A Sit Down With DJ Dub Fx

14:08 Apr/19/2018


Benjamine Stanford, aka Dub Fx, is one of the most complete artists in the world. He is a beatboxer, a mc, an excellent musician and producer, as well as an excellent entertainer. His rhythms and rhymes have struck the attention of millions of passersby on the street, from where he started his amazing live career.

 

 "I aim to come and just give you my sound and my spirit on stage, that's all I'm here to do."


 

What exactly does your logo mean?

It has different meanings in reality. I wanted something that symbolized eternity, an eternal loop. They are three symbols that come together, and represent the three tracks of my live performances: a track for bass, one for drums and another for harmonies. In addition, if you look at it for good, you will notice that those three symbols look like a D, a U and a B: Dub.

Your music is empowering , do you see music as a political tool?

I see music as expression.. Politics to me is just giant puppet show.. I don’t by into that over manipulated, over intelectualised crap.. None of it makes sense to me.. The fact is, if I had grown up in a rich and powerful family I too would be capable of ruthless selfish acts to forward my greed.. We all have that ability to be evil and justify it… We all do it on small levels every day.. So I use music to paint a picture of how I see the world.. If that inspires you then my work wasn’t useless.. If you like the song but not the lyrics I’m equally satisfied because harmony and rhythm means more to me then subjective opinion…

When was your first proper breakthrough into the music industry? Tell us about your journey from the beginning. 

Street performing. Before that, I was playing in different bands in pubs and clubs around Melbourne, but I never quite found my sound. Having to compromise my ideas with other band mates also slowed down my creative process. As soon as I started street performing, I discovered who I was and what my potential as an artist was. Now that I’m fully self-aware of my limits, collaborating with other people is super easy.

How do you describe your music?

It’s just a mish-mash of all my ideas thrown together with technology basically. I’m at the mercy of the technology but that’s good because it gives me ideas. I write a song on guitar, I pull it apart and put it into the loop station, maybe make it drum and bass or make it reggae or make it hip-hop or whatever, and that’s basically what it is, I take ideas from everything that I like listening to.

Using your voice with this pedal, you must have some fun playing around with weird sounds. Is that part of your process, just making noises until you find something new you like?

Not really. I have a clear idea about what I want to do and then I make it. Sometimes I get a bit carried away, but I try not to waste time making unusable noises. The human voice on its own can already do so much, all I need is a bit of compression, EQ, reverb and delay. I do sometimes get a bit experimental with bass sounds but my focus is getting a clear punchy sound and more importantly making sounds that my vocals can sit on top of… less is more!

How does the dynamic of a street performance inspire you? 

On the street my focus was clear and simple, sell as many CDs as I can as quick as possible without getting shut down by the police. I would look around and see what type of people were in front of me. If they were older people I would sing up beat melodic tunes like "Love Someone" or "Soothe Your Pain." If the crowd was young and grungy I would do dirtier heavier tunes like "Step on My Trip." I adapted my songs and genres to the city I was in. It taught me to be flexible and how to present myself in any situation.  I also spent a lot of time refining my sound and experimenting with different ideas on the street. So once I was getting paid to perform in front of crowds at festivals I had already made all the mistakes possible. 

What was the most impressive show you did on this tour, so far?

Sometimes it's not just the biggest ones that are impressive, sometimes it's the smaller ones that touch me the most. We did a few shows in Poland that were great, and then we did Budapest, Praha, Vienna, and Bratislava, those were really great shows, and then we went straight to Germany. Look, every show has been amazing, we've been selling out pretty much every venue!

What do you bring in your music that’s special?

I don’t think about it too much. What I picture when I sing, when I play my music, I picture that I’m channelling music, I’m channelling energy from another dimension and I feel like I’m just pulling from that. That’s kinda what I try to do.

Are there any Reggae artists you would to collaborate with?

There are heaps of artists I would like to collaborate with, in fact I have already collaborated with a few of my heroes! There are plenty more… I don't really want to say who they are because I don't wanna jinx it. The thing with me is, I am more interested in collaborating with producers, more than anything else, like I love… singers are great, but collaborating with producers is more my thing, electronic producers in the Drum'n'Bass world and the Dub Reggae world. Peter Fox for example, he is an amazing German producer I'd be interested to see what I could come up with him.

What have you been up to lately with your projects/creations and your album ‘Theory of Harmony’?

I have literally just been in the studio making the album.. I pretty much do everything my self from writing to recording and producing each tune.. It takes me a long time because I lose sight of what’s a good performance or not.. I go from using one side of the brain to using the other in a matter of seconds and switching back again.. Being creative and technical at the same time is super hard when you are your own boss…

https://soundcloud.com/dub_fx/sets/theory-of-harmony



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