Interview with the Freestylers
We chatted to The Freestylers about their band, Jungle influences and Electro Hip Hop
What music did you grow up listening to?
Like most kids,the first music you’re introduced to is what your parents listened to .My Dad was into Rock ‘n Roll which I wasn’t really into but my Mum was more into Funk and Disco.It wasn’t until I discovered BBoy Electro that music became an obsession though.
What was the first record you ever brought?
Don’t You Stop It by Yarbrough & Peoples and Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick by Ian Dury and The Blockheads
When did you first decide to make music of any kind? What caused that decision?
Me and mates had a rap crew and they used to come over to my house where I had my turntables set up in my bedroom.We used to record what we did on to tape.I would take two breaks and cut them up,like in the true essence of what Hip Hop was about and they would rap on top.As a suggestion I said lets try and find a studio where we can do this properly and it all went from there really.
You are “putting the band back together” after a few years off from it. What can we expect this time round?
We’re performing lots of new songs from our last album The Coming Storm plus lots of the classics,like Ruffneck,Calling and Painkiller.We keep on adding new tracks as well.I’ve changed the sound to make it more electronic this time around which has made it more epic.
How hard do you find it to bring the energy of electronically produced music into a live act or have you always produced your music to be played live?
We’ve been doing it since we began,so there was lots of experimentation to start off with.!5 years ago you didn’t have the technology of what you have now,so I guess the advancement of this has made it easier.The music we make seems to lend itself to be transferred into the live arena as it’s a good combination or electronic and organic sounds.Also having great vocals performing helps.
There has been a strong Ragga theme throughout your work, from Tenor Fly B-Boy stance to your work with Navigator. What makes Ragga and breakbeat flow so well together?
I think that can be said for most dance music using that combination .I’ve always believed that the reggae flavour in our music it what makes it sound very British.Although I grew up and am influenced by American Rap I wanted to give the music our unique London sound which I think we achieved.It’s easy to copy but it’s better to innovate.
How has technology changed your sound over the years?
It’s made production much easier.I don’t have to use 20 keyboards and samplers to make the music.It’s there for you a the touch of a button.In saying that I still think the way I mix sounds and produce probably has a slightly old school way of doing things.
How did Jungle influence your sound?
I think it’s just the raw energy that Jungle has with heavy Bass,dirty beats blended with Dub Reggae and Soundclash samples.That’s what I love about the music.I used to program back in the day for Rebel Mc aka Congo Natty.He was one of the original pioneers of Jungle Music and his sound definitely influenced what we do as Freestylers
What’s the best advice about the music industry you’ve ever been given?
Always originate, never pirate!!
What country (other than the UK) do you enjoying touring in the most?
Which artist (alive or dead) would you most like to work on a track with?
Chuck D as he’s got the best voice in rap and Pharrell as he’s a hit,money making machine
Can we expect a new album soon?
We had an album out last year called The Coming Storm but we’re going to release a Best of which will include new enhanced versions of some of our classics plus a couple of new tracks which we’re currently working on
Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
Just finished off our next 2 Freestylers singles and thinking about starting a new project,so watch this space