1) Having toured for many years in the UK and abroad, are there any particular standout memory of playing in Bristol?
I have had so many incredible nights in Bristol - O2, Thekla, Blue Mountain - with some of the best DJ’s from around the globe, it's such a hard one to call. I am gonna pick two because they are both memorable in different ways.
I did a night for Blowpop at the Blue Mountain - the lights went out and the bass dropped from the speakers but somehow I managed to keep the floor packed. And then when the bass kicked in the place went nuts. It was mental. The building was on it’s last legs, jam packed and they just loved anything I was playing … awesome!!
The other was with Big Daddy Kane at Motion. It was just so good playing alongside him and DJ Yoda - I was kinda star struck as he is one of my favourite rappers of all time. He was the nicest guy and put on the most incredible show, which helped me perform even better (bonus).
Bristol was always the one place it was guaranteed to get a little messy and I have many crazy stories that will remain with me as I would be in terrible trouble if they ever came out.
2) Bristol is often compared to Brighton, do you see the parallels between the two cities?
Absolutely. Two very creative cities with a great tradition of musical talent. I think it’s down to the style of living, the students and the musical roots. These two cities love their DnB, hip hop, reggae, breaks, funk & soul, and all that good music. With all this incredible music it inspires people to get creative and write wicked music that stands the test of time.
3) Do you ever get a chance to see what the city has to offer beyond its nightlife?
Totally. I have worked in the studio with Calvertron quite a few times and been to some great pubs & restaurants with all the Blowpop crew many times. Love the Hotel Du Vin, it does the most awesome breakfast. I have spent some great social time in the summer with friends there. I have so many wonderful memories with great friends there. It really does feel like another version of Brighton… kinda like home from home for me.
4) You used to run a record shop, do you ever miss the days behind the counter?
Yeah I had some great times in that shop and met so many wonderful people. It was a hub for the cool and trendy, plus some very musically knowledgeable folk as well. Some great record labels came from there: Skint, True Thoughts, Against The Grain, Supercharged, Marine Parade, Catskills were just a few. And then all the DJ’s that came into the shop: Fatboy Slim, Phats & Smalls, Freq Nasty, Scratch Perverts, Adam Freeland, Friction.
I had so many amazing records in that shop - I’ve lost count of some of the classics that went on the wall, from Old skool rave to rare funk & hip hop, to selling 20 copies of a Congo Natty 12’’ in minutes. It was crazy.
5) Do you still buy vinyl, or have you gone totally digital?
I do still buy records yes when I get time. I collect 7” funk stuff and Old Skool Hip Hop. Not as much as I used to but I wish I could have 1 day a week just searching for those classic breaks and rare undiscovered gems.
6) Some people consider the record industry to be in a healthier position than it ever has been, particularly for new bands and musicians looking to forge a career - do you agree with this? Is the digital revolution a good thing in your opinion, especially having seen the rise and fall (and rise) in vinyl culture?
I think the record industry is all over the place. On one hand you can make money from a license on a movie, game or advert but you certainly won’t make any money through sales. Music has become so throw away now it is such a shame but that is down to supply and demand and the way the club scene is now. This question opens up a can of worms and my answer could take up the whole magazine … so basically it’s a yes & no conundrum. Vinly is definitely on the way up but for how long I don’t know - maybe it seems trendy to have a vinyl collection.. I am not sure but it’s good though. The digital revolution in my eyes is bad because basically you can spend ages making a tune and in the end people just download it for free. Good that let’s say thousands around the globe might hear your music, but crap if you wanna sell some copies to make some money.
7) And has the digital revolution made running your own label 'Instant Vibes' easier? Any advise for anyone looking to start their own?
It is very hard running Instant Vibes. We make very little money if any after videos, PR, artwork and distribution costs. It is really tough. I still love it and have discovered some very talented artists all making great music for the label, which makes it worthwhile.
8) Highlight of your career (so far)?
Playing to 20,000 people with A.Skillz & Kurtis Blow NYD in Sydney. It was remarkable, legendary incredible!!!
9) Current tune you can't stop listening to?
Wicked City - 'Voices Of The Ghetto' - a project I am working on which is my live band feat Dynamite MC, Damien Soul, ErbnDub, Skope & Steve Yamaha. Live future funk with hints of jazz, hip hop, glitch & bass = nice!!
10) Brendon Rodgers. Sack him?
A few weeks ago yes … but I have had time to think about it now and I say give him 'til the end of the season to prove himself. His buys are terrible - he really has bought badly and for some reason is not listening to the public. He has been picking the wrong players recently and still has a lot to learn, but fingers crossed with Sturridge back and hopefully some good players in January transfer and the team playing with confidence we will be back stronger than ever.