BAVHU stops by THEAUSSIEWORD.COM for a special interview.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
Kahu: It all began for me around 2010 I was around 16 years old when me and a few friends thought the Melbourne shuffle scene was cool and decided to learn the shuffle moves and edited/posted our shuffle videos on YouTube. During this time, we would attend all age raves and forming shuffle circles as way for us to show off our shuffle skills. We also were school reps for these raves, selling tickets around school and formed a close bond with the owner. After a year or so my friends and I were approached by the owner and told us that he had a proposition for us.. “I’ll give you guys 1 month to learn how to DJ and we open up a room at the next rave for you guys to play shuffle music to all the shufflers” “How does that sound?”
We couldn’t say no so we ended up borrowing a fluorescent orange Traktor controller and 5 of us learnt to beat match using YouTube ‘How to DJ’ tutorials. Fast forward a few weeks later we had a packed room full of shufflers from all over Auckland and that was the first moment of me feeling like “I wanna be a part of this music industry” and now here we are many years later still doing what I love!!
Cam: Since my primary school days, I’ve always been obsessed with having the latest tunes.. at that time on my MP3 player, scrolling through the billboard charts and scanning radio tracklists to update my playlist. Then when I went to my first gig which was at my high school after ball and saw my first DJ play (General Lee) and thought it was incredible.. I went straight home and downloaded Virtual DJ and got mixing.. 5 years later I met Kahu at a gig he was playing at and realized we had a mutual love for house and disco, so went B2B and that was the first of many! That DJ that played at my after-ball is now our manager – Full Circle Moment
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
We have already smashed some amazing goals that we never expected to so quickly, including getting signed by a Major label (big shout out to TMRW) and getting our track supported by some of our great inspirations such as Zane Lowe, Pete Tong, Mistajam & Danny Howard. Looking forward, the dream is to get bookings and tour Europe and potentially take some of the Brightside parties we run in NZ to the world.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour Australia?
More music to come! We have been busy in the studio so you can expect plenty more high energy disco heat.. We are REALLY keen to get over to Australia for some shows so broadcasting a message to promoters now, get in our inbox 😀
Tell us a bit about your latest release ‘Always Dancin’ and how would you best describe your music?
This track is a representation of us, our energy and the good times we’ve had over the 8 years as a DJ duo in Aotearoa/NZ and that happy feeling we get when having a boogie mid-DJ set. We have a radio show named ‘The Brightside’ on George FM which channels the euphoria, and the positive, high-energy vibe of house funk and disco, so we wanted to channel that energy into our first track that lights up the dancefloor leaving groovers with no option but to show a huge grin on their face and boogie.
When we started producing pre-covid and started forming our sound, we grew a passion for the horns and strings from classic funk & disco and decided we wanted to educate our local scene by modernising these classic disco records, formatting them for the dancefloor and incorporating them into late night sets. Part of this journey was going down the rabbit hole online and in record stores and this track had the most incredible horns and vocals. We instantly formed an idea for how the track was going to play out. We put the word out to some of our record-digging friends to see if anyone had a Vinyl copy and we tracked one down on a VA record and it was the Special Disco version of Benny Golson’s ‘Always Dancin’ – we absolutely love it and are stoked we can bring it back to the dancefloor in its new form!
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
We are both busy people with other careers as well so any opportunity we can get away from DJing or work (either separately or together) we get in the studio.
Given the lack of time, we have recently learnt to not let really particular sound design techniques, technical production skills, or the usual stress of making something that’s industry standard get in the way of the creative process and that has really helped with not obsessing over individual sounds, and more quickly getting the ideas in our heads into Ableton, and then perfecting the sound later on once the idea is there!
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
As mentioned, we have a radio show that channels the euphoria and emotion you get from music and we really want to make that energy shine in our productions.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
It’s been a wild ride over the last few weeks and hard to pick one but here goes!
- Zane Lowe support, Pete Tong & Danny Howard regularly playing on BBC Radio 1, Added to Capital Dance Playlist
- Getting booked by a major international label
- Regularly playing at our favourite festival RNV at Sunset then Sunrise to thousands of punters!
- Hosting our favourite local and international artist via our Brightside/ Nightside parties here in NZ.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Funnily enough, some of our big inspirations are the ones playing our tracks – Danny, Pete, Mistajam – I’ve (Cam) been following their shows religiously for years!! We are also massive fans of OG house producers such as Frankie Knuckles, Kerri Chandler and more recent artist such as Felipe Gordon, COEO and Cody Currie of Toytonics + heavily influenced by a number of Kiwi artists making us proud right now: Chaos in the CBD, Lady Shaka, Half Queen, Mokotron and Caru just to name a few!
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
For now, just honing in on getting more tracks out the door and hopefully a multi-track EP 😊
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Lazywax!! Logic1000, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Tame Impala, Dope Lemon, Stümm, Mall Grab, DJ Boring, DJ Toaka and XNYWOLF.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
Becoming an electronic music artist is becoming more and more accessible, so to us that only means there’s more room for creativity and inspiration. We’ve had an interesting learning curve with almost being forced to use TikTok as a medium to promote our brand and music. At first we were apprehensive, but once you understand the power of the algorithm it’s an amazing tool to expose your brand/music to people you usually wouldn’t be able to on FB/IG or via normal advertising channels.
How will you continue appealing to the international market?
We’ve had such a good response to our first single, we think there is a big market for high energy disco bangers, especially out of Europe – so we will continue on that same path!!
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
Would be great to collab with our homies Lazywax in Oz, we have a long list of Kiwi musicians we want to collaborate with, but the dream would be to collab with the likes of LF System, Breakbot, Folamour or Barry Can’t Swim who are on a similar wave to us!
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
Flick us a DM, we are super responsive and love a good yarn about music, the industry or anything at all really! Love to hear from ya!
Any last words?
Brightside 2 the world!!!!! Go check out our debut single ALWAYS DANCIN’ available on all major platforms!!!!