[INTERVIEW] Oddprophet Discusses The End Of Never Say Die, The Future Of Bass Music, + More
Oddprophet is known to rip through dance floors like a divine revelation with his earth-shattering bass and chaotic soundscapes. With a sound that can only be described as heavy, aggressive, and hypnotic, the UK dubstep don has embodied the demeanor of a modern-day rock star as he captivates crowds with his high energy, in-your-face sets. Working with the legendary label known as Never Say Die since his inception into the dubstep scene, Oddprophet has cultivated a fan base spread throughout all corners of the world.
Read iEDM’s exclusive interview with Oddprophet below.
iEDM: After an amazing run, your long-time label Never Say Die just announced its closing. What was your experience working with such a legendary label, and what are your next steps?
Oddprophet: Never Say Die was always the label I looked up to when I was 16 or 17. To me, they were world-class. If I ever were to release my music on Never Say Die, I could be sure I've made it in some way. I'll always remember going into their office in London for the first time, being the new boy surrounded by artists I'd been listening to for years. Then having my debut EP listened to by the A&R crew while I was there. They saw my potential and gave me a shot. Five years later, I felt truly a part of the team. However, the current climate of the scene is moving towards music being self-released, not through a big label. It's still up in the air for what I'm about to do, but the music will not stop. I'll always be releasing music at the same rate as I've always done, independently or not.
iEDM: As a dubstep producer from London, what differences have you noticed between the bass scene in the UK and the bass scene in the States?
Oddprophet: The Americanization of heavy bass music (especially dubstep) just isn't taken very seriously by most EDM fans in the UK. Most of the UK crowd see dubstep as a bit of a meme that happened back in 2010. "Oh yeah, I remember Skrillex! Is that what you make?" someone would tell me. There is a community of people that still love our kind of dubstep in the UK, but you'll never find a show outside of London. And that show will happen once or twice a year. While in the states, it's a huge staple. It's what some people first think of. I still love the dubstep community in the UK, but I just don't think it will make a comeback like it did in 2010 - 2014. It is growing, though.
iEDM: Your tracks are heavy, abrasive, and intense, yet songs like "Addicted 2 U" and "Riddim Love Song" also have some beautiful melodic elements. When did you feel like you truly found your sound?
Oddprophet: That's the problem. Do you want streams or dance floor smashers? Can you have both? I like to think those songs cover both areas. My intros lately have been chord-driven and pop music-inspired. But when you look at tunes like British Gas, that method is thrown out the window! I can't stay still with my sound. I love the melodic stuff, but I also love face-ripping stuff. It's polarizing. I am due an EP where it's four tracks in that "British Gas" style. Two of them are already written.
iEDM: Your tracks also have a very heavy metal energy to them. How much inspiration do you draw from other genres outside of electronic music?
Oddprophet: My answer to this annoys me. I don't actually listen to as much metal as the average metal fan probably does. I want to listen to metal more, but I'm always drawn back to Dubstep and Drum & Bass as my go-to. Tearout is the closest you're gonna get to a "metal-like" sub-genre of EDM. It has mosh-pits, circle-pits, headbanging, etc. It makes sense to blend the two. I love the offensiveness bands like Knocked Loose bring. That's what I want to incorporate when making my heavy tracks. Tempo changes being one of them (it's just a bit hard to DJ).
iEDM: "Angles & Blindfolds" is more than just a song. It represents your struggle with the eye condition keratoconus. How important is it to incorporate real aspects of your life into your music?
Oddprophet: Singer-songwriters always draw inspiration from real life to make their music. Dubstep should be the same. What's something that has fucked me up constantly and sucks daily? Keratoconus. What's a company that gave a massive bill unexpectedly? British Gas. What was a time where I absolutely fell in love with tearout? Being a nineteen year old in Vauxhall, London (Vauxhall Tearout). If your song can slap and have something for people to resonate on a deeper level, why not? Dubstep doesn't have to be meaningless.
iEDM: Not only are you a producer/DJ, but you run your own mentoring program. Would you say teaching the art of production has helped you as a producer yourself?
Oddprophet: The mentoring is slowly winding down. Not because I've totally fallen out of love with it, but because it's taking up time, I should be focusing on my own project. Investing in other people is fulfilling, but I'm still not at a point with the Oddprophet project that I want it to be. Give me a headline tour, and that will change. Teaching people my methods on how to make music and seeing my students become successful using those methods? That just reinforces that I'm doing the right thing to make the best music I can.
iEDM: There seems to be a newfound energy surrounding dubstep. How do you feel about the future of bass music?
Oddprophet: The future for the genre is more experimentation. We've all heard the same thing time and time again by now. Who's going to be the one that sticks their thumb out and does something incredibly new while also recognizable? That project will be huge. While art is subjective if you sound amazing and like nobody else, people are going to come to you to listen to your music. It's a USP (unique selling point). There's so much information on how to make dubstep, anyone can learn and be very good. It's the exceptional people I'm looking at to make the moves that this scene needs.
iEDM: I love that in-your-face rock star mentality you bring to your productions and your live performances. Do you feel like that rock star mindset is something that is missing in the scene nowadays?
Oddprophet: You have to get on the mic. It's a performance. You're there to engage and connect with the crowd. I get why some DJs would prefer not to say anything, but I personally couldn't do it. I was shy for my first few performances, but I told myself the very best performances are ones where the DJ is standing on the table, throwing their drink around, looking like they're having an absolute blast. That stage is there at your disposal. You gotta use it all. If other acts don't wanna act like rock stars, that's fine too. It just looks like I'm having more fun!
iEDM: You are playing Forbidden Kingdom with some of the best artists in the bass scene in May. What can fans expect once you take the stage?
Oddprophet: You can expect a big performance. New visuals, new tunes, fresh ideas. I've got a point to prove to people who don't know me yet. And a point to prove to the people back home. This is what I do now. I've also worked very hard to get to these festivals and America itself. Playing that festival is going to be a celebration of what I've achieved, so I probably won't look too humble.
iEDM: What does Oddprophet have in store for us for the rest of 2022?
Oddprophet: The music will always be rolling in, there's no doubt about that. But I want to push myself out of my comfort zone. I don't want to follow trends in EDM, I want to set them. I'm also looking to move out to America full-time, meaning more Oddprophet shows. Big and small. At the very minimum, a bigger US tour for me is being talked about right now.