May 2012

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Page 41 of 55

MISTAJAM 42 DRUM N BASS / DUBSTEP anything is to just find the very, very best new music that I genuinely feel passionate about. I think my responsibility, more than Tab Taylor Tell us a bit about your new proj- ect, Speakerbox? Basically, we started the brand about three years ago, and the idea was to create a brand that I would do outside the BBC. Obviously, the BBC and broad- casting is my priority - I absolutely love what I do on Radio 1 and Ra- dio 1Xtra, but I also do a lot of work outside of that, which I obviously can't go on air and talk about. So I've created Speakerbox - the first thing that we did with it, three years ago, was the Fresher's tour; the idea was to kind of grab a lot of up-and coming artists that I supported on my radio show to come out on tour, hitting the road, and it worked really, really well. We got approached by a couple of record labels, saying that what we were doing with Speakerbox they would like to open up and develop, including making a com- pilation. But to cut a very long story short, Ministry of Sound approached us and we started to work together. In terms of events, I can speak about Creamfields - that's been fully confirmed, and we've also got a stage at Beach Break Live. That's going to be a big one! Yeah, Beach Break Live is going to be ridiculous. Nero I think is go- ing to headline for us, and come September time, we'll be starting a regular club night. We're going to look to see if we can get some partnerships across the country, with people who really know what they're doing in terms of promo- tion. Let's go back to the beginning, where did your love of music evolve from? I was one of those unfortunate music geeks. When all the cool kids at school were out smoking and having sex, I was in the music room playing drums. My mum's got a picture of me - I think I was two at the time playing a plastic Fisher Price drum kit in the kitch- en! How did you nab your spot at Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra. It's ob- viously such a big achievement to be on air especially for such a long time? Yeah, I mean it's definitely a dream come true. That's why it's my priority and always will be my priority; I'm pretty much living the dream. I was putting on events in my hometown of Nottingham, and a guy called Zaduna started this thing called UK Data, and the idea of that was to bring the grime and hip-hop scenes together be- cause the music was very much the same, but the crowds were very segregated at that point. So we started to do that, and we got in touch with Radio 1Xtra, who a mutual friend's son had a show on. We had a couple of events under our belt, broadcasting the third UK date that we did, and then we got the opportunity to put on a concert in Nottingham with legendary West Coast rapper KRS-One, a proper old-school rapper. So we got in contact with them again and asked if they wanted to broad- cast it and they said 'yes'. I did the warm-up set for him, and one of the producers came up to me and asked if I had I done radio before and asked if I could try out a hip- hop mix show. That was on a Sat- urday, and the following Tuesday I went and piloted it, and before I left the building they offered me the slot, I started in 2005 and I've been there ever since! they ended up You're at the forefront of push- ing new music, do you feel like you hold a bit of responsibility for that now? I think the responsibility for me is that I'm playing stuff that I per- sonally like. There's a lot of DJ's on radio that will play stuff be- cause it makes them look cool. If you're not playlisted, people can see through that - let's take com- mercial radio stations, where the DJ is trying to make as much of an impact as possible, and they'll play something and talk about how they've got a passion for it - I think my responsibility more than anything is to just find the very, very best new music that I genu- inely feel passionate about. Do you think that being fearless with your music and taking risks pays off, because - as you said - you don't do playlists and things like that? Very much so. I was having a deep conversation with someone last night, and I was saying that it's so hard for teenagers to be individual - you've got to be part of the gang, you've got be part of the group, and if you're not then you're an outcast. Those people that are successful are mavericks, those people that are truly suc- cessful are people that go, 'okay, you people are going left. I'm going to go right'. I think a DJ re- ally, really has to play what they're into, and if you get a record where you think, 'right, I'm going to play this on air,' and then get a lot of stick for it, but you genuinely love it, you've got to do it. You play all different genres of music - have you got a soft spot for one genre? I like quality. That's the only genre that I can say I vouch for. Trends are going to come and go, fads are going to come and go, but the thing that always hangs in there is the quality. What advice would you give to young, aspiring DJ's wanting to get into the music industry? I think the thing we don't have a lot of is a lot of good music lawyers, managers, and behind the scenes people. It's not just about being a DJ; it's about re- ally understanding that if you love music, and you want to be involved with the music industry, there are so many different jobs that you can do - but nobody is going to give you anything. Ev- erything that you get in the music world, the entertainment world, the journalism world is based on merit. If you don't build up merit, then you can't really expect any- thing. Tell us about the whole thing with Snoop Dogg. You worked with him, didn't you? I did, I did. I did a mix tape with Snoop 'Throw Your Dubs Up' and I supported him on his UK arena tour. Issue 39 / 2012 This award winning DJ and radio presenter for BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra has just teamed up in a musical venture with Ministry of Sound 'Speakerbox' to deliver creative expertise for artist development. We find out that taking risks in music, really does pay off. That must've been big! It was very big, and it was weird. Were you stars truck at all? At first I was, but he was so cool. When I met him, he was like, 'I'm a big fan of your radio show, that's why we asked you to be on the tour and do the mix tape with us - here's my personal email address and number'. It completely blew my mind, but the fact that they approached us was an absolute godsend. Can you give us an exclusive on anything? Speakerbox will have a residency at BCM this summer in Majorca, which will be every second Friday night. We're just putting together the line-up - we're managing to bring artists to Majorca that people in Majorca may never have seen before. A lot of these people are headlining festivals so it's go- ing to be big! Check out Mistajam at Also catch him on 15th June with Speakerbox @ Beackbreak Live Festival.

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