As part of the wide-reaching CruCast family, rising star Tsuki finds himself as one several hugely popular artists at the forefront of the unapologetically high-energy – even brash – brand of bassline, drum and bass, and other high octane club sounds that the label and collective has built its identity around over the last few years, to a huge level of success and fan support.
With his debut album having just been released at the end of November, we took the opportunity to ask the producer about the project, and how he has approached his trade in a year like no other.
How has this strange and unpredictable year been for you? It strikes me that it must be quite bittersweet because on a personal and career level it seems like it’s been a pretty important year, but obviously that’s tempered by everything else…
It’s definitely been a shock to myself and everyone! The year did start off great for me, I not long came back from my Australia & New Zealand tour and started the year off with my Japan debut and some wicked shows! I’ve managed to take some positives from all of this I guess, with having time to get the album finished and such but yeah, it’s a real shame that some of them never got the club and festival treatment.
I know the album was planned before the pandemic and everything that brought with it (lockdown, no shows etc.) How much of the time off over the last few months was spent getting the album finished, or was the bulk of the work done already?
It’s been an ongoing two year project if you account for when some of the first rough drafts were made for some tracks. But I’d say I spent pretty much from January finalising and planning what would be on it and when the album would drop. Some of the tracks were made before and just needed a couple retouches here and there, but yeah it was in the works for quite some time!
Has the time off from touring given you the chance to spend time making even more music, or has the album been the primary focus throughout? Or did you use this time for stuff outside of music entirely?
Yeah definitely, it helped for sure. The one thing that I did struggle with was a lack of motivation and creativity for some time during lockdown, but I feel that’s because I had no shows to test my new music at. The album was certainly the main focus when all this came about, and I used the time and opportunity to get it all finalised. When it comes to things outside of music, with being stuck inside the only thing that’s really changed is my level on Call Of Duty haha!
You don’t see so many albums in dance music compared to other genres/scenes, particularly when there’s such a clear club focus to how it sounds. What compelled you to release a full-length project like this?
For me I’ve always wanted to have an album, something I can look back on and be proud of. Also it will be great to hear my progression comparing it to some of my music in the years to come! I wanted to make the album a showcase of what I am as an artist, I started being purely drum & bass, then wandered into bass music. I feel like the album really captures what I make, as well as everything in between with other styles people may not have expected from me.
The album is out on CruCast, which to me seems like more than a record label in the traditional sense. How important would you say that being a part of CruCast has been for your career and your development as an artist to date?
It’s a great home for my music, and just feels right to have released with them! It’s been important for me as it’s helped guide me into making the music I want to make. Massive shout out to Joe and everyone behind the scenes with the help and support with my releases and the album. I have some of my biggest releases with them, and I’m sure there will be many more to come.
The ‘brand’ of CruCast also seems to be bigger than any individual artist involved in many ways – what is it that you think has captured the imagination of fans and made CruCast such a recognisable force in the world of dance music?
I feel like CruCast is just a big family, a family of bass music lovers. Whether it’s bassline or drum & bass everyone involved seems to love it. Having so many different styled artists just helps bring everyone together, and I think that’s why it’s become more than a brand in a sense.
Finally, is there anything you’re looking forward to, or anything we should look out for, in 2021?
Loads of new music that’s for sure, I plan on getting so many tracks out in 2021! And also stay tuned for the ‘Redemption Tour’ which will be happening when the world is somewhat back to normal hopefully.
Redemption by Tsuki is out now on CruCast