Jamie links up with Mozey to chat about his brand new Serial Killaz release and much more. Check it!
‘Back to Funk’ is certainly as described! Was the intention to reintroduce this kind of vibe or are you paying homage to something else here?
“I don’t ever really set out to write a certain style of track. I came up with the name quickly as a working title and as the track developed it kind of worked given the bouncy bassline. I think there is a healthy amount of funky drum and bass around right now despite what some people say.”
The Serial Killaz brand has always been about keeping in touch with the roots of jungle and presenting good vibes. Was this something you had in mind when producing this album? It almost sounds like it was made specifically for the label.
“I wrote ‘Tribal Killaz’ with The Ragga Twins about 3 or 4 years ago and recorded them in my old University studio. At the time I knew I wanted it to be a Serial Killaz release but the track wasn’t right. It took quite a few versions before it was ready for those guys and luckily they took it. It was basically the same story with ‘Greetings’ too. ‘Back to Funk’ was a lot easier and Tobie snapped it up straight away, and the other jump up bits worked with the current Serial Killaz sound.”
Drum and bass has seen a lot of funk in it’s time. Shy FX, Roni Size, Kamanchi – a never ending list of producers some would say. If you had to choose 3 main tracks that really stood the test of funkula time for you, what would they be and why?
“Scorpio ‘Li Li’ was one of the more old school tracks that always stuck in my head for the groove and funk, it doesn’t have any angry vibe to it yet still smashes up the dance floor.
Next would have to be something from Virus, the whole Wormhole era just changed the way I listened to music and my percy would have to be Ed Rush and Optical ‘Medicine Ball’ (Matrix Remix). My final track has got to be Uncut ‘Midnight’ (M.I.S.T Remix). The whole thing is a masterpiece from start to finish and I think it really sets the bar with what a drum and bass track can be with regards to musicality, groove and arrangement.”
On the subject of bringing things back, what would you like to see make a comeback in the world of drum and bass? Whatever you do, don’t say foghorns – they can stay in 2018 lol
“More Hazard releases! I don’t actually mind a foghorn ya know, I think we need things like that to change the game up now and then and give the elitists something to moan about.
A year or two ago I would have said I want to see more unification across the scene but I think it’s kind of moving that way now anyway – it’s common to hear a Noisia or Kasra tune at a jump up rave or Bou and Upgrade at Hospitality which is wicked!”
Talk to us about your journey into the scene. Were you a raver at first? If so, what early memories really got stuck in your brain and made you want to follow this path?
“Yeah, I started raving in like 2004, I think Tranzmission at Ally Pally was my first and I got hooked from the start although for some reason I can’t remember a great deal from most of those raves. I started to try and make it as an MC at the start actually and I was flyering etc to try get a foot in the door. The last 3 or 4 years that I decided to take it all more seriously and I’m glad it’s all starting to pay off. I think the main thing that helped this is just learning to focus on the music and putting in the graft rather than worrying how or when it’s all going to work out.”
As a producer yourself, what do you think have been the main struggles in terms of getting your work heard?
“Its a never ending struggle and I don’t think it ever really stops being a struggle. I think social media has made it so easy to contact people, this means DJs and producers are inundated with messages and tunes.
I think it’s all about persistence, once you have broke through to someone then they will listen to tracks and when someone is on board with your music then they will push it to someone else and if you’re very lucky things can snowball from there.
And on the flip side, what’s been the hardest part of getting tracks finished and balancing your passions with everyday life and reality?
“I quickly learned that the studio has to take priority over everything, and in my case this means having a very understanding girlfriend. Everyone around me is really supportive and without this I think it would be a real struggle. With regards to writing music and finishing tracks it’s either the most rewarding experience or the most frustrating, it can put you in a pretty dark place especially when you start to put expectations on yourself.”
Is it true that to really break into drum and bass a producer also has to be a shit hot DJ or does it really matter how technically equipped you are?
“I don’t think we can escape the fact that with today’s technologies it’s pretty easy to get into it and get learn how to mix to a decent level. I can see why this pisses people off who have learned the hard way and now lose out on gigs to producers but unfortunately the revenue in music isn’t there like it once was so for a lot of people you have play out to make a living – the ravers obviously don’t want to hear pots and pans though!”
Talk to us about the MC Fats link up? How did this happen? I’m assuming you have been a fan for sometime? LEGEND.
“Ah man, who isn’t a fan? I’ve got to big up Chef for that link up, I sent him some really rough sketches and asked if he could pass them to Fats. A couple of weeks later he sent me the vocals out of the blue and I was blown away. It took me over a year to get the track right but I wanted it to be perfect and I’m glad I did – Fats was happy with it and wants to write some more music together.”
Any other projects in the pipeline?
“Yeah i’ve got the Fats thing coming on Emcee Recordings, a remix coming with the Chopstick Dubplate guys of one of my favourite tracks they put out and then I’m working on a couple of projects for other labels that I would love to talk about now but I’m not allowed just yet. I will definitely be shouting about it all over my socials as soon as I get the all clear.”
If you had to name your top 3 drum and bass or jungle tunes of all time, what would they be and how relevant are they to your style of production?
“These do change for me quite often but at the moment I would say Ed Rush and Optical – ‘Sick Note’, Hazard ‘Psychedelic’ and either Halogenix ‘All Blue’ (ft Cleveland Watkiss) or Ivy Lab ‘20 Questions’ (I know that’s 4 but this question is ridiculous and I’ll probably have 3 different tracks in mind by tomorrow!)”
Any shouts? Leave them below.
“My girlfriend and parents for supporting me over the years. Tobie and Graham for having faith in me and putting out this EP. Uncle Dugs and Wigzy for being my inspiration and showing me how to navigate through this music world, DJ Chef for always pushing me and then all the people who help me grow with my music. Philth, HLZ, Serum, Invaderz, Facing Jinx, Script and then all the DJs who helped me by battering this EP in the raves especially Danny Byrd, Turno and Voltage. Finally Robby T for being my life long raving partner and my first critic on new tracks – sorry to anyone I forgot!”