Interview with Junglist Network Competition winner Walshy Selecta

 In Interviews

Q 1 – When did you start DJ’ing?

I started DJ’ing in 1996 at the age of 15.

Q2 – What was the first piece of vinyl you ever bought?

The first Jungle tune I ever bought was DJ Red – Devastate – Trouble On Vinyl.   I remember the 1st ever record I bought as a youngster was MC Hammer – U Can’t touch this on 7” vinyl, from the historical Spillers Records in Cardiff

Q3 – What music did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to a wide variety of music from my parents at home, especially Motown and Reggae and of course being born in 1980 the whole 80’s synth led pop music of the time stands out as well. As the 90’s came around I got into Rap Music for a while, Eazy E, NWA, Snoop Dogg etc… But then around 1992 as I started high school my friend Kirk used to get tapes from his older brothers of what at the time would be Hardcore/Jungle Tekno, this was a massive influence on myself and my close friends, from an early age we were exposed to underground music and we were lucky enough to have a pirate radio station on our estate, Ely, called Bass FM which ran from the mid to late 90’s and I even had a half hour set on there at the age of 16 but was told to come back again when I had worked on my timing by the guy who ran the station who used to try and be unique by not matching the beat in his headphones but actually mix each record live out on the system.

Me and my crew used to have our own parties in a friends outbuilding in his back yard, we would carry the decks the half a mile or so every Friday, these are the days when myself and Jonezy aka DJ Anarky really honed in our skills and learnt our craft, with me buying and repping for Jungle and Jonezy on the Happy Hardcore, our DJ names back then were Fresh (me) and Skelta.

Q4 – Which DJ’s made you want to get into music and what is it about them that inspired you?

The 1st DJ that ever made me really pay attention was Lipmaster Mark from Ratpack, the way he used to cut it up and do a little bit of off-beating and scratching, you could say he was the 1st DJ that I myself had heard do something more than just mix Records and make me think; ‘What did he just do there?’ I have got one surviving tape from when I was a kid of Ratpack its from Dance Paradise and all I can say is I was born too late lol I would have loved to be around in those times the vibes and energy from the early 90’s were incredible, it’s nice to know the history of where our music came from and a lot of newcomers to the scene could benefit from doing a bit of research into the history of Jungle Music and the pioneers who paved the way to creating this original UK sound.

Other DJ’s that I would say have inspired me are:

DJ Hype – What can I say? This guy is a genius behind the turntables and also as a producer, obviously coming from a Hip-Hop background back in the day, DJ Hype is amongst the few Top Flight DJ’s nowadays who have stood the test of time and is as busy now as he has ever been, a true international representative of Drum and Bass/Jungle but without selling out and going cheesy chasing a top 10 hit. I saw him in Cardiff about a year ago @ the vaults and even from the off he was having a craic with ravers he did a thing with the intro where the sound cut out and he was having a pop at the sound guy, all staged and planned of course but he caught the majority of people out, even the sound guy with that one and just goes to show his great showman skills, also the way Hype has developed his style to keep up with modern times and technology is brilliant and it’s great to see a true turntablist in action. I often stay up late on a Tuesday night to catch his show on Kiss.

Uncle Dugs – Dugs is a bad boy selector and a very skilled DJ and Radio presenter, one of the latest DJ’s to break through into the scene in recent times through years of hard graft and determination, his radio show #RunComeFollowFriday has grown from strength to strength, and he has built up a worldwide army of fans and listeners. Uncle Dugs is a true inspiration for anyone who wants to pursue a career as a DJ. Positive Vibes Galore whenever Dugs is in the vicinity, I hold him personally responsible for inspiring me to get back into what I am doing now!

Other DJ’s I have a lot of respect for are, Brockie, Funky Flirt, Marvellous Cain, Vibes, Kenny Ken, Slipmatt, Nicky Blackmarket, Billy Bunter, Lion Dub , Torchman, Aries and Marcus Visionary.

Q5 – How is the Welsh rave scene these days? Does Cardiff have a big Jungle crew?

This is a tricky question for me to answer without upsetting anyone!

The city has got a good underground scene but most promoters rely heavily on the student crowd to survive, and as I’m sure is a similar story in cities across the UK, there are not enough decent venues. I have put on my own nights called Uprise in 2014, we have had Funky Flirt, Marvellous Cain, Nicky Blackmarket, Kenny ken, DJ Monk and Keith Rinse It come and grace the decks for us plus the best of the Cardiff OJ’s. We are different from some of the other promoters in the city as we are not doing it for the money in cahoots with the club owners, we represent the real people from the council estates where Jungle music comes from, not the posh boy element (as we like to call it). The Uprise nights are coming back Sept 4th with Sterling Sound and Lion Uk headlining who are 2 of the finest Jungle producers in the city, with them both signed to labels – Asbo Recordings (sterling sound) and Yardrock / KLP (lion uk) they are flying the flag for Cardiff and Wales at the moment.

Q6 – What do you love about Jungle?

The main thing I love about Jungle music is the vibes and energy it creates, there is not a lot that for me can compare with dropping one of your favourite tunes in a dance and watch the place go mental. You just don’t get that with other styles of Music the same way you do with Jungle, plus you meet some of the best people ever, at the jungle nights nowadays its all about the goodvibes

Q7 – Do you produce music, is it something you’d like to get into?

Yes I do produce and have been messing around with Cubase for a while now, I have a few projects I am working on at the moment but with work and family commitments it is hard to find the time for studio especially since I started my Radio show every week. It is clear to see that making tunes is the pathway into the DJ world nowadays which is a good thing in one respect but bad in another. DJ’s who cannot mix properly but make badboy tunes. I am planning to have something worth bringing to the table by the end of the year I am not in any rush at all but I would definitely like more time to concentrate on making music, so if the DJing picks up busy enough for me to quit my day job that’s what I’ll do lolol.

Q8 – Did you enjoy the Junglist Network Competition, is there anything we could have changed (apart from speeding it up a bit lol)

This competition was a breath of fresh air for the scene at the moment and as soon as I saw the details I knew I had to enter, I know a lot of DJs from in and outside the UK entered and there was a high quality standard of mix entries from new and old skool headz alike. Each stage of the competition was nerve wracking for me as you are putting yourself out there for all to hear. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you guys at Junglist Network for picking my mix out of the 1st 100 odd mixes into the last 20 and also to everyone who took time out of their lives to vote for me in the 2nd round, you guys rock! I think that Round 2 was the trickiest round being the public vote and there is always animosity whenever a competition uses this medium as there are unscrupulous characters out there who would maybe try and fool the system, also in this round you had to be careful not get on peoples nerves spamming groups and pages on facebook etc. I personally had to block another one of the competition DJs because of his spamming activities clogging up my newsfeed, it’s not the way to carry on and if you ask me it’s a bit sad having nothing to do all day except inbox people begging for a vote and posting the same thing in every page you can find 3 times a day lol. It was nice to see the pie chart you guys had created to show the {c677f8d1c17564a56c503e01be8f588995c5f36b5bc5ff935a383d6667989752} of votes each DJ had received and if I am totally honest with you I think there was one or two DJ’s who should have been in the final 5 that weren’t, but when I saw the chart and I had the most votes I knew I had to go on and win. I think the one thing I would change would be the public vote but at the same time I can see its purpose to prove that you have a following of some sort, in future I think there should be more emphasis on making a video entry like in the 3rd round of the competition, another way of doing things could be going down the road of likes on soundcloud, but again without close monitoring I’m sure there would be a few dodgy things going on and people moaning about this that and the other, but one way you could counter act that is to get people who are voting for their favourite DJ by clicking like to leave a comment as well?

Q9 – What makes a good DJ?

To me a good DJ is for a start being able to mix tunes at the right time, so many time I hear DJs playing and they have got the beat matched but bring the tune in at the wrong cue-point, this is a pet hate of mine as the mix will never sound as good as it should if brought in this way.

Other important traits a good DJ should have are;

Knowledge of equipment.

Respect the Equipment, ie: not to red-line the mixer (when possible).

Respect the DJ coming on after you – I had an incident recently when the guy on before me really tested my patience.

Keeping up to date with technology.

Being on the pulse of the latest tune.

Most importantly to be approachable and grounded.


Q10 – How would you describe the perfect mix?

To me the perfect mix is when each tune flows in and out of each other like it was meant to happen, as you go on in time little things stick out and catch your ears, I find myself selecting tracks that might share a similar sound with each other without thinking about it, and this helps a smooth transition from one side to the other, other times you maybe juggling 2 tunes that are at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum, this is where timing and execution come into play because if you haven’t got it locked and brought in at the right cue point you will get caught out.

I don’t think I have recorded the perfect mix yet, but I never plan my mixes, the only mix I have ever planned is my 3rd round entry mix for this competition, which for me was a frustrating process as I normally mix on the fly just relying on the knowledge of my selection and remembering tracks that have worked well together in the past.

I would like to spend the time on a project to make an official Mix CD of some description, maybe this is something being winner of the Junglist Network competition will enable me to do.

Q11 – Vinyl or MP3?

This debate has been going on for a while now and here is my view

In an ideal world we would all be still supporting our local record stores and going out on missions to hunt down the vinyl every week but times have changed. I am glad to say I learnt my craft on vinyl on belt drive turntables so I can play on anything, if it’s not a turntable it’s a toy. What people need to realise is there is a whole generation of DJs out there that have never picked up a record in their life, unfortunately vinyl has had its day, there are I’m sure a hardcore group of DJs out there who only play vinyl but I bet you those DJs have been left behind, you have to move with the times and embrace the technology, my preferred method nowadays is to bring my USB sticks and plug them into the CDJ’s, up until recently I was using Serato on the Vinyls but you can’t rely on the Technics installed most of the time. The days of doing your back in carrying a bag of slates with u is over, not only due to the fact most of the current tunes don’t even get a release on the black stuff but also hardly any of the engineers know how to set up the Technics nowadays, I have had Fun and games with sound engineers on a few occasions due to this fact.

To be totally honest I couldn’t afford £7/8 a tune nowadays anyway and I’m sure a lot of other DJs will agree with me.

Q12 – Where was your first DJ set?

My 1st proper DJ set was in 1998 @ Clwb ifor Bach (The Welsh Club) in Cardiff. It was for a female promoter from Splott who only put on a few events, I think it was a night called Ace promotions, one thing I can remember is The Mixer installed was The Intimidation Blue which I think was one of the first mixers to have kill switches on it and I was too scared to mess around with them.

Q13 – What can we expect from your Radio Show?

Each week I am playing the best in Reggae/Ragga Jungle for the most part with a sprinkling of Rollers and a splash of JumpUp, I’m also going to be digging the crates now and then to do the odd vinyl show,   plus I am doing my bit to promote the Jungle/DnB producers of the city, the whole show is about Uplifting vibes and playing loads of vocals for the singalong crew at home. I have been running it for about 2 months now and the response across the city has been brilliant and I’m sure it has the potential to become one of the stations most popular shows. I try not to talk too much as I’m sure people would much prefer to hear the music than my taffy voice (lol) I have a few guests lined up over the coming months from inside and outside the Cardiff area. You can also catch the odd exclusive pre-release, plus news from events across the Welsh Capitol.

Q14 – What set at what event have you enjoyed most so far in life?

Now that is a real good question! I played a set in Nottingham for my good friend DJ Rizzla’s birthday bash in November 2014. The venue was a warehouse in the middle of nowhere, I got to the venue at 4 in the morning, Rizzla thought I wasn’t going to turn up (lol) Fair play to the Nottingham crew we were really looked after, I went on the decks at 5am after Old Skool Veteran DJ T-Flex, I had my work cut out trust, the pressure was on as all eyes were on me, the boy from Wales, anyway… 1st tune, Re-wind, 2nd tune, Re-wind, it didn’t take me long to get into the flow and I can honestly say I played the best set of my life up to that point in that warehouse and I think it’s fair to say the Notts crew were not expecting it!!! That night was a real eye opener for me and a massive confidence booster as I told myself if I can rock up to venue like that and tear the roof off then I can do it anywhere!!! Massive Respect to Rizzla for the opportunity to come and rep Cardiff at his birthday bash, hopefully do it again this year!

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