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In conversation with: 5RVZ

“Don’t try to imitate others or fit into boxes. Create your own box.”

5RVZ, a DJ from the UK and currently making waves in Amsterdam, crafts a dark and grimey sonic journey. His style, a fusion of deep, “percussive riddims” with a sprinkle of “UK flava”, mirrors his love for UK sounds and darker techno. Influenced by artists like Pessimist, Knxwledge, and Lord Apex, his sets seamlessly blend dark drum & bass, deeper techno, UK rap, grime, and UK drill. Beyond the decks, 5RVZ, a clinical researcher by day, prioritises music production, seeing himself making beats well into old age. His biggest accomplishment lies in defying doubters and staying true to his music vision. Unapologetically unique, we spoke with the DJ about embracing their individuality in the industry and the importance of creating your own box.

How do you describe your DJ style?
Dark, grimey, deep, percussive riddims, sprinkled with some UK flava. Combining my love for UK sounds and darker techno.

What’s your main source of inspiration? 

Which other DJ’s or music artists inspire you the most?
Wow, so many to name, it’s an ever evolving list for me. But to name a few right now; Pessimist, Knxwledge, Lord Apex, Woody92, Nawaz, Clarity, Blanco. You can definitely hear the cross-over of all these styles (dark d&b/jungle, deeper techno, UK rap, grime, UK drill in my sets/mixes).

Dream b2b/collab?
At the moment, none. I love being a lone wolf. I really want to establish myself and my own unique sound before I think of collabs and b2bs.

If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
That talent and skill would take precedence over popularity, marketing and Instagram followers. I got a lot of respect and love for everyone booking me (a relatively unknown artist) right now and playing my music out, you are the real ones. Shout out to Glamcult obviously.

Besides DJing, what do you do in your daily life?
I have a very normal 9-5 job, working in the clinical research field. Outside of that, I like to spend as much time as I can making music. I would say I’m a producer first, and DJ second. I can see myself making beats until I’m an old man!

What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
Not listening to the naysayers and pagans that ever made me feel as though I couldn’t pursue this music ting. It took a lot of courage for me to ignore how people close to me were trying to make me feel, and even more courage to cut them out of my life. And it’s finally paying off, all the things I envisioned happening with music are now starting to happen.

What is your favourite song at the moment?
Right now, I keep rinsing this track, it’s old, but jeez, such a banger! Magneto by Blanco. I think I will play it at some point during my Glamcult ADE in-store.

What is the most underrated music scene in your opinion?
The Amsterdam scene, and just the Netherlands scene in general actually. A lot of people outside of this scene, don’t really know the levels of it. All the clubs and festivals I’ve been going to recently, the NL DJs have been shining for me. I’m a real nerd when it comes to analyzing transitions and mixing etc. The technical ability, genre fluidity, uniqueness of each DJ (and producer) is unmatched. For such a small place, the quality of musical art coming from here is incredible.

If you could think of your favourite club lineup what would it be?
5RVZ all night long haha.

What makes someone in the crowd stand out to you?
Someone who is unequivocally being themselves.

What’s something that you can’t live without?
Weed lol. Weed is the secret ingredient, have heard it said countless times by countless artists, but when weed is in the equation something magical happens. I notice it a lot when making music, after a joint, I enter a state of flow and buttons just seems to start pressing themselves.

What advice would you would give young DJs trying to break into the industry?
Be yourself! DJing, or any form of art, is an outlet for you to express yourself, so your art should be as unique as you are. Don’t try to imitate others or fit into boxes. Create your own box.

Words by Grace Powell

Images courtesy of the artist