“Every single time we have these conscious movements, they are like little grass root seeds that are being planted... As a whole, our society is becoming a more unified element, and festivals are helping spread the messages of positivity and the importance of coming together to make this world a better place.” -Arja Adair (Bass Physics)
Gem and Jam is a festival that many Arizona natives call home. Tucked away in Tucson during the worlds largest gem show, this transformational festival holds so much more than just crystals. One gem that I discovered this year was Bass Physics. He played as the sun went down, which cultivated an atmosphere of love and harmony. As he poured his heart and soul into the electric guitar, the crowed lit up. His passion was so intoxicating that I simply couldn’t help myself but to hop up on stage for an impromptu flag dance! Next thing I know, I’m sitting on my front porch having a phone interview with the artist that played my favorite set of the weekend.
AZMF: Let’s start by hearing about your journey with music:
I started playing guitar and piano around the age of 8. My mom threw me into lessons when I started showing interest. I stopped playing for a bit in middle school, but in early high school I started up again and joined a 5 piece funk band, and then started Ableton electronics while doing that. I really peaked an interest when I saw Sound Tribe Sector 9 at Red Rocks in 2008. I got really inspired by seeing Hunter Brown on the guitar, and him holding down rhythm guitar with electronic stuff behind it. I've always listened to artist like Bonobo, Gramatik, Pretty lights, Griz… and been inspired by all of these artist that were making electronic style hard-hitting beats with the funk and soul behind it. So I started making that stuff and then I met Luke (who was the other member of Bass Physics) back in 2012 and we started making music together. Bass Physics started to take off, he left the project in 2016 to do another career, and now I’ve been doing this solo for about a year and a half and I’m just having fun with it, making it my passion.
AZMF: How has music impacted your personal growth?
Bass Physics: I’ve definitely grown up a whole lot doing this, quite literally, from starting it when I was 16 and I’m now 24. It was a challenge for a while because both me and Luke were going through that maturing and growing up phase together, while trying to have this one unified solid goal, which can be hard with anybody. But we both grew up together and kinda learned, well, he learned that it was a lifestyle he didn’t want, and I kinda took the opposite where I learned that it was the lifestyle that I do want, and I’ve really become more passionate about it through the years.
AZMF: What were some obstacles that you had to overcome with your music?
Failure, and like… my first taste of it. Spending a couple months on a song and then getting feedback that it sucks. I think thats one of the most important and most hurtful lessons you can get as an artist and I think that as a lesson from that, artists should really strive to get that kind of feedback. I think a lot of times artists just want to hear oh this is a great song, but you don’t really learn anything from that as far as what TO do with you music, because it’s just kind of free reign. Even if it does suck and someone is telling you that its good, that doesn’t really do much for you. So what I’ve learned through making music and getting feedback from higher up people, management and all that stuff, even your favorite artists… getting negative feedback is a good thing and I think that's something every artist should strive to get and strive learn from. Thats the only thing that is going to continue to keep pushing the envelope, making your music better.
AZMF: What is the highlight of your career so far?
I would definitely say playing Red Rocks. We opened for Savoy in 2016 on main stage at Red Rocks. Wev’e done Global Dance Festival twice before that, but that was on the top stage, above where the main stage is. Like I said, I got really inspired when I saw Sound Tribe in 2009 at Red Rocks and to be on that same stage was just completely unreal. It felt like a complete dream. So yeah, that was definitely the highlight.
AZMF: How do you see festival culture influencing our society in years to come?
I think festival culture, and really just our whole music scene as far as the electronic underground, and even mainstream too, artist like Odessa and Bassnectar… I mean all of these huge electronic artists are threading a positive message of becoming a more conscious society, of our impact on each other, and on this earth. I think that the festival circuit and festival mentality is helping push that so much more and to an active level. I think that our society can learn from that and is learning from that. Every single time that we have these conscious movements, they are like little grass root seeds that are being planted. You get those couple new people that go and tell their other friends that don’t know about it. As a whole, our society is becoming a more unified element and festivals are helping spread the messages of positivity and the importance of coming together to make this world a better place and I think we need more of that.
AZMF: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to thank Gem and Jam for having me out there. I had a lot of fun jamming with Mattie Oniel and Res Liquid at the late night stage. That was really cool. And I think you getting on stage during my set helped people feel like they could dance too, so thanks for dancing with me!
As I reflect on my experience at Gem and Jam, I can still feel the cosmos stirring magic around me. It is gatherings like this that bring us a sense of community and oneness, which is critical to our growth as individuals and as a species. We are on this planet to support one another and to help each other grow. Each of us are born with gifts that are waiting to be discovered and shared with the world. Through connection at festivals, we are able to break down barriers and expand our heart centers to embrace unconditional love. Festivals provide space for us to express ourselves creatively, and I look forward to following the journey of Bass Physics as he continues on the path of consciousness awareness.
“Every single person you meet, every single person here, is important to your life. Treat each other well, take care of each other.” -Bass Physics
-Katie Shay aka @bosskatie