1st May - NJC – Sativa Records
NJC – Sativa Records
Interview by Dhanu Le Noury
PDNB: So our readers can get an idea of your personality, which super hero do you think you would get on with the best, and why?
I’m on the spot here! Even though he’s nothing like me I reckon James Bond. And why? Well, because he gets to drive phat cars with bullet proof windows … and of course the ladies!
PDNB: Which productions can we look forward to hearing from you in the near future?
“I’m currently working on tracks for YT’s (Dancehall/Reggae artist) debut album which is also being co-produced by Maxim (The Prodigy), its set for release this year; this is a non-DnB album. It will contain an assortment of genres but mainly dancehall & reggae orientated, we have been working on it for some time and will have 14 tracks by the time we finish, 6 of which will be produced by me. This has really given me a chance to try different ideas. I’ve also been doing all the recording (voicing) and engineering for our half of the album.”
“Also we’re (Me, Digital & Innerheart) about to do another remix of a Salmonella Dub (New Zealand Dub/Reggae outfit) track ‘Longtime’ which was featured on their ‘One Drop East’ E.P. I’m also in talks with Laid Blak’s (Live Urban Band from Bristol) manager for remix work.”
PDNB: Which labels/artists are you associated with? Tell us a little bit about Sativa Records and who is involved in the label!
Well for Drum and Bass I’m from the Timeless camp … Digital & Brillo both helped me from the start, all of my releases so far have been on labels from their stable. Me and Amit have linked and have talked about doing some work together; he also comes from the same click. I’ve also recorded for ‘Narcotix Inc’ a non-DnB release, Hip-hop esque beats with loadsa funk! Sativa Records (www.sativarecords.co.uk) which is my real home, is where me and other artists from my area and outside have come together to showcase our work together. We are currently putting together a live band so we can put our work on the road.
“Artists involved are Innerheart, Digital, YT, Bongo Chilli & DSD, we will be adding more artists and info over the coming months, to be honest the site is very empty, its still being developed (23/04/04) Just to add we also have a branch of Sativa Records in New Zealand and we’ll be releasing different material over there.”
“Other things that are developing is that me and Innerheart will be starting our own label (CAPACITY) we will release a varied selection of beats on it, we’re not really sure on the music policy, Ola from ‘Stage 1000’ will be helping us out with that. Also I will eventually have my own DnB label, but only when the times right.”
PDNB: You sound very busy!!! You also have other projects on the go too at the moment!
TYME 028: Timeless Recordings;
Artist: Salmonella Dub - Track Name: Nu Steppa
Digital & Nat ‘NJC’ Clarxon Rmx - on promo now
NARC 45: Narcotix Records - non-DnB
Artist: NJC & Innerheart
Track name: A/ The Roof party AA/ H2o - on promo next month
Cosmic Web Records
Track Name: A/ Generic AA/ Desi Flo
SANZ001: Sativa Records NZ (DnB)
A: Artist: YT & VOODOO
Track Name: Ganja Love
Music written and produced by Digital, Innerheart and NJC
AA: Artist: Mikey Dread
Track Name: We are ready DnB mix
Music written and produced by Digital, Innerheart and NJC
Other tracks out on general release now:
Label: L.Plates: Its You / Topaz
WC: Time ‘If Only’ / ZIPPER
Function Records: Frontline by Digital (NJC RMX) / Informer
Also YT’s album will be released on ‘Sativa Records’ this year.
PDNB: How did you discover your passion for drum & bass?
When I was at school really, there was a group of us that were all into DnB and going out raving. Luckily one of me m8’s had a relative living in Hackney so we used to get copies of tapes off pirate stations like ‘Pulse FM’ & ‘Kool FM’, this gave us an insight into all the latest dubs. Also in Ipswich we’ve got ‘REDEYE Records’ which was and still is a hotspot for the latest cuts and underground tunes.
PDNB: What are your goals within the music industry?
I’d like to get back on the decks at some point. I would love to play DnB but will probably play other stuff too. Also to keep making phat beats and to take my music on the road. I’d like to collaborate with more vocalists, apart from the extensive work I do with YT this is something I class as untapped for me. Eventually I want to be able to sit behind an SSL or a Neve and hear my beats/music coming through the warm channels they have, accompanied with bad as funk vocals – I know what damage the mix-downs can do on those machines so I’m looking to that as my main goal.
PDNB: How would you describe your style as a producer?
Kaleidoscopic - this is how it’s been described before. I’m very diverse and I’m always evolving, my sound is adaptable and I find it easy to move from genre to genre. Even though I’ve got almost 10 years experience within studios and in production, I’m only just starting, I’m glad of that too because now I feel ready and feel like the warm up is over.
PDNB: With so much competition these days, in your opinion, what do you think makes a good artist?
Well, in an industry so big it’s hard to say that there’s any one thing that’ll put you out there above the rest but I think from my observations its all about being yourself and being original but also working hard. You need to be very organised and be prepared for knock backs nothing’s easy and if it is then it’s not worth it, the main thing is to get ya head down and do the grafting. One thing that I always think through in my head is that music is music however people label it or link it, as long as you know what you’re about and where you’re going that’s all that matters. It does help to know people but does not guarantee you any form of success if your not good in the first place. If ya fake you’ll get found out!
PDNB: Have you had any classical music training and do you play any musical instruments?
Well I played the drums for about 6 years and had some training from a Jazz drummer. I can play the keyboards and operate my studio which to me is a musical instrument! When I was real young I had piano lessons but stopped because I found a drum kit more interesting and more me! So no not really. I’m still able to play the drums live and will definitely be back in the seat before long.
PDNB: Is there anybody that you personally admire, in or outside of the music industry?
Lennox Lewis for beating Mike Tyson! He proved that you can beat the best!
PDNB: Which DJs and MCs do you rate, and why?
Remember my comments don’t just apply to DnB! I like any DJ that thinks about his/her mixes, variety in a set is what I’m looking for. MC’s, well, anyone who can control their voice properly is good to me. There are lots of different styles and each style is just as important as the other, each style creates a vibe, and a vibe is the one thing that can be created by an MC, hope that makes sense.
PDNB: Do you have any gig horror stories?
Yep, I was playing the drums to a pre-recorded track live for a Hip-Hop crew on a Radio station in my area. In the rehearsal I’d set the levels so that I could sync correctly with the backing track but for some reason the engineer decided to mess with the headphone mix and I lost the timing a couple of times. Proper moody – he got shouted at after the show!
PDNB: Do you have any all time favourite drum & bass tracks?
Some of my real favourites are old tunes from years ago which I don’t know the names of, although the tunes that stick in my head and first made me pay attention where, ‘Champion Sound’, ‘31 Seconds’, ‘Lighter’.
PDNB: Who were your musical influences in your earlier life?
Man, the list is long but here’s a few, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Jimmy Hendrix, Orbital, Bob Marley, UB40,
Soul 2 Soul, NWA, Naughty by Nature, Ice Cube & Ice T, Onyx, Aswad, The Prodigy and any James Brown tunes … always about the beats!
PDNB: Do you have any interests or pastimes outside the music scene?
I play 5 a side once a week – not proper just a mad kick about for an hour with me m8’s, no ref – no rules! I also like to do a bit of weight training when I get a chance.
PDNB: Its Sunday afternoon and you are chilling out at home – what is on the stereo or TV?
If I’m not in the studio or still out at a mad house party then its all about watching new films on DVD, I’m not really into TV much.
PDNB: Tell us some of your favourite “non” drum & bass related albums.
Mmmmm, a hard one, I like so many albums but anything by DMX, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Leftfield, The Roots Band, N.E.R.D. Black eyed peas are pretty tuff too. I’m into Blak Twang, Roots Manuva, Rodney P, most UK Hip-Hop artists really. Recently my misses brought Lamar’s album and I’m really into it, he’s got a really good vibe going on, also any Dancehall mix tapes, to be honest its all about anything you can nod ya head too for me,
I’m into neck breaking tunes.
Describe your personality in three words? Ambitious, reliable, workaholic
CDs or Vinyl? Both
Favourite piece of studio equipment? Valve compressor
Favourite radio station? 1xtra
Dream car? Aston Martin with bullet proof windows.
Favourite film? Well I saw ‘Anger Management’ the other day and that was proper funny man.
Favourite drink? Brandy
Star sign? Pisces
NJC SHOUTS! (in no order)
Digital, Brillo, YT, Innerheart, Crucial, Bongo Chilli, DSD, Ola & all Stage 1000 crew, Pops, Irie J, Concord Dawn, Dfektiv 2020, L.O.A.D Media, Cookshop Recs, Intrakut, Psylence, Haze, Murdock & all Belgium crew, Ting, Klute, Redeye Recs, Salmonella Dub, Laid Blak, Lowerdepths, Shelley D, Spirit, Amit, Outrage, Amrik, A Sides, Sinista, Vinyl Dialects, Tone Control, The Freedom, Ashanti Massive, Jay Funk, Danny J, Base Records, Don Con, Dj Pan & the Dutch Manz, Pams House, Bobby Friction & Nihal & all crew, Voodoo, Bassbin Records, Paul Reset, DJ Kid & all the Scotland massive, Cara, Mi Family and all people I’ve missed. Musical Madness!