Meet [IVY]: The New Face Behind Drum & Bass Inspiring a Generation of Female Producers

Meet Jasmin Bernard, the enigmatic producer and fashion entrepreneur behind the moniker [IVY]. A force of nature and the latest trailblazer to emerge on the UK drum and bass scene, she has already carved out a name for herself with an audacious blend of creativity, grit and unyielding passion.

It’s in that fusion of diverse influences that [IVY] finds her niche, a high-octane concoction of modern drum & bass, spunky 4×4 and the raw dynamism of techno. Having garnered acclaim from BBC Radio 1 and festival stages alike, she’s on a furious rise to stardom, and if you’ve not heard her work before, her electric new single “All I Need” is just the place to begin.

With playful switch-ups, rolling double drops and hypnotic percussion, [IVY]’s sets will be keeping you on your toes—quite literally. Tapping into the euphoric buzz of the nineties rave scene, “All I Need” sends us reeling into the summer months and embodies the uninhibited essence of the rave.

Using heady old-school rave sounds and the sun-ripened tunes of the Ibiza trance days as her touchstone, [IVY] has emerged as an unstoppable force of innovation and tireless experimentation. When she’s not tearing up international festivals, she’s honing her craft behind the decks or trawling through the drum & bass archives for her next inspiration.

A bit of a secret connoisseur when it comes to happy hardcore and vintage house music, [IVY] has mastered a fusion of genres to create a sound that is both intricate and unpretentiously fresh.

“I just go back and do a deep dive into nineties and noughties mixes,” [IVY] tells EDM.com. “I spend most of my free time literally just listening to as much music as I can and getting inspiration from that.”

Beneath the surface of [IVY]’s dizzying success lies a story of late-night studio sessions and tireless dedication to her craft, forged behind the decks of Bristol’s intimate underground clubs and infused with the electrifying intensity of her teenage free party days. A true lesson in staying true to yourself and living your vision to the fullest, she has been unfazed by the conservatism of certain drum & bass purists, who have criticized the more experimental features of her releases.

“I’ve been quite surprised because personally I love anything fresh, and I always try to put on new and exciting stuff for my audiences,” [IVY] says. “But it’s been a bit of a tricky one.”

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Even so, she remains as steadfast as ever in her commitment to redefining the sound of modern dance music and inspiring a new generation of drum & bass aficionados to explore beyond the prescriptive conventions of the genre. Armed with each new release, [IVY] seems to be rewriting the rulebook, recasting the familiar drive of the drum & bass arrangement in an entirely original mold.

Getting honest about some of the criticism that has come in with each breakthrough, [IVY] explains, “I think the main controversial thing that I’ve been pushing is mixing 4×4 techno kits with more classic drum & bass to create a switch-up in the drum pack. Usually, the crowd just lights up and everyone loves it, but there’s some people that just aren’t there for that.”

Her bold pursuit of perfection and infectious energy led to the release of two major singles, “Close To Me” and “Looking 4 Me,” via RCA Records, catapulting her into the spotlight and cementing her status as one of the industry’s most exciting talents. With a sprawling range of residencies and awards already under her belt, among them a nomination for the BBC’s “Essential Artists for 2023” and a prestigious Hospital Records mentorship, [IVY]’s hard-earned achievements clearly speak for themselves.

But what she won’t always tell you is that her own path into music was far from conventional. Born and raised in rural Brittany, you might be surprised that the serene landscapes of [IVY]’s youth evolved into the gateway to her musical explorations. It was here where she discovered her passion for electronic music through the magnetic tug of hard dance and free parties, quickly becoming a regular at festivals right across the country.

Now she remembers fondly her teenage pilgrimages to festivals in the Netherlands and beyond—a lifeline through which she could escape the mundanity of everyday life and immerse herself in the euphoria of the dancefloor. [IVY]’s hybrid influences have certainly shaped her own creative arsenal, lending her tracks some of the novelty and the giddy adrenaline of the blissful hardstyle sound.

[IVY].

c/o Sony Music

But it was a fateful move to Bristol that would allow [IVY] to finally take on the mantle as a producer and DJ herself. A crucible of electronic music and the powerhouse of the 90s sonic revolution, Bristol has been hailed the humble mecca of the UK dance scene. As the home turf of drum & bass giants like Roni Size or DJ Krust and the muse of countless other greats, the city’s vibrant underground scene resonated with [IVY]’s own electric energy and relentless drive. Drawn into a new world of experimentation, she describes finding her calling in the intoxicating fusion of 4×4 and drum & bass, a marriage of genres that would soon become her signature sound.

But [IVY]’s artistic ambitions extend far beyond the confines of the recording studio. As the visionary mind behind Jazzy Garms, she has helped to redefine the boundaries of UK festival fashion with her boundless creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. A self-made brand conceived when [IVY] was just in her second year of university, Jazzy Garms is produced completely in-house from flashy fabrics and unapologetically bold prints, and offers sustainable handmade rave clothing and eye-catching accessories.

More than just a thriving brand in its own right, Jazzy Garms also offered a conduit to the UK rave scene, allowing [IVY] to gain a foot in the door of the industry and cement her online presence. Funding her initial venture into music production, the brand helped her to live out the dream of pursuing a full-time career in the music industry.

“I was doing biomedical science at university so without it I would have probably ended up in a lab somewhere and been out of the creative world,” she says of some of the early challenges she faced as a young producer.

Even amidst the whirlwind of her recent chart successes, [IVY] remains grounded, ever committed to her mission of pushing artistic boundaries and inspiring others with her story. “A lot of people just don’t have the luxury of taking time to work on their production,” she adds. “Thanks to Jazzy Garms doing so well I was able to fund that transition into music.”

Juggling a demanding degree with her blossoming fashion brand and DJing career, it seems that [IVY]’s motto has been play hard and worker harder. From having to uproot for university to supporting her brand through the unwelcome quiet of the pandemic, she seems to have turned every possible setback into another step along her journey.

For too long, the glass ceiling in the drum & bass scene seems to have shut talented women out of record deals and residencies. Even despite the advent of digital music sharing, it’s proven too opaque for many producers to see through the inequalities and pressures of the music industry. It’s both refreshing and reassuring then, to hear artists like [IVY] steer the conversation on female empowerment through music.

“We just need to power through and show men that we are worthy of being here, just as much as they are,” she says, reflecting on her own experiences as a rising artist and producer. The message resounds equally clearly in [IVY]’s music, with releases like “Looking 4 Me,” last summer’s sassy 4×4 banger with vocalist Ria Leah, celebrating invaluable contributions to drum & bass culture by women.

But for a time, things weren’t so simple and [IVY]’s story is as much one of resolute dedication as much as of great talent. Now she finds herself at the helm of a new generation of female producers and innovators in the contemporary drum & bass scene.

“Ever since I started learning how to DJ, even before I was playing in clubs, I was always undermined,” she recalls. “Like when we were at a house party, nobody would let me on the deck. Even when I started playing clubs, it was always like, ‘You can put your USB in here, but you can also take my USB if you want to play bangers.’ And it was always just so condescending.”

While the authenticity of her sound has dispelled any accusations of underserved success, it’s clear, however, that there’s still a long way to go.

[IVY].

c/o Sony Music

As somewhat of a bona fide internet sensation, [IVY] has used her platform to share her personal insights and foster a meaningful connection with fans. Offering unparalleled range and visibility, TikTok and social media platforms generally have spurred change in the industry and allowed artists like her to resonate with audiences worldwide.

“Before all social media you’d be out the scene if you couldn’t go to raves,” she says. “But now, I think only a third of my followers are from the UK and I think it’s amazing that I have such a world-wide community of people that have never heard me play live but they’re still following my journey and they’re still able to be a part of it!”

Indeed, between her treasure trove of early bootlegs, which caught the attention of seasoned drum & bass stars like DJ Hybrid and Goddard, and a flurry of views across both Instagram and TikTok, [IVY] was able to leave her first impression on the scene. Having signed with Sony and added some of Europe’s premier festival venues to her roster, [IVY] is not quick to shun her SoundCloud early days.

Despite the inevitable constraints of short-form online content, her sound continues to defy the cookie-cutter trends of more mainstream branches of dance music. Regularly posting previews of new releases and treating her supporters to exclusive live content, she continues to grow her dedicated audience across both Instagram and TikTok, digital melting pots for creators and fans alike.

[IVY] notes that, despite their many downsides, their algorithms have democratized the playing field and helped kickstart the careers of emerging artists. “It rewards creativity and good music, as opposed to just rewarding the bigger artists,” she explains. “It’s just a lot more inclusive I think.”

So, where to next for [IVY]? She may have “made it” but she makes it clear that, in many ways, this is just the beginning. Upcoming shows at Hospitality On The Beach and Hospitality in The Woods only scratch the surface.

“I never thought I’d be playing some of the stages and gigs that I’ve got lined up this summer,” she gushes. “Just being able to travel as part of my job, or fly over to Vegas and perform for a crowd of 40,000 people is completely mind-boggling to me!”

You can find “All I Need” on streaming platforms here.

Follow [IVY]:

Instagram: instagram.com/ivywubs
TikTok: tiktok.com/@ivydnb?lang=en
Spotify: tinyurl.com/y7b5jkhp

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