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Dynamite MC: "thinking is very important"

Drum and Bass | Wednesday 16th December 2015 | Arren

Dynamite MC is one of the most celebrated and decorated MCs around.

He’s worked tirelessly on a career that spans decades. He is the frontman of Roni Size’s Reprazent group, he’s featured his voice on a list of tracks as long as your arm, and has been appearing on flyers for events, including the mighty Hospitality nights, for as long as I can remember.

As an MC he has made sure he isn’t known for only one thing. Whilst he has a huge connection with drum & bass, Dynamite MC has also caused a stir in breaks, garage, dubstep and house. His hard work and dedication has landed him with a Mercury Music Prize and MOBO alongside Reprazent, whilst individually scoring the Best MC award at the Drum&BassArena Awards for two years in a row.

This December saw him release his latest album, World of Dynamite Deluxe. It’s a 30 tracked party package with all the sounds and styles he loves. There’s hip hop, breaks, garage and of course drum & bass and they all come from a wealth of top producers including Roni Size, Danny Bryd, Andy C, Zed Bais, Wookie, and DJ Zinc. We caught up with him earlier this month and talk about this new album, his successes and life beyond the music.

 

Hey, how you doing?

I’m doing good, you?

Great thanks! Its been a big week for you.

Huge week. Massive. Great week though.

So your album came out.

Yes! Dynamite Deluxe is out!

So what can we expect from that?

Well its kind of a two- pronged attack. In the one lane there are people that know me and are aware that I released an album a long time ago that hasn’t been available for a while. And they’ll go oh cool, I remember this, oh and there are 14 other tracks I haven’t heard before. Bam. And on the other hand, the people go what you did an album I had no idea, and they get 30 tracks. So I’m hoping it’s a win-win situation for everybody because there’s classic stuff, new stuff, music that’s unheard, unreleased, remixed, a twisted multi-genre trip. There’s drum & bass, hip hop, breaks, garage, dancehall.

Covering all spectrums.

The only thing I didn’t do is an opera track.

Watch this space!

Haha, yeah!

I saw a lot of guest producers on there; Roni Size, Zed Bias.

Yes, loads of producers. Roni Size is my brother from day one. We’ve worked together from Reprazent and many, many more projects. There’s Zed Bias, Wookie, Danny Byrd, High Contrast, Andy C, Skitz, Blame… there’s a lot. Its good though, because I know a lot of people in the industry, and I like to challenge myself, which is why I work on so many different tempos. I think its important to be versatile, because it allows you to have an audience that is more versatile.

You also won best MC at the Drum&BassArena Awards.

I did, second year in a row and I’m very, very thankful and humbly appreciative of everybody that voted for me and I will continue to thank you, it was a great feeling. Shouts to everybody that won, shouts to everyone that was nominated and to everybody that was there and doing music because it’s not easy. It’s nice though, you know. It doesn’t make me puff my chest out, if anything its made me think – you know what? You need to work even harder because there are people out there that are actually really noticing what you do, they’re routing for you, so I can’t let them down.

So all these achievements keep pushing you further?

Well yeah, but I push myself along and I work with a lot of creative people and if you surround yourself with creative people you assimilate to the people you surround yourself with. That’s why if you hang around with people that waste their days, you’re gonna waste your days too! So creative people inspire me, people achieving goals inspires me, people having success inspires me, people just being happy in general inspires me. Happiness comes in many forms, its not a million records being sold that necessarily makes you the happiest man in the world, but you know, doing your best and getting it out there is an achievement as well.

You mentioned you’ve worked with a lot creative people, you’re the front man of Roni Size’s Reprazent – you’ve been dominating the scene for a while now.

Yeah I’ve been around, I’m no spring chicken haha. I’m not gonna be winning best newcomer any time soon but you know, I’m going for outstanding achievement in a few years!

So if there was a gig, anywhere in the world as a first, or a repeat where would that be?

As a repeat I always love playing Exit Festival in Serbia. I’ve got big love for all the Exit people and the Serbian crowd. I’ve played every single one, I’m the only artist to ever do that and I’m so blessed. It’s such a good crowd and energy; I always love going back there.

And as a gig I haven’t done that I’d love to, there’s this reggae boat cruise have you seen it? It’s basically, it goes round the Caribbean with loads of artists, Rodigan, Toddla T’s there now, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Busy Signal, Stone Love. They’ll never book me anyway, you know, I’m not a reggae artist, but if I could do any gig, just so I could be cruising around the Caribbean on it. I haven’t done many parties on boats. I don’t think I’ve ever done a party on a boat so year. I’ve conquered land, its time to take to the seas, maybe an oil rig, a party on a oil rig, maybe I’ll be the first one to do that!

If you could fill a swimming pool with anthing, what would that be?

Is that inspired by Kendrick Lemar? *sings Kendrick Lemar’s – Swimming Pool*

If I could fill it with anything the obvious thing to say is champagne, but that’s a bit clique isn’t it. You’re not gonna want to drink champagne that has peoples armpit hair in it, that’s not sexy! If I could fill it with anything… wow, maybe oysters. I like oysters and I could just pick them off one by one.

Any ideas that have changed you life?

 I’ve been doing music for a long time so its not like, yes I gave up music to be a parachute instructor, that’s the kind of thing that’ll change my life. I mean, I’ve extended my life, I’ve wrote a book for children on philosophy that was a life changing avenue for me. I’ve started an online travel agent, learnt how to code. I think any kind of Buddhist influence on philosophy is quite life changing because it takes away all the anxiety and any ego driven pursuits and brings you back to this humble realisation. So Buddhism is quite a life changing view point. But I don’t want to sound all airy fairy and start pulling out dandelion necklaces.

Music’s changed my life, new genres change my life. When I first heard what the grime boys were doing, when I first heard a dirty Caspa dubstep, when I hear something Dillinja’s done, or when Roni plays me something totally different; that’s life changing because it makes me think how can I adapt my life to this? How can I adapt my lyrics to this, how can I vocally fit in, how can this be part of my forward direction?

You mentioned your book, what drove you to write that book?

A photo. The books called, The Bird and the Elephant. So I saw a photo of a bird on an elephants back and I thought, if they had a conversation I wonder what they would talk about and who would ask the first question and what would they ask. That became the basis of The Bird and the Elephant. The bird is asking questions, ten discussions on philosophy; why are we here, where do you come from, why do bad things happen to good people, pre-destination. Its all stuff like that, its all written in rhythm so its poetry. So its like how I write rhythms anyway but in what they call quatrains.

Its like MCing for a younger generation.

Yeah haha! Its just something that I can leave behind as well, I think when you leave something behind for children that’s a nice gift. I’ve already had some kids message me, oh this made me think about this and I never realised that was like that, and that’s just a real blessing. Just to know you’ve made someone sit down and think about something, because thinking is very important, I’m very much into reflection. 

Anything about yourself that you’d define as weird or strange?

Well… I count stairs, that’s pretty weird, when I go up them. I know its not the worst crime in the world, I’m not killing squirrels at night or anything.

2015 was a big year for you, you want 2016 to be even bigger, any ideas how you’re gonna do it?

Well I’m gonna work hard. Already taking bookings for next year – going to Hospitality shows, I work with Hospitality a lot so shouts to all those wonderful people. There’s still new Reprazent material, the album that came out was only a live show, there’s still two albums of material just waiting. Now I’ve released World of Dynamite Deluxe so I’ll let people marinate on that. Then I’ve got my own label, Strong Records ,got Echo Fox that’s a project coming out, I’ve got Invisible Ink and I’ll work on some more Dynamite stuff.

I can go in the studio now knowing that I’ve got my label and my roots. Its not gonna be a long drawn out process. This long drawn out process is becoming less and less necessary now with peoples attentions spans. Literally they wanna know; where is it, give it to me now or else I’m over it. So yeah, I’m just gonna keep perfecting my art, my craft, embracing the sound of drum & bass and whatever other genre I like to experiment with. I’ll just keep flying the flag for UK music.

It’s a good flag to fly!

It’s a great flag, a big old flag, so wave it!

Get your copy of World of Dynamite Deluxe here

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