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Positive Vibes: DJ Rap

Positive Vibes: DJ Rap

Positive Vibes: tunes that instantly put a massive grin on your face… No matter how crap your day is.

Your car might be iced up and make you half hour late for work. Your bread might be mouldy, and you’ve only realised half way through your toast. Your mum might have rung you and told you you’re a loser… But a quick blast on a positive vibe tune will instantly rectify this.

For our first Positive Vibes session of 2013 we’ve got a genuine scene-shaper, DJ Rap. Bubbling up beats since the very early days of our scene, DJ Rap made her imprint on jungle with walloping underground cuts such as Digestible Bass and this piece of early breakbeat beauty…

Since then her career has evolved, developed and morphed into something much more than she ever imagined back in the day. She’s written gold disc level songs for pop stars, written for TV shows and sports channel ESPN and has amassed a rather impressive list of movie credits. But she’s never forgotten her roots. And, thanks to a recent UK tour and a chat with Fabio, has returned to the scene with Satisfied. Complete with all manner of remixes, for us it’s all about the three drum & bass mixes. Each of which sound rather tasty. So we thought we’d send the LA-based foremother of the scene a few questions, and grab some positive vibes while we’re there…

Tell us everything about Satisfied…

“The birth of this release really started on my October tour in England. The response to me coming back and performing was so overwhelming and wonderful that I just got the itch to make D&B again. I had a long chat with Fabio who told me that what I was producing 12 years ago was pretty much what was happening now. Hanging out with Crissy Criss and listening to what he was playing on Radio 1, I realised that they were right. The music I helped pioneer is very current with what is happening now-especially the more liquid feel of things. I love to play the harder material but I never really produced that vibe; I’m all about melody and pushing things open with a song; I’m a songwriter first and foremost. Now you see DJs playing all kinds of styles incorporated, and it’s the same with production. I just knew that would happen eventually.

You’ve explored quite a few genres throughout the releases…. Which one did enjoy producing the most?

“I am a producer in the real sense that I simply love music. I do not consider myself a ‘purist’ (a word I can not stand!) I live and breathe it every day. I did all the music for ESPN and that was fun as I got to produce hip-hop,breaks house as well as dubstep and D&B, so nowadays my schizophrenic musical capabilities have made me the brand I am today. Whereas in the past it really confused everybody. I thank God I stuck to my instincts. Learning Curve was the first time anyone had blended genres like that. Just listen to Fuck With Your Head….

That was dubstep for me: influenced by reggae sound systems and ragga that I use to go to. I love it all! To be truthful, I would go insane with boredom if I could only make one style of music, I like to keep things fresh. That’s what serves me best creatively.”

Obviously for us it’s all about the 3 D&B mixes… Tell us a bit more about them.

“There are 11 mixes on this release over both my labels – Propa Talent / Impropa Talent – spanning every genre, but I wanted to focus on the D&B as I am kind getting back to my roots… Though I have many branches! So we have three videos, a trilogy for three very different mixes. I produced the liquid bass mix and the original mix (the video for the liquid mix is insane) and Audiobender and Neurologix handled the dubstep mixes. I love what they delivered,remixing my vocals. Not forgetting RidOne…”

Tell us about Rid One! 

“RidOne and I collaborated on the D&B DJRap v RidOne mix. That was super interesting: he is going to be a huge talent. He’s from Australia and is so young! I first met him on Skype as I also teach privately. After listening to his productions I knew there was something special about him. It’s just a matter of time before someone swoops in to steal him from me. And I will say ‘I told you so! LOL”

The last thing I heard from you was Good To Be Alive 2011. What happened in between that and satisfied?

“I focused on songwriting more than releases last year as I just needed a musical change/break. I have three gold records hanging on my wall for record sales for song-wring for more ‘pop’ artistes. I also wrote material for the Australian Idol winner Stan Walker and Jin the Japanese superstar to name but a few. I get to explore a different side to myself and it’s fun! Like the acting for me; I get to play different characters through song. As these are more commercial tracks I am happy to pass them onto the right singers as I prefer the darker material for myself. Other releases on the label were Should Have Known Better and High. Should Have Known Better was on a massive TV show here so I released it. There is an acoustic version as well as dubstep etc….My music is often used in commercials and TV, that’s why it’s different from what you hear on the dancefloor, I go with the flow… It’s important to be true to who you are rather than trying to be like everybody else.”

What’s up next from you?

“Movies and TV! I have three movies coming out this year and another huge project which I am in contract stage with. If it goes, this will be a gamechanger for me. That’s all I can say about that! I love acting and am constantly either at school, working on my American accent, or doing something that will help me advance myself in this path. I will, however, always be making music….”

Okay, let’s chat Positive Vibes. What ingredients does a positive vibes track need to have?

“Soul, emotion and beauty. It does not matter if the track is dark, so long as it rubs me the right way, I will find beauty in that. Three examples? Spiritual Aura, Nuttah, Aftermath… Classics!”

Now please give us three Positive Vibes tunes that instant make DJ Rap a happy lady…

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

“The first time I fell in love with a boy in a rock band.”

Genesis – Mama

“The first time I fell in love with dark chords musically.”

David Bowie – Let’s Dance

“The first time I performed with him was in New York. I could not speak!”

DJ Rap – Satisfied is out now on Impropa Talent.
Listen and download.

 

 

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.

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