Interview: 5 Minutes with P-80

Trap has now found a firm place in Canada frequently producing creative artists who transform their somber surroundings in to bass driven floor-fillers. Based in the remote town of Nova Scotia, Canada, P-80 has been keeping pockets of bass lovers warm with his energetic DJ sets. Merging well known bass music with underground gems distinguishes his sound, allowing his sets to be unpredictable and surprising.
After releasing a string of free downloads on his soundcloud, the Canadian quickly made a name for himself. Last year he dropped and impressive two track EP ‘Swim / Throw Ya Hands’ available for free download. At this point we could really get an understanding as to what direction he has decided to take his music. His infectious arpeggio-heavy, bass-laden style yearned for the club atmosphere.

Swim / Throw Ya Hands (Free EP) by P-80

He has since been correlating a portfolio of his own cuts, putting his own bass heavy twist on producers like Future Prophecies, Claude Von Stroke and Clams Casino of which he received air time for on BBC Radio 1’s Diplo & Friends:

Clams Casino – I’m God (P-80 Refix) – BBC Radio 1 Diplo & Friends 10-20-2013 by P-80

He was soon picked up by Canadian based label, RAW records, which seems to be a good place to be at the moment in relation to innovative trap and bass music. He’s since released a number of singles including on RAW including the RAW records compilation EP:

P-80 – Zodiac Triller (Original Mix) [FREE via RAW Records] by P-80

We caught up with the young bass enthusiast and spoke to him about the scene in Canada, trap’s place in dance music and the future ahead of him.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Today, I am good! Going to dive into some new music, dig for some tunes to play this weekend.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

I would describe my sound as bass driven with a smooth and polished feel. Explosive at times, but reserved in some aspects as well.

Your style combines aspects of bass, dub-step and trap. There have been mixed reviews about trap and it’s place in dance music. What is your opinion?

I believe “trap” as it exists right now, like EDM Trap or whatever you want to call it, definitely has a place in electronic music, just like any other genre has it’s own niche. But I like to think of it as a different style of music from what it’s name is. Trap music is supposed to originally be a form of hip-hop so I personally don’t agree with grouping the the two together.

I guess if you can transform your influences into something that works it doesn’t really matter what genre it is. What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?

It’s hard to put my influences into such a small list as I draw inspiration from many different artists and sometimes obscure genres, but if I were to choose the ones that currently influence me the most as a music producer I would go with:

(In no particular order)

Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters
DJ Krush – Code 4109
Rustie – Glass Swords
Jai Paul – Leaked Album 2013 (waiting on XL recordings to give us the official release…)

What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?

At the moment I am really feeling Thomas White and the whole crew at RAW Records (MTL). Also, I have been into this Jersey Club movement lately, so I have been checking a lot of Trippy Turtle and DJ Hoodboi. Lastly, I always have time for some Clams Casino when I want to unwind and just mellow out.

What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks?

Well all of my melodies come down to me playing around on the 49 key MIDI keyboard I have had since I started. I tend to use a lot of soft-synths so its essential for me to be able to alternate through them on the fly and create compositions. I am exclusively using software to create my music, but would love to get my hands on some hardware synths in the future.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

For me its a tie between opening for and sharing the stage with Lunice in 2012, and playing the Evolve festival in Atlantic Canada every year. The Lunice gig was surreal because he is one of my favorite producers and it was right during the initial hype of his collaboration with Hudson Mohawke as TNGHT. The crowd was huge and the energy was even bigger. As for Evolve, it comes down to sentimental value I guess. It was my first festival I attended, and to eventually perform in it multiple times meant a lot to me.

For those of us who don’t know can you tell us a little about the music scene in Canada?

Well the music scene in Canada is pretty strong in my opinion, although it tends to thrive more in the bigger, central cities, especially Montreal. Eastern Canada has a lot of talented musicians, but its sometimes hard for them to break out and get the recognition they deserve. Its nice to see people like Ryan Hemsworth making it big, though.

What’s the worst gig you have ever done and why?

We’ve all had bad gigs. Its hard to point out the worst of the worst but I have played a few with some serious gear failures. Also, been to a couple “events” where the scene was just brutal… Downpour with no shelter, mud, police… Not a good look.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

I have an EP soon to be released through RAW Records (MTL), a few collaborations in the works including a hip-hop track, and I hope to get a mix for you guys done soon.

Lastly, If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

I would love to be a professional skateboarder but I don’t think my body would allow for it. Been skating for ten years now and I have had some serious injuries.