Our Stories: High Demand

Tom Aston

High Demand are a Drum and Bass duo from Manchester made up of Harrison ‘Bull’ Davies-Ball, and Andrew Jones.

From playing the main stage at Beat Horizon Festival earlier this year, to dropping a new EP recently, High Demand are just that – in high demand. We had the opportunity to chat to the duo for our second ‘Quarantine’ series about life at Spirit, their inspirations, and how they’re staying productive.

Thanks for sitting down with us today. To start, what drew you to Electronic Music and DJing as a career?

A: Since I was 14 I’ve been DJing at house parties, and then I started producing. I’ve always loved it so it only seemed right to pursue it as a career.

H: Andy had been teaching me how to DJ and produce, and I realised I really enjoyed it and wanted to pursue it as a career. At college I did two years of Business Studies, so I figured the EMP&P course at Spirit was the perfect addition.

And so, why did you decide to study at Spirit Studios?

A: I knew someone that studied at Spirit and they said it had great facilities, so for me it was a no brainer!

H: I moved to Manchester with Andy as he was starting his first year, and as he was showing me the ropes of production and DJing I thought I’d join as well to help further develop my skills. 

Image supplied by High Demand.

Tell us, how did you two meet? And on top of that, how did High Demand come to be?

H: We both went to the same primary school, and then in Year 2 we both went to different schools and didn’t stay in touch. We ended up going to the same college and started chatting in the first few weeks, which is how we realised we’d been to primary school together. And it’s all gone from there really! 

A: High Demand started in 2017, not long after we both moved to Manchester. We started as a Techno/Acid House duo, but in 2018 we decided to rebrand and pursue DnB.

H: We both decided around the end of 2018 that we’d be stopping putting out music under our own alias’ and put our full time and effort into High Demand, and we haven’t looked back since. 

You guys won our Beat Horizon competition back in January, so firstly congratulations! How did it feel to perform at such a high profile event with many big artist names such as Sampa the Great, and Raekwon to name a few?

H: Thank you for the congratulations and also for the opportunity to enter! This was hands down one of the best events we’ve ever played, not only for the crowd but also for the overall experience. Getting to meet so many legends not only in the Drum and Bass scene but in the whole industry was incredible.

A: It was a mad one, we had our own artist liaison who looked after us throughout the day, and getting to be behind stage with legends such as Dub Phizix and Strategy, and Children of Zeus was insane! We also can’t say too much on it yet, but we might be making a return to the festival in 2021…

Wow, that’s incredible! Who and/or what inspires you to make your music?

H: One of the biggest inspirations has to be our fans. At the time of writing this we’re closing in at 2.3K followers on Soundcloud and seeing how people react to us and the support we get makes it all worth it.

A: I have to agree with Harrison, It’s definitely about the fans. At first it’s hard to be inspired, but with enough hard graft and time the engagement comes, and then it’s easier to be inspired and want to make music. 

In March you released an EP, Focus/Entity. How was that process for you?

H: This EP was a fairly easy process for us as we didn’t originally intend for the two tracks to be in the same release. The Focus/ Entity EP was more of a gift to our fans for when we hit 2K followers as a thank you for their support.

A: These two tracks were originally part of 8 other tracks which we sent out to a couple of labels as demo submissions. When the label didn’t come back we decided which two tracks we wanted to give away, and then put them out as free downloads! 

Image supplied by High Demand.

That’s very cool. How are you staying productive right now?

H: For me this is quite easy as my final year of university is taking up the majority of my time, and we have a back catalogue of releases that we’re either waiting to come out, or still in the process of getting signed. 

A: Staying productive is a bit more difficult for me. I’m currently living back with my parents, and they are working from home so having loud music on has been a no go. I’m trying my best though, and headphones are a lifesaver! 

What tips do you have for people right now to stay productive and inspired?

H: You just have to look at the fact you’re going to have more free time on your hands, so it’s best to use that time wisely rather than being distracted by gaming or TV. 

A: It’s hard to stay productive at times like this, but if you focus on your production, then at least you know it’s time not wasted. Even a couple of hours a day is better than nothing at all.

Very true. What advice do you have for people looking to get into the same career?

H: I’d say make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. There’s going to be lots of unpaid gigs and outgoings from yourself, but if you put the hard graft in early then eventually you will see the rewards. Someone once said to me that DnB is a 10 year course, and we’re only 2 years in so we still have a long way to go. Just make sure you don’t give up on yourself and your dream.

A: Always know your worth. Although there will be a lot of outgoings in the early days, when you get to a certain level you are entitled to be paid and you shouldn’t let promoters tell you otherwise. And of course, don’t give up. With the right promotion, marketing and determination you’ll be able to make it.

Before you go, tell us, who are you listening to right now?

A: Monty is someone I’ve been listening to a lot, as well as Unglued, Sustance and Bredren to name a few. 

H: I’ve been listening to a lot of music from both Critical Music and 1985 Music. These two labels are the source of a lot of inspiration for High Demand so it’s always good to keep up to date with what they’re putting out.

Thanks for chatting to us guys. We can’t wait to see what madness you bring to the rest of 2020.