You may know his earlier work like “Big Boss,” or his name from collaborations with Flux Pavillion and remixes of artists like Caspa and Borgore. After a switch from drum and bass to dubstep in 2009, English DJ/producer Doctor P made a name for himself after posting “Sweet Shop” on MySpace with the intention of gathering interest. Given his global tour destinations since then, we were excited to ask him about his changes over time and the evolution of dubstep between London and the US.
You produced drum and bass under a different name before you were Doctor P… why drum and bass?
►I started doing drum and bass when I was about 16 or 17. I just liked it. It was cool at the time and what I was into. It never got anywhere though; it seemed quite stagnant and was difficult to break into that scene. Lots of people felt the same, and as it all sort of changed, I ended up doing dubstep in 2009.
Describe your style using three adjectives.
►Loud, weird, fun.
Do you have a preference between vocal and nonvocal tracks?
►I like instrumental tracks.
How would you say London’s dubstep scene has changed between 2009 and now?
►Now, it’s like nonexistent. Back then, it was massive. Every single night there was something in London. London moves quite quickly. I imagine now they’re playing trap, or probably bored of trap already. [London] changes so fast I can’t keep up.
From your experience, how would you say the dubstep scene in the US has changed between when you started coming here and now?
►It’s definitely grown and is more popular, obviously Skrillex and Knife Party are big. [Dubstep] is really accessible compared to what it used to be. It’s crossed over into a weird new school rave thing that sort of happened out of the blue. When I first came over in 2011, that already happened, so I’m not sure how it was before that but I’m sure it was nothing. And then it just exploded in 2011.
How did you link up with Flux Pavillion, Swan-E and Earl Falconer?
►Me and Flux were in school together when we were like 12; his brother was in my class and [Flux] was younger than me. We were both into music and kind of became friends. We actually didn’t really talk for a while, then he showed me dubstep and we accidentally started a label together and have obviously been doing business together ever since. Swan-E signed me to his drum and bass label before I was doing dubstep, then we all had a meeting, got along and decided to start a label together as a group.
Who was the first big-name artist you played with?
►I played a gig right in the beginning where Westwood was there. He’s a massive hip-hop DJ in the UK.
What is something un-related to musical skills you think a DJ/producer needs in order to make it?
►A sense of humor, a personality outside of music. It’s easy to just get totally sucked into music and forget there’s real life as well.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
►I’d definitely be making music. If I wasn’t doing well in this industry, I’d be struggling.
Is there something you haven’t done yet that you want to do – whether it’s to play a certain venue or experiment with a different genre of music?
►I’ve pretty much done everything and more that I’ve ever wanted to do, which is actually quite annoying because now I don’t have new goals. I just want to do what I’ve already done again.
Do you think the dubstep scene is over saturated right now?
►I think any scene that’s really popular is over saturated. It doesn’t matter what it is. I remember when I was growing up about 10 years ago, everyone was playing the guitar. Every single kid had a guitar and wanted to be like Limp Bizkit, and that was oversaturated. Now, every single kid downloads Massive and wants to be Knife Party or Skrillex. It’s always going to be like that, no mater what’s popular.
What advice do you have for anyone who’s just starting and wants to do something like this?
►Don’t hope it’s going to happen quickly, it doesn’t happen quickly for anyone. People think it just comes out of nowhere, but take Skrillex – he was doing it for like eight years before he got to where he is now and people don’t realize that. I started doing this when I was 12, and was 19 when I first had a release and 22 when I first started getting bookings. It took me 10 years. So don’t expect to get anywhere quickly; if you get anywhere quickly, you’ll go back quickly. You gotta rise gradually.