Bogus is an extraordinary, eclectic artist. He describes his sound as unconventional beats, meditative soundscapes, synthesis! One half of EIF and a one of the earliest members of our producer community here in Birmingham, we are seriously looking forward to experiencing his set at our 10th Birthday celebration on 1/12/23.
Introduce yourself – who are you and how would you describe your music?
How did you get started with music production?
As a teenager I was a singer in a few rock/metal bands, so my musical taste circled around instruments and band music.
In my 20’s I’ve discover scratching and turntablism, join a hip-hop squad and become their dj. Here I grew my love to electronic beats and start to learn music production.
Few years after that I co-created electronic music project called EIF
What would you say are your main influences – musically or otherwise?
I’ve had a clear idea of what kind of music I want Bogus to represent. My main music influences for this project, were: Ivy Lab, Two Fingers, Dj Krush, Lorn. A few tunes from artist that occasionally produce these kind of beats. Definitely music from 20/20 LDN has a big impact on my productions.
I did a research regarding the meaning of my name and my date of birth, in feng shui astrology. Connected that with my music ideas and developed the whole story behind Bogus – Before The Moon release.
Tell us a little about your production workflow – any software or hardware you use, any special techniques or sources that are indispensable to your sound.
I use Elektron Digitakt as a main source for my beats. I find this hardware easy to use and I like it’s flow. I’ve been using Moog Dfam to create sub bass, it might not be known for that purpose but I like it’s powerful low frequency sounds.
I record everything to Ableton and that’s where my synthesised sounds comes from. Various synthesiser vst’s coloured by isotope trash, guitar rig and a few other distortion plugins, and definitely a lot of compression to bring the sounds through all the distortion.
What do you do when you’ve lost your musical mojo?
I like to watch something that would inspire me and give me a subject which I can then use to create a specific sound or beat that is based upon that inspired idea.
Sometimes I need to create a sound or beat that would inspire the rest of the process.
If I manage to create something that suits me, relatively quick, it would definitely help with creating the whole track. If I get stuck for too long and can’t create anything that satisfies me, I would leave the creation and move on to a track that I’ve already created and it needs for example mixing down. In that case as long as I do something towards completing the creation I am happy.
If I can’t create or work on anything musical, I like to create visuals from time to time, using the music as a background and AI softwares.
What are your favourite and least favourite BPMs to work at?
For the first release, I wasn’t concentrating on the bpm at all. Whatever worked was good for me. That’s why the bpm’s of the 4 tunes on the EP vary a lot. There is one around 80bpm, one around 140bpm, and then around 160bpm and 120bpm. The new stuff that I’m working on is more specific in terms of bpm choices and circles between 80bpm – 100bpm
I don’t have tempo that I prefer or I don’t like, it’s definitely more about the genres.
When you make music, where do you start?
I got to say that I always start with watching something, even if it’s really short. I find that it will almost reset my mind. Most of the time I would already have an idea on what I want to create, a specific beat or a particularly sounding synth. If I’ve got an idea for a beat, I would start with choosing sounds for the kit or sometimes try to find the kit that would work with the idea and just replace the sounds that doesn’t work.
If I’m working on a synth, I would take my time finding the suitable sound and then move on with shaping it and adding effects.
If you could go back to when you first started out and offer your former self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Learn to play as many instruments as possible:)
Simplify the workflow, less judgment and accept the imperfections. Save sounds and build your own library of sounds, name all the sounds so it makes sense and it speeds up the future process.
Can you tell us one thing you really appreciate about the Birmingham music scene and one thing you think could be improved?
I love the musical diversity of artists and genres, you can really find literally anything and everything. The amount of gigs and events, a lot to choose from. One of the things I actually admire the most is how Listening Sessions producers grew and developed their skills and how many of them are now recognisable names in the electronic music world. Really happy to see that and to be part of it.
Not sure what I would necessarily improve but I do wish for Birmingham music scene to be more recognisable within UK. I think that process is slow and I don’t understand why. We have so many great artists and the scene really worth exploring.
When you’re not making music, what other interests and hobbies do you have?
One of my hobbies is fitness. I like to exercise early in the morning when everyone else is still sleeping. Yoga and cycling are big part of my life. Occasionally I work on my visuals. It would be nice to find more time for it and learn it properly. I like to study and research the possibilities of the mind power for personal growth and also the technology for musical inspiration.
Do you feel Listening Sessions has helped you progress as an individual artist?
Definitely! Especially with EIF, the support we’ve received from Listening Sessions at the beginning of our journey was massively helpful.
I’d be always grateful for the gigs opportunities and the mentions.
On top of that the actual Listening Sessions showcases are super helpful in developing the sounds. Listening to tracks on a big soundsystems gives a great reference of how your music would sound in the clubs and understanding of what to work on to improve the track.
It is also good to share the knowledge and information with other producers, a lot of helpful insights and opinions.
Which other Listening Sessions producers are you feeling at the minute?
I feel like if I mention a few I will definitely forgot about someone. Over the years I’ve played a lot of LS music in my dj sets as Bogus and as EIF.
There are so many really good already established producers and also new up and coming ones.
I’ll keep this answer short out of respect to many great ones that I would forget.
Where can we hear more of your music?
Other than that, my EP ‘Before The Moon’ is available on all the major platforms.
Do you have any upcoming releases, events or other stuff you’d like to promote?
I’m working on the new material with rapper Mike Lazy
. We have a few tunes already and I can’t wait to share them. He is a great lyricists and has a flow that really complements my beats. We have pretty much finished three tracks together so far, and working on three more to complete the release.
No dates yet or which record label will it be release at. Just brewing all the ideas and waiting for the right moment to strike.