Inja – Blowing Dem Away
Jamie links up with one of the happiest MCs in the drum and bass scene, the man like Inja to discuss his latest release alongside Serum, what’s good in the scene now and his favourite moments from the jungle.
It seems like every week a new Inja track, video or feature drops, you must have been hard at it in 2016?
“I wouldn’t go that far, I just like writing! 2016 was a crazy year for me – like really positive but also negative. All I really know what to do is write, and I seemed to manage to get some absolute fire riddims, so that made it all a lot easier.”
How you do maintain such a high workrate and balance everyday life?
“There’s no balance for me really, I write everywhere. One of my favourite writing sessions from last year was while I was doing the washing up. I got an email about a beat, downloaded it, filled up the sink, pressed play, and managed to finish the track, and washed up (plus the water was still hot).
I think the balance is just knowing what you can do, and allowing yourself to do it.”
As an MC and vocalist in drum and bass, how did you find making the jump from newcomer to established artist? Is it really a case of who you know rather than what you know?
I definitely don’t think I’m an established artist by any means, in any genre. On the flipside of that, I’m not a new comer. I think being established is when you become a household name, even in an underground sound, and I’m definitely not one of them in my opinion.”
On that tip, what advice would you give to MCs struggling to get noticed or find their own style? How did you create your unique fashion on the microphone? Does personality play the biggest part?
You have to just be you. There are the people that have inspired you, but copying them is really not the way to go. Their influence can be massive, but should only be an influence.
Personality is what makes you an individual, there’s nobody better at being you than you.
Hard work to your craft and just not stopping. Chasing the art fam!”
Let’s talk about ‘Blow Them Away’ – I was surprised to see it on Hospital if I’m honest, along with the T>I track ‘Bad Man’. How did that happen?
“Hospital are a great independent label, and though many don’t think they represent all sides of drum and bass, in their own way, I think the tracks mentioned kind of proves that they do. Between Med School and Hospital there’s a lot of really good dance floor music. Sometimes people can be blinded by the lights when it’s a big label in my opinion.
There’s people like S.P.Y, Nu:Logic, Anile, Whiney, and so many others, but their production skills have massive versatility.”
The link up with Serum for Hospital isn’t the first time you have worked together, ‘Red Eyes’ was released by Philly Blunt in June 2016. What a legendary label to have a release on! If you had to choose from one of these from the label, what would it be and why?
Firefox – Buck Rogers
Firefox & Survivor – Who Is It
Glamour Gold – You Can Run
“I have to go for a combo. ‘Buck Rogers’ being the one where once I’d hear it come into the mix, I’d start getting ready to brock out.
Bearing in mind I was a school kid, probably in my dad’s shirt, let’s say the black silk one, with the red, gold and green arms, and the leather black edge. Possibly smoking hash, and maybe drinking a Red Stripe absolutely loving life.
The second being ‘You Can Run’ – that was like the ultimate rolling bubbler when it drops. Just a little screw faced, bass loving kid, in the middle of a massive rave, enjoying every aspect of bass flying from the speakers. Warning is and will always be a champion of jungle drum and bass for me!”
These must bring back memories of Cambridge’s legendary Warning in the 90’s? The Junction filled with smoke and sweaty bodies, Micky Finn wheeling up tune after tune. Could you name one or two fond moments from those times for us?
“I think seeing Stevie Hyper D there when I was really underage. I used to sneak in and that night he (Hyper D) was late, and arrived for the last 20 minutes of the night. It was smokey, the crowd was ready, and Nicky Blackmarket was on set. I loved that!
Having GQ invite me to bar with him over an Andy C set, it was going absolutely mental, and me looking round thinking, this is GQ, the voice of dnb, and he’s cool with me.
Amazing moments, and there’s been so many more, at what I think is one of the best drum and bass nights ever. The last one I worked with DJ Guv and it went off. I get to do that again with him at the next one on 11th Feb 2017.”
From the past to the future, what’s in store for 2017?
“I’m very versatile, it’s all music to me. Music had a great year, and so did I. From hosting massive events like Boombap, Detonate festivals, to Red Bull Culture Clash trophies with DJ Die’s Gutterfunk label.
Featuring on DJ Vadims reggae album with legends like Max Romeo and Demolition Man. Hospitality events plus multiple festivals with my solo show to poetry events.
I’ll certainly be doing more writing, and hopefully a few more live events.
Also look out for the ‘Last Knights’ plus an album produced by Dirty Dike. Just me doing all the things I like, and maybe a few more drum and bass colabs if I’m lucky too. I try to just get in where I fit in musically because I just love music!”
Any shouts or big ups?
DJ Die, Nu Tone, Delegates of Culture, Taskforce DJ Vadim, Randall, Dirty Dike so many big ups oh my days. We are all taylormade, nobody is better at being you, than you.
Smile at people, if they smile back, they might smile at someone else. Pass on your love, there’s so much to receive, and to give, if you’re open to it.
Thanks to everyone that’s supported and helped me along my journey.
All of my people know who they are; I love and thank you all!”