2020 has been a rough year. Venues across the globe are working the logistics of whether or not to host live, in-person concerts with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic being the deciding factor. Meanwhile, other event organizers have taken to the wide world of online streaming.
Although everyone’s taking a hit due to the pandemic, newer artists are at a distinct disadvantage. Without music festivals or touring concerts to be billed on, these artists are losing their ability to showcase their name and brand across the globe. But in these uncertain times around live entertainment, the Internet still proves to be the most valuable asset for anyone.
Enter REAPER; the enigmatic producer and DJ popped into the scene around this time last year. He started with uploading a variety of heavy-bass bootleg remixes on his Soundcloud page of artists like Skrillex, Pendulum, RL Grime, Excision, and more. After that, REAPER signed with Monstercat where he’s released two exhilarating EPs. He’s also collaborated with rising bass music stars like Blanke, Whipped Cream, and Awoltalk with more on the horizon.
After REAPER’s legendary debut performance at the Brownies & Lemonade show in January, the pandemic closed any other live performances for the foreseeable future. This included REAPER’s opening slot on KAYZO’s now cancelled 2020 tour, which would have also served as a teaser to their upcoming collaboration.
But with a steady flow of releases throughout the year, REAPER has come out on top. He’s here now to share the project’s origins, insight on his latest releases, and his love for drum n bass.
How did REAPER come to be? In other words, what is your origin story?
REAPER was born when forward-thinking sound design and a passion for thrilling, energetic music intersected with the stories I wanted to tell. In many cases, drum and bass is the perfect delivery system from these stories. My origin is war, rebellion, and death, and my mission is to share the sonic landscapes of my narrative.
When did you start wearing the mask? Did you make the mask or find it?
The mask has been around from the beginning, I hired an artist online to make it.
You describe a lot of your music as stories. For example, you said that your latest ‘Renegade’ EP is “a story of uprising and rebellion” that includes fighting a government of evil machines. Does the music come first and inspire the story or does the story inspire the music?
The story is in progress before the music is made. As I finish music, I usually develop more details around the concept/story of the song.
You have a new track in the works with KAYZO. What can you tell us about this new collaborative track? Does it tell a story like your previous releases?
The song is crazy! Our collab evolves constantly as you listen to it—it’s just one of those songs you can listen to over and over. There is a concept and story to the collab that I’m sure will be told in time.
You also recently dropped your own remix of the GRiZ and Subtronics track “Griztronics”. You’ve dropped it in your Brownies & Lemonade set back in January. What inspired you to remix this track?
I love reverse-engineering sounds from other artists and flipping them into my own remix. “Griztronics” had some really compelling sound design and that was probably my biggest inspiration to remix the track.
Despite various live events getting cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many artists and festivals have taken to live streaming sets. Do you have plans to live stream a set or sets and what are they?
I will be live streaming some events. I have already done two live streams in the past couple months. I want to make these sets special, so I’m not trying to jump on every live-stream opportunity that I’m offered.
You are very passionate about the drum and bass culture. What is something you would want new fans to understand about drum and bass that they otherwise may not know?
Drum and bass is music for everyone. It’s a musical format with endless possibilities. Want something soulful and funky? Listen to liquid dnb. Want to discover the roots of rave music? Listen to jungle. Want to rage? Listen to jump up and tear out.
In my opinion, dnb is the most emotive and danceable kind of music. And that’s why I’m team DNB2020 til the wheels fall off.
Make sure to check out REAPER’s releases and his next livestream in the near future.