Rebel Bass meets Zero, discussing tour dates, production insights and his massive catalog of upcoming tunes.
Christian, thanks so much for chatting with me. Give an introduction to yourself including your name, age, a bit about your hometown and your beginnings as Zero.
My name is Christian Williamson, I’ve just recently turned 21 and graduated from the University of Sussex and I’m from Woking, a small town just south of London, although I am currently living in Brighton and have been for the last 3 years now. The whole Zero project actually started quite a while ago now, as I used to make various different styles of music before I honed in on producing bass music. It took me a while to find my sound and realize that making bass music was the direction I wanted to go down. I was making quite chilled ambient electronic music for a long time but by the end of my first year at university I just wasn’t getting anywhere with it at all – whereas I had just finished off my first bassline tune and had received a lot of good feedback and attention from it, so naturally I jumped ship and started to focus on heavier beats around 130bpm.
You’ve had a busy few months making stops at Lengoland in May, performing with Notion, Distinkt and DJ Q in Brighton and recently, BBQ’ing it up in Southampton! Talk about some of your summer highlights and where you can be found playing in the upcoming months.
All of those shows were a blast, especially the Brighton show. I’ve played there at least 6/7 times in the last year and each show just gets better and better, so shout out Brighton for being so sick at the moment. Personal highlights show-wise would have to be the 5 I played in March a few months back. I played in Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and London’s very own Printworks – with the most notable being for Chris Lorenzo’s Bass Mentality Tour in Leeds, where I played to over 1000 people and still regard it as my best show to date – incredible energy from start to finish. Summer is looking pretty nice with August set to be the busiest. I’m back in Sheffield for Bassfest, debuting in Exeter and Bournemouth, and am gracing the Job Centre stage at the one and only Boomtown Fair, so to be honest with you I am absolutely buzzing for August now that I think about it…
Since “U.K. bass and breaks” can be kind of a loose term – do you feel that different cities across England foster a distinct sound? For example – would a producer from Brighton come up with a different vibe than Sheffield or London?
100%. There is definitely a North/South divide in terms of sound, with cities like Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and so on, all fostering a more 140 bassline/Off Me Nut sound. Whereas down South, predominantly Bristol and Brighton I’d say, you are getting more of a slow, sound design oriented sound. There are producers on both ends of the spectrum, however, that are absolutely smashing it. Big shouts to my boys Bushbaby and Freddie Martin who are both producers from Brighton and are killing it at the moment with their unique sound – not to mention Distinkt, who is also from Brighton and continues to produce banger after banger. Up North, I’d have to say my favorites are currently Livsey, Kryphon and Claybrook – all of those guys are insane producers.
*Bit of promo here* You also offer mastering services to others, which as a producer, I know it can be useful being able to mix and master your own tunes. Did you teach yourself the ropes or are you formally taught?
I’ve been doing mastering for a little while now, just because I feel like you might as well learn how to, as most of the techniques and methods can be used in various other aspects of production – and I like to be able to do most things on the creative side myself. I taught myself how to master with various videos and mostly, trial and error…lots and lots of tireless, aggravating trial and error…but that’s how you improve your production the most I feel. Just experiment with different techniques and keep at it no matter if it doesn’t sound absolutely perfect to you at the time. There are no specific rules for music production so if it sounds good just go for it, don’t worry if everyone else is doing it a different way that may be considered the ‘normal’ technique or whatever. All of that being said…if you would like for me to master your tracks for you at a very reasonable rate of £10 per tune, hit me up via email.
Lastly – talk about solo tracks and collabs you have in the pipeline and anything else we can look forward to in the upcoming months.
I won’t lie, I have some serious tunes coming out over the next few months. I’m currently sitting on about 14 unreleased tracks, have collabs in the works with Sammy Virji, XX92, Freddie Martin, a 3-way collab with Freddie and Bushbaby, and have potentially my heaviest tune to date which is a joint effort with bad boy producer Vellum, coming out in the next month or so – on a label I can’t specify as of yet – but one that I have been wanting to release on since it was founded. I’m also currently working on getting a sample cleared for what I reckon is my best tune to date, entitled ‘Look At Me Now’, which I am really excited to show people as I feel like it properly defines the whole Zero project and my sound at the moment, and the direction I plan to go in over the next year or so.