From viral Boiler Room sessions to Ibiza residencies, DJ duo Prospa are only getting started

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Updated May 2, 2024 at 04:38 PM

Reading time: 5 minutes

Over the past few years, TikTok has seamlessly integrated into the fabric of music discovery, bridging the gap between artists and their fans while also introducing emerging talents to every corner of the community. As a result, numerous artists have flocked to the video-sharing app, leveraging its reach to garner attention and connect with a wider audience.

SCREENSHOT sat down with two of those artists, Prospa, the electrifying DJ duo hailing from Leeds, whose meteoric rise in the rave music scene has been nothing short of spectacular. Meet Harvey Blumler and Gosha Smith, the creative minds behind Prospa. The pair, who have known each other since school, started their journey in 2013 when they embarked on a musical odyssey that would catapult them to the realm of global house music acclaim.

In 2018, Annie Mac (aka everyone’s favourite Irish DJ) announced that Prospa’s track ‘Prayer’ was her pick for Hottest Record in the World—a serious accomplishment.

And then, in 2021, their track ‘Ecstasy (Over & Over)’ amassed over 25 million streams on Spotify. It’s no overestimation to state that Prospa has become a force to be reckoned with on the electronic music scene.

But their story goes deeper than chart-topping hits and accolades. Both Blumler and Smith have been immersed in music from a young age, playing in bands and exploring various genres, while honing their skills on the guitar and piano. This early passion for music laid the foundation for their future success, igniting a spark, which would later fuel their artistic journey.

 

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A post shared by Prospa (@prospa__)

Now, Prospa find themselves at the epicentre of the music industry’s evolution, from their success on TikTok to their upcoming performance in some of the most sought-after venues, including Ibiza’s iconic DC10.

Moreover, their latest project with Sony delves into the cutting-edge realm of music production technology, exploring how headphones are reshaping the landscape of music creation. Utilising Sony’s WF-1000XM5s, Prospa delved into a realm of sonic exploration, pushing the boundaries of their creativity and producing music that delivers an unparalleled studio recording experience to their fans.

During my chat with the duo, we covered everything from childhood music influences to some of their seriously exciting upcoming projects. Ibiza, they’re coming for you.

As youngsters, music played a pivotal role in cementing your friendship. You bonded over shared musical interests and even played together in a band. Who were some of the musical icons that influenced you back then?

“It feels like delving into the archives now. It’s been quite a journey for us. We’ve been immersed in Prospa for almost 11 years, and considering we’re both 26, we were practically kids when we started. Reflecting on our teenage years, around 15 or 16, we could say that we were heavily into rock bands like Nirvana.

Instruments play a big role in our lives from an early age. I gravitated towards drums, while my partner took up the guitar. Our mutual love for rock music, and bands like Slipknot, Deftones, and Metallica, fueled our passion.

These iconic acts were our idols, and we aspired to emulate their stage presence and musical prowess. Our paths crossed through mutual friends and shared interests, eventually leading to us hanging out. I vividly recall the first day we met, though it feels like a lifetime ago. We were probably around 12 years old…”

Could you talk me through your creative process, what are some important things when you’re collaborating?

“Our creative process typically involves us working separately, each with our own setups. We’ll individually start working on ideas and then come together to share and collaborate on them. At any given time, we often have two or three pieces of music in progress. One of the benefits of our workflow is that, even when we’re on tour, we can still come together and use our WF-1000XM5s to listen to our work. The exceptional sound quality of the WF-1000XM5s enhances our experience and ensures a smooth creative process for us.”

Blumler continued: “I literally broke my foot on the weekend and I brought the WF-1000XM5s and my laptop to A&E because I was like the grind never stops. So yeah, I think we’re definitely in our mobile era, just sharing files between each other and talking all the time and then we book a studio and we work together on something so it’s fluid.”

Congratulations on the release of your new single. I’ve listened to ‘If You Want My Loving’ non-stop. And it’s on CircoLoco Records. Can you tell us how you made the track and what it’s been like working with a label that has such an iconic history with the underground music world?

“First and foremost, we want to express our gratitude to the CircoLoco team for their unwavering support. Their backing has been instrumental, especially during our residency last summer and our numerous gigs in Ibiza. The inspiration for our latest project stemmed from those experiences, as we aimed to simplify our sound and return to the raw essence of classic dance music. CircoLoco’s rich culture and history in the dance music scene made them the perfect collaborators. We’ve always admired CircoLoco since childhood, hearing about it and watching videos, for us it’s always been one of the best venues in the world.”

 

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You also have an upcoming residency in Ibiza soon, at the iconic DC10. How do you feel about it?

“Best feeling in the world. Honestly, we were just saying DC10 is such a legendary club and my personal favourite on a global scale, 100 per cent. For us, there’s no better part in the world than CircoLoco and DC10.”

Gosha continued: “It’s just so open-minded and allows us to play a diverse range of music. The vibe there is always incredible, with everyone so happy and full of energy. It’s hard to put into words, you just have to experience it for yourself.”

 

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Your first Boiler Room set attracted significant online attention. Seeing you play instruments live was phenomenal. Can you share your experience performing in that setting and how it has impacted the growth of your audience and fan base?

“Playing in bands has been a natural part of our journey, so transitioning to DJing felt like a seamless progression. While DJing is undeniably enjoyable, playing an instrument can elevate the performance to another level. There’s a certain magic in live performances where imperfections can enhance the experience. Sometimes, a small mistake or unexpected twist can actually improve the sound, creating an incredible feeling of spontaneity and beauty.

Considering your recent success on TikTok, would you say that platforms like it are revolutionising how artists connect with their audience? And how do you use them to engage with your fans?

“Absolutely, TikTok has been a game-changer for countless artists. It dismantles the barriers imposed by traditional systems, allowing creators to share their work freely and potentially go viral. The platform has become a launching pad for many careers, with its vast reach and ability to introduce people to new music. The impact it’s had on the industry is truly remarkable and overwhelmingly positive.”

@prospa

Emotions running high singing this one out at the end😍 We absolutely love this edit by @swim.pdf #fyp #prospa #boilerrooom

♬ original sound - PROSPA

The project that you’ve worked on with Sony is all about allowing fans to feel closer than ever to the studio experience, can you walk me through that? And why do you believe it’s such an important aspect of the overall listening experience?

“The WF-1000XM5s mark a significant milestone in listening technology. Using them enhances our music-making process, making it incredibly enjoyable. We’ve previously worked with subpar headphones and Bluetooth speakers, so having these quality headphones allows us to immerse ourselves fully in our work. The noise-cancelling feature is particularly beneficial, especially in a studio environment where we need to hear every frequency. These portable headphones essentially function as a mobile studio, enabling us to focus without distraction.”

From viral Boiler Room sessions to Ibiza residencies, DJ duo Prospa are only getting started

Not sure about you, but as a music lover, I might just have to give these headphones a try too.

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