J:Kenzo Interview

Wednesday 13th February 2013 | Annalisa

Having had a string of releases on labels such as Dub Police and Roska's Kicks & Snares this guy continually pushes a heavy bassweight sound. Dropping his self-titled debut album on Tempa last year we had a quick chat on the album, his new imprint ‘Artikal Music UK’ and his dabble into house / techno music.

Your first vinyl release 'Tekno Bass' dropped in 2008 - how has the journey been for you since then?
It has been really good, I have met and worked with some amazing people over the years. The scene has changed quite a bit since 2008, back then I never thought I would have an album out on Tempa one of the most respected labels in the scene.

Where in Kent are you from (I'm from Folkestone!) What is your background, have you always been big into music?
I live in Medway at the moment but grew up in Maidstone.  I have always had a passion for music, it has been a great part of my life from my early childhood. My Dad was a big music fan and record collector. I was surrounded by soul, jazz, reggae, rare groove and rock growing up.

I know that you are a big fan of DMZ and their nights- did this have a big influence on you getting into the scene and wanting you to make music and are you looking forward to their party in March - we are!
It was the first dubstep night I attended in 2006. I’d been into the sound around six months before, but I had never experienced that type of music on a proper sound system. That night without question spurred me on to start making dubstep music. The 8th Birthday in March looks like it will be another historic event.

You have released your self-titled debut album for Tempa a few months back- how has the response been for this?
The feedback has been really positive. Now it has been released I can look back and say that it is a true representation of the sound that I have been pushing for the last few years and bringing through my influences from hip hop to jungle to techno to dub.

Do you still release on your own imprint Soul Shakerz?
No, Soul Shakerz is no longer. I have begun a new imprint ‘Artikal Music UK’ alongside fellow producer Mosaix. We are expecting our 6th release to drop on February 11th 2013.

There is a lot of new music being pushed through in dubstep right now- who are your hot picks for 2013?
There are so many great producers out there right now. I am really feeling Killawatt, Skeptical, Amit and Ipman to name a few.

Youngsta has supported your music a lot, has he given you advice?
He has become a good friend. His quality control is second to none with the music he plays. Youngsta’s support of my music has definitely exposed my music to a larger audience over the last few years.

Tell us a bit about the alias that you work under that pushes more house/ electro stuff. It seems now a lot of people like to cross genres?
It was just a side project to experiment on a different tip. I think it is healthy for producers to try out different styles of music. There are a lot of drum and bass producers who have crossed to dubstep and dubstep producers who make house / techno too. I feel that it is more of a ‘Sound’ rather than a tempo these days.

I hear you used to do a bit of MCing back in the day, are you an MC at heart?
Yes I am really. You have to respect the MC, well as long as they are good at what they do. In the UK the DJ and MC pretty much go hand in hand. I think it is a great connection between the crowd and DJ and can really bring a DJ set to life.

If you were invisible for the day what trouble would you get up to?
I probably wouldn’t create any trouble. I would become a vigilante for the day.

What is the most exciting thing that you are looking forward to in 2013?
I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off last year and playing on some of the best sound systems in the world.

Cheers for your time! We hope to catch you soon.

For more information check out his facebook here

Or follow @JKenzo


Words by Tab Taylor @tiptoptab