Drill soul is a new, evolving genre hailing from East London, where it was created a couple of years ago by producer Bluey Bluetooth. Known in the scene as the East London Magician, Bluey created drill soul as he was experimenting with different sounds and melodies after he had “a lightbulb moment” one day. In 2019 he put out Drill Soul Vol. I, a compilation of 12 drill soul beats, and has been working tirelessly on his craft ever since, creating a whole new genre for other artists to tap into. Bluey’s unmistakable sound can be heard on tunes like President T’s “GOAT” and Ard Adz’ “Rise & Prosper”, and is soon to take off and reach other parts of the world.
Drill soul can be described as a combination of hot and cold that don’t cancel each other. You get the effervescent, alert vibe of drill whilst the soothing, calming elements of soul kick in, making you relax while you’re still taking in all that energy. Drill soul takes your brain and senses on a journey, which Bluey is going to describe in this interview.
Can you please introduce yourself for the people that don’t know you yet?
My name is Bluey Bluetooth and I’m a producer/artist from East London. I make all types of music but for the last couple years I’ve been focused on creating a new sound I call “Drill Soul”. I’ve been producing for around 14 years but it’s only since 2019 that I decided to push my production into the music industry. Since then I’ve worked with a number of UK artists like Ard Adz, Skore Beezy, Lady Ice, President T and many more.
Sweet! And what is drill soul?
Drill soul has the gritty drill sound blended with a heartfelt melodic groove, fused together with different genres. This fusion of sound evokes more emotion, and although upbeat, gives more of a chilled vibe than the typical drill sound. My aim was to bring something different to drill with my signature sound.
That sounds fascinating! How did you come across this sound?
Well, at the time, I wasn’t hearing any producers with such a sound. Since then I’ve heard other producers bring their own soulful drill type sound and as the scene is progressing there’s definitely been more types of drill music, so now I’m not the only person bringing something different to drill. However, if we’re talking drill soul, I did it first.
You have to tell me about how you created it!
I guess from the moment I had the idea I took action. I knew it would be something people would love and I also knew I had to be original in order to stand out, so when I first started making the sound I sent my first drill soul beats out to DJs and ever since I’ve had regular radio play and created a lot of attention across the music industry.
What would you say is one milestone that you’ve achieved since you created drill soul?
Well, besides from going from no radio play unless it was for my singles to consistent radio play for 2 years purely off my production, which I’m really proud of, I’d have to say the track I produced for Ard Adz called “Rise & Prosper” off his project “Dinner For One”. It trended in the top 10 on YouTube Music for a week and it’s currently got over a million views and streams.
Congratulations, that is amazing! Would you say that drill soul is going to be something that we will hear a lot on the radio in the future?
Thank you! Yes, definitely. I got many artists I’m currently working with which will soon come to light but there’s a lot more drill producers experimenting with the sound more than ever before, so we’re already hearing more melodic focused drill beats and not all artists are using typical drill beats. For example Central Cee, he’s got more of a melodic sound than what you would usually hear from a typical drill artist.
Love that. Could you let us know what are you working on at the moment?
As much as I would love to I can’t even say too much! Put it this way: I’ve been focused on working mainly with UK artists over these last couple years but now I’m looking to take my sound global, so you’re gonna be hearing much more music this year from artists all around the world on my production.
So then you’re working with someone from the US?
Yes, all in good time the US is one of the places you’ll be hearing the East London Magician!
Would love to hear your name in all the big place across the globe. Tell me, how did you become a producer? What got you into this in the first place?
I appreciate it! I was an artist first. I started making beats because I didn’t want to rely on a producer every time I wanted to write, it used to hinder my creative flow. A genius friend of mine who used to produce for me, Alfa Mist, who is now playing jazz, used to make grime beats. He installed Fruity Loops on my computer back in the day to make me beats and one time I asked him for more beats and he told me “No” because I wasn’t finished writing to the ones he had already sent. So I started making my own. I still gotta thank him for saying “No”!
I love that! That “No” was a big “Yes” in life. Do you remember how you created drill soul?
Yeah, I agree. Everything happens for a reason, you gotta turn every negative to a positive. It was a lightbulb moment because I hadn’t thought about it previously and no one suggested it to me, out of nowhere I got the idea and it just made sense. To be honest, I was always playing with different sounds and mixing genres, it was just the first time I done it with drill as I never made drill music before I created drill soul.
What was the first drill soul beat you created and put out?
I sent beat packs out first so there wasn’t one particular beat, but the first to get played was called Chance On Me which got spun by Mak 10 on Sir Spyro’s show on BBC 1xtra.
I’ll need to give that a spin myself later on. Tell me, how and where do you take inspiration from considering that soul drill is your creation and the scene is still fairly small?
I get inspiration from life and I listen to all types of music. I stay open to anything that I hear so I’ve got no dominant source of inspiration, as long as it sounds good in my ears I’m happy
What advice would you give an upcoming producer who is only getting started but has got big dreams?
If there was three things I could tell any upcoming producer that would be that practice makes perfect so you gotta put in the work, build your network because you need to know the right people and, most importantly, never give up!
Love that. And to wrap up, this is something I ask every artist at the end of the interview: can you describe your past, present, and future in one word each for me please?
For the past I’d say Tested, for the Present I would definitely say Focused and for the future 100% Growth.