Interview with DJ Monk
What was the first record you ever brought?
That would be hard to answer as I started buying music as an early teenager (I was born 1971 ) and did discos at youth clubs , weddings and social clubs so it would have been proper pop music but I got serious about buying and collecting music around the age of 13/14 with early 80’s Soul , Hip Hop and Reggae with tunes like Melissa Morgan’s “fools paradise” , Alexander O’Neil & Cherrelle Saturday “love” , Eric B & Rakim “I no you got soul” , Courtney Melody “dangerous”, I could go on forever.
What was the last record you brought (freebies don’t count)?
I actually brought a couple of records recently of discogs as I couldn’t find them when I got all my vinyl back together 2 years ago (as it had been stored at friends and family ) which was, Dj Hype & Ganja Max feat mc Fats, Rinse Out and Jo , R-Type, but towards the end of the days when we use to buy vinyl my brother had a record shop in Camden road called Deep Freeze records so as you can imagine I never brought records 🙂
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you and why?
Dj’s I would say Randall & Micky Finn as back in the days Awol (paradise club ) was the gaff! Randall for his mixing and style of tunes & Micky as he played what everyone now calls Ragga Jungle and I use to give him all my music I produced first on Dubplate and he use to rinse it and it was great seeing the crowds reaction, producers would have been M-Beat , Congo Natty back in the days as they had that Ragga sound down to a tee and that’s what made me want to start producing.
What made you give up Jungle for a while?
I gave up on music around 1997 because of where it was going and I didn’t feel I could contribute to it no More.
What made you come back?
Around 2 years ago my brother in law who was on twitter rung me and told me Micky Finn had tweeted did anyone have a contact number for dj Monk from West London so I set up a twitter account and got in touch and had a good chat with him about what was going on at the time. Then I had a listen to Devious D and Jumping Jack Frost on you tube and what was a Jungle Mania warm up show on Rough Tempo and heard all this new Jungle and new remixes of a load of Old Skool Jungle and I was like wow! So I got involved with twitter and facebook and the response I got was great, lucky for me I still had all my vinyl and also all my disks for all the music I made back in the days, then I started getting involved with some great current producers/djs like Liondub, Serial Killaz, dj Chef, dj Hybrid, Pappa Gee, Vapour , Marvelous Cain and some great up and coming producers/ djs and started remixing all my back cat, I started doing radio shows on Kool London (yardrock show ) and on the newly re-launched Dream Fm and started getting bookings playing out and here I am (sorry if I haven’t mentioned anyone there)
What big changes have you noticed since “back in the day”
The main change I’ve noticed is social media and the digital age of music, social media is defo great for music as it gives everyone the chance to promote and share what they are doing and it helps link people all round the world, the digital age I’ve notice more than anything as that was a big change from back in the days, people sharing music, no more days out at record shops or music house cutting dubplates I could go on.
What makes Jungle so special?
Jungle has been a way of life for me and a lot of people, even when I had a long break from music I always listened to it, it has always brought people together whether it was like I said above days out at record shops or going out to clubs & raves and now even more with social media people linking or people in chat rooms on radio shows, oh and its great music lol.
What advice would you give someone starting off as a DJ?
I feel like that’s a bit of a hard one for me as I feel I’m only starting off myself again but its defo a hard scene to crack, I would say get mixes up on Mixcloud and share via social media, radio shows and most of all enjoy what you are doing and trying to achieve.
Vinyl, CD or Mp3 and why?
For me it’s always been vinyl but as I play Old Skool and new music I’ve had to get involved with cd/mp3 as new music is only available this way, there is always these disputes on facebook and twitter about vinyl & cd/mp3’s and the sync button (and i use Cdj’s and I don’t have a sync button!!?? ) and to be honest it’s become boring because if you want to play new music then you have to play cd/mp3.
Which set in your time as a DJ are you most proud of?
There’s been loads of great nights recent and in the past, back in the days I started of playing at places like Marquee, Paradise club, Buzbys and Astoria but the events that stood out the most to me was when I got involved with the rush hour crew what was me, mc mc and mc prince and we done a few Helter Skelter’s but the one I’m most proud of was at World Dance Lydd airport playing after Andy C, that was the nuts 🙂
What projects have you got coming up?
There is loads of stuff coming from my label Klp Records, digital and vinyl from me and some great producers also I’m trying to find time to get in my own studio and make some beats, also got a few bookings playing out what I love doing more than anything.
—- would like to thank everyone for the support and the welcome I’ve had back in to the music scene and if I’ve forgotten to mention anyone soz as I’ve done this late at night lol