Interview: Flava D

Flava D has been dominating the underground scene for the best part of a decade, whether she’s been producing bassline, garage, or grime. We caught up with Flava D before her set at Nottingham’s Crucast Festival to discuss her recent releases, working with TQD, and her current ventures into the world of drum and bass.

Following a huge sold-out show at Rock City with DJ Q and Royal-T last autumn, Danielle Gooding, Flava D to me and you, was back in town. Although without her long-time collaborators, I was keen to know how she became a vital part of one of the most successful UKG collectives of the modern era.

‘It kinda happened accidentally. Q and Mark started that tune Day and Night, which was the very first TQD tune, and I was in the studio and we finished off the tune. After we released it, people started asking “Can we book you?”, and we thought “Hmmm, why not!”’

Having tried her hand at bassline, house, and grime - it was no surprise that this new venture captured her imagination. ‘We did a couple back-to-backs, just having the time of our lives, and more offers started coming in. It just happened that way - it’s nothing that we set out to do, it all happened organically.’

"Drum and bass has a new kid on the block, and she’s ready to go straight to the top."

Despite having become a true stalwart of the bass and UKG scenes both solo and with DJ Q and Royal T, 2019 has brought about a change of sound from Flava D. ‘I’ve been doing bassline for about five years, since In the Dance came out in 2014, but I’m enjoying a change – I’m loving DnB right now. I’ve had two releases on Hospital and released my debut DnB release which was Return to Me then Human Trumpet. This felt like my entry to the DnB world.’

Despite maintaining a busy schedule, it was clear that Danielle still keeps up to date with the newest releases and hottest emerging artists – and was quick to tell me who’s been catching her eye. ‘S.P.Y is one of my ultimate favourites right now, Alix Perez too. Newcomer-wise, I’m into Unglued, he’s sick. I love the liquid, I love the harder stuff!’

Gooding’s strong armoury of the hardest tracks has no doubt influenced her own sets, but speaking about her set that night, I was keen to hear which of her new DnB tracks she was excited to play to the Stealth crowd. ‘My Return to Me VIP; so my debut DnB tune that I released in January and I’ve done a VIP, which is a bit more club-ready,’ she claims. ‘It’s a bit more rugged.’

Image courtesy of Jimmy Mould

Although our chat was brief, I was left feeling excited. Once again, Flava D is proving that she is one of the most versatile and refreshing DJs and producers around, and there is something very admirable in someone brimming with ambition such as her. Even from our chat, I received a real sense of warmth and personality. Anyone who raves will tell you that there’s nothing worse than a dead-eyed DJ staring at the mixer all night; personality goes a long way to creating a memorable set. Unsurprisingly, by the time she handed over to Tsuki, Stealth was beaming and bursting with energy. Drum and bass has a new kid on the block, and she’s ready to go straight to the top.