VEIL and Notlö Talk B2B’s, Inclusivity & Life on the Road [Interview]
When bass music queens VEIL and NotLö first came together, they found an untapped potential to their creativity. The up-and-coming bass artists caught up with MP3 MAG to discuss what more representation and opportunity could mean to women artists throughout the scene.
Deep Dark & Dangerous alumni Alex Mantekas—a.k.a. Notlö—and industry veteran Becca Drylie-Perkins, better known as VEIL, have found a way to combine their incredibly unique sounds to create an unstoppable force unlike any other. This remarkable duo, which is now appearing on nearly every lineup this summer in addition to their own headline tour, can only be described as, “a match made in heaven.”
As a fan of bass music, Alex had been a long time supporter of Becca via her former project, spacegeishA. In November of 2019, Becca’s label Street Ritual hosted a takeover at the Black Box, which happened to fall on the same night as Alex’s EP release party in the adjacent room, The Lounge. This was the first opportunity Becca had to listen to Alex’s music and immediately she knew, “This girl is on fire.”
While Becca was still working as SpacegeishA, she and Alex first began chatting and messaging each other about their projects. Alex asked what the best way to submit music to Becca’s label, which led to them working together for the first time. In June 2020, Alex was featured on Street Ritual’s Hard and Heavy Compilation.
The two recalled to MP3 MAG that as soon as they started talking online, they felt like instant best friends. They don’t ever recall a point of time where they ever stopped talking after that.
“I think we had a lot of similarities with what we were dealing with in the music industry,” said VEIL. “It was a great connection right from the beginning.”
Not long after, the two began working on songs together. NotLö sent over the beginning ideas of their track, “Someday,” and once the two finished it, decided to submit it to WAKAAN. It was an instant hit, but the label wanted one more song with it to release as a collab EP. Thus, the Exoplanet EP was born.
“We have very similar taste and style so that also played into why we connected,” said NotLö. “But also [having someone to understand] the struggle with being a girl in a very male dominated industry with lots and lots of misogyny. I’m just glad were able to do this and go through all this together“
Eventually, Alex recommended Becca to connect with her booking agent, and they began pitching the B2B for shows and festivals. The response they got for the B2B was overwhelming, as they had no idea so many people would be interested in booking their underground female duo act.
“It’s such a unique thing to see a female B2B on a flyer,” said VEIL. “It’s exciting at this point in the music industry to see something that significant. At the same time, I don’t want people saying we only got that spot because we are 2 females together. In reality, we both worked our asses off as DJ’s and producers to get to this point.”
Despite the fact that the girls are years apart in experience, the two still have found they are able to continuously learn and grow from working with one another. Alex recalls one of the great things she’s learned through Becca is marketing strategies and how to really brand herself towards her niche audience.
“There’s so much more to a project than just making music,” said NotLö. “You need to be able to deliver your full package, be a good figure for people, and overall just be a nice person.”
Interestingly enough, VEIL spoke about how inspiring Alex has been to her as a producer. She recalls that she was in a newer production phase when she and Alex first met and that she felt very fortunate to soak up all different kinds of tips and tricks from working with her.
The two also spoke about how game changing it has been for them to be able to play shows together. Playing off each others energy and music taste, each feels the need to top the previous track. This chemistry creates this back and forth that only elevates with each minute on stage together.
“When you’re playing up there with someone else it’s a lot more responsibility in a way,” said VEIL. “You feel you need to represent them well too, not just yourself.”
The two ladies went on to speak about the impact of working with a record label as big as WAKAAN. Seeing how many people were able to digest their music straight from the jump was transformative for them. Opportunities like this allow the ladies to bring that underground sound to some of those bigger more mainstream focused crowds.
“It’s just incredible to bring that deep underground soundsystem culture oriented music to a more mainstream audience,” said NotLö. “I feel like a lot of people think that this type of music does not thrive in these kinds of audiences but I feel that there’s a need for it and people are starting to catch onto this kind of style.”
Taking this left field music to festivals like Hulaween and Bonnaroo, the duo are excited to make an impact on bass music at large. Two women playing heavy bass music may go against the grain, but people are finding it refreshing to see two women leading on stage and in their careers.
“It’s hard to see yourself in a position of power if there’s no [representation],” said VEIL. “All we can personally hope for in our music industry is to be that beacon that someone can look to and see themselves.”