Hannibal Interview 2017
After entering the DnB scene back in 2003, On A Mission resident DJ Hannibal has become an essential fixture on line ups at some of the biggest events along the South Coast including RAM nights & One Nation. Recognised for playing a wide spectrum of drum and bass styles, he utilises up to five decks in a set and keeps the crowds captivated with every mix. His impeccable tune selection and trademark fast paced mixing are a force to be reckoned with and this DJ shows no signs of stopping. We catch up to find out more.
Q1) Thanks for your time, how is 2017 for you so far?
A) This year is going really great thanks! It’s been a really busy year for me focusing on my residency at Switch and I’ve had some big highlights such as playing at Mutiny Festival. I’ve still got some massive sets coming up before the end of the year too supporting Wilkinson and Andy C.
Q2) How did you first get into DnB?
A) I always listened to bands when I was younger such as Slipknot and System Of A Down, then one day a friend from work brought in a One Nation tape pack and I was converted as soon as I heard it. A couple of months later I bought my first set of turntables and started mixing from there.
Q3) What is your preferred DJ set up?
A) I’ve always had a soft spot for vinyl so Technics were a given - nowadays it’s at least 3 (preferably 4) Pioneer CDJs/media players with a Pioneer mixer.
Q4) You won the Enter and Drumfunk competition in 2010. How did that affect your DJ career?
A) Winning the competition was the start of some fantastic opportunities for me to support headliners and it was great to be recognised for my mixing ability, rather than a popularity contest on social media like so many DJ competitions are. It was also the start of getting to play on main stage and despite the fact the competition prize was only to play at 2 Enter & Drumfunk nights, I actually got my first residency with Enter as a result of it. Overall it definitely gave my DJ career a massive boost.
Q5) You played after Andy C to 4000 people at Soundclash Festival, that must have been a memorable set for you? What track did you start with and how was the challenge of keeping up momentum?
A) I opened with a double drop of Prototypes – ‘Rocket Guns Blazin’ and ‘Step Three’ - Hamilton Remix, then went into a quick tease of Baron’s remix of ‘Nosher.’ To be honest it was the first time in a really long time that I had been nervous before a set but as soon as I started mixing, I could tell that the sound and equipment were so good that it just felt like mixing at home and I relaxed straight into it.
I tend to get booked for sets straight after headliners as I play high energy sets so I naturally keep the momentum going with the crowd. I loved every minute of it but the highlight had to be Andy C staying for 25 minutes of my set, dancing behind me for most of that and even grabbing me to tell me that I was killing it! The overall experience was easily the high point of my DJ career and for anyone who wants to check out the re-record of my set.
Here’s the link to it on my Soundcloud page:
Q6) You warmed up for Hazard at Mutiny Festival, again another epic crowd. Do big crowds intimidate you or do you vibe off it?
A) This year’s Mutiny Festival was amazing and was one of the best set ups I’ve ever played on. I definitely vibe off of it; at the end of the day, when you start off mixing in your bedroom, it’s all you ever dream of to be playing to bigger and bigger crowds. I feel really lucky that I get to do it but I’ve worked hard to deliver myself the opportunities to do this and continue to do so.
Q7) Tell us about your residencies and any favourite moments.
A) On A Mission is definitely my most important residency and I’ve been with them since their 3rd event. They were a developing brand which I could grow with as a DJ in tandem with them. Justin the promoter has done nothing but trust and develop me and that in turn has afforded me the opportunities I have now. As a promotion they have billed me as a headliner and put me on with headline MCs such as Eksman, Harry Shotta, Bassman and Dreps which has massively helped me get to where I am now. My proudest moment with them was winning Best Breakthrough Promoter at the DnB Awards.
I’ve been a resident at Switch for around 2 years now and it’s an incredible club in Southampton which shows no sign of slowing down; they have gone from strength to strength and keep getting bigger names for nights there all the time. I’m their resident DnB DJ so if there’s DnB on, you’ll be able to catch me there. They are also the guys who ran Soundclash Festival and gave me some of my biggest bookings to date.
I’ve also got a residency for the Banksy and Dunn show on Q Bass FM radio and play for them regularly. They are really nice guys who have been in the scene for years and it’s nice to be able to go somewhere and get back to your roots doing some internet radio. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/Banksy-and-dunn-dnb-show-QBasefm-933472260045264/
Q8) How did the link up with On A Mission come about?
A) Friends who were already involved with the brand had spoken to Justin before I had even gone to my first RAM night and they had told him that I was a good DJ, then it just seemed to blow up from there. I’ve always pushed and supported the brand and myself and the other OAM residents are a really tight-knit family. I truly believe that OAM knows what its ravers want from a night out and puts on an incredible event every single time.
I’ve always believed that to make connections and get sets, you need to actually attend a promotion’s events and support it properly, rather than simply sending a message via social media and just expecting to be billed. You can’t expect sets to be handed to you on a plate; you need to support the scene and put in the hard work.
Q9) Who are your top 5 artists?
A) Number 1 would definitely have to be Andy C; as a DJ he is obviously my biggest inspiration and the production he’s putting out at the moment is amazing as well. Number 2 would be Camo & Krooked; they are my favourite artists to see live and are next level producers. At 3 it’s Zinc; he is an incredible DJ whether its house or DnB and he is responsible for some absolutely classic tunes which I still play in nearly every set now. Number 4 would be Baron; he’s my number 1 favourite producer of all time and I’m sad that he’s left the DnB scene but he’s hopefully moved onto bigger and better things. Culture Shock would be number 5; he’s my favourite currently working producer as everything he makes is truly unique and his tunes are always tent-pole parts of my sets.
Q10) Do you rate MC's? Who are you diggin?
A) Tonn Piper is amazing and I love the stuff he’s doing with Andy C at the moment and I’ve always been impressed with how versatile Harry Shotta can be; however I don’t really follow the MC scene and my style of DJing tends to only lend itself well to host MCs. I regularly play with breakthrough MCs Kerizma and Brooksie and they do an awesome job of selling me and my sets; they are making great moves in the scene themselves.
Q11) You play across the board, adapting to each sub-genre. What do you think about segregated sub-genre nights?
A) The split into segregated sub-genre nights has allowed DnB to reach levels of popularity than ever before by taking it from the underground into the mainstream. There’s now more eyes and ears onto the product, but I do miss the days of going out and DnB just being DnB, without DJs being held hostage by a particular sub-genre. When I go out I like to hear a variety in sets; I like liquid and I like jump up but hearing a whole set, or even worse, a whole night of a particular one is just too much for me. When I play, I try to incorporate as many of the sub-genres into my sets as I can to show people the full spectrum of DnB; however that’s just my personal opinion and people can like whatever they like. Ultimately the main thing is that the scene is ever changing and evolving which helps to keep it fresh and successful.
Q12) You're always supporting new artists, who would you recommend?
A) As above, I really rate Kerizma and Brooksie as MCs who understand it’s about the music and not themselves. DJ Ripraw is a master of jump up and manages to pull together some really clever mixes rather than just switches all the time. DJ Zork has done some incredible things with neuro and liquid so I would definitely recommend checking him out.
Q13) What do you think of the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk website?
A) It’s great! There’s a wealth of information on here about new releases and upcoming events and it’s really useful to have everything in one place. I particularly like the interviews section as having an insight into what goes on in the minds of some of the biggest DJs is really interesting.
Q14) If you could take one tune on a desert island to only listen to for eternity, what would it be and why?
A) Oooooo, tough question! DnB wise it would be really difficult to just pick one but some of the most important tunes to me are: Shimon - ‘The Shadow Knows’; Hive & Gridlok – ‘Standing Room Only’; Sigma & Fresh – ‘Cylon’; Culture Shock – ‘Troglodyte’ and Audio Unit – ‘Palais Royal’.
When it comes to anything non DnB, I’m thinking probably Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Go With The Flow’ as it’s a timeless piece of music which always makes me happy when I hear it.
Q15) What would be your perfect line up?
A) To be honest I much prefer listening to resident DJs rather than headliners these days; it’s great to hear DJs who really give it their all for every set and they always feel hungrier when they play. I do still love to catch sets from Andy C, Randall, Zinc, Eric Prydz and Camo & Krooked so they would be my top picks.
Any shouts and thanks?
A) Obviously a massive big ups to all those I’ve already mentioned earlier throughout the interview; I’ve been involved with loads of different promotions and events over the years which have all helped me along the way. My fan base and SoundCloud followers are ever growing and I really appreciate all the support that everyone has given me ! Thanks for your time and all the best for 2018 and beyond!
Interview by Missrepresent 2017