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Interview : Gaz Congi

November 25, 2021 5 Comments

Interview : Gaz Congi

In light of his new position at the DTR (Deeper Than Roots) Studio, I caught up with local music engineer and friend of MIMM, Gaz Frost on supporting Dubstep legend Mala at Brickworks on Friday, alongside Sherelle, and current brewing collaborative projects. Gaz touches on how he began his career in music from his bedroom to now specialising in vocal production and tutorial classes at DTR.
 
 
So, to start off, could you give me an insight into Gaz? You’re from Nottingham. Is being a music engineer your full-time job?
 
Yea, I’ve lived in Nottingham pretty much my whole life and have always been based here. Engineering is a big part of what I do full-time, but for the most part I work with young people and teach them various aspects of music production.
 
Then more specifically, can you talk me through the background of how you started your music journey and how this led you to your solo work, Frost, and your collaboration work, Congi?
 
I guess my journey started in my early teens as I was always interested in music, especially the production side of things. I had a cracked copy of Cubase and FL Studio on the family PC and kind of worked out how to use them and from there, I just used to churn out beats and would often record my mates which was my proper introduction to engineering and mixing. I’ve kind of carried on doing that my whole life really, and over that time have been lucky enough to take advantage of some great opportunities in music. Working collaboratively with my good friend Tulip for Congi started about 10 years ago now, we became good friends and started to make music together. Over the years, we have released with some awesome labels and played some great parties around the world. Through covid, we both heavily focussed on solo work, with me focussing on the ‘Frost’ stuff and Tulip releasing various projects through his ‘TULIP88’ moniker.
'CKY RIP' released on PONDLIFE was definitely one of our releases of 2020 
From there you’ve collaborated with a few other labels including White Peach and Pondlife more recently. Can you tell me a bit about how you come across or choose artists and labels to work with and through this, some of your fondest past projects?
 
Most of the time it’s through an appreciation of what the artist/label does and wanting to work with them. With White Peach, it was literally the sharing of an idea that eventually materialised. we’ve also released various records on their sister labels Fent Plates and Yellow Flower so it wasn’t the first time working with the label owner. With the Pondlife project, it’s like those tracks were made for that label haha it was great to work with Dase on that one because we’ve been mates for a while and I’ve always loved how hard he works. Looking back, one of my favourite projects was the Nine Sessions release we did with MIMM which was released with a comic book, and it was really nice to release the ‘Two Takes’ project with our good mate Yazmin Lacey. 
 
I saw from your Instagram, you’ve spent the majority of your music career working from a home in a spare bedroom kind of setup, and now you’ve recently landed a role within DTR Studios in Nottingham. Apart from avoiding the difficulty of noise complaints, can you tell me a bit about how you came to join the Studio and what this means for your career?
 
Yea I’ve always been a bedroom producer, always had a humble set up with nothing too crazy equipment wise. I’ve known Kev (Origin One) for a while now, we used to be in a Dubstep crew together so have always stayed in touch over the years. The initial conversation about me joining was had around September this year. I literally passed through to give some feedback on Kev’s forthcoming release (which slaps btw) and I was saying that I was looking for a space to work that isn’t my house, and the next day, he dropped me a call and said they could do with a hand at the studio. Since then, i got my set of keys and have been running sessions with artists since. For me, it’s been a really positive and insightful process as I’ve always worked with vocalists, but it’s always been my type of music (Grime, Hip Hop etc) and I’ve been lucky enough to gain some really cool clients that work on varying types of music that require a different angle when it comes to recording and mixing. I think ultimately, the process of learning new equipment has pushed me to that next level of my career. I’m using more industry standard equipment and my music sounds much more refined - I like to go in a couple hours before my client comes and explore ways I can get my personal projects sounding better. I love spending time there and it’s really nice to just have a place I can work from without any restrictions. 
 
 
For those who are unaware of DTR Studios can you give a brief lowdown on what you do as a company and what’s available to the public?
 
We are a recording studio that specialise in vocal production. We have some beautiful microphones and some insane virtual processors that emulate real hardware - this can make your music sound so crisp and professional. Alongside us offering a space for recording artists, we also have an extensive background in teaching and between the team, we cover different genres. I’m really keen to hold tutorial opportunities where I can share my process in the studio, whether that be production (beat making) or recording, engineering and mixing. To be honest, if it’s audio related, we can typically tailor the session to the client’s needs. All of us are really passionate about music and DTR is a place that can facilitate the process of music creation. 
 
You mentioned that you work with young people. How did you get into this work and what have you taken away from it on a personal level?
 
I’ve always been interested in working with young people (especially in a music mentoring capacity) from an early age. Back when I was in my late teens, I volunteered at various local youth clubs in Nottingham to provide some sort of musical offering and it all stemmed from there. Since then, I worked with a lot of community initiatives and eventually found myself working in schools. I now work for a local non-profit organisation that aims to engage young people and vulnerable adults in the arts and I really enjoy it. I provide music mentoring and holistic support to some of the hardest to reach young people in our city - on a personal level, this has shaped me as a human. To be able to pass forward the skills I’ve learnt through the years is an absolute blessing and along the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some really talented musicians. I can’t lie, It can be challenging, but it’s such a rewarding line of work and to be involved in music on a daily basis is kind of all I ever wanted.
Gaz is supporting Legend in the game Mala this Friday at Brickworks
 
On the 26th of November, for the second or third time I believe, you’ll be supporting Dubstep legend Mala at Brickworks, here in Nottingham, alongside Sherelle, Coco Bryce and others which is set to be a great night. Do you have any other events or releases coming up for our audience to keep an eye out for?
 
Yea I’m really looking forward to the Brickworks show, the line-up is stacked! Funnily enough, our next event is the day after in South London (Lewisham) for Bliss Print. It’s going to be at the Fox & Firkin and will run from 12-4am! Release wise, I have a project that is almost finished with Kyeza and something with Pondlife coming next year, I also have some music stacked away with Snowy and BIGMINI which is on the way to completion. Me and Tulip are also plotting the next project for Congi which I’m really looking forward to.
 
Lastly, looking forward who would be an artist or label you would like to work with next and why?
 
If I’m dreaming big, I’d love to do a song with Erika de Casier - I think she would really compliment a Congi production, she has such a beautiful voice. Apart from that there are so many rappers, producers, and musicians I’d love to work with, the list is endless. I’ve been chatting to Son of Phillip about getting some music started too so I guess that is something that could be on the horizon - I love his production and approach to music. Going into next year, I’d really like to start some form of a collaborative project where I produce the tracks and have people feature, I’ve made some nice connections over my time of being involved in the scene. Nottingham is rich in talent, so I never have to look too far.
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To get in touch with Gaz and find out about the services he offers at DTR you can find him on Instagram at @gaz_congi_frost
Gaz plays Brickworks this Friday - Event Info 
Words by Aime Stenson-Pickles 



5 Responses

Sarah
Sarah

November 29, 2021

Brilliant interview Aime!

Sally
Sally

November 26, 2021

Really interesting informative interview, great to learn how these careers manifest.

Mark John Scott
Mark John Scott

November 26, 2021

Great all round interview.
Love it when someone, uses their passion and skills to enhance the lives of others. ‘especially’ through music!

simon glenister
simon glenister

November 25, 2021

Nice interview, Hi guys I run www.noisesolution.org a Social Enterprise that’s been using music tech and cloud technologies to mentor youth since 2009. Sounds like you’re doing great things. We do a lot of work around measuring the impact of wellbeing that this work has, which can really help with funding. If you’re interested happy to discuss it with you – short film here https://sforce.co/3qZffgQ

Hazel Stenson
Hazel Stenson

November 25, 2021

Great interview. I’d love to live in a city like Nottingham with such fertile talent. H

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