They weren't kidding around when they named the genre Melbourne bounce. Adelaide native, Ben Grzywacz, aka Uberjak'D, took the stage this weekend at Webster Hall in New York and when the first drop hit, the crowd began to move simultaneously as one bouncing entity, literally. There was not a single person, as far as I could see, that wasn't sucked into the Aussie's high energy music. Uberjak'd has brought his music along with his signature Melbourne bounce style with him on his North American tour and based on the New York show, things are going pretty well for him.
Prior to Ben's set, I was able to catch-up with him on how the tour had been going and how the Melbourne bounce was being received in the Western hemisphere. Among learning that blue Powerade was a staple for him on tour, Ben gave us the scoop on what to expect from his future projects and how waiting until the last moment to finish an EP can work out in your favor.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/115233035" width="100%" height="166" ifame="true" /]
EARMILK: When did you get into the game and start DJing and producing?
Uberjak'D: That's hard. It is one of those things that was just sort of a hobby that progressed. Lets just say about three years.
EM: How have things changed in that time? And how has your music progressed in that time?
U: Well, I definitely wasn't playing in Webster Hall three years ago. Musically, the Melbourne bounce is something I'm all about. I'm always incorporating that sound into my music. It all varies from rave-y projects to heavier sounds.
EM: You've got an upcoming EP coming out with Dim Mak Records soon. What can we expect from that?
U: Yeah! I reckon that all of the tracks on there, apart from "The Moment" - which is already out and I'll come back to in a minute, I wrote the three tracks that are coming out on the EP like a year ago. There's obviously a bit of Melbourne Bounce, some heavier stuff, a bit of trance, melodic. There's almost a sampling of a whole heap of sounds that I was vibing with at the time. I think that Dim Mak is a really cool label because it is mixture of different music. As for "The Moment", it got it's name because it was an absolute spur of the moment track to put together. It was a week before the deadline for the EP and Dim Mak was asking for the masters of the tracks. I was really bummed because I had really wanted a vocal track on the EP to keep the EP well rounded. I got together with Sarah Bodle in Adelaide for a weekend and we recorded some ideas on my phone. I went back to my studio to finish writing the song and less than a week later, the track was done.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/138174561" width="100%" height="166" ifame="true" /]
EM: Awesome. You've been fortunate enough to work with major labels including the likes of Dim Mak, Ministry of Sound Australia, and Mixmash. What can you say about your speedy growth as an artist?
U: For me, it's almost like when you haven't seen someone in over a year and you think "Wow, you've really changed!" It's not like you wake up one morning and suddenly feel really different. I'm just going to keep working hard and hopefully will keep growing as well.
EM: You were in Miami this year for the Winter Music Conference. How was it?
U: Miami was crazy. It was a crazy week. It definitely took a bit to recover, but it was awesome times. It was so cool to have all of our boys down from Australia as well; Will Sparks, Timmy Trumpet, J-Trick, DJ Scandal, DJ Kronic, and DJ Krunk and so many more. Sparks threw a party at RokBar one night and the best way to describe it is it was an Aussie house party. It was really great.
EM: You've had a jam packed schedule on the first part of your North American tour and you're only about half way done. How is the touring going?
U: It is definitely going awesome! It has been non-stop. I haven't had much sleep in the last few days. I just managed to get an hour of sleep in my hotel room after about an hour of sleep the night before. And then we had to come here, somehow I'm still going.
EM: How has the Melbourne bounce sound been received here in North America?
U: Amazing! Honest to god, it trips me out. I remember when I played my first gig in Melbourne at a smaller club of about 200 or 300 people and there were maybe 2 or 3 other clubs that played that sound at the time and now it is being played on the other side of the world at places like Webster Hall. It is crazy how much people are loving the sound. I guess when I first heard it I loved it and I knew that we had to sort of spread the word about it.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/108249414" width="100%" height="166" ifame="true" /]
EM: Are there any other genres we can expect to see you dive into like you have with the Melbourne bounce?
U: Of course. I always love doing something different. So expect the unexpected. I'll be incorporating a lot of different stuff into my sound in the future.
EM: Who would you say are some of your biggest musical influences?
U: There are so many. I guess Eric Prydz has been huge for his melodic sounds... I think that the balance between power and euphoric melody feeling is really important. You know, you don't want anything to be too heavy, like an ear raping or something. You need to balance out the power and energy with some nice stuff as well.
EM: What can we expect from you after the EP?
U: I've got a heap of new music coming out. I've got a ton of collabs too; with Will Sparks, Deorro, Laidback Luke, Slice n Dice, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some. On top of the collabs, I've got a heap of original stuff coming out too and a ton of remixes. The next thing that will probably come out will be my remix for Deorro which will come out on Dim Mak.
EM: Do you have any last words for EARMILK readers?
U: Yeah. I used to actually really get into EARMILK when I was just starting out, so it is really cool to be having a chat now. Thanks.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/116875720" width="100%" height="166" ifame="true" /]
Keep an eye out for the forthcoming EP with Dim Mak Records from Uberjak'D because this Aussie will definitely add some bounce to your life.