Exclusive Interview With Bass House Specialist, Jae Depz

Exclusive Interview With Bass House Specialist, Jae Depz. While his journey into music began over a decade ago running a music studio in Bradford, UK, Jae Depz has since stepped into the foreground with his house and bass releases.

As a resident DJ around clubs in the North of England, Jae’s high energy mixes and vocal mashups quickly amassed him a core fanbase online. It was his remix of the UK Top 10 dance hit ‘Asking’ by Sonny Fodera, MK and Clementine Douglas that switched things up for Jae after it went viral on TikTok and reached over 200,000 streams on Soundcloud, culminating in an official release on Sonny’s label, Solotoko.

To mark his latest release ‘Make U Hot’ on Perfect Havoc with fellow bass specialist, Movada, we caught up with Jae to chat about the making of the new single, how his Sonny Fodera remix blew up, and how things are evolving now the spotlight is pointed in his direction.

Your latest single, “Make U Hot” featuring Movada, has been gaining traction in the club scene. Can you share the creative process behind the track and how the collaboration with Movada came about?

I was kipping on Movada’s sofa as I had a few studio sessions with other artists in London that week. I was about to call it a night and decided to have a quick flick through Splice and found the “celebrate this night with me” vocal. Because she mentioned “fire”, I then started looking for another hook that said the word “hot” and found the “makes you hot” phrase. I put the two together, played a quick melody in and went to sleep. I carried on working on it when I got back home.

My approach to this was different to my other tracks as this one didn’t fit in one genre box as the others. Everyone’s described it as a mix between House and Speed Garage, but it’s got some mainstream elements too. Obviously being from Bradford, Bassline and Speed Garage are the biggest genres in the clubs here, so I wanted to have something that you could hear in a Bradford nightclub, and at a festival or in Ibiza and still get the same reaction. Me and Movada have been trying to get a collab done for a while – I sent him this and he loved it. He added his parts in and sent me it back and that was it.

You’ve transitioned from various roles within the music industry to establishing yourself as an artist and producer. How has your background as a DJ, events manager, and music tutor influenced your approach to music production?

I’ve always been able to make music, but I’ve spent years mentoring other rappers, producers, and singers how to transition into being artists, so in a way it feels like I’m starting again, like I’ve literally pressed the reset button on my career. But from spending years as a DJ, I feel I have a good ear for what works in a club and goes down well with a crowd. When I first got back in to making House music just over a year ago, I was testing some of my early unreleased stuff out on the club’s system, sometimes after everyone had left because I didn’t want to clear a dancefloor if it sounded like crap! I was literally taking notes on my phone, going back and forth making changes to my production and mixing process.

“Make U Hot” blends Speed Garage and House elements, reflecting your roots in the club scene. How important is it for you to stay connected to those roots while evolving your sound as an artist?

Massively important. As well as being a massive Hip-Hop and Grime head, I grew up on DJ EJ, Shaun Banger Scott and Danny Bond CD’s, so the first songs I ever made way back in the day were Bassline songs on Fruity Loops. When I started DJing, I was only spinning Bassline and House music. I grew up going to raves in that scene, so my roots are embedded in that culture. You’ll always hear elements of that in my music no matter what genre.

Your remix of “Asking” by Sonny Fodera, MK, and Clementine Douglas went viral on TikTok and received over 200,000 SoundCloud streams in just a few months. What contributed to that remix’s success, and how did it impact your career?

To be honest, if I had the answer to that then I’d probably try and do it again, because TikTok seems so random. I was trying to get Sonny Fodera and MK’s attention with that song by uploading Tiktoks. It worked because MK messaged me asking for the song, but the Tiktok creations weren’t going crazy. The Tiktok that actually blew up was a clip I posted of H’Two’O playing it in their mix for Ministry of Sound, I think they’d sped it up a little. Before I knew it, over 2,500 people had made videos with it and still do.

That song blowing up was massive for me. I was only five months into stepping back onto the scene at the point as an artist, so it was exciting, but also a mad feeling. On the same day that Solotoko reached out to me about signing it, 3Beat got in touch with me as well. Not long after that, I signed with NQ Management. It was crazy that I’d actually got the attention of three massive labels. I do owe a lot to the success of that song.

As a DJ, you’ve played at venues like the legendary Mint Warehouse in Leeds and headlined numerous venues across West Yorkshire, UK. How does your experience as a live performer inform your approach to producing tracks for the club environment?

I suppose now I’m going into the studio a lot more conscious of how a track would sound in a club or a festival. I focus heavily on bass riffs, sometimes even filtering everything else out but kick and bass and asking myself, can people still move to this? My aim is always to make a memorable song, so I try to make something that people will still sing a long time after they hear it, whether they’re singing the lyrics or the riff.

You’ve garnered attention from established DJs like MK, TS7, and H ‘Two’ O. How does it feel to receive recognition from industry veterans, and how has their support influenced your career trajectory?

I don’t think I’ve ever played a House or Bassline set and not spun a song from at least one of these artists. T [TS7] I’ve known for years with us both being Bradford lads. The sound he brought to the bassline scene was very different, it was mad melodic which I loved, so in my early days, he was definitely somebody that influenced my sound, and still does to be fair. H’Two’O are just legends for what they did for the scene as well. They were actually some of the first DJs to get in touch and ask me for music when I first came back, and I’ll always be grateful for that. MK is just an absolute powerhouse in the industry, one of the originators so to get support from all these guys made me think, okay, I must be doing something right.

Exclusive Interview With Bass House Specialist, Jae Depz

“Make U Hot” is your first official single on Perfect Havoc. How has working with Perfect Havoc helped you in terms of exposure and reaching a wider audience for your music?

Working with Perfect Havoc has been great. I’m seeing that my streams have gone up in Los Angeles, Australia and London which is wild. A DJ called ‘UK Sanch’ DM’d me on Insta, saying that he heard Make U Hot playing in the Co-Op in Cardiff, so he Shazamed it and he’s going to spin it at a festival. It’s crazy to see some of the legends that are spinning it as well that the label has sent it to, like Judge Jules and Sam Divine.

Your music has received radio play and mentions in publications like Clash Magazine and Mixmag. How does it feel to see your work recognized on such platforms, and what do you think sets your music apart in the crowded electronic music landscape?

It’s a buzz, because I’m still very much in the infant stage of my career as an artist so I suppose this is just the start. And in terms of what sets me apart I’m not sure to be honest. I tend to overthink and proper focus on the tiniest little details. It’s hard because there’s a fine line between getting that right and completely overdoing it and ruining your sound. But I could make a song in half an hour, and then spend a week tweaking it to get it right. I also steer away from melodic loops and bass loops. As I’ve said, I do use Splice for vocals and drum sounds, but all melodies, chords, bass riffs you hear are something I’ve thought about and played in myself. Over the years, I’ve also produced other genres like Grime and Afrobeats, and even made some orchestral music for theatre productions, so House isn’t the only thing I’ve made since I started.

You’ve described 2024 as a breakthrough year for you. What are your goals and aspirations for the rest of the year regarding your music career and personal growth as an artist?

The main thing I’m aiming for is to play more gigs. I’ve come from DJ’ing for 14 hours every weekend at my old residencies to getting booked here and there, so I’m definitely pushing to get behind the decks more often. In terms of production, I’m still experimenting and navigating the scenes I am in. There are a few labels I want to release on; obviously Defected is on every house producer’s vision board. Sersa records is a Leeds based label; what they’re doing is sick so would be great to get some stuff out through them. At the moment, I’m working on developing the sound that I love and that hopefully the listeners will as well.

What can fans expect from you regarding future releases and projects? Are there any collaborations or new ventures on the horizon that you’re particularly excited about?

I’ve got collaborations on the go with some incredibly talented producers and vocalists. I’m trying to plan out my next release right now so I’m not fully 100% on what it will be myself! I’m just excited to be able to continue to release music and share new sounds.

Jae Depz feat. Movada ‘Make U Hot’ is out now on Perfect Havoc.


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Exclusive Interview With Bass House Specialist, Jae Depz

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