iTunes : http://apple.co/1KTKn38
Busta has been singing and writing lyrics since a child in a primary school band and then rapping and keyboard playing in senior school which leaded to a GCSE grade B in music. He Got into garage and drum and bass around 2002 as it became slightly more commercial and turned his raps into chats which he would record tapes of himself and friends at house parties. MCing had always just been a hobby and when Busta really got into dnb he started going to the raves around 2003, so we find out more about what he has been up to since.
Q1) Thanks for your recent time on the "Classic Feels" mix... response has been wicked... thought I'd do some probing! How has 2017 been for you do far?
A) 2017 has been great so far, it started off with a bang as mine and DJ Escapes brand ‘We Love the DnB’ took over room 2 at Playaz: Birmingham. Then a steady stream of gigs each week from the likes of Ram records, Hospitality, Random Concept, Planet V, MetalHeadz etc. Things are constantly progressing each year so can’t complain.
Q2) So go back to growing up, what music you were into and how you got into dnb? Can you remember your first rave?
A) I remember being about 6/7 years old and my neighbours dad would always be playing tapes and we used to love dancing round like nutters. When i actually started getting into dnb in around 2001 the familiarity of the jungle breaks brought back a massive nostalgia and was totally hooked. My first Rave was oct 2003 Flashback at the institute in Birmingham. Its here where I heard Fearless MC live for the first time and was in complete awe of his crowd control and flow.
Q3) So when did it turn from a hobby to professional?
A)For many years I was burning the candle at both ends juggling a full-time job and MCing out every weekend. Once I got to a point where I was getting paid for bookings last year I made the decision to save as much money as possible to take time off full time employment to really concentrate on MCing. I started treating it as a full time job though, waking up early and setting up an office where I would write, rehearse, record lyrics. I would also use this time to promote my event brand, and self promote on social medias. As I have a building trade background I will still take on the occasional job to top up the wages as being a full time musician lacks the consistency of other jobs! Also I’m a firm believer of charging fair prices for sets I’m not out to take advantage of promoters.
Q4) You're one of the few MCs that I know that have a home studio set up. To up and coming musicians who want to MC, can you expand on why it's useful to have a studio at home?
A)Having my own set up was one of the best moves I’ve made, having the freedom to record vocals at my own pace, without waiting on anyone else or booking studio time.
Q5) Can you tell us your home studio set up, what mic are you using and what would be your dream mic?
A)Having used plenty of condenser mics in the past the one I’ve got at the moment is the best I’ve ever used. Its a RODE NTK valve condenser, recommended by MC Spyda when me and him done a little work together a few years ago. It has great warmth and clarity, alone with a pop screen and reflexion shield I get studio quality recordings right from my bedroom.
Q6) Do you take a mic out with you when you're doing gigs? What do you think of the cordless ones?
A)My current weapon of choice is a Shure 58A Beta. It has awesome range, clarity and loudness. I’ve had a few EV mics in the past which are the dnb mc’s general mic of choice but the build quality is shocking, and when it gets so much use they start to fall apart.
Q7) You like to do a bit of singing and you're really good.... who would you most like to do a track with and why?
A) I really like the more musical liquid side of our scene. I really love Calibre, LSB, Fred V and Graffix, hybrid minds etc. As much as I love jump up and jungle, I find myself listening to more musical or commercial bits when out in the car.
Q8) Who are your top 3 MC's?
A) I Like MCs that sound great over the music so Spyda and Ragga twins will always be up there, I also love hosts that just guide you through the set knowing when to say the right bits and when to let the music do the talking so for that reason Dynamite is also in my top 3.
Q9) You know your dnb.... what is your all time favourite track that gets you moving on a Monday morning?
A)100% without a doubt Together by Logistics! There is no other piece of music I’ve ever heard that gives me the feelings this track does.
Q10) If you were stuck on a desert island and you only had one track to listen to over and over, what would it be and why?
A)As mentioned above Logistics - Together is probably the only track Ive heard over and over and still doesn’t get old to me.
Q11) So 2011 you MC'd at the Random Concept event in a chalet you had gatecrashed... and the response was so good you started recording? How did you record not knowing much and did you find it easy?
A)One of my old DJ mates used to just plug his mixer into his laptop line in and record through Audacity. The mic was a pound land special and listening back to recordings back then we really wasn’t doing ourselves any justice.
Q12) Tell us about the radio stations you have graced.
A)In 2012 I had a weekly show on a reggae internet station ‘Ketchdis.com’ and then moved over to ‘globaldnb.com’
I also used to do regular slots on a Birmingham based pirate radio station Distinct FM.
In the last few years I’ve guested on Rough Tempo, Kool London, Origin Uk, BSR Birmingham to name a few.
Q13) Where was your first gig and were you nervous?
A)My First gig was in 2012 at a free party in Birmingham. Ive never been nervous for a gig just crazy excitement! From MCing at house parties for years and coming into music fairly later than most in our scene at 25 I felt like a veteran in my own right!
Q14) You're in Birmingham. What nights would you recommend and what is your favourite club?
A) Before things got really busy for me I would quite frequently go to house and bass nights at the Rainbow. With my Birmingham based residencies being mainly based at The Rainbow, I have a massive love for the venue. Recently The Rainbow Venues acquired a massive warehouse called Crane. I played here for 25 years of RAM recordings, this venue is up there with the best the UK has to offer and cannot recommend this place highly enough!
Q15) You have Playaz, Ram, Hospitality : Birmingham, Raveology and Payback residencies now... which is quite a list and very admirable. What artists do you look up to and who would you most like to MC for?
A) I look up to and admire all artists in our scene that sacrifice their weekends to entertain ravers. From an outside perspective its all fun and games and people don’t realise the behind the scenes graft, countless motorway miles and the stress artists actually put on their bodies pulling crazy all nighters all for the love of the music.
Ive been very lucky that I’ve been able to MC for 3 of my favourite DJs, Andy C, Randall and Hazard. Without a doubt i’d love to host a Calibre set.
Q16) Tell us about P.A [vs Titan dred] and Purple Demonz.
A)I used to live very close to P.A. he told me about a project he was doing for Dread Recordings and that he wanted me to feature on a track. After 3 or 4 takes we had the lyrics down for Purple demonz and let him do the rest. A year down the line Ray Kieth loved the track so much that we got a vinyl release and featured on his ‘Dub Dread 5’ mix CD.
Q17) You recently worked with Jinx on a track called "All Of Nothing." How did that link up come about?
A)Jinx is now based in Birmingham and having moved in similar circles it was only right we linked up for a colab. He sent over the instrumental and I recorded lyrics there and then. Its been getting great feedback and support so far. Jinx used it as the title track for his E.P released on Pure Vibez recordings.
Q18) You have played internationally a fair bit. Where is your favourite place and where would you most like to go?
A)I really loved playing Geneva a few years back and I would love to return as their hospitality was second to none, better than anywhere else i’d been! Id love to progress enough to go on a tour around North America although from what i hear they don’t massively understand our MC / Host culture.
Q19) Festivals or clubs?
A)I love going to festivals, day time drinking and getting messy outside is extremely appealing but as I find myself keeping it ever more professional I would have to say I prefer clubs! especially as clubs are open all year round, not to mention the countless ruined foot ware as a result of muddy fields!
Q20) Tea or coffee?
A) Coffee for sure, milk no sugar :)
Q21) If I see you out at the bar, what are you drinking?
A) If its after my set and I’m there for the rest of the night then make mine a double brandy and splash of coke [pretty standard dnb drink right!]
Q22) If I gave you £10,000, what would you do with it?
A) Id invest in a new iMac, new studio monitors, new headphones and desk. A nice holiday wouldn’t go a miss too! Somewhere chilled out though, maybe the Caribbean
Q23) What do you think of the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk website?
A)Awesome site dedicated to our amazing scene! Up to date info of events, promo mixes and news of each individual sub genres is a nice touch!
Q24) What's up next for you in 2017, and beyond?
A)Busy busy for the remainder of the year! Finishing off at Crane Birmingham for a brand-new massive DnB night called ‘Interstellar’ set to be absolutely amazing tickets still available
Q25) Thanks for your time... lastly... any shouts and thanks?
A)Firstly massive shouts and thanks to my mrs Jess for putting up with me leaving and returning at all hours of the night, for putting up with me shouting lyrics all day, believing in me and sharing my vision and end goal.
Huge respect to every promoter thats booked me and continues to book me for their shows and to anyone that feels my style and enjoys what I do! Its all so humbling and I’m ever grateful. Also big love to the jdnb team for the interview :)
Interview By Missrepresent