Interview with Buunshin: “I had to get used to getting no sleep..”
How would you introduce yourself to those who have not heard about you yet?
Hi! My name is Ferry Mellegers. I was born in 1996 in the Netherlands, and for the last three years I’ve been making some music under an alias called Buunshin. It got picked up really quickly after my first EP became #1 on Beatport last March. Since then I’ve had the luxury of making music with the people I respect a lot, and I have also done a lot of cool shows. The best part is that it feels like this is only the start.
How was the year 2019 for Buunshin and how was it for Ferry?
For Buunshin it was amazing. Couldn’t have hoped for a better debut year. Got lots of things done and started a lot of cool projects I want to finish this year. There were a lot of things that I had to get used to very quickly, like having almost no sleep in the weekend while being sober, or having to fly a lot by myself even though in the past I barely had the resources to leave the country. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way though! I’d take this life over my life before this any day.
For Ferry it felt like a huge personal achievement. What was an important factor of that is that I finally feel like I can be self sustainable after being raised in an environment where there wasn’t a lot of money. To do something that I truly love while making enough money to get through the day is something that I’ll never take for granted.
What exactly brings you to produce the music? And why drum and bass? What was the break point in this case?
I started out producing music after I was introduced to it by a friend – Ronald Dijks – and he would often talk about how interesting drum and bass was to him from a technical perspective. I have always been a bit of a math/physics nerd, so I delved into it, and before I knew it I had made a couple tracks that would form my first EP. At the time I personally wasn’t really impressed by it, but my friends convinced me I should put it out. When the response turned out to be that good I thought I had a fair chance of making it into something really good if I would go for it 100%. This is where it brought me.
You were nominated as a best newcomer and for the best remix for Drum And Bass Arena Awards 2019. How were your feelings after you found out your fans supported you this way? You know, being nominated in two categories is such an honour and it really means something. Big up and congratulations.
Thank you! It felt really good that all these people thought I deserved that place over any other person this year. There are a lot of talented musicians out there, so it means a lot.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I think my forte as somebody who doesn’t know much about traditions in drum and bass is that I am easily influenced by other genres. When I think something will work in another genre, then I will not hesitate to try and reflect that into my work. I think it keeps the music fresh, and I think working this way will create questions on what the borders of the genre really are.
What does a normal producer´s day look like? I am used to seeing many artists sleep during the day and work at night, what about you?
I work in whatever manner I see fit. I usually work during the day, but sometimes doing shows on the weekend can mess with my sleeping habits. I am still in university so because of that I need to be very flexible. Some periods are busier than others, so usually I’ll look at it week by week. In practice this means that I’ll work at home, at my friends places, in hotels, in the train, at the airport, and any other place when I have time. I knew this was how it was going to work out beforehand, so I made sure my entire production station is portable. Other than that I’d like to add that I really value sleeping enough and eating plenty of food. I care a lot about my health. I’ve been straight edge for about 5 years now, because I think being under the influence just distracts me from what I really set out to do.
Which of your releases are you the most proud of?
I think my remix for “The Wall” which was originally made by ABIS, Signal and Tasha Baxter. That is the one track where I put in the most thought and effort. What is a nice addition is that currently it’s also my best performing track. It’s got almost a million plays on all shared platforms, which is a huge achievement to me. I think it signifies that with a lot of hard work you can get a long way, even if you don’t feel like you have any talent. I also love that the original is made by people who are very dear to me. I love my friends. Gang gang.
Best track of 2019?
I’ve thought about this a lot, but I settled on “Gaslight” by Halogenix. I love it’s simplicity and especially the vibe it sets. To me it is a really good example of what music I like. I think music doesn’t have to be mixed to perfection to sound good. If done well, it should only need a couple elements that are so good, the sounds almost compose the track by themselves. Honestly I could go on talking about this track for a long time, but I think anybody reading this should just have a listen and try to understand for themselves. Talking or thinking about music means you are theorising on what is happening, which means I can also be completely wrong in why I think these patterns I hear make sense.
What about mentioning some upcoming releases, collabs?
I don’t know when exactly this interview is going to air, but on the 7th of February (my birthday) there will be a free download in a compilation album on Inspected. Have a look for yourself once it’s up! The track I am giving away is really dear to me. It was one of the first tracks I have ever made, which I then remastered later on. Other than that I have been working really hard on a new EP. I really want this one to be my best one so far, so it’s still gonna take a while. In the meantime I am doing my best to finish up collabs with Phace, Black Sun Empire, Nik from Noisia, The Caracal Project and some more producers. Last weekend I also had a big studio session collab with IMANU, Icicle and Proxima. Really happy with how that turned out so I’d love to release it as soon as possible.
Thank you Ferry. Looking forward to Beats For Love 2020.
Forbidden Society Recordings stage on Beats For Love 2020
2.7. – 6.7. 2020 Ostrava, Czech Republic