"We had no shortage of ideas, but had very little advice and technical experience." - How Veak has propelled himself centre stage

Drum and Bass | Friday 5th June 2020 | Arren

We have a chat with Veak, a sick producer who’s been tearing up our speakers with his sick jungle pumped drum & bass.

Hailing from France, Veak is rapidly becoming one artist on everyone’s lips. Over the past few years he’s really put himself into overdrive and has dropped stacks of top notch jungle drum & bass. Such is the quality, his tracks have been snapped up by some of the leading labels of this style including Deep In The Jungle, Nuusic and Original Key.

Just recently in May he dropped his latest madness, sorting the killer 45th edition for Liondub International’s 'Street Series'. Racking up to 5 tracks, he’s really dived deep into the jungle rolling sound and the results are dutty. A scattering of amen breaks mixed up with heavy hitting rolling beats keep the tunes ticking along whilst wonky, pounding basslines rattle the beats to the core. Each and every track is a dancefloor smasher, shame they won’t be causing the chaos on the floors they deserve for a while.

This EP is just the latest work from a line of cracking releases from Veak. In the past six months he's dropped a massive album 'Midnight City', collaborated with RMS & Kumarachi, Speaker Louis and appeared on his fair share of compilation albums/EPs. With each release you can hear his productions getting tighter and tighter. It may seem this French producer/DJ is killing it right now but I doubt we’ve even reached Veak’s peak.

After following him for a while we decided to have a chat with him about his time up to now within music, how lockdown has affected him and all things in between…

How has your experience of lockdown been?
My experience of this lockdown and confinement has actually been okay. I get up early and devote all my day to everything I love: music, xbox, my garden and spending quality time with my girlfriend and my dog. I actually wish it would last longer. When I was younger, I partied a lot but now that I’m close to 40, I’m fine spending time at home. I’ve been very productive and was able to finalize several EPs as well as a sample pack for Thick Sounds (Loopmasters).

Is there anything you miss from pre-Covid times?
Not much has changed for me except for the mask, the hand sanitizing gel and social distancing.

What do you think clubs and venues will be like once restrictions are lifted?
Thats a good question, maybe a lot more masks and gel... but it’s true that it may be very complicated.

Despite the chaos, you’ve still been pushing out releases which has made our locked in parties so much better! Your productions have been really taking things to the next level, how would you describe the last 5/7 years?
Thanks for the compliment, I really enjoyed the feedback and support that my latest release on 'Liondub's Street Series' received.. What I like about music production is that we as artists are constantly learning how to improve his technique. I have always had so many ideas for new songs, but to be fair, the last 5 years were mostly about improving my production technique, and the overall quality of my productions. In the past 2 or 3 years I have finally begun to be totally satisfied with my productions.

You hail from Reims, France - yet your sound effortlessly trends the lines between London and Bristol sound - what were your experiences with drum & bass?
I knew about jungle by chance by hearing it on the radio around 1996, then I bought a compilation 'Jungle Soundclash 2' (which I still have in my closet) which was very inspirational for me. After that I had a big techno period, hard-techno, illegal rave parties and that’s when I started producing and DJing music, mostly techno at first then in around 2003 back to drum & bass mixed on vinyl.

What kind of sounds/artists/labels have helped influence and shape your sound?
DJ's, Producers and labels like DJ Hype, Dillinja, Ganja Records, Playaz, V Recordings, Total Science, Renegade Hardware. There are too many to name. Lately I'm a massive fan of the Souped Up sound, Bou, and Kings of the Rollers. I also love the new roller / jungle vibe from labels like Serial Killaz, Liondub International and Deep In The Jungle.

Despite having been active in drum & bass since 2004 it states on BPM artists you only feel recently that you’ve been getting going, why is that?
Because it was a long process for me to learn how to properly produce drum and bass. My friends and I all learned by just working in the studio at the time because there was no YouTube tutorial like now and we had to explore little by little and improve our technique over the years. We had no shortage of ideas, but we had very little advice and technical experience.

Are there any obstructions you feel you’ve had to deal with?
The language barrier of course, I speak and understand a lot of English now in comparison to 15 years ago. Also the fact that this style of music was not very well known in France back in the day, it made it difficult to progress. I had very little feedback, no contacts, no examples to follow in the scene. We really had to figure it out for ourselves.

You’ve had a load of massive releases recently including with Liondub’s Street Series, Original Key, and Deep In The Jungle. Some high profile labels repping your sound! Are there any labels you want to see yourself on and why?
Yes I love working with those labels! They are passionate, inspiring, humble and very responsive. Lately I’ve been thinking of contacting Chronic, Grid, and Zombie… These labels inspired me a lot at one time when I bought vinyl, and I’m glad to see them back on the digital scene. I have a handful of collaborations ready with Salaryman and we are in touch with Program, but the deal's not done yet.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in life?
If you mean in music production it would be a tip that Serial Killaz gave me a few years ago; "less is more." Since then I try to clean up my productions and improve the quality as much as possible. If it is in life, to hold fast to the projects and causes we believe in and to remain humble, accessible and courteous.

What are you most in love with right now?
First my woman, and a new professional project aside from music that I hope will succeed and bring me the fulfillment I expect.

What would you do to change the world?
Less violence, less pollution and less overconsumption / overproduction, I find that the humans are scary on these points.

If you could fill a swimming pool with anything, what would you fill it with?
I think I’d fill it with cheesecake. That would be pretty weird, but I like cheesecake.

If you could party anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
I think it would be with all my good friends on a roof-top in Bangkok or on one of the beaches in the south of my country France. I went there several times and I love this country, the mentality, and people are very cool.

Veak’s latest EP, 'Street Series Vol 45: Watch This' is out now via Liondub - Buy/stream

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