Image: Low Steppa
You might have come across him as Twocker, Bass Weazel or Punk Rolla in the past but it's commanding Low Steppa where Will Bailey is really making his mark at the moment, altering the logistics of dance music with a freshly dropped free downloadable album.
Independent of commercial clout, Low Steppa stays true to what drives him as an artist, often producing music that pushes his buttons rather than tailor it towards monetary values - yet that doesn't really matter when he commands a hefty following hooked on his slabs of garage and house stamped into a solitary beat.
In sync with that notion, almost accidentally - which will be explained in the interview, the Simma Black label boss dropped his free downloadable album Troubles (below) which you can download here. And with a keen sense of intrigue we decided to hook up with Low Steppa for a chat about the album, what drives him as a producer and more.
You’re really well known for giving away your music on your own Simma Black label, what's your thinking behind that?
I just feel simply that its nice to give music away sometimes rather than pushing links in peoples faces all the time to buy your music. It gets people interested and builds a fan base as well.
So the new album, you mention that you enjoy music that isn't just tailored towards the dancefloor, where would you say the album stands and what were your intentions in making it?
The album started off as a track to give away and then turned into an EP and still continued to grow. I kept delaying it and making more and more tracks.
I then worked on a group of tracks that were deeper and just a fun thing for me. By this time it had turned into a 15 track album. I'm always in the studio making music, most of it never sees the light of day so I thought why not give the people the album.
Would you say that because you enjoy making music for yourself and not always tailored for the dance floor, it helps satisfy you as an artist rather than for commercial reasons, which perhaps goes hand in hand with why you predominantly release your music for free?
Yes, the Low Steppa music has always been something I've made out of enjoyment so I feel really blessed that other people enjoy it with me. I think because it's music from the heart this is why its worked so well for me. It's my passion and my true love to make this kind of music.
The album's been pretty well received too, congratulations, but would you say their is an air of uncertainty before you drop an album at how its going to be taken?
Yes, I think there is probably a lot of pressure but as this was a free download I wasn't so worried because it wasn't really planned. It's been a recent thing that I decided to do and I feel the tracks have a very true Low Steppa sound so I was quite confident my fans would enjoy it.
A lot of people didn't even realise it was free and seemed a bit shocked which was kinda cool. I've had some amazing feedback on it so I'm so glad that I decided to go for it.
Your sound is a fusion of deep house and old school garage, how did you reach those cross roads, was this something you initially set out to achieve as an artist?
I think it began as what I used to call 'the Birmingham sound'. We've had this kind of sound in the after parties here for years so it has been incredible that deep house and garage vibes have blown up again in a big way. Right now I'm making some house and tech as well and just having a dabble with different stuff.
You recently returned from a tour in the US, how well where you received over there and what took you there in the first place?
The tour was insane, every show went off, I had the time of my life. It's really special to me that people on the other side of the world are into my music and were so excited to hear me play. Moments like that make this whole 15 year journey all worth it.
And aside from the album, have you got any incoming material or perhaps something worth looking out for on your label?
My new EP is out 23rd Feb, it's a 4 tracker called Squares EP (check it below). Loads of support for this release off the likes of Shiba San, Amine Edge & Dance and Friend Within.
You’re pretty well known for your various guises, if you could return to one point in your career under any of them, which party would you play again and why?
I would return to EDC, Los Angeles in 2009 and play my set as Bass Weazal again. It was a surreal experience but I wish I had made more of it and actually enjoyed the set more.
In case you missed it, head over to his Soundcloud page to download the album here.
Find out where Low Steppa is playing next here.