Five creatives from across Bristol have come together to bring something different in the world of drum’n’bass.
Formed of producer Octo Pi and vocalist, Y-Dott, Trafic MC, Elkay and Twitchee, Outlines bring something unique to the table.
All well known artists in their own right, they’ve now come together to create their first EP, Aspirations, which released at the end of August.
The group discuss the history of the collective, how the EP came about and what the future looks like for the quintet.
You’re all well known as individual artists – what made you decide to come together as a collective?
Octo Pi: “We’ve known each other for quite some time, we’re all really close friends. I’ve produced several tracks for Johnny and Tom aka Trafic & Twitchee and featured most of the guys on my own productions over the years. They’ve all hosted shows for me at some point too, that’s for sure. So it seemed the logical next step to start something special together.”
Y-Dott: “We were actually all sat around at Jonny and Logans place having a few drinks and as usual we started sharing lyrics we’d recently written. Eventually (after we cleared out the room!) we agreed it was about time we did something together on one track.
“Jon pretty much then and there stood up and said he had to go to the studio as he can a concept he wanted to crack on with. We all wrote our lyrics and decided to bring it all together under one banner, Outlines, which we think is much catchier than just listing all out names!”
Trafic MC: “We came together in my eyes because we’ve always vibed together a lot and now after making such a beautiful feel good track together it was a no brainer to push on as a collective.”
How do you think you differ from the other drum’n’bass groups out there?
Y-dott: “In drum’n’bass there are allot of collectives but very few produce original music and base their USP on their live sets. We haven’t performed as Outlines yet and by the time we do we are hoping to have a number of tracks under our belt.
“Our music will be main focus of any set we do and if we need to delay our first performances to get that right, then we will. We are also very lucky to have a producer as prolific as Octo Pi who can bang out new tunes like a machine. He really is the glue that holds this all together and we are well aware other crews aren’t as fortunate as us in that respect.”
Trafic MC: “I feel we differ because we haven’t just got a pack of 200 mile an hour rappers . We’ve got four very different and unique rappers coming together to spread the same message.”
How would you describe your style?
Y-Dott: “I think we are still finding our style. The first track we have put out is a liquid track which, if we are being honest, is probably out of our usual comfort zones and fairly new to us.
“However, we wanted to push ourselves and trust in our ability as artists to make good music. The next bit we are working on now is already sounding allot heavier and more aimed for the dance floor or DJs in the mix.
“We are setting out to make original drum and bass jungle music with lyrical content as the focal point… so quite a big spectrum to work in and develop into- watch this space! Right now I’d say our style is based on chemistry between us as a group.”
How do you feel it’s best to push forward given the current climate in the events and music industry?
Elkay: “We want to use this quiet time to write as much music as possible and then when we are happy with quality and quantity start putting together a set for when we can eventually play out again. We want to give a live PA performance of our tracks and incorporate all the best bits from drum’n’bass sets to a polished standard.
“We are all too aware of how messy four MCs on set, with no knowledge of the DJ, can get, and we want to distance ourselves from the typical ‘show case/take over’ banner that gets thrown round all the time. That will obviously take a bit of time and effort to make sure our performances stand out! So the break from shows is giving us the freedom to put this work in.”
Octo Pi: ‘”At the moment I think the plan is to build up a decent catalogue of tracks, we’ve got lots of cool ideas in the works. Obviously we’d all love to do some live shows. We’ve been planning some live streams, so keep an eye out for that. Also we’ve had a few labels expressing interest in our collective so that’s certainly helping with the momentum too.”
So, what’s next for the collective?
Trafic MC: “More tunes, more videos, more fun!”
Aspirations is available on Beatport.
Main photo: Outlines