[INTERVIEW] Dr. Ozi Gives Insight Into New Hive Mind Pt. 2 EP
In the midst of rapidly growing notoriety, the talented Dr. Ozi is releasing the anticipated sequel to his Hive Mind EP. Over the course of his career, the Toronto native has amassed an impressive discography and recognition from fellow artists and fans. With much to contribute to the bass music scene, Dr. Ozi has the potential to create waves within the EDM genre and beyond. Within this interview, Dr. Ozi explains the inspiration behind his EPs, upcoming comic book, association with Never Say Die, and views towards the future of bass music.
Read iEDM's exclusive interview with Dr. Ozi below.
iEDM: What was the inspiration behind Hive Mind and Hive Mind Pt. 2? Did you draw inspiration from different sources for each EP?
Dr. Ozi: I watched a lot of different cult movies, like The Ritual, Midsommar, and The Lodge, during the time frame I was working on the next EP. I was playing games like Outlast 2, and The Blair Witch Project. I watched a Netflix series called Wild Wild Country. Pretty much the idea of a cult was interesting and I thought making a fictional story about this would be very cool as a creator.
iEDM: You’ll be releasing a full comic book alongside this EP, which is both a unique and special project. What can you tell us about the comic book? What influenced your creativity when writing the story?
Dr. Ozi: That is right! The comic book goes along very well with the music. That was the ideal goal. I followed a very simple pattern of creating a story arch. But, this is the origin of the first cult faction and how it came to be. So far, I don’t explain what is Ozi, the main character's, purpose is. To create this story, I had to do some major research on what a comic book stands for and how I could execute and explain The Host Faction. Like I said before, a lot of cult and psychological horror movies played a big role in creating this project.
iEDM: Your membership within Never Say Die is an impressive accomplishment. How has joining this record label altered your position in the music industry?
Dr. Ozi: I owe a lot to the people from Never Say Die. It’s the biggest dubstep label out there. I think being with the NSD has benefited me for a very long time. They have shown nothing but love and care. Their honesty and constructive criticism is the reason why I am still motivated to showcase more of my project. NSD not only believes in me, but they also believe in my project and my future. It’s like having guardians that accept your failures, but also guide you.
iEDM: Do you see yourself producing bass music for the entirety of your career? Or would you like to experiment/ create a project within another genre in the future?
Dr. Ozi: That’s a conversation I have had with a lot of people. I do believe I will be making half-time music for a very long time. Dubstep is not the only genre that falls in the half-time category. Double time music, like house, is in the books for me, and I do plan on making some house/techno/bass-house music. Everything comes with practice, just like this EP. I practiced drum and bass for so long that I am now showcasing people that I can make other genres. So 100% I am going to get my hands dirty with other genres.
iEDM: There’s a distinct fork in the road developing within the riddim community over the past couple of years. Many artists have been leaning into the rising “colour bass” genre, while others are creating more tearout, which seems to be equally popular among fans. Where do you see the trajectory of the riddim genre heading?
Dr. Ozi: Riddim is a very looped repetitive concept. Some people believe the drums are a fundamental part of the genre. But, the constant change-up of one gnarly synth is what makes riddim a listenable genre.
Colour bass is amazing and I think more people should apply melodic components and elements in their music. Whether it be a happy song or dark song, songs need emotions and the only way to create that is to add more than one note.
I think dubstep has been evolving with people like Leotrix, Space Laces, and Marauder, but you have to understand that so many artists are still practicing their music creation as young as 10-13. Dubstep is still very young and has a bright future.
iEDM: People tend to associate bass music with strong emotional connections less often than other genres, due to the shortage of lyrics. What do you hope fans feel in reaction to your music?
Dr. Ozi: I have gone through a lot over the past couple of years with family, friends, and relationship problems. It is very typical, yet relatable to a lot of people. I have managed to squeeze some of those emotions into the music. I am not a lyrical person. If you asked me how to do the lyrics for whatever song, I actually would not know. I connect to instruments and music melodies a lot more. Nonetheless, people can feel pain, rage, and adrenaline. Mostly, it's a motivated, driven idea behind each track overcoming anxiety and stress.
iEDM: Explain the Jekyll & Hyde theme throughout your branding.
Dr. Ozi: Ozi is an entity that haunts. Since I deal with sleep paralysis myself, The Ozi monster is based on the sleep paralysis monster that I see. The concept behind him is that not only does he have control over people, but he also wants to acquire their bodies because he has a desperate need to be human. Right now, the story is about Johnny and Ozi and how Johnny became a host.
iEDM: You’ve collaborated with Midnight Tyrannosaurus, Spag Heddy, and Stabby over the course of your career. Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Dr. Ozi: So many people. I accept all collaborations when people think alike. I love sharing my ideas and concepts with people who are at equal wavelength about music production. I would love to collab with people like Imanu, Sleepnet, and Virtual Riot, to name a few.
iEDM: Are there any smaller artists or new acts that have caught your eye recently?
Dr. Ozi: Since I have been producing, I have found a lot of people. People should go check out Dyatic. He is the most creative rhythmic producer I know of right now. The Sausages are also very unique. They have a very good ear for sound designing and all of their music has been different every time I have heard it.
iEDM: Logistics aside, if you were able to create any merch item, what would you love to design for your fans?
Dr. Ozi: As if right now, me making the comic book happen is most definitely out of the box merch I have done. I think the next thing I would love to do is a unisex fragrance. I think perfumes and scents are so cool and I would love to create my own bottle.
iEDM: If you could perform at any festival, what would it be?
Dr. Ozi: My dream is to play Ultra, Tomorrowland, and Veld. These are some major festivals I would love to play, but I love my nightclub events just as much.
iEDM: What is the most important nonessential item you bring to your shows?
Dr. Ozi: My vape pen.
iEDM: Your well-deserved rise to success has been fantastic to witness. How are you feeling as a result of this newfound recognition? What goals do you hope to achieve in 2022?
Dr. Ozi: I have already started working on Vol. 2 of the comic book. There are going to be more releases. I plan on coming to the states again to play a whole tour following up the two-part EP I just released.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Ozi
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