audio: Are there any artists that were down in Brighton when you were there that are popping off right now?

Matt (DRZ): Most of them are student mates, none of them really went into production stuff like myself, most of them just DJ for the fun of it. I'll be honest, I got obsessed with DJing and making music while I was down at Uni, I just loved it so much, I knew that I wanted to pursue it a little more seriously. I've got a few good mates down there that make good tunes, there's one called Apom, he's from Reading as well, he ran the Drum and Bass society before I did.

Rosa Audio: What came first, the DJ or the Production?

Matt (DRZ): It was the DJing that came first, my mate Sam (Apom) taught me how to DJ, at the start. I remember the first sets I went round his house, he had these numarks, and they were proper turntables, I had no idea what I was doing. But yeah, it was good, and I slowly got my confidence up just through practice, I guess.

Rosa Audio: Who is your dream collab?

Matt (DRZ): Aww, you're putting me on the spot here! 

Rosa Audio: Maybe it's already happened!

Matt(DRZ): Haha true! Maybe it's Camo & Crooked, they've literally just dropped their new single today, I've been listening to it in the gym all night. I just love their music, love their sets as well. At DnB Allstars festival they were just insane, I think they’re just at the pinnacle point of sound design in everything, it's just insane.

Rosa Audio: Do you listen to other genres that inspire you? Where do you get your sounds from?

Matt (DRZ): It's mainly just Drum and Bass, I'm a Drum and Bass boy through and through. There's definitely a lot of artists that inspire my music, especially the more melodic stuff, it's inspired by Camo & Crooked, and the heavier stuff that I've been making, like definitely some of my favourite artists right now are Sota and Disrupta, they just can't make a bad tune. Sota's smashing it right now, they're definitely two 

Rosa Audio: Have you worked with any MC's and would you bring an MC to Rosa?

Matt(DRZ): Yeah, so one of my mates called Niall is the MC for Pull Up Recordings - he's talented that boy. He does MCing, DJing, and he produces music; he's great. He's part of a new group called Crazia; they've got some really sick tunes, definitely check them out. Niss is another one of the people I've jumped on set with, he's a really good host - he doesn't overdo it or anything, definitely brings good vibes and good energy. I've not really had many other MCs on my sets before, but one person I mentioned earlier was Haribo, I think he's got a sick voice. I've seen him live before; he's a really good MC as well. His vibe is definitely what I like.

I don't know if you've listened to the Printworks set with MC ID with Dimension and Sub Focus at the closing weekend; but I thought that MCing / Hosting was just the best. That's the sort of thing I like with regards to MC's - he's the sort of MC that knows exactly what he's doing, controls the crowd really well and gets me in the vibe and the mood really well.

Rosa Audio: I was actually going through some messages and found some links to a couple of your tunes that a mate of mine sent me a few years ago.

Matt(DRZ): No way, I think that was back when I first started producing because I only started producing music in lockdown so not even that long ago now. I think it was July of lockdown, maybe 2021. To be fair back then, even still about a year ago I was more influenced by the melodic-y vocal stuff. I've got some singles called 'Better Off', 'Inconclusive' and even one that I got out in the middle of last year with Nu:Form called 'Hold Me' that are more melodic-based but I've definitely become more jump-up high energy influenced in the last 6 months I'd say. I think it's because I've been playing more shows and going to more festivals; when you're in that sort of environment you want the crowd to react to your tunes, so I think that's why I've been influenced to make that sort of music.

Rosa Audio: It's hard, when you've not been to a rave for a while and you go and try and make some tunes, it's hard to do. But when you come back from a rave that's all you want to do it make that skat to get you back in that place.

Matt(DRZ): I definitely came back from Boomtown feeling like that, as soon as I recovered from it I was straight back to it.

Rosa Audio: Who was your favourite set there?

Matt(DRZ): Definitely Mefjus and Enei, 100%. I thought Sota was good as well, I saw him at the 360 stage, and [IVY] actually, really surprised me, she was really good vibes.

Rosa Audio: Yeah, we must have been crossing paths a fair bit then!

Matt(DRZ): Yeah definitely, I've already bought my ticket for next year, the week after Boomtown.

Rosa Audio: Not hoping to get yourself a set next year?

Matt(DRZ): I mean I would love to play at Boomtown, but I haven't had any news yet. I feel like Boomtown is the sort of place where a lot of it is quite late notice. We'll see what happens; obviously Dec (agent) got a few on the roster sets last year like DJ Limited, Formula, Comma Dee and a few others. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and keep working hard, if I get a set I'll see you there. If not though I just love the vibe of the festival I'll just be there enjoying it with my friends anyway.

Rosa Audio: Are you going to any other festivals?

Matt(DRZ): One of my favourites that I'll probably go again to this year is definitely Brighton on the Beach festival, just the one-day one. Both times I've been there, the vibe on the beach has been just unreal.

Rosa’s in the Peak District isn't it? I've never been there before so it'll be a debut for me there.

Rosa Audio: It's beautiful.

Matt(DRZ): I'm excited, one of my mates thinks he's gonna come along with me so I think we're gonna stay the night and enjoy the festival.

Rosa Audio: Yeah do it honestly if you stay over, it completes the experience.

Matt(DRZ): Yeah definitely, gotta show some love for the other artists as well.

Rosa Audio: Alright bless, anything else from you lads?

Rosa Audio: When's that Bare Up collab happening?

Matt(DRZ): I know! I saw that clip on my story today, I got tagged in it. I love Bare Up he's such a nice guy, he's a sick producer as well and we've been trying to link up for a while now so hopefully we can get something together soon. He actually sent me a DM with some stuff that he's not finished yet so I'm gonna have a listen to them tonight, we’ll hopefully have something for the festival - we can make something naughty for sure.