Back in the day (we’re talking 90s and a lot of the noughts) you picked a game and you honed your skills in that game and that game only.
DJs DJ’d. Producers produced. MCs MC’d.
Obviously there have always been many examples of crossovers into other fields – Andy C was a producer long before he became the undisputed selector champ of D&B, for example – but generally, artists were inclined to put their creative eggs in one particular basket and make sure it was the best damn basket they could weave.
Thing is, I never thought my tunes were good enough so I just made them at home for pleasure. I’d play them to people and they’d be like ‘these are heavy!’ And I’d be like ‘nah they’re shit!
Now, thanks to good old uncle internet, everyone has the capability and access to do everything. If anything it’s almost expected of new artists to boast a varied skill set these days. Turns out Majestic – creator of super-juicy house cut Creeping In The Dark, which features a genuine rapping robot called Jungle 70 – has been exploring other creative aspects of the game for a long, long time. While most people will know him first and foremost as an MC, he’s just about to show us how it’s done as a producer and DJ, too….
“Yeah I was pretty much exclusively known for MCing,” he admits. “I’ve MC’d for everyone from EZ to Nero to Andy C. A really vast array. I actually bought decks first, though. I was 12… And I bought Fruity Loops not long after. Thing is, I never thought my tunes were good enough so I just made them at home for pleasure. I’d play them to people and they’d be like ‘these are heavy!’ And I’d be like ‘nah they’re shit!’”
The old saying is jack of all trades, master of none, right? But then Tesco sell everything and they do a good job! The most important thing is this…. I LOVE making music.
Majestic’s first releases came our way in 2005… Dark garage that teetered on the edge of early dubstep. He then went on to dabble with house music under an alias so secret not even his best mates know it’s him. This alter-ego has been active for over seven years. In the meantime, he continued to galvanise his role as a top toaster across all bass sides.
“I just feel like everything is one big apprenticeship. I was doing pirate radio, MCing. Then I’d do my own shows DJing. Then I was making tunes. I was doing everything but the main thing I was pushing was MCing. Mistajam was like ‘why don’t you do it all?’ I wasn’t too sure to begin with… The old saying is jack of all trades, master of none, right? But then Tesco sell everything and they do a good job! The most important thing is this…. I LOVE making music. I play guitar, I play piano. My taste in music is stupidly vast. I played guitar on Boy Better Know and Skepta records for the past two records and no one had a clue.”
The latest sign of this creative cross-pollination is Creeping In The Dark. This is what it sounds like:
Chugging, bassy and complete with a warehouse-blazing rub from house don Armand Van Helden, it pays homage to rave and acid house’s deepest foundations in the most authentic way possible. That rapping robot Jungle 70 is actually an MC originator with serious stripes…
“I made a purposeful decision not to MC on my tunes,” explains Majestic. “I’ve done it in the past and people think that someone has made a beat for me. This time I’ve got an MC for the tune. Jungle 70 is a robot rapper in a similar way to the Gorillaz. He had some really big hardcore records out in the late 80s and was there at the time when all of this exploded. Trust me; he knows what he’s talking about. He had such an impact The Prodigy supported him back in the day! Now he’s reborn in the shape and form of a robot and he can fucking spit!”
So can Majestic. But right now full focus is on his productions. Creeping In The Dark is out this week. And, once the dust has settled, it’s likely to be followed by a Mob Deep sampling bass bomb that’s so heavy it caused Radio 1 tastemaker Zane Lowe to punch Majestic at a recent show.
“It’s real bass-heavy and a bit dirty,” grins the man who’s just replaced EZ on Kiss FM. “It’s that hybrid of house, garage and bass which I’m really loving right now. Everyone’s been like ‘ah I love house’ but they’re missing the bottom end… So there’s some great heavy basslines coming back into the game. Which is fine by me.”