October Feature: BEAUZ
· Artist Features
Bernie and Johan Yang, better known as BEAUZ, have been making waves in today’s EDM scene. Joining our artist roster in March with their remix of Tokyo Machine’s “PLAY,” the Asian-American DJ duo wasted no time making themselves known to the Monstercat community. Following that up in September with their tour-worthy release, “Half a Heart (feat. AmanderSings),” the two have continued to inspire followers through audible innovation in 2020.
This month, BEAUZ is back with a brand new beat. “Outerspace” blends their fascination with drum ‘n’ bass with the psypop roots they’ve become known for. The result is a unique and catchy melody that accentuates their balanced, student-like approach to music production.
The BEAUZ brothers are here to introduce themselves through a quick interview!
What has a typical day in the life looked like for you guys recently?
“I’ll wake up, get my breakfast, start making some music—and then I’ll start making some TikTok videos! I made shuffling videos on TikTok before I came to China, which took a big chunk out of my day. I actually hadn’t worked out for six months before I came to China as well. I only resumed working out after I got into quarantine, once I’d landed in Shanghai.”
“During the pandemic, right before I came to China, I hosted a virtual festival on Minecraft with UC Berkeley and a lot of other prominent artists. They were very gracious to participate in our event for free because that was a charity event to boost up the morale of the graduate students who got their commencement cancelled. So what I did was I woke up, and I’d usually eat my breakfast, or I’d cook my breakfast, and then I get on the computer. I get on Discord. Usually, I’m not a gamer, but now I am! I communicate with all my team members. They built up a really cool stage, kind of just delegating the tasks. I also communicate with our management team that’s situated in the Netherlands – shout out to Antonio! After that, I try to work out but usually, it doesn’t work out, and then, after that, we move on to music. I get on a call with Bernie, we get everything done. We always get our projects uploaded to Splice.”
You set out on your “Half a Heart” tour at the start of September! What have you enjoyed the most about touring and playing shows?
“Connecting with the fans, obviously! And wow… I don’t know how to start, but the fans here in China are just so enthusiastic about everything. I think it might be because this whole thing is new to them, or maybe because the fan culture is purer in Asia in general because there are so many idols. Right? So maybe they just know how to appreciate…”
“...music a lot more, and the artistry. I think sometimes it’s like back home in North America, people in Europe, there’s an abundance of artists coming out of the electronic space. Of course, everybody’s talented, everybody’s hard-working, so when people live in L.A., when people live in Vancouver, when people live in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, they already have seen so many talented people. But here in Asia, the whole space is developing. We’re discovering new artists every single day, and people are still getting used to seeing these kinds of talents performing on tour or on stage. They actually see that artists are humans that are hard-working and face failures on a daily basis.”
How has your upbringing helped shape the music you make today?
“We grew up listening to a lot of hip hop, a lot of melodic stuff, a lot of Chinese Mandarin pop music, and we also listened to some classical. We learned a lot of classical music ourselves, so I think all of that contributed to what we make today. Honestly, what really shaped our sound today is just a lot of experimenting and a lot of fusing different kinds of styles that we think might work and eventually coming to this point.”
“I think moving around helped us adapt to being experimental because when we were younger, we moved a lot from one school to another, from one country to another. [All] the moving around forced us to become more experimental because every time we’d move to a new place, we have to experiment with ourselves, reinvent ourselves in order to ‘fit in’ or understand the culture a little bit more. We [came to understand] that if you always try to fit in, you will never fit in. Once you move, you gotta do it again! So we started to develop our own personality and our own characteristics."
What are some of the challenges you’ve had to face as artists, and what’s propelled you through those challenges?
“I think there’s a saying that says, ‘Every challenge is an opportunity.’ We always see downfalls or difficulties as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. To leap to the next level. For example, the pandemic is a devastating thing for the whole world, including for the artists, live industry, music—everything. The whole economy came to a halt, and we were looking at the situation, thinking, ‘What can we do to make it better? What can we do to jump out of this depressing cycle of thinking we can’t do anything at home, we can’t be doing anything, there’s no way to promote music.’ That’s why we started the virtual festival. We do stuff on Minecraft because there’s no geographical limitations, physical limitations. There’s no ‘virus’ on Minecraft, so we try to do that to help people spread music and positivity. [...] We continue to release music, we continue to face our challenges, and I think that’s one of the best characteristics anybody can have, regardless of if you’re an artist or not. In whatever you do, if you see a challenge, that’s an opportunity to reinvent yourself and be different.”
Your track “Outerspace” is out now on Monstercat!
Where did the idea for “Outerspace” originate?
“Okay, so Dallas, the singer, sent us this topline. Originally it was kind of disorganized, and it was actually over the “Half a Heart” beat. I was like, ‘I don’t think “Half a Heart” does this topline justice. It’s so cool!’ And then I created an entirely new beat. I came up with that guitar melody, and I reproduced the whole track. I organized the topline a little bit, and that’s how “Outerspace” came to be. Fun fact, I actually went through eight or nine versions of “Outerspace” before we finally settled on one version."
“Outerspace” has some darker, bassy undertones but balances that well with the upbeat, dance-focused vocals and pacing. Talk about the sound design and what you wanted to achieve with this track!
“It all started with the guitar melody. I actually wanted to initially do drum ‘n’ bass, so I thought it was really bumping when the drop went ‘Outerspace’ and then it drops into a drum ‘n’ bass beat and then builds up into a psypop beat. It kind of gives people a surprise. When it comes to drop, we wanted to do our signature psypop drop. The psypop drop is usually four on the floor with offbeat bass but with a little variation, and it’s not really Melbourne Bounce because the bass is much fatter and more Marshmello-y. For the lead, we basically used two layers, and then, in the second half of the drop, I added one extra layer, so it’s more full. Basically, the melody was the most important part. Once I had the melody figured out, everything else came naturally.”
“That’s actually the most important thing in our production and everything as a whole: we want our songs to be as catchy as possible without being cheap. It has to be chic, it has to be edgy, it has to be nice.”
What’s next for BEAUZ?
“We actually have a couple big collabs coming out. The first one maybe at the end of the year, the next one’s going to be next year. And it’s going to be huge! Those two are probably our favourite productions. We can’t wait to share it with the world. We also want to tell people that, although we started as a production duo, DJ duo, we are not limited to the definition of it. We’re going to expand the way we play live, the way we present ourselves, and, also, our music is going to be a never-ending stream of surprises for all our audiences. We’re not afraid to experiment. We’re going to cross different genres, but rest assured, it’s going to be catchy!”
“And shoutout to all the Asian-influenced producers and all the people that are out there struggling and rising together with us. Hopefully, with what we do, we can pave the way for everybody, and we can rise up together!”
Grab your sunglasses because the future looks bright for BEAUZ!
We’d like to give a massive shoutout to BEAUZ for joining us! If you haven’t had a chance yet, make sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bernie's TikTok, Johan's Tiktok and YouTube and give their new track a listen!