Bellisa X Spotlights: Neuroheadz

Bellisa X Spotlights: Neuroheadz

Rave culture. The first thing that flashes to mind when I think of Bristol. A lively underground nightlife scene stacked on the foundations of niche grass-roots music communities. The kind of rave scene where everyone somehow knows everyone’s dog, nan and collage mate from 7 years ago through a friend of a friend. Huge sound-systems, kaleidoscopic lighting pulsating in sync with thumping bass and the hearts of the partygoers dancing all night long.

As a raver, there is something so liberating about getting blissfully lost in the music and waves of smiling faces. But, how do you throw a rave and who is bold enough to do this?  Tune in as we turn the tables and get to know DNB label Neuroheadz working behind the stages of UK’s Drum and Bass Capital, Bristol.

Based around the Neurofunk sound, we’re talking blistering percussion, funky basslines and all around hard hitting tracks including those from the artists Overtune, Stonx and best-selling “Criminal” by Avile which hit number 1 on Beatport. Not to mention the ‘Notorious B.I.N’ ( a wheelie bin sound system) that become a viral sensation hitting 20 million views on many platforms including DnB All stars Instagram. It’s no surprise that they snatched the winning title for the Best Newcomer Label of 2023, at the Dnb Arena awards last year.

So lets re-wind a couple weeks, it’s 5pm on a Saturday and we’re locked in the Lakota courtyard perched on kegs of cider whilst they finish setting up for the sold-out Neuroheadz X Virus Bristol event in Coroners Court. We’ve managed to steal co-founder, Albi for a quick chat…

Neurofunk Drum and Bass label festival in south west UK sound system culture
Neuroheadz Drum and Bass grass-roots day festival set up- Malmesbury, UK

B: Hey Albi! Just from having a peep inside, it all seems to be coming together in there ready for the big night. Can imagine there’s a lot to organise- what goes into putting on an music event?

A: A huge amount of time, effort, planning and work (special shout outs to Ben, Mike & Joe here!) booking a venue & artists, sound system logistics, event art & promotional materials, ticketing, advancing bookings… just a small list of things you have to deal with, and that doesn’t include the stress of having money on the line either! Throwing events isn’t easy - it’s a big workload, and a particularly stressful industry; it’s definitely worth it once it all comes together though. 

 B: Why is putting on events important to you?

 A: I love seeing a dance floor full of people smiling, connecting and having a good time. You know, music is a really powerful thing.


B: You’re providing a fun space and bringing together like-minded people who all share the same love for neurofunk drum and bass.

 A: Yeah! It’s a really tight knit community of people - whilst the tunes can sound pretty intense it’s the most lovely crowd to be a part of! We love engaging with the people that follow what we do - we have WhatsApp chats so we can speak directly with our crowd and get a feel for what the Neuroheadz fam want to see from us next!


B: I can feel how passionate you are about the community you’ve created. I’m really interested to know, how did you get to this level?

 A: So we set up Neuroheadz 2022, just at the end of COVID. We’re a group of mates, that found each other through love their neurofunk and decided to put on a night. We didn't really care whether anyone else was interested in it because we just wanted to have a good time together.

The founders of Neuroheadz, picking up their prize for the best newcomer label at the DNB awards in 2023

Neuroheadz, picking up the Best Newcomer Label of 2023, at the Dnb Arena awards 

B: I love that! How Neuroheadz was formed, is the exact same energy you’re carrying through with your followers. How did you first event go?

A: It went amazingly well, the vibes were on-point and we didn’t loose too much money (which was almost unheard of for Neuro events at the time!) Off the back of running various events in Bristol over the previous 5 years we had assembled our core team, and hosted the first Neuroheadz night in November 2021 at Loco Klub. We just wanted to put on a show for ourselves, invite our favourite artists, friends and load up a HUGE sound system for a night of the heaviest ,funkiest, dirtiest neuro that the city would have seen for a long time… 

Looking back this was a real pivotal moment in life, I don’t think any us could or would have guessed the path Neuroheadz would take us from here!


B: So from here you did more events, ramped up the promotion, started releasing music and have grown from strength to strength since. As an independent creative, I know that the road of success is never as straight forward as it seems. What challenges have you faced in running a music label?

 A: Internally you've got you've got self-doubt, imposter syndrome and those dark days where nothing seems to be going right. Externally, it's work life balance. Finding a way to make it work and be able to actually live and get by financially while having the time to pursue your passion projects as well.


B: How do you overcome self-doubt?

A: The only way to overcome the internal struggles is to just kind of power through them: find the cause and resolution to push though. If it’s what you love doing then you find a way to make it work.


Neuroheadz co-founder Albi wearing custom rave tracksuit bottoms by Bellisa X

 Albi from Neuroheadz, wearing his customised Bellisa X Panelled Tracksuit Bottoms. You can design your own here

B: Feel that. How did you discover your passion for raving and drum and bass music?

A: I’ve been DJ’ing since the age of 14 - I was completely blown away by the sounds of Noisia, Chase & Status and Ed Rush & Optical… The energy of tracks like Diplodocus, Pieces and Chubrub just hit different for me.

 By the time I was 16/17 I was playing DnB/Neurofunk sets at raves & free parties - hearing and feeling the punch of the percussion and the movement of the bass out of a big sound system was like nothing else!

 DnB/Neuro is a genre that really connects people, a big tune gets dropped and you see the crowd looking at each other and dancing together - the energy and hype is palpable, enticing and addictive!


B: I love how free-party culture is a solid driver for you dnb discovery. What does the concept of freedom mean to you?

 A: Freedom is everything. Like completely and utterly. To be free is to be able to do what you want when you want, as you please, whatever that means, whatever that looks like.

You can't give anyone the power to take that away from you.

Albi, setting up the decks for the Neuroheadz X Virus Night at Lakota, Bristol.

B: For anyone wanting to embrace their freedom, and take the leap into pursuing their creative career. What advice would you give them?

A: Don’t do it for anyone else, don’t do it for clout, do it because it’s what you love. If you’re looking to put on your own event, do it for yourself and what you feel passionate about. Don’t be disheartened if you have a show that doesn’t do well, learn from it and put on another. It happens to everyone at some point!

 "If it’s something you want, fully send it"

B: Soooo if you’re fully sending it, what can we expect to see from Neuroheadz soon?

A: We’ve got loads in the pipeline for this year, including Volume 2 of Headz Up! Featuring 19 tracks from 23 artists, this release is going to be an absolute corker. More recently, we’ve just released, a VIP/Remix single of “Criminal” by Avile.


B: And right now, I can see posters everywhere for your festival?

A: Yes! On the 15th of June, we’re hosting the Neuroheadz Festival. We’re in our 3rd year and really upping our game again - we’ve got 2 stages (+ the Notorious B.I.N sound system) and a seriously stacked line up! Black Sun Empire, Virus Recordings takeover (Ed Rush, Optical, Audio), Enei, Jakes, Pythius, PRDK (UK Debut) - alongside your favourite Neuroheadz (shout outs to Harry & JJ here!); This one is going to be something special- hope to see you all there!

Person calling: “ Albi we need you for sound-testing”-

B: Very on queue there. Thank you for your time Albi, and I hope your event goes well tonight. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and Neuroheadz!

You learn more about the upcoming Neuroheadz festival, music releases and events online here or sign up to their patreon for exclusive tracks and early previews of what's coming next. 

Drum and bass line up headlined by Black Sun Empire and Ed rush b2b Optical June 2024 small Grass roots festival in the UK

Full line up for the Neuroheadz festival, June 15th headlined by DNB legends Black Sun Empire. 


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