INTERVIEW: An interview with Dr. Ozi, Spring 2014 by Serafina Thoma

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dr ozi phoenix june 5
Christian Boyd and Nix Chohan have come together as Dr. Ozi in order to give us some homegrown Dubstep, right here in our very own city, Toronto. They’ve closed for artists like Nero and opened for Borgore, and regularly put on shows all over the GTA and neighbouring cities. With Nix’s sound design skills and Christian’s lyrics and flare, these two compliment each other in a way that brings something refreshing to the Dubstep scene: talent!

Since 2006, they are looking very accomplished with releases on Buygore, Heavy Artillery and Firepower Records, and it’s still quite early in their careers to predict what’s next! Toronto craves their heavy wubs and indulges in every single collab Dr. Ozi gets their hands on. I’ve had the pleasure of being personal friends with them for over a year now, hanging out at BBQs, parties and shows, so interviewing them before their Phoenix Concert Theatre Show on June 5th, 2014 felt just like hanging out.

1. How did you guys first decide you were going to DJ together and what was it like beginning to produce while in high school?
Christian: Well Nix started producing back in 2004, before Dr. Ozi. We decided we were going to DJ together back when I left college. We decided we were going to make electronic music and stop doing the whole band thing. Nix was already making electronic music at the time. We went to our very first rave together and saw how everyone was acting at the rave. We noticed how it was the complete opposite of a hardcore metal show where people stand around with their arms crossed whereas everyone was super stoked at the rave. That’s the kind of reaction we wanted when we were in a hardcore band.

2. How did you guys come up with the name Dr. Ozi?
Nix: When I was a kid I used to go for drives with my parents and let my imagination run wild. I used to think of a big hulk-like monster just tearing through buildings and ripping wires. I had him in my head and would make him jump around in the car ride. I named him Ozi. Later on when I got a little bit older, Ozi left, because I couldn’t imagine the same as when I was a kid. My mom wanted me to be a doctor, and so did Christian’s mom. So we named him Dr. Ozi.

3. Who is the perfectionist and who is more laid back?
Christian: Nix is the perfectionist. I am definitely the laid-back one of the group.

4. What different roles do you guys bring to the table?
Christian: Nix is more of the serious, precise producer of the group. Nix will make sure the sound quality is absolutely perfect. I’m more of the person who will look at [our music]from a third person perspective. I will try to think of melodies that will attract a certain demographic of people. When it comes to the productions, Nix is definitely the brain.

Nix: If you look at producing, there’s people who want to produce and there’s people who are really good at technicality. I wouldn’t say I’m really good, but I’d say I know how to sound design and how to EQ something; make it sound better and crisp. Christian has the mentality of a lyricist and a song writer. He has a big mentality for melody. He can put so much in it to give a whole song a big transient. He’s good with build ups or transforming into a drop, anything. He puts the soul into it and makes it catchy.

5. What was it like finding out Dr. Ozi released a track on Borgore’s record label?
Christian: It started when we played a show with Borgore and we purposely decided to end the set with one of our new songs while Borgore was setting up. He told us “Oh this is your own song? It’s unsigned? I want this song.” It was Ric Flair. So we signed the EP with them and it was pretty crazy at first. We were like “Holy shit, this is wild”. Honestly, like any big accomplishment for us down the road, like when Boregore will play our song in his mix, or we get to collaborate with artists we’ve always liked, or we get respect from somebody we’ve always loved, it’s always crazy.

Nix: We look at each other a go “How did this even happen?!” People like Figure and Terravita always play our songs, and it makes us feel like we’re doing fine. Figure just came through Toronto a few weeks ago and he plays our track Snacks all the time!

Christian: Some artists get really egotistic about it, but for us, we don’t think that we’re big. So when things like that happen we’re like “Holy F*ck”!

6. What’s it like collaborating with artists you’ve never met in person before? What challenges does it bring?
Christian: Skype is a big difficulty. Honestly though, if they work with Ableton then everything is cool. Artists will just give you an mp3 file, and that’s their synth. It’s hard to deal with but we make it work. In terms of talking and being friends with artists that we don’t know like Borgore, Kennedy Jones, Ookay, Twine, and Twofold, we’ve never met them in person. A lot of producers don’t actually know each other in person. It’s kind of like a Facebook and Twitter collective because as an artist, you live through social media.  We’re friends with Borgore and other artists because we end up promoting each other’s music and broadening the followings.

Nix: We worked with AlexAnder, and he uses FL Studio and I use Ableton. We had to send files there and and he had to send them back and it’s a lot of processing. We just did a song with Twine, both using Ableton. He sent us the files and we sent them back and I finished the track in about a week. He lives in the Southern States and yet here we are making music together.

7. Do you feel a difference between the way you spin now versus when you first started as Dr. Ozi?
Christian: When we first started, we were too afraid to play our own music because we though it was shit. At first we were aware that we hadn’t caught up to the production quality of popular producers, but now we’re at the point where we can make songs that sounds the same quality or better. Now we’re way more comfortable playing our own music now that we’ve found our own sound, and a following. Tonight we’re going to play a bunch of our own new tracks at The Phoenix, and songs with Nikki Jumper and Matt Kitchen live. We’re not afraid to play our own material anymore.

Nix: Before, there used to be this old midi controller we used to use, the APC40. We used to lug that thing around everywhere! We took it to the States, we brought it here, we took it to Puerto Rico. It was so much to just carry. We had to carry one gigantic crate for it and two bags. So we came to a conclusion where we figured out a way to just go from the laptop straight to the mixer. It’s so much more convenient cause now we just have one laptop, and that’s all you need . But to be honest, we’re thinking in 2015 we’re going to learn how to use CDJ’s and go straight industrial.

8. What are your favourite venues and are there any still on your bucketlist to play at?
Nix: London Music Hall! I want to play at Kool Haus before it’s gone. And Adelaide Hall would be amazing.

Christian: Wrongbar! There’s a few places. Most of them are in Ontario. As much as people might hate on them, there’s a lot of good venues in Ontario. People have a dying wish to see us play at The Hoxton though. There’s a demand for it. One day we will play at the Hoxton and it will be the best show of all time.

9. Does it feel weird releasing SuperMoon just recently even though the track has been around much longer?
Christian: It feels weird but as much as people might not know this, pretty much every single song we have out is like the same signature sound. Pretty much the entire “Rise” EP was done a year before it was released.

Nix: Most of these tracks that you hear right now, they were done months ago. SuperMoon was done like, a year ago, but I fixed it up and made it better now.

10. What can we look forward in to future from Dr. Ozi?
Christian: There’s going to be a new SuperMoon, but people don’t know that yet. It’s going to be a totally new SuperMoon, and there’s going to be a singer on it. He’s in a really popular Pop-Punk band.

Nix: He played at Opera House a couple years ago, His name starts with M and ends with F.

Christian: No it doesn’t. But that’s all the hints you’re going to get.

 

LINKS:

Dr. Ozi
Facebook 
SoundCloud 
Twitter 

 

Serafina Thoma – EDM TOR

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Adele Desloges

Adele is the Manager at EDM TOR. She also heads up the social media as well as the photo and video team, and has been promoting events across the GTA for years. She has been a fan of EDM since the mid-90s and has since found a focus of pure joy in the trance genre.

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