Unreal BPM is a producer, artist, and DJ, whose love of music spans genres and decades. This week, we discuss his creative process, what makes a creative session successful, and the Jersey Club resurgence in the mainstream.
Photobombshell’s Interview with Unreal BPM
Photobombshell: Thank you so much for agreeing to take some time to discuss your music career with me. I am a fan of your work, most recently in your work with Gramzunkut. After some snooping around, I learned you are from Long Island and have a background in the military. For the people learning about you for the first time, can you share about yourself and how you ended up back in New York after traveling around a bit?
Unreal BPM: Thank you for interviewing me. Yes, I traveled in the military, seeing places such as Europe, Spain, and Iraq. During my time in the military, traveling made me want to do it more often. I got out of the military honorably and decided to move back to New York. I was professionally modeling at the time and had a passion for DJing. Soon after I moved back to New York, I linked up with Gramzunkut through mutual friends and started producing records with him.
Photobombshell: Ooo! I did not know you were a model. That is so cool! It’s also cool to hear a familiar name. We will touch on the partnership you have with Gramz a little later on. In doing some research on you, I learned that you grew up with musical influence and house parties, making mix tapes on cassettes. Reading that brought back memories of doing the same, recording the radio or playing tapes and mixing tracks. What were some of your favorite songs or genres to put on those tapes?
Unreal BPM: Wow! Those were the days. I was a huge fan of Hip Hop and started recording radio or other cassettes with music on them and would give them to my friends to listen to.
Photobombshell: I knew it would be hip-hop. I know you have a variety of influences ranging in musical styles and DJs from old-school hip-hop to up-and-coming artists. Who would you say is the stand-out inspiration for you in 2023?
Unreal BPM: There are so many artists out there that have inspired me, from Busta Rhymes to Mos Def and T.I. to Shbabii, from Lil Kim to Lola Brooke. I like a variety, and with streaming being the way it is, there are so many independent artists I have had the privilege to listen to who I think are dope.
Photobombshell: That’s awesome. As a DJ and a producer, appreciating various sounds and vibes is a desirable attribute. I love some of the same DJs and EDM sounds you do. I have a lot of love for Tiesto and Martin Garrix and discuss EDM in my festival coverage. Many artists may not realize there is a lot of crossover between EDM and hip-hop. Do you feel you lean more toward one genre or the other as a favorite?
Unreal BPM: I don’t discriminate on genres. It’s funny because with all of the crossovers, as you mentioned, between genres, there are so many EDM songs in Hip Hop and vice versa.
Photobombshell: True story. I know most music fans, maybe not artists themselves, are curious about what goes on behind the scenes. What do some of your most challenging days look like, and what are the most rewarding days?
Unreal BPM: The most challenging days would be working on a project that I later have to go back to find something missing or creativity not being there. The rewarding days are being productive in the studio, working on a track, and finishing that track or mix that day.
Photobombshell: Oh, wow. You do not play around! Speaking of tracks on rewarding days, let’s talk about ‘Whoa Girl.’ You know I love ‘Whoa Girl’ and even did a write-up about it. It’s a great track with a fun vibe. What was it like for you to work with Gramzunkut in putting that project together? I am sure you must have formed a personal friendship along the way, even before this project. Is that something that makes working with artists easier or more challenging?
Unreal BPM: Thank you for that. ‘Whoa Girl’ was a great record, and I had lots of fun making the track. Gramzunkut is a hardworking artist with a vision that few people can equate to. I don’t believe that working with friends makes it challenging, as long as there is a workflow and you push each other in the right direction.
Photobombshell: Who has been your favorite person to collaborate with, and who would be your dream collaborator?
Unreal BPM: I would like to collaborate with new upcoming talented artists. I would like to collaborate with Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, and Drake. That would be crazy.
Photobombshell: Even the collab list doesn’t discriminate! I love that. I want to applaud you for the drive to work with new upcoming artists. A little seasoned yourself, I am sure you’ve seen and done so much in the music space. What has been your greatest accomplishment as an artist, creative, producer, or DJ?
Unreal BPM: I love working in the studio with like-minded people, so being a producer on my projects and working with other creatives is a great accomplishment.
Photobombshell: You are so humble and down to earth! You are living the dream. I heard about the remake of Corey Hart’s, ‘I Wear My Sunglasses At Night,” coming this year. What else will we hear from you in 2023, and what are you most excited about this year?
Unreal BPM: Yes, that song is a great one. You can expect to hear some EDM renditions of the tracks I already have out (Whoa Girl being one of them). I also have a song about my clothing Line called “Calcutta Crew” with Bred and Gramzunkut. I am looking forward to releasing that.
Photobombshell: With the hype surrounding Jersey Club right now, how do you feel about it? I know you have some Jersey Club tracks. Do you feel like you’re going to expand there?
Unreal BPM: I love Jersey Club. To me, I was just happy to jump on it when I did and before all the popularity. I do love where it’s going, and the fact that it expanded to the mainstream is crazy. I’m glad I contributed with my songs “High Energy” and “DJ Unreal I See You” by Gramzunkut.
Photobombshell: The contributions have been amazing. What is your creative process like? How do you like to work, and when are you the most inspired?
Unreal BPM: It could be anytime during the day for me. I like to work at home or around artists with good vibes.
Photobombshell: Thank you, Unreal for sharing your story with me and the community here at Photobombshell.media. I know you have so much coming up this year. If you’re interested in what Unreal BPM has to offer, listen to his latest release, “Last of The High Rollers” by Gramzunkut. This track was recently played on Sirius and Shade 45 by DJ Phat Fingaz.
Unreal BPM: Shoutout to Photobombshell Media! Thank you to all those that streamed “New York Business” by Gramzunkut and Parish Smith of EPMD, produced by me.
Photobombshell: Thank you, Unreal. If you are reading this and you’ve made it this far, you might as well subscribe and get gems like this delivered directly to your inbox weekly. You’re welcome. 💋