[INTERVIEW] Oliverse Discusses New Release "Skin/ Emotion", Career Path, + More
Hailing from the UK, bass music creative and Disciple Records star Oliverse is continuing to forward his career with his newest duo-release, “Skin/ Emotion”. With a classic dubstep foundation beneath his signature flair, Oliverse is revered for cultivating an intoxicating sound well-loved by the dance music scene. Oliverse allows iEDM insight into his creative process, career timeline, future plans, and more.
Check out iEDM’s exclusive interview with Oliverse below.
iEDM: You recently had a two-track release titled “Skin/ Emotion”. What was the initial vision and inspiration for the tracks versus the end product?
Oliverse: I’m so happy these tracks are finally out! It took a while to get to the final products but I’m so happy with how they turned out. The vision for both of these tracks was to make them feel like summer anthems! I’m really inspired by UK house music so I wanted to bring some of those influences into these tracks.
iEDM: Your newest release features talented vocalists MØØNE and Aleya Mae. What is the process behind choosing the perfect vocalists for a track?
Oliverse: I tend to just dig through Instagram and Spotify credits looking for vocalists. I find that it’s such a skill to be able to hear a vocalist and then imagine how they would sound on your track. It’s something that I still struggle with, especially if I find someone who typically doesn’t do a lot of EDM vocals. It’s always fun looking for vocalists though. I end up finding so many talented people and so much great music!
iEDM: Your signature sound is reminiscent of early 2010-2013 dubstep, with a unique twist. How would you describe your style when it comes to sound design? Were you inspired by that era of dance music?
Oliverse: Yeah, 100%! I started listening to dubstep in 2009 so I was really lucky to witness that period when it totally blew up and there were absolutely incredible tunes getting released almost weekly - it was pretty insane! I think around 2017 the direction that dubstep was heading wasn’t really resonating with me. I started going back through old tunes that got me into the genre in the first place and tried to find some inspiration from that.
I pretty much rolled back the clock to 2010 with my sound and then started progressing it from there and taking it in my own direction. I was almost creating an alternative timeline for Dubstep if it stuck to those more melodic and vocal heavy roots like a lot of the stuff coming out during that 2009-2011 era.
iEDM: You have been affiliated with record labels such as Monstercat, UKF, Deadbeats, Never Say Die, and most prominently Disciple throughout your career. However, many other music genres have been trifled by predatory record labels for decades, whereas many EDM labels are created by successful artists in hopes of empowering smaller artists. Is it a relief that you can navigate this scene devoid of most mainstream labels? Are the politics behind releases even more intense when you are able to cultivate personal relationships with members of dance music record groups?
Oliverse: All of the labels I’ve released with have been incredible to work with. Many of these labels have been on my bucket list for years - I think telling 14 year old me in 2009 that I’d be releasing with labels like UKF and Never Say Die would have blown his mind!
It’s really refreshing to see how many artists are now releasing without labels nowadays and getting that new level of freedom. Obviously, they could never have got to that position without a few labels but it’s an exciting time for the music industry with more and more artists being able to steer their own ship!
iEDM: Disciple has emerged as arguably the most notorious bass music label in the industry. How did you find your place within this incredibly talented group of artists? Has Disciple played a significant role in your growth as an artist?
Oliverse: It all started with my bootleg of Tchami - Afterlife. I popped it up on SoundCloud as a free download and then a day later I had a message from Luke from UKF asking if they could upload it, which I just couldn’t believe because a UKF upload was something that just seemed so far away. They uploaded it and it ended up grabbing the attention of Rossy (Myro) and he got in touch asking for some new tunes in this same style. Only problem was, I had nothing else that sounded like this at the time - I was still making 2016 style brostep.
I went away for a year or so to try and figure out this new sound. There was obviously some magic in this Tchami bootleg, I just needed to figure out what else I can do with this sound and how to keep it fresh without just making the same tune again and again. I eventually made a handful of tracks in this style which included my tracks Passion, Get 2 Me, Get High and my remix of Modestep’s Higher.
After Rossy heard these, he asked me to sign to Disciple exclusive which was an absolute blessing and extremely unexpected. I was expecting to maybe release an EP or two with them, but to sign as part of their core family wasn’t on my list of expectations!
iEDM: Dance music has exponentially grown in popularity within the past several years. Do you believe this growth has impacted the accompanying subculture? Does culture die as popularity blossoms?
Oliverse: I think with dubstep it obviously had its time in the limelight very briefly, but I think it will always be an underground genre. I know that it’s huge in the states and people like Excision can sell out arenas with 10’s of thousands of people but I think it’s still a niche genre and it’s not really ‘normal’ music per-say. I think the styles of dubstep that seem to be the most popular have stagnated a bit but it’s really encouraging to see people doing new stuff in the space such as Imanu and ISOxo.
iEDM: You have engaged in a longstanding collaborative relationship with fellow dubstep producer, Franky Nuts. What initially drew you two together, and how did you discover that your combined production styles mesh so well? Did this relationship aid in the advancement of both of your careers?
Oliverse: Franky is my guy! I first heard of his music when he released his first EP with Circus back in 2017 so I gave him a follow and said hello then not much else after that really. We were both making really different music at this point. Just after I released my track Get 2 Me, he sent me a clip of a remix that he’d made which just blew my mind. I thought it was such a fresh and creative spin on the track so I sent him stems and we got it officially released.
We were passing tunes back and forth for a good while and playing so many of each other's tunes in our solo sets so we eventually sat down in 2019 and started our first collab. This collab ended up to be On My Mind, which was released on the collaborative EP, Tritone, with us two and Chime.
As for the b2b sets, we initially got an offer through to play a Rampage event in London which was the first b2b that we ever did. We had so much fun and thought it would be a great idea to do more of these as there aren’t that many people making our style of music. It made sense to team up! Off the back of that we ended up getting to play some amazing festivals this summer that we maybe wouldn’t have been able to play individually just yet - such as Tomorrowland and Rampage.
It’s a blast working with Franky - we’re both on the same wavelength about pretty much everything and it’s such a fun and easy process!
iEDM: You have experienced a rapid rise to success over the past several years. What sort of adversities are unique to this generation of aspiring artists? Did you endure any obstacles that were formative to your career?
Oliverse: I feel for people trying to come up right now as the standard for artists is just so much higher than it was before. The way you got big back in the day was release a few bootleg remixes of some chart hits and then if you can follow those up consistently with original releases, you were on your way. That still works to an extent now but the expectations are so much higher and there’s more pressure to be absolutely anywhere and everywhere on social media with daily content.
The biggest obstacle for my career is probably the social media side of things. Putting myself out there on social media isn’t really something that comes naturally to me, but it’s becoming more of a growing need nowadays!
iEDM: Many of your fans in the USA are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to see an Oliverse set live. Although the visa process can be unpredictable, do you have any plans or desire to tour in the states? Is there a festival in the USA that you dream of playing?
Oliverse: I’m really hoping I can get out to the states in 2023. We’ve had huge setbacks with my visa process and covid has just made that worse as the application was just stuck in limbo for two years. I think we’re getting really close to finally getting it over the line and being able to play some shows over there. I’ve been waiting for this for so many years and I’m excited for the time when it eventually happens!
EDC Vegas would be an insane one to play. I’ve heard so many good things about it. I’d also love to play Red Rocks too - that’s on the bucket list!
iEDM: You have mastered a signature sound that has intrigued listeners worldwide. Do you see yourself molding this sound into other genres of dance music besides dubstep? Or do you ever have an urge to diverge from your usual style completely?
Oliverse: Absolutely! I’d love to do a multi-genre album one day. I’ve started making Drum and Bass again which felt like a natural step for my sound as it lends itself to 174 bpm quite well. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of house music and I’ve got loads of unreleased house stuff that I’d love to release one day!
iEDM: One of the standout aspects of your releases– aside from the music itself– is the fantastic cover artwork. The art is intriguing and pleasing to the eye, while perfectly capturing the essence of the track. What is the process behind creating the perfect visual representation of each project?
Oliverse: Thank you! I usually do all of my artwork myself - minus a couple - but for this latest release I worked with a really talented guy called Alexander Montes.
I stumbled across his page and loved his style and thought it would work really well with my current branding and I loved what he came up with. It’s got a level of polish to it I sometimes struggle with when I make my own artwork.
When I do my own artwork, it sometimes takes months to get it right. I’m quite new to making 3D art but I’m really enjoying the process. I always make the music first but once I get the artwork sorted, that’s when it starts to feel like things are coming together.
iEDM: What is the most important nonessential item you bring to your shows?
Oliverse: Earplugs! There’s nothing worse than ringing ears and I honestly think it sounds better with earplugs in if you get the right ones.
iEDM: With 2022 quickly wrapping up, do you have any exciting plans for the future that you can share?
Oliverse: I’m hoping to ramp up my release schedule a bit - I’ve got lots of exciting tunes on the way coming early next year and hoping to get some more bookings for 2023 both in Europe and hopefully the states!
Photos courtesy of Oliverse