Earlier this week we reached out to Paris, Fance's Dirty Zblu to discuss his future plans for making music & touring here in the U.S.
Read up as he takes us through his own musical career from start to present. Discussing his personal experiences working with Buygore Records and various artists within the bass industry. As well as the challenges he faces producing abroad, all while tip-toeing the fine line of U.S. foreign policies. We present to you the filth of the future.
Q: First, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your musical background? You mentioned Paris in our introductory email.
A: Hey, I'm Matt. I'm 22 and grew up in a small city near Paris. The actual name of my hometown is "Chatou" and also the hometown of Joachim Garraud. I grew up there playing the guitar since I was 12. I was mainly listening to the same stuff my father was such as the The Beatles, The Doors, also a lot of Jazz and Bossa Nova. My favorite thing about music is the energy of the rhythms, no matter how hard the song is its all about the feeling. I love all the cuban and Brazilian music because of the rhythms, but also because of the feeling of happiness they convey.
I got introduced to electronic music pretty late actually, but it literally changed my life. I was 18 and my group of friends started listening to dubstep. I never heard of that before they brought me to a nightclub in Paris. Cookie Montsa and Doctor P were headlining the show and I had the time of my life. After that day, all I wanted to do was to understand how those guys could create such sounds I never heard before.
At the same time i was finishing high school and went to an audio engineering school in Paris for 3 years until I was 21. Those are the 3 years I only focused on the technical aspect of sound, almost in a scientific way, but I loved it. I was shooting short films, editing commercials, ect. But I knew all I wanted to do was make my own music.
Q: Where did the name "Dirty Zblu" originate from?
A: Dirty Zblu is a weird ass name I'll give you that haha. For the story, the first time I had a release it was on a French label called Chateau Bruyant (Same one Habstrakt started in_, one of the co-owners who is also a producer (Niveau Zero) asked me if I was sure I wanted to keep that name, we recently laughed about it!
That name comes from a French comic named "ZbluCops". My friends and I just took the word Zblu and made into our own skateboard team called "ZbluTeam". We were like a small tribe and Zblu could mean anything to us. We loved the fact that nobody else could understand.
Dirty Zblu was born pretty easily. I entered my audio engineering school and teamed up with my friend Sebastien, who I had been playing guitar with from before. We started having fun with our guitars and computers around the same time.
For two years Dirty Zblu was a duo, but I wanted to dedicate my life to it when Sebastien had to carry on with his studies. Even though we chose different paths, we're still really close friends and it wouldn't surprise anybody if he'd jump on stage with me when I play in Paris. Dirty Zblu is all about friendship. That's what it started as and the spirit will always remain.
Q: You recently released "The Plan" featuring Hermanifezt over Buygore Records. Could you tell us a little bit about the making of this production and your history working with Hemanifezt?
A: That track happened like a lot of my tracks do. It was just me chopping vocals, trying a bunch of effects on a trap beat. That lead is in fact a vocal chopped with a vocoder and a pretty simple bass to modulate it.
When I came up with that lead sound it was all about having fun and trying to make a cool and energetic rhythm! I sent the track to my close friend Blaster and for a couple of months we were sending the Ableton project back and forth to one another to try and find the coolest loops with that sound. It was actually pretty easy and fun to work on that one!
As for Hemanifezt, I found that acapella on a website called "Looperman". I often look for acapellas there. I did the same on my previous Buygore release. I like that website because you can contact people and if you have a bigger project that's a cool place to find singers who are motivated to work with producers.
Q: We Noted that your sound in "The Plan" was similar to that of Snails. Would you say he's been an influence in your overall sound?
A: I haven't thought about it until I saw a "sound like Snails" comment on the track and I kind of get it even if I wasn't going for a Snail's sound at all with that lead. It was just me playing with my toys. But yeah now I won't say there is no similarities and I have to say I'm pretty glad I can sound like Snails to some people. I mean the guy is killer!
I really like his sound design and how he knows to use it in different genres. So yea, I think we're all influenced by the music we listen to even if we don't notice it.
Q: What do you go for when making music? Is there a type of plan or direction you like to strive for?
A: It's hard to say. I make music pretty much all day. I feel like making music is my way to avoid thinking too much. I can be really anxious about the smallest thing and some people go to the gym or run to accomplish that. I just sit on my couch with my laptop and make whatever comes to mind.
Usually I start a track with a percussion loop or a cool sample i find on my hard drive that settles the mood of the track. Other than that I have to say I make a lot of music outside of bass music. I produce for singers, rappers and pop bands so it is never genre specific when I start a track. I feel like the great thing about music these days is that producers are breaking down barriers everywhere. It's no longer one specific genre of music like house or trap. I've always been a huge fan of Skrillex for this very reason and as long as I hear his personal touch to whatever song he produces, I'm going to love it.
I'd say I really want to show people, producers are like everybody else. Going through happiness and hard times so the music relates to this. It can be really different from one song to the next, as long as people can feel the footprint of the producer.
A: I linked up with Buygore when I came to Los Angeles to study at Icon Collective. A school that focuses on production, but also on the business side of a producer's career. It is a really good school where you as a student can learn a lot from the teachers. Some of the students just started making music, while others have been producing for years. While I attended, I noticed one thing we all had in common and that's that we're all there trying to make our dreams come true and helping one another in the process. So there I met Twiitch who is a dubstep producer and former student at Icon, as well as Sullivan King. Those guys hooked me up with the labels manager so i could have them listening to my music and since my first release on Buygore the whole team has been really supportive of me.
If there's one life lesson I learned while crossing the World to make music it's that you need to make the time and effort to meet other producers. I'm truly grateful to have had this opportunity because sending an email to someone saying "check out my Soundcloud plz", doesn't have the same effect as meeting them in person.
Q: On your Sound Cloud link it says you're from Paris and Los Angeles. What's going on with that? Are you taking the "big leap" to move Sateside, here in the USA?
A: Yes, in December 2014 I moved to Los Angeles for 6 months to study at Icon Collective. I didn't have a visa at the time to be able to finish the curriculum which lasts an entire year. I have to say, it's pretty hard to just move here in the U.S. you guys! After that, I came back home for the Summer to France. I knew if I wanted to start a career in music I needed to spend more time L.A., opposed to Paris. So i came back this September and I'm here making music, meeting people, enjoying the Sun till December.
I'm working on getting an artist visa for the beginning of 2016 that would allow me to stay here longer, get an agent and to play official shows in the U.S. Thing are looking good.
Q: When and where was your last string of shows in the United States? Where can we catch Dirty Zblu next?
A: I didn't play any major shows here for the simple reason that i'm here as a documented tourist so I haven't been allowed to work, but I've been playing along side friends and as a guest on a couple events here in L.A. I'll always remember that first show here. It was at the Yost Theater in Santa Anna.The French duo, Dirtyphonics were headlining and I've met them before while in France. It was kind of ironic I got to play just before them and we were all the way here in the United States. Anyways, that night I played back to back with Kompany, who's up and coming at the moment, but is about to kill the game by the way!
More recently i played a couple student parties in Hollywood and downtown L.A., and I was pretty amazed by the size of these events. They were way bigger than I first thought. As for the next shows, I'm going back to France soon so catch me there! I'll do my best to be able to come back and play in the United Sates before next Summer hopefully.
Written by Kiel Sterling