Jiqui and SISTO are two rising dubstep stars who recently played a b2b set at North Coast Music Festival. After an hour of heavy bass to open up the weekend, we sat down with Jiqui and SISTO to talk about their shows and their recently released music.
Both artists have found support from some of dubstep’s biggest artists. They independently released EPs on Subtronics’ Cyclops Recordings label earlier this year, with Jiqui releasing the Scumbag EP and SISTO releasing Fools Gambit.
More new music and live shows are on the way, making Jiqui and SISTO two names to watch in the dubstep scene. Listen to their new music and check out our interview with them below.
Jiqui and SISTO, you recently played a back-to-back set to open up North Coast Festival and another b2b in Houston with Riot Ten. When did you guys first start playing sets together?
Jiqui: We played b2b to open for Subtronics in Denver on 4/20 this year. That was our first b2b. Sisto and I both have similar styles, and we’re good friends. We’ve only played a couple shows together now, but it’s been really good chemistry so far.
What do you think separates a b2b set from a regular set, especially at dubstep shows?
Sisto: I feel like everyone has their own style, and especially recently, a lot of DJs have been playing edits of popular songs to get the crowd hyped before a dubstep drop. It’s fun to go b2b with someone that has a lot of edits that you usually wouldn’t play. It’s just really good energy. And when you get a 30-minute or 60-minute set of two artists playing their best songs, it always ends up being super fun.
Jiqui: We both have edits of a lot of popular songs…I call them crowd pleasers. And then we love playing our heavy shit. It’s cool to see the blend of different styles.
You guys are both on the lineup for Lost Lands 2022. What do you think Lost Lands and Excision contribute to the dubstep scene?
S: As far as the genre goes, he’s allowed it to grow a lot. His whole business model of taking dubstep and making it into something that allows smaller artists to grow is an amazing thing for the scene.
J: With dubstep, it can be really hard to push through to a mainstream audience sometimes. I think Excision really gives a lot of artists a chance to push through to a bigger fanbase. He definitely does a lot for artists like us.
Was Excision one of the first artists you guys got into? Who were some of the artists that first made you fall in love with electronic music and dubstep?
J: My first dubstep show was Kayzo. I know he does a lot of other genres too, but he’s one of my favorites. Virtual Riot, Excision, SVDDEN DEATH, and Marauda are all huge inspirations to me as well.
S: My very first show was Midnight Tyrannosaurus, Downlink, and Dieselboy. After going to that, I was obsessed with dubstep completely. After my first show I just fell in love with the genre.
J: I actually started making music around 2012, so I started dabbling in dubstep back then. But I didn’t get to experience it in a live setting until around 2016. After I experienced it in person, I realized I needed to be up there and truly wanted to do this.
Jiqui, you recently collaborated with Kayzo. And Sisto, I saw you just collaborated with AFK. Who’s another artist that each of you would like to collaborate with one day?
J: My biggest goal collab is SVDDEN DEATH for sure. He’s one of my favorites, and I’d love to work on something with him.
S: Same. SVDDEN DEATH is from the same city as me, so seeing him come up and being from San Jose is really cool. He’s my biggest inspiration, and being able to work with him would be amazing.
Jiqui, you have a huge tour with Riot Ten coming up, and Sisto, you’ve opened up for artists like Subtronics before. What do you guys love most about concert season? What are you most looking forward to these next few months?
J: Just being able to go out and play my music for people…it’s hard to explain how special that is. Going to shows, meeting fans, and taking pictures with people. It’s a great feeling. And since I’ve been touring more and playing more shows, I’ve been able to meet more fans, which has been a crazy experience.
S: I’m in the process right now of writing a whole lore story around my music. With the visuals I have coming, I have a plan next year to really start telling a story. Honestly, that’s gonna be the most fulfilling thing for me – trying to create that environment with my music. I like the idea of storytelling and creating a universe for your artwork and brand.
Both of you just had EP releases on Subtronics’ label Cyclops Recordings. Jiqui, you released the Scumbag EP and SISTO, you had the Fools Gambit EP. How do you think these releases compare to your other ones?
S: All of the track names are part of the story I’m writing. Fools Gambit itself is close to telling the beginning part of the characters that are gonna be in this world.
J: The Scumbag EP is a collection of tracks that I really loved that I sent over to Cyclops, and luckily they wanted to release it. That EP originally had 5 tracks…it was actually a lot different when it was first conceptualized. I’m super stoked on how it came out.
What are some goals that each of you guys have for the next 5 years of your careers?
J: I eventually want to do a headline tour. And continue to release EPs and possibly an album down the road. I also want to continue to collaborate with other artists I look up to and grow the project.
S: I want to keep touring and making music. And I can’t wait to introduce the story we’ve been working on to everyone.
Lastly, what’s one piece of advice you’d have for an upcoming dubstep producer that wants to get on the Lost Lands lineup and find success one day?
J: Just grind and don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself, and enjoy the journey. A lot of times, people are so eager to get to a certain goal that they kinda forget the steps that it takes to get there. You need to enjoy the process and capitalize on wins along the way.
S: I think the biggest part of it is to treat everyone with mutual respect, regardless of where you are. Always remember to talk to everyone and treat everyone equally. Even when you get to a specific point, you have to remember that we’re all in this together. We’re all part of this community and trying to grow the same scene, and it’s important to remember that we’re all people.
J: I was gonna say the same thing…at the end of the day, we’re all just people that love the music. We’re all in the same boat here.