May 09, 2016

Craig Stennett, AKA Asusu, didn’t grow up in a musical house. Whilst most of us were busy with taking up the recorder or begrudgingly heading out to a weekly piano lesson, Stennett was messing around with samples and synths. “I wouldn’t say I was musical, but I was definitely creative,” he says, explaining that he first got into music making around the age of 14.

“My house wasn’t particularly musical either, and I still don’t know any traditional music theory – I got started just through sampling stuff.” What started off as an experimental hobby led to a career that would see Stennett become one of the most popular and best-loved producers in Bristol.

Whilst the city’s broad range of inspirations and immersive scenes influenced his productions early on, Stennett says that he prefers to work alone. “I can’t really understate how immersed I am in music simply through living here,” he explains. “My network of friends and my day job are linked to music, although I don’t really get out to many nights here any more!”

Stennett is also part of super-group Livity Sound — which consists of Peverlist and Kowton — and debuted his solo live set on Boiler Room last month.

Despite these happenings, along with his day job, Stennett still somehow manages to find the time to run his own record label. “There are often lots of little frustrations releasing music when other people are financing it,” he admits. “Doing it myself was a way of doing things how I wanted. I could select artwork that I liked, release whichever tracks in whatever order I wanted, and get them mastered where I pleased.”

His music has taken him across the world, namely Japan, which he sites as a major highlight in his career. “There are too many aspects to pin down why it’s such a fantastic place. I’ve been a few times now and it’s the only country I’ve seriously considered moving to,” he says. With a new record out soon, we can only hope that Asusu stays put — for our sake — for just a little while longer.

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