A Don in the footwork community, not only as a music producer and Dj but a footwork dancer straight from Chicago, Leo C-bit Collins takes a few moments to share some of his wisdom, history and perspective on the footwork culture both within the scene he grew up in and the world he is proudly inspiring each day. Steadily making moves through events and releases alongside his well respected crew at Beatdownhouse. Through hard work and persistence, DJ C-bit knows how to bring the party to the people and the battle to the dancers.
Could you give me some insight into what your latest EP (via Footjuice) says about you and what motivated the substance behind the tracks?
We bout that turn Up, I definitely wanted it to sound a li'l bit "Classy." Using steady claps and the sound that people can relate to. Not everyone understands the difference between the music so I break it down from a relatable track into footwork. I try to make my tracks for people to party to.
Now, with U get Burned, that's a straight up battle track, you know, in this music less is more. I like to make footwork in the spur of the moment and I feel it out for a good sound. I make tracks for the footworkers with the repetitive vocals and bangin' claps, like the classic tracks from back in the day.
Where do you see yourself in the footwork community?
I have a lot of friends that are special in this game. They know what they are doing and I am always tellin' them that. We inspire each other all the time and as long as you got a good atittude then I'll mess with you. I have no bias. We are all just doing our thing tryin' to push this, together. In the beginning I did a lot of stuff with T rell. He and I did step away from the game for a while as the other crew on Beatdownhouse became a little more established so now I'm trying to make connections get myself to better place in the music.
Can you explain your view on the BPM range? It all seems to span from 150 - 160, people seeing 160BPM as the truest number. What are your thoughts in relation to your music style?
I play a bit of everything so if it's juke or ghetto house, you could play around with it but if it's footwork, it's gotta be 160.
From footwork battles to video clips, parties and tours. Where did it all start for you and What part of that history would you want to pass on?
I was dancing my butt off when I first started out in the dance groups. Then I made some performance CD's for all the groups to dance to and people around the hood started liking my tracks. I started getting more into djing, playing Ghetto house because I loved the edgyness. When I heard Arpebu, Rashad, Clent and Spinn with their own styles I started playing more footwork and creating my own sound. These guys helped people accept juke/footwork, like it was a new beginning for music.
People used to say it was crazy and we were just beating on garbage cans but now since footwork has become more recognised, we are always getting booked.
How important is the visual aspect of the music to you?
I think it plays a big part. Not as many people would be into footwork if that didn't come with the music. It is the forefront to everything in this game. People get to actually see the moves and those dancers who are helping expand the culture. We are all in it together so I feel like it makes it seem like we are more than just Dj's, we are artists too.
The culture is growing and you are a big part of that so I wonder what you think of the direction it has taken and What direction would you like to see footwork go from now?
There are a lot of people in the game and no one knew who I was or what I was about, they just heard my tracks by us going to the parties and having them tell us to "Turn it off," to then asking us to play it all night long. Now, it amazes me how many people all over the world are listening to these sounds. I'm proud of how far it has come. Some artists are keeping their own styles and others are bringing new ones so it's important to accept that in this culture.
Who do you look to for a challenge, to motivate or inspire you to get on it and work?
My team definitely push me. Dj Roc, Clent, T rell, they all inspire me to go and make music, but I have to say, everybody. I hear all the new sounds and I share but if it's not the track for me, it might be the track for you, so I am happy to support. My biggest competitor is me so I just try to make it better every time.
Any forthcoming releases you'd like to let us in on?
I have a new EP coming out called A Night with Bass and some collaborations but I mostly just work on music in the moment.
Does that have anything to do with the upcoming Event: A NIGHT WITH BASS - Movement after party in Detroit?
As much as I would love my EP to drop that night, It is actually a seperate thing. We went to a rooftop party at the Movement Festival last year and linked up with the jitters and the footworkers out in Detroit, including Miss 313 (who recently joined Beatdownhouse) and now we are trying to push the same movement to Chicago, to expand the knowledge and music culture all over.
He is a true player and pusher in this game, DJ C-bit a.k.a Leo Collins carries a torch for the future of footwork and juke. Bringing us some of the best in battle footage and sounds from the motherland of footwork, this man is on the up and up, expanding his library and connections everyday by showing us who he is in reputable form.
Thank you C-Bit.
Stay tuned for C-bit's forthcoming release - A NIGHT WITH BASS EP
D160 exclusive mix on our soundcloud coming very soon.. Stay locked
Bandcamp EP link: https://footjuiceantwerp.bandcamp.com/album/fjp002djcbit
Beatdown SC: https://soundcloud.com/beatdown-house-1
Written/Edited by: JamFransisco