Mc Magika has been a professional MC since 1989, and has been a part of some of the worlds biggest raves, not just MCing but promoting and producing. We stopped by to ask one of our scenes veterans, a few questions.
Hardcore is in your blood from the beginning, do you still listen to it?
I began MCing at a time when all artists played under one roof such as Carl Cox, Sasha, Colin Dale, Moby and Grooverider, so my back ground and history goes back further than the days of Happy Hardcore. I don’t listen to any hardcore to be honest now, my life has evolved in terms of the music I listen too. It was a good part of my career and a time which has become synonymous with my name because of the success I had within the hardcore scene. They were great times. I met great people and remember lovely vibes. It was a very happy atmosphere. The music went a bit off key for me personally towards the latter stages of my time within that scene, hence i stepped away from it and moved on.
Fantazia, a huge brand. What do you think made it so successful?
Fantazia came at a time when the rave scene needed that big all out event promo on a real mass scale – but with substance, and productions were to out do any events that came before their parties. They did just that by staging unique grand events in crazy venues such as Matchams Park in Bournemouth and Castle Donnington, West Point Exhibition Centre and Glasgow Secs amongst many other venues. This was a time when everyone went raving and I mean everyone from all walks of life from rockers to goths to football hooligans, to your commercial pop head, it was a fashionable thing back then and the in thing, so we all know what happens – a big mass scale trend of any kind sets in and this was one of those periods of time where I was very fortunate to MC at a few Fantasia events which included the castle Donnington event and the Glasgow Sec event, and in recent times with the resurgence of the brand over the last five years or so. They continue to stage great spectacles and nothing will measure up to the days of old, but that goes for every thing, however it’s good to reminisce and relive ones youth once in a while.
You have played at some massive events such as Dance Valley in Holland. Which other European festivals stand out for you?
I have had the pleasure at playing at many a festival throughout the world, but the one I want to play at so bad is Tomorrow Land in Holland / Belgium. Hopefully next year this will become an eventuality. As far as festivals I have played at, the best has to be Dance Valley in Amsterdam thus far it was my home for some years.
You won the Diesel Music award on channel 4. Can you tell us about that?
I am involved in music production and have been for some years and together with Joe Nebula from Nebula 2, we won the Music Prize and were presented the award by Zane Lowe. We were supported by artists such as Moby, Busta Rhymes, De la soul and Orbital. It was a great achievement, it was just a shame that the project never worked out. Music is a hard career and it’s path has absolutely no guarantees. One has to be thick skinned to survive this industry. It’s very testing.
Air in Birmingham hosted some massive parties and you’re now promoting in Gatecrasher, a 5 million pound super club. Congrats on that, but has it been easy?
Promoting is a gamblers market. There are no guarantees and you’re basically on a gamble. It’s like playing roulette to be honest, but, I learnt from the best as an artist such as Murray from Dreamscape, David Prattley from Helter Skelter, Gerald Bailey from Quest etc. I have always had a creative marketing head on, but it’s been hard work, and yes very rewarding at times. I have also weathered storms of financial losses so I know what it’s like to win and lose in this game. I can say I am seasoned very much so. I have staged events at every venue in Birmingham pretty much, and having Gatecrasher under my belt now is a big achievement as they don’t just work with anyone, so I am really happy about being amongst the GC family. I have not done this promotion thing all alone. The team behind the events have propelled this movement to where it is today with Jo, Aaron, Nitesh, Barrington and others too many too mention old & new, they have all played a big role in the making of our events business model.
Are you still a Villa fan?
Yes, and in 2005 I was honoured by the team with a football shirt with my name on it and walked out onto the pitch. I was introduced to the fans and featured in the official Fan magazine which is something I will never forget.
You like to cook. What is your favourite dish?
I love fish and chicken and doing salads. I am no jamie Oliver lol, and tbh I have slacked of late and need to get back into cooking. It can be fun and being creative is nice to have a go at other things creatively, but as I said I need to start cooking more myself.
A little bird told me you started in a band, can you expand on that for us?
I have a band called Quantum which is a production based outfit. It comprises of a live act/band. We have been in the studio for a few years and last year we had some great support on BBC Introducing and have some of the biggest music managers, agents, label and A&R people all acknowledging what we are doing. We are aiming like most outfits to get managed and signed, and that is the final piece for me to achieve in this business, and one I have craved for so many years, to just be recognised as a a serious song writer. My fingers are crossed and hopefully with my team I can achieve this goal.
Quantum consists of Adam Beddow , John Sambrook, David Forster, Daniel Taylor our Drummer and myself.
5th December 2015 at Gatecrasher, Breakthrough artists. Can you tell us how that concept came about?
Breakthrough is a concept presented by the DnB awards brand and it will be a showcase of the new wave of talent out there in the UK and overseas. It’s a platform to go on to do bigger and better things via the exposure that the awards brand has. This will give the artists a new concept which will take place in arena 2 on the night. It will be really big from the success of the 2015 awards which was held at this venue, so this next event in there will be huge because all those who attended gave feedback and said they loved the venue and the show, and as we are the exclusive promoters for DNB at Gatecrasher now, as lead events at this venue. It took years to get in there and we did it.
Tea or coffee?
Never used to drink either however over the last few years I am now partial to a cuppa and just recently whilst studying a degree I have taken to coffee to keep alert and awake lol.
If I was out, and was to buy you a drink from the bar, what are you having?
I would like a brandy neat on the rocks for medicinal purposes only lol.
What artists are inspiring you right now?
There are a few but i will name some for sure:
DJ Alpha from my home city is hot right now and has a glowing career ahead of him. The Teddy Killers from Russia are very interesting . I recently performed with Voltage what a interesting DJ he is very skilled. Another is Levela from the South. I am rating Dimension as well, also Mind Vortex are brilliant. Local Birmingham based artist/producer Total Recall who has one arm and proves that disability has no limitations. I could be ongoing forever lol. So much great talent out there and that’s what keeps this scene moving and thriving and striving forward all the time.
Raveology – how was that concept born, how’s it doing now, and can you tell us about the ups and downs over the last few years?
The concept was born out of pure fun in 2004. The plan was just to stage a party for locals and for friends to come and play. The venue was in the area where I grew up as a kid in Stirchley / Kings Norton. The first event sold out and we went onto staging another two events at the venue which was for 550 people. Each event attracted 600+ and it was soon clear we needed to take the jump and move to another venue. In early 2005 we moved to Air which became our home for the next two years and in 2007 we began to stage events at every venue in the city which kept the brand fresh and exciting. By this time Raveology had become a house hold name and we introduced other concepts and themed nights such as the Legends of the Dark Black brand which we began in 2002. Off the back of this brand we launched Bassmans Birthday bash whichwe created and put together. This was a challenging night as we had a lot of objections and concerns from the local police and authorities, but this put our organisation on the radar of the Police and we had to wade through a lot of red tape to get the night off the ground, which we did down the line, and for the next five years we took Bassman out of the dark ages and helped to make him be more appealing in terms of removing a negative stigma that was attached to him as an artist. In previous years people didn’t know the depths that went into staging those nights and off the back we also staged MC Triggas bash up until 2012. This we established the Birthday bash experience and over the years we have worked with MC Spyda and MC Nutcracka, and more recently we have staged DJ Alphas Birthday bashes which we hope to develop and make as big as the bashes we have staged for other artists in the past. In 2007 we launched the Drum & Bass awards which have gone from strength to strength over the years and we have staged many other events and have hosted arenas at festivals such Global Gathering, Escape Into The Park, Strawberry Fields and NYE NEC with Slammin vinyl. Over all we have had a great run for years with staging great events, however the last two years the bubble burst some what due to the economic climate. Things have been changing, audiences moving on to other sounds such as house which has had a massive explosion however the last 6 months things have been back on form which is great. This experience has made us become weathered and seasoned promoters, like any thing in life you take the rough with the smooth but these experiences make you stronger and with the success of recent events, things look really great and very positive for the future.
What is Raveologys plan for the next 5 years?
The plan for the next five years for Raveology is to stage 2-3 big shows with the brand. Less is more and we feel and we can focus on staging some great shows, especially now that we have Gatecrasher and some other great venues in the pipe line. Focusing around the Raveology events we will be staging nights under other guises which we have been doing for years, events a lot of people don’t know that we stage so all is very busy going forward.
Any other sneek previews into what’s coming up?
Yes we are always up to something the big project going forward is next years Drum & Bass awards which sees the event hit the land mark anniversary year of ten years. We are working with a festival team to hopefully take the awards to the next level. This years 2015 awards at Gatecrasher were very well received and masses attended so next year the aim is to go up a few notches and take the awards back to the 2009-2011 years where we attracted 5-6000. We are already working hard on this project so fingers crossed.
Which MCs are killin’ it for you right now?
You have your veterans like Skibba, Shabba, Eksman & IC3s for sure who are great and golden at what they do but today you have Evil B who is a seasoned Mic man and the man of the moment (but for me lyrically) there is no better MC for me personally than Harry Shotta. This guy is amazing. Why he has not got a major record deal is beyond me. There are so many MC’s that can capture moments such as Dett, he over jungle is vintage class, same for Gq & Fearless, The Ragga Twins, the list is endless. As for new cats there is a pool of good strong contenders for the future such as Impact who i think is great. Others include Carasel, Felon. I like Gumsta, I think he has great flair and other local guys from my region include Darka, Kuedon and Busta, nice MC’s with tight flows.
I must mention all my fellow Birmingham MC’s such as Bassman, Nutcracka, Biggie, Accapello, and others who are not so much on the radar fully nationally such as Mr Kid, TNT and coventry based MC Toddlah. It’s all about unity for me however in this industry we all don’t share the same values but that’s just life.
Thanks for your time!
Magika has “25 years In The Game Anniversary” 8th May at the Q Club Birmingham with Carl Cox.
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