For the first time, Ecletismo Musical presents an interview in English. The first artist in this new series of interviews is DUB FX! Dub FX is an acclaimed Australian musician and worldwide street performer, using only his voice (beatboxer), a bunch of effect pedals and a mix between reggae, hip hop and drum n ‘bass. It has more than 600k followers in facebook and more than 50k in instagram. Get to know this great artist better:
EM: Hi Ben, how it came the idea of using your mouth as instrument?
DUB FX: I watched a Bobby McFerrin concert on DVD when I was about 20 yers old and it changed my life. Around that same time I saw a guy in Melbourne called Mal Webb who used a loop station. I had already been using FX over my vocals in various bands so I put those things together and started street performing.
EM: You start as Dub Fx being a street performer and travelling around the world. How do you think that these experiences influenced your lyrics and songs?
DUB FX: To be honest, street performing didn’t really change my lyrics or song writing. It gave me the ability to travel and have a career, but my musicality was already there. If anything it showed me what kind of music works on a crowd and what music doesn’t.
EM: In your songs you mixed a lot of influences and musical genres. How do you describe your style?
DUB FX: When I was a teenager in Melbourne, Australia, their was only a few camps to choose from. Grunge, Hip Hop or Techno. Everybody usually stuck to one scene, but I liked all three. Then I discovered Reggae, Jazz and Cuban music… I realised that I wanted to make all of it. For a few years I was in a Heavy Metal band, Reggae band, Jazz band, Hip Hop Soul band. I was MCing with a house DJ and I would also do Acoustic shows with my guitar. After a few years of slogging away in Melbourne I decided to go to Europe and try my luck as a street performer. DUB FX is just a culmination of my experience as a musician in all those different bands. It is no real genre. Its just music.
EM: About you new album, Thinking Clear, you wrote and recorded this right after you met your wife and partner, Sahida Apsara. In which way she contributed?
DUB FX: Sahida is such an amazing woman. She really supports me in ways that I wasn’t supported in the past. I got used to doing literally everything for my partner and getting hardly anything back. Sahida is a Queen not a Princess and that makes such a huge difference on my psychology. In the past, creating my art caused a lot of jealousy in my relationship because she wanted all my time for her self. Sahida on the other hand makes such an effort to support me to make the best art I can make as stress free as possible. This is why I called the album Thinking Clear!
EM: Recently it was released a documentary in Youtube about your musical journey. You became known on social media through your videos performances. Do you think that social media as a crucial impact on the music industry?
DUB FX: Yeah. I found out recently that i was one of the first independent artists ever to have a viral video. Youtube definitely changed the course of my career. It lifted me out of the street performing world and into the festival and club scene world. Unfortunately a lot has changed since then. Facebook does not let me reach all my fans anymore even if I pay… I have over 600k fans on facebook that I collected through all my hard work, yet I can only reach 3 percent at best! Facebook has given the controls back to the old format of radio, TV for publicity. I used to be able to sell heaps of music online with one facebook post. Now I have to hire a publicist! Why should I have to pay a middle man to tell my fans about my new music when I spent hours and hours collecting my fans individually through street performing or making youtube videos? Its totally corrupt! Social media is not how it used to be. Dont get me wrong, I know how lucky I am that I was one of the first people to go viral and create a career, but now days its almost impossible for that to happen to people.
EM: Do you have a special list of producers/artists that you would like to work?
DUB FX: To be honest I love working with all kinds of artists. It helps me push my own boundaries. I dont have a specific list though.
EM: Btw, what do you consider to be the “state of art” of music in the World right now?
DUB FX: Thats a tough question. I think Anderson Paak is state of the art Hip Hop except I dont like how he talks about women in his music. In the Neo should scene I rally love a new artist called Ari Lennox! She is amazing! The perfect blend between Erica Bardu and Jill Scott.
Damian Marley, Kabaka Pyramid and Alborosie are state of the art reggae music in my opinion… I also think the liquid DNB scene is as good as its ever been. The whole EDM thing can disappear as far as im concerned. Its just smoke and mirrors.
EM: What names do you put on your “ideal festival”? (Living or Not)
DUB FX: Bob Marely, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davies… to many to mention
EM: If you had to identify the 5 best albums ever, what was your choice? And why?
DUB FX: Its hard to pick 5 because I probably dont listen to those albums anymore. Its stuff that changed my life but I listen to new stuff all the time.
Bob Marley – Legend
Rubén Gonzalez – Introducing
Anderson Paak – Malibu
Snoop Dogg – Doggy Style
The Prodigy – Fat of the land
EM: What are your plans for the next months? For when Portugal again?
DUB FX: Im on tour, ill be making a new album soon. Portugal? Hopefully soon!