Subculture

London

Monday 27th January 2020

Name, where are you from?
My name is Subculture, I’m from London.

Describe your style in three words?
Versatile and DIY.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
N.E.R.D at Brixton Academy during their ‘In Search Of’ tour. One of my fav bands of all time at their best moment, it was historic.

If you could be on the line up with any two artists in history?
Lee Scratch Perry - because his music all the way back is pure vibes, the guy is a mastermind.
The Modern Lovers - one of my favourite garage/punk bands of all time, the one album they released as just ’The Modern Lovers’ is one of my favourite records in my collection.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
I grew up with a foot in the Indie scene in London during the 00s touring all over the country and Europe doing shows everywhere, which definitely had an impact on me. That was a different world I really have some great memories from back then. I think outside of that I was also really blown away by the Baile Funk party scene in Rio, the energy in those parties was crazy they had their own way of dancing and it was just this whole other energy. Though the way Brazilians engage with music generally I find so beautiful and inspiring - they have this musical timelessness over there as so many young people get down to the same Bossa, Samba and Jazz as their parents. Music over there just bleeds into the street and it’s really not trend-based like it is in England. I also think a lot of my inspiration comes from books I’ve read about the birth of Hip Hop in the Bronx in the 80s and also the early days of Be-Bop in Harlem in the 50s - always seemed like such an electric moment in history with that real sense of something being created in real-time while integrating with culture and fashion.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Miles Davis. As an artist and a creative, I’ve always found him and his approach so inspiring. The way he‘d curate his music through the choice of musicians he’d bring onto his projects. So many of my favourite Jazz artists started under his belt very early in their careers. But he was also very much repelled by stagnation, which is something you can’t say for many artists.

Of all the venues you’ve been to or played, which is your favourite?
I DJ'd in Bulgaria recently in a city called Plovdiv. It was this street party set up in the middle of the old town in this cross-section of like 6 different roads. When I started I really was just like, what the fuck do Bulgarians wanna hear? Ended up travelling all over the world with them, I played Kuduro and Dancehall and Baile Funk and all this Grime and Trap. It was crazy, in the end, people just wouldn’t leave and the police literally had to shit the whole party down. 

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Rick Rubin. No doubt. I always felt like I really related to the breadth of his tastes and how he totally marries himself to music as a whole and not just one genre. He started Def Jam Records from his NYC dorm room while producing for Run DMC, Public Enemy and Beastie Boys and basically popularised Hip Hop. Then went on to produce for Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Johnny Cash, Jay-Z, Adele, Kanye West, The Mars Volta and System of a Down the legacy is just insane to me! I remember him talking one time about how he purposely made all the turntable cuts on this Beastie Boys Song off ‘License to Ill’ way too loud on purpose so people would find it jarring or how he made Johnny Cash cover these modern rock anthems originally about adolescence but as they were being sung by this kind of washed-up old man, they took on this whole different melancholic meaning. His approach to production has way more depth than most producers and is also so much about the greater narrative and the stories being told.

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