Fresh off the back of his double award win at the Drum and Bass Awards 2021, Manchester-based DJ and producer, Bou, is killing the scene right now.
Last weekend, he picked up the award for Best Producer for the second year in a row, as well as Best Track for his collab with fellow Manc drum and bass legend Trigga with “Veteran VIP”.
He managed to take a break from his New Zealand tour this week to squeeze us in for a quick chat about what he’s up to at the minute.
Not only has he been busy swiping up industry awards, Bou has had his head down with the launch his own record label, Gossip – and its first release is out today.
“I’ve been visualising Gossip for over two years,” he told Audio. “Getting the right team together to make the dream come to life – having Dale, Hedex, David & Wilf around me – has helped me so much in making this happen and I can’t wait for the future of it.”
“I have tons of unreleased bangers that I’ve kept for this label. From huge collabs with legends like High Contrast to dubs from myself that people have been after for the last three years – and also talks of my first album on there. I have so much to release and create, and it’s finally time.
“My first release on the label is “Cous Cous”, with the talented Inja. I’ve been sat on this tune for around a year and a half, so I can’t wait to get it out. Plus, we had a wicked livestream and music video to premiere, so keep an eye on that.”
Looking back on Bou’s career so far, it’s been packed with highs and he’s still only 24-years-old.
He first got a taster of drum and bass when he went to a rave in some woods in Rivington with his mates when he was 15 – and he instantly became hooked on the genre.
So, he set about learning to DJ and produce and cites Shy FX as one of his early inspirations. But it was the legendary station Bloc2Bloc that helped him find his spot on the Manchester scene.
The guy behind it, Jack Banner, helped put Manchester’s bass music on the map and was streaming online long before the pandemic-induced livestreams came along.
Any up-and-coming drum and bass or jungle artist in Manchester is likely to have passed through the Bloc2Bloc HQ at some point, Bou being one of them.
“I met so many people [at Bloc2Bloc] who are into drum and bass,” said Bou. “Having a community of people that relate to what you want to do is massively important, in my opinion. Jack has helped myself and many artists grow so much. Huge respects to him.”
Now, Bou is on track to becoming one of the most exciting producers on the scene at the minute. His recent awards speak for themselves. But his secret to success is taking your time with productions and releases, as you’re always learning and improving.
“I feel like my sound is always developing and maturing the longer I make music. And my taste is always changing,” he said. “One of the main things I love in drum and bass is there is so many ways to express yourself when making it, it’s something you don’t find in a lot of other genres.”
He’s got a load of tours and festivals all around the world planned for the post-Covid comeback.
Currently touring New Zealand, he’s played alongside some familiar Mancunian drum and bass faces like Tonn Piper this week, headlining in front of a 4000-strong crowd in Christchurch. Something he says is still so surreal.
But despite global success, Bou still manages to stay humble. And it’s only a matter of time before he becomes one of the biggest names in the genre – if he isn’t already.
If you’re into drum and bass, keep your eyes on Gossip because there’ll be a lot going down on the label very soon.
Listen to “Cous Cous” on our New Manc Audio playlist now here.
Stay up to date with music and events around Manchester with The Manc Audio.
Featured image: @rhysbelding/IG
Up-and-coming musicians in Manchester to take over Band on the Wall for FREE shows this month
There’ll be three nights of gorgeous new music taking place across Manchester this month, as the students of Spirit Studios have their degree show.
Up-and-coming talent from the renowned music education provider will take to the stage at the much-loved Band on the Wall and at Spirit Studios itself – and the gigs are totally free.
Spread over three evenings, the degree show will include DJ sets, performances, and immersive audio-visual experiences and soundscapes.
Those showing off their skills have come from the studio’s Electronic Music Production and Performance and Music Production degree courses.
The final year students have been tasked with creating and producing music to show to a public audience as part of their major project.
The gigs at both Band on the Wall and Spirit Studios are free to attend, and will take place on 22, 24 and 29 March.
Then on Friday 24 March, the degree show will head over to Spirit Studios, just past Piccadilly, where guests can explore a range of sound installation, soundscapes, and multi-genre live performances in their very own studios and live venue.
‘An emo kid’s dream’ – Fall Out Boy’s insanely intimate gig at Band on the Wall, Manchester
It’s been five long years without new music from pop-punk icons Fall Out Boy – and rather than launching back into our lives with a huge arena show, the American rockers chose one of Manchester’s most intimate venues for their return.
The Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum group announced a very special intimate performance at Band on the Wall just last week, with tickets selling out in minutes.
The chance to see them performing in the 500-capacity venue is the stuff of a former emo kid’s wildest dreams.
Fall Out Boy are here to celebrate the release of So Much (For) Stardust, their first album since Mania in 2018.
They open the show with the first release from the new album, ‘Love from the Other Side’, the room immediately erupting in unified, punk-rock glee. The lads seemingly revel in the crowd belting back the lyrics of the two-week old track.
Then it’s a jump back 10 years with The Phoenix, a track taken from the album Save Rock n Roll, the record that brought them back together from their hiatus.
Despite Patrick Stump being the lead singer, and all individual members having their own long-standing fan bases, Pete Wentz takes the lead with crowd interactions, talking to us between songs and keeping us hyped during.
But of course, the 90-minute set gives each member their own time to shine. The band’s 19-song set plays out the band’s last two decades and shows just how far the emo veterans have come.
Three songs in, the four-piece explain they are ‘pretty f**king jetlagged’ and in true Manchester style, a member of the crowd shouts in response: “Do you want a tequila!?” Because if nothing else, us Manc lot know the cure for everything – booze.
The floor bounces underneath your feet as 500 fans jump, dance, and mosh in unison, as Wentz extends a salute accompanied by a grin from ear to ear – after years of selling out huge venues, you can only imagine how greatan intimate one of this size must feel.
The band perform with a backdrop of two sides of a smiley face, which they go on to explain represents the two halves of the new album, how it was built, and what it means. The second half of the record is based on the movie Field Of Dreams and the quote ‘If you build it, they will come’, acknowledging their five years of no music. Yet still, their fans are loyal as ever, as demonstrated by the enraptured congregation before them.
“It’s been a minute,” Pete says, “But we wanted to get it right so thank you for being patient, it’s almost here.
“Our band would not be a band at all, we probably wouldn’t be playing together if it weren’t for this city and what happened here for the music scene.” He makes nods to Manchester legends Oasis, The Smiths and Stone Roses and then jokingly says ‘anyway, here’s Wonderwall’. The crowd erupts, because who wouldn’t want to hear a live Fall Out Boy x Oasis mashup?
The end of the show is near but the band aren’t letting us Manchester lot go without us having something to remember as our own. After a quick intro from Pete, ‘Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet’ is played to their fans for the first time since 2009. The atmosphere in the room is unmatched and seriously nostalgic – I can almost feel my arm reaching for the heavy black emo eyeliner buried in my drawer somewhere.
The band end the show with ‘Centuries’ and ‘Saturday’, where Pete Wentz ends his night of crowd interaction by climbing into the arms of fans as we channel our teenage angsty selves, because even though So Much (For) Stardust isn’t a throwback record, this was undeniably a throwback show.