Interview: PAUSE Meets Sub Focus

One of this summer’s most in demand DJ’s, Sub Focus, last night demonstrated his crowd-pleasing credentials with a sublime performance to celebrate the launch of Desperados Verde, a unique blend of tequila flavoured beer with a BIG twist of lime and mint for a vibrant taste.

The highly heralded DJ/Producer stepped on stage at XOYO, one of Shoreditch’s hottest venues, to reward the crowds that conquered the Desperados Verde Twisted Mission with an exclusive DJ set.

We at PAUSE got a chance to talk with Sub Focus to discuss all things music and fashion…


Tell us about who you are and what you do.
My name is Nick and I make electronic music under the name Sub Focus.

How did you get started with music?
I started making music in my early teens, initially I played bass in a rock band but then I started learning how to make music on computers and got into dance music.

How has growing up in the UK influenced your sound?
Yeah for sure, lots of the dance music I grew up on came from here. Groups like Prodigy and Chemical Brothers, and movements like Jungle, Drum & Bass and Garage.

Do you prefer playing at festivals and larger crowds or recording in the studio?
The two go hand in hand really, I love making a new track then testing it on a crowd for the first time.

You travel the world to perform, what has been your favourite crowd?
Had some great shows in America recently at Red Rocks in Denver and Paradiso in Seattle but my best gig of the year was probably headlining Brixton Academy recently.

You have worked with many other artists, who has been your favourite and why?
Hard to pick a favourite, from the last album I particularly enjoyed working with MNEK and Alpines.


With your genre of music, do you think fashion plays as an important role as it does in Hip Hop or Rock music?
Yeah it definitely does. There have been really iconic fashion movements throughout different eras of dance music. Growing up in the 90s I remember brands like Moschino, Iceberg, Versace and Tommy Hillfiger associated with Jungle and Garage. Now I see a lot of the high end sportswear sports luxe look in dance music.

How important is your look when you are performing?
I don’t think about having a ‘look’ exactly but I am into clothes and fashion. I’m a big fan of brands like Acne, Opening Ceremony and Rick Owens.

How important are visuals to your music?
Really important, I spend a lot of time working with the designers for my album art as well as the people who do my videos and live visuals. I want to make sure that there’s consistent imagery and branding across all of my product or shows. I’m really into acts where the whole visual aesthetic goes together with the music, guys like Daft Punk, Justice or Kayne West.

Recently there have been people saying that soon dance music will die out and people will go back to listening to a more stripped back, acoustic style of music. What are your thoughts on this?
All music is cyclical so it’s possible but I doubt it. I’m definitely noticing a trend towards more organic and less synthetic sounds in dance music at the moment I think as reaction to the music being very synth driven a few years back.

What’s next for Sub Focus?
Lots of festivals over the summer then I will be starting work on my next album.

To find out more go to

Interview by: Ernela Vukaj

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