In Conversation with: A. FRUIT
Words: Gina Bonnar | 7 March 2021
We are so honoured to have been able to catch up with queen of 160bpm and one of our favourite producers - A. FRUIT! She is known for her bass-heavy experimental sounds and has featured on huge labels such as Worst Behaviour Records, Rua Sound and Cosmic Bridge. In this interview she discusses her position as a womxn in the current bass music scene, her influences around russia and St. Petersburg, and gives some useful resources for individuals wanting to get into producing. Even better, she has provided an exclusive mix which is an exercise of her 135-145bpm favourites at the moment.
Hi Anna, For those that don’t know you describe who you are and what you do!
I make music and sounds as a self-employed audio sound designer and composer and making bass music under the name A.Fruit.
How have you been general over this whole crazy period with COVID-19?
Honestly it's been a difficult time mentally and physically but there were also many good things happening, interesting new projects. I’m grateful to have clients I love to work with and before the pandemic my surviving was not depending very much on A.Fruit music and touring. I got used to a kind of self isolated lifestyle while being a freelancer for 6 years now so I think I was in a lucky position when it all started.
So you’re obviously a very busy gal, you’re a producer and dj, sound designer and audio engineer. Talk us through a day in the life of A.Fruit!
I love the benefits of a self-employed person because I can plan my day how it’s comfortable for me. A usual working day starts with cooking breakfast and then I have a whole day session in my studio room with eating breaks and little sport exercises breaks. I usually work on several projects at the same time and I switch between them every couple of hours if I can. During the breaks I’m also trying to check new music and check what’s happening in the world. Sometimes I also spend in a swimming pool and sometims going out to meet friends.
You grew up in Moscow and are now based in St Petersburg, Russia. What is the music scene like here and where did you take influence from that inspired you to create the music you do?
Moscow and Saint-P are two biggest cities in Russia and they are close to Europe so most of the cultural events are happening there. Music that I produce and play is mostly driving with small underground communities that have a good friendly atmosphere, probably that's one of the reasons I stick to that cross-genre and leftfield side of bass music mostly known by music nerds. I like this music and I like those music nerds around it :)
Your mixes in particular are always on point - such great selections and experimental of multiple styles within footwork, jungle, half-time. How do you discover your new music and keep each mix so original?
Thanks for the kind words! I have several sources for finding music - firstly I check my bandcamp and soundcloud feed, then I use a streaming service that also adds its good suggestions of a new artists for my playlists. I also regularly get promos from some labels and some lovely producers are sending me their dubs. I often play them and very grateful to everyone for sharing great music with me so I can share it with my audience too.
I read an article a while back about you starting your journey as A.Fruit anonymously as you wanted to be judged on your music rather than your gender. It’s sad that this is a reality for womxn producers/djs and that tokenism is a big thing within the scene. Tell us more about the start of your music journey, did you face any challenges once you were no longer anonymous?
I feel like probably I would make a career faster if I was more comfortable showing my body and etc. But I also feel that I wouldn't be myself doing that. I like to be percieved firstly as a good specialist and a nice person, and I feel like it's a challenge to pretty women, when there are a lot of people blindly convinced that it's often nothing interesting behind the beautiful wrapper or that this is the only reason woman’s success.
Do you think things are getting better for womxn within this scene? What are your hopes for underrepresented producers/djs/all round creatives?
Yes, I definitely see how things are getting better. I love seeing more and more new collectives what unite all genders, colors and nations, especially where people are not separating from each other creating the closed female-only groups, but instead, collaborating with men and playing events together. Worst Behavior Recs is a good example of such a peaceful unity. I think this is the best strategy to finally get to a point where it feels comfortable to everyone to support each other and move forward together. It's also great that we got more educational sources and more people supporting women on the scene, it feels like women themselves are supporting each other more often these days. I’d like to give a shout to EQ50 and its members for that, loving what they do.
In terms of Production - you’re a sound engineer so would you say you have quite a technical approach to producing or is it more a collection of improvisation/creative spontaneity?
It's a mixture of both :) When it comes to improvisation and spontaneity it is the most pleasant part of work to me though!
If you had to choose - what is your favourite release by yourself?
It's hard to choose because they're all different and all associated with different periods in my life. Probably the Obsession EP on Med School shows the most collective image of my music.
For those starting up & getting into producing - can you suggest any resources/tips you found useful when learning?
A lot of great producers been sharing their knowledge and tips on Youtube and Twitch lately - Stranjah is sick, Ani Klang, Jon Casey. Also I’m a big fan of the “You Suck at Producing” channel on Youtube, it’s hilarious and useful at the same time.
And lastly, tell us a bit about the mix you have done for us today! Really excited to hear it. :)
Most of the mixes people heard from me were around 160 bpm as most of my own music is at that speed, but I actually love and listen to music of many different genres, it inspires me to produce something in between and I recently started to include more and more variety of sounds into my mixes. In this mix I played 130 - 145 bpm music including tracks by female and male producers, black and white, producers from different countries around the world and some homies from Russia. Music should bring us all together <3
1.Doctor Jeep - Rolla Dex
2. Yazzus - Feelin Phresh
3. Loraine James - Glitch Bitch
4. Danielle Arielli - EOE R.
5. Granul - Quarantine Groove
6. A2A & Air Max '97 & Aya - Yike!
7. Sam Binga & Addison Groove - Drop That Pop That
8. Champion Sound - Die 2 Night
9. Eytan Tobin - Cut
10. LOG4N 5 - M46N1F1QU3
11. Thematic - 8758
12. Bastiengoat - Only stay if you want
13. Sonido Berzerk - Bounce Girl
14. Tyler, The Creator - OKRA
15. TSURUDA - High Grade
16. Bastiengoat - Falia
17. Sarah Farina - Get It Gurl
18. Boylan x Jana Rush - Future House