Liverpool has never been known for its drum & bass MCs but there is one MC that has made his mark in Liverpool and the north west from early on, MC SAS. His first EP, Picture This, is out this month so we caught up with him to find out more...
When did you first try your hand at rhyming? What made you try?
I started writing and freestyling at about 19-20. I was inspired by dnb MCs and some hip hop artists at the time - people like Ice cube, ODB, West Side Connection and Onyx. I knew from about the age of 13 that I wanted to produce and DJ but that changed to MCing as I got older and started going to raves.
Who have been your biggest influences as an MC?
Hyper D was the one who used to smash it the most for me at the raves. Skibadee and Det too, but as I got older I stopped buying tape packs and started writing my own stuff. I stopped listening to other MCs so I could develop my own style and not be influenced too much by any other artists. I think a lot of people make that mistake when they're starting off but I think it's good to be individual in what you do and it takes time to get that right.
MC etiquette – does everyone have it? Do less professional MCs annoy you with their attitudes sometimes?
I don't think some MCs know what the word etiquette means. Picture this, you're firing your best bars at a sick night somewhere, it might be your first live set 'cause your new to the game or you just want to smash this set to bits as you always do, so every eight bars another MC is in your ears, pulling your t-shirt or tapping you on the shoulder. I had this a few months ago. I was looking forward to this set with Sigma because it was heavy the last time they were in Liverpool. So from minute one these other MCs who were not booked, or not booked for this set anyway, just would not leave me alone, trying to get a little few bars here and there. I had to bite my lip for at least half an hour before one of them got thrown out because he was a mess and had a bit too much Dutch courage! I didn't let it affect my set but you can do without all that 'BS'. My view is, if you're not booked for that set just leave it with the bars until the time is YOURS then everyone is happy.
How often do you see an MC who you've never heard of who is genuinely talented? Is quality control an issue at smaller events do you think?
There are a few MCs in Liverpool who I have seen and heard about but a lot of smaller nights seem to book the local Jack the Nutter who thinks he is sick; some nights should think about investing in top MCs as well as DJs. I have seen a few big DJ sets destroyed by some diabolical MC - the looks from the DJ have been painful to watch... if looks could kill!
The big shows must be amazing – but are there times when you prefer more intimate affairs?
I love both to be honest. I love Creamfields and the other big festivals I have done but I also love the little sweatbox venues as well. When I started up in Liverpool it was only little venues, and still is for some nights, so I am feeling both really. For me it's all about connecting with the crowd and then I don't care where I am, it's just time to get some big vibes rolling.
Do you have a favourite DJ to work alongside?
I have played so many sets with so many different DJs and enjoyed all of them: High Contrast, Dillinja, Shy FX, Futurebound, Camo, Krooked... so it doesn't really matter what style. I like to work alongside a DJ, I listen to what's coming in and concentrate on getting the vibe right for each tune, crowd and venue. I enjoy it all, from jump-up to liquid.
What have you been working on recently?
I've been working on an EP called Picture This, which is a mixture of different themed tunes. It has been a long time in the making and it has been a big learning curve so far. It will be available for download this month on most download sites.
Who are you collaborating with at the moment?
Orpheus is a collaboration with me and Ro Jista, we've known each other for a few years and started working on a track a few months ago and it just clicked in the studio. So we're planning something big in 2011 and I am really looking forward to working on a new project with one of the artists on Viper Recordings, but I will let you know more about that very soon.
What's the next challenge for you?
The same as any artist / DJ / producer - to keep making new waves with their sound, take it to the masses and grow as an artist. I am taking one step at a time and just working hard on new projects. I have just been nominated for some great stuff with the BBC so it's going to be a busy year.
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