WHAT’S THE FACEPAINT ALL ABOUT?
I originate from Sierra Leone and the facial patterns are inspired by a mask I bought in Freetown in 2004. FYI that is actually luminous paint on my tongue, not Photoshop.
HOW DID YOUR ECLECTIC MUSICAL JOURNEY START?
I blame Tenniel Garwes. When I was 13, He lived around the corner and he had a microphone and an echobox. We experimented, we made noise, and we blew it up. It was fun. There was no turning back after that.
Then there was the vain attempt to impress girls by remixing pop songs using only a record player and a cassette deck .Those were the days when I would travel miles to pick up U.S imports of hip-hop records.
Then there was the Roland SH101 synth that I spent an entire summer messing about and recording with in the spare room. I loved it. And it had a strap on pitch bender so I could give guitarists stiff competition. Ahh great days.
Then there was the DJ-ing at university. Where I learned that you’ve got to keep the dancefloor active and the punters entertained. I was, (and still am) a social butterfly, a chameleon built on honesty. I loved all forms of music. I remember going from an Indie disco where they had been playing the Smiths and the Cure all night and then heading straight to an RnB/Hiphop night where I walked in to find people were grooving on tables to Sugar bear’s ‘Don’t scandalize mine’ (great use of a talking heads sample by the way for you sample spotters) If that wasn’t going to keep me on a musical path then nothing was.
Farley Jackmaster funk and Troublefunk came to London in the same year and had a big effect on my musical direction.
Then Soul2soul happened and at last we had our own UK black soul music to rival the Americans. Every weekend there was a party with their first album on constant rotation and every weekend the speakers and amplifiers in those summer parties would blow up.
And in between all this, there was my electronic love affair with the SH101, the Korg Poly 800, the Oscar, the MSQ 700 sequencer and a fling with a Moog. Actually I didn’t love the Oscar –it was cumbersome and the sound was unstable.
After that I sold everything, went to the Caribbean and South America and all the disparate musical flavours in my head coalesced and made sense.
London: Fronting bands, gigs in obscure places, changing group names every week, one great drummer and five shit ones.
Thank God, Akai and E-mu for the sampler.
‘Playing with Fire LP (1997)’ was born out of those times.
Then it all becomes a bit of a blur: Wife, kids, moving house, mortgages, digital and analog gear that cost as much as houses, productions, songwriting, record labels, companies, contracts, the MCs, Africa, Cuba, the highs, the lows, the distractions like remixing the winners of ‘Canadian Pop Idol’ to break into the U.K market (they split up before the official release), managing artists and the EMS Synthi AKS synthesizer in a suitcase whose Dr Who sounds scared my girlfriend every time I turned it on.
‘Dance, Break & Shake LP (2003)’
Every once in a while I stop, reflect and realize that out of all the chaos and cultural explorations I have, what could be described as, a career in what is now called the entertainment industry.
‘Back To My Future Compilation LP (1995-2005)’
I still blame my friend Tenniel for kickstarting it all.
My new record label Good Voodoo and composing for film is taking up most of my time at the moment and there are plans for a solo album. I can’t tell you anything about it yet except that its going to be very retro electronic and have lots of percussion.I am also going off to work with creative people in South Africa.
‘Good Voodoo Afro House Vol 1 LP (2012)’
‘Good Voodoo Afro House Vol 2 LP (2016)’
‘Good Voodoo Afro House Vol 3 LP (2017)’
‘Sweet (Afro Edition) LP (2018)’
Looking back, it is safe to say that the trip to South Africa changed my musical life. DJs like Vinny Da Vinci understood my musical style when others didn’t. Soweto was the springboard for the 25 LPs and over 100 singles released on the Good Voodoo Label so far.