This week I had the pleasure of chatting to the boys of DB Soundsystem.
Consisting of Skits DB, Deli OneFourz and Ash Catch, DB Sound System have been busy grinding away on the scene for quite some time.
Their latest release ‘Bomboleo’ (above) features Savage Dan (who also doubles as their manager) and Louis Rei of WSTRN.
Friends for over a decade DB Sound System are just a bunch of old friends who have all been involved in music all their lives and now have more momentum really moving for them. “Bomboleo” is a sure-fire hit… and it’s just the beginning for the talented trio.
When did the music start?
Ash: We have done music our whole lives. Danny, this guy who lived across from us linked us (Ash and Deli) up. Every day we went to a different Youth Club to do music, we used to go Stonebridge to all these hood ends but they used to allow us they liked us.
Deli: Back in the day we were doing literally just grime. I met Skits at College
Ash: I met Skits at a party. Next thing you know Skits was like yeah “yo I’m moving to your area”
Deli: And then Skits introduced me to Dan and then Dan came to us
Was this the same type of music?
Ash: We were all doing music in our own types of way anyway. Deli was just grime, grime, grime when no one was doing grime
Deli: Yeah in West at that time everyone moved to rap but I was like this is too slow for me.
Ash: You see, this tune that we did was the first time we every done a song together. They’ll be like parts were me and Deli are on a song or Skits is on a song but we have never done a song together
So why did that come about now?
Ash: Because we’re boys init – it had to happen!
You know what Deli started the tune then he sent it to me and Skits I at first was like “I can’t, I can’t” then when Skits wrote something I was like “Yeah I can” and then Dan wrote something.
Everyone had their own version of music. Skits was in a collective called Piff Gang, Dan was more focused in building studios coz he’s more like an engineer. And his studio game is epic right now. He went off and done that and became a bit more business minded. And we had just always been DB and then added the sound system.
So let’s talk about the name then what does it mean?
Ash: DB stands for dirty bastard – or Dead Bodies.
Deli: It can stand for that, however whatever you feel thats what it is
So what does it mean now?
Ash: Dream Boys
Deli: – Dream Big. Right now we’re in Universal so it’s Dream Big!
Ash: About two years ago I was walking around carnival and everything was sound system this and sound system that. And I was like “Yo, We are a sound system, we’re from West we’re from the heart of carnival we are sound system“. The music we make is sound system music.
Deli: Its good music basically, we can’t define it.
How did this Polydor deal come about?
Ash: We did the song Bomboleo and while in that session decided lets go LA for a week. Every day we would film a different scene in a different part of LA. Then we would come back airplay it to the TV and edit it together. We came back put it on SBTV and it got a really good response. We were getting ready to put it out and Manny hit us up and said “you guys got something good” and Dan sort of took it from there
How was Bomboleo written?
Ash: It was the most random way of making a tune. We didn’t plan it.
Wait – How did you find that Gypsy Kings sample?
Dan: What sample?? Haha Ash didn’t even know until the well after song came out!!
Ash: I was like what’s Bomboleo blud? I was like who are the gypsy Kings they stole our song! I went Deli and Deli was like “Naaa” its an old song!
Dan: I didn’t realise at the time but I knew, when we had the melody I was like “this is amazing and I know this!”
Skits: You lot know writing credits for Ash at the end as well,
Dan: His Spanish twang really worked and L’s (Louis X from WSTRN) has got the Barry White voice that ladies man’s voice. Ash was like we need something like Spanish-something foreign then he jumped into the booth and did it.
Deli: I initially wasn’t gonna show mandem because I wasn’t sure about it. Then I showed him [Skits] and he came to my house to record it.
Skits: Pause there. You know how he showed me? We’re just jamming in the yard and he randomly pulls me to the side and says “oh by the way Skits beg you listen to this” mid convo. I was like “fam this is a banger”
Dan: By the time I heard it it only had you two (Deli and Skits) had done your verses. And when L’s put the chorus down I was like okay I know what I have to do. But its 4am so I can’t do it now. I said wait gimme till tomorrow and I’ll send something over, the next day I sent over a verse and it was alriight.
What’s next for DB Soundsystem?
Skits: We’re just gonna keep creating music as much as possible, we have so much catalogue, the backlog is crazy we tap into almost every genre.
Dan: If I’m honest we don’t really know what’s next
Deli: Right now its a dancehall kinda Afrobeat but who knows what it will be in a few months.
Dan: There’s a tune called Bad Mind and I personally think that should be next
Skits: You say that, but I think theres two others in the air at the moment and the new one Deli showed me yesterday we.
Skits: I believe in the quality we have, I just need everyone else to have that same belief.
If the music you make is so diverse how do you refine what your best tracks are?
Dan: Errrm we don’t
Deli: We’ve forgotten about bangers we’ve written last year because we’ve just been holding onto this for a year
Dan: The disadvantage of having studios in your house, (we’ve got 3 studios between us) means we make so much music that a lot of it just gets lost. But it means you’re always able to be creative whenever you need to be creative.
Ash: we all agree on bangers but we all listen to different things.
Ash: Everything a cycle, what we make is sick. The consumers always feel like ‘oh I gotta be over here doing this drill ting, or actually I wanna go back to the gyal dem or I actually I just wanna dance” cycles go round and we hit up every cycle so there will be a time where it hits right
Skits: When it hits right we’ll be the next Migos
Ash: What I respect is that they’ve [Deli and Dan] got an artists ear for engineering
Dan: Before all of the mixes use to at some point come through me, now I might not even touch it.
Its good it all happens in house
Skits: Ash is the brains behind directing, its random the man will call me and be like we’re shooting after work, imagine there’s not prep he’s just telling us. Ain’t no film crew in none of our videos, one guy.
Ash: This is why we are the sound system
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