Hailing from the depths of the dirty south; Greenwich based, born & raised MC Boxer Banton is a face and voice that’s firmly found + cemented it’s-self at the crux of the global underground DnB matrix . Compelled to entertain from early childhood, this authentic Artist has grown to be a familiar house hold name that’s been seen across national and international waters, featuring on BBC Radio 1 Xtra with DJ Crissy Criss and often find’s himself on top line mic duties for other industry pioneers such as Brockie, Grooverider + Nickyblack Market.
Drawing inspiration from the discipline + determination that boxing has taught him throughout his life, it’s clear to understand why Biological Beats + Asbo Records were quick to snap him up and sign him to their exclusive rosters. An MC who is unafraid of stripping away the hype and taking the flow back to his roots; his dynamic artistry can be found across multiple Youtube channels, Soundcloud uploads, radio shows and headlining live events + festivals.
DnB Muzik sits down with Boxer Banton and brings you an interview that provides a snippet into what makes him tick and where he conjures up his creative magic.
How old were you when you wrote your first bars and can you remember what they were about?
Wow now that’s a good question! From around the age of 13, to be honest I never used to write lyrics, it was more of a freestyle thing, just feeling the vibe of the music. Chatting reggae Artists lyrics, like Shabba Ranks and Buju Banton as reggae/dancehall is the foundation of my musical roots.
What inspired you to be an MC?
I’ve always had it in me to pick up a microphone and just bring vibes.
You’re now an established and long standing member of the Bio beats team+more recently Asbo Records; do you think that all Artists need to be part of a collective in order to be successful?
Being part of a collective crew is a good thing, but at the end of the day, no one’s going to push you more than yourself. So whether your in a crew or not isn’t really an issue in my eyes, just believe in your talent and keep it real. Be creative, try different things and stand out in the crowd.
Do any other genres of music influence you as an Artist?
I’m into all types of music, like I said earlier, I love me reggae /Dancehall music, hip hop, old skool, HnG, jungle, rare groove, soul and even rock lol. If the tune is a good tune you’ve got to appreciate it! So all music influences me in one way or another.
Whats your most memorable gig you’ve done to date?
I’ve been to Hamburg + Belgium and worked with Artists like Grooverider, Brockie, Nicky Blackmarket. I’ve also been on BBC Radio 1 Xtra on Crissy Criss’s show and ‘Im an mic get me out of here’. I’ve been up and down the country with Fatman D and made a lot of memories in my 6 maybe 7 years of being a DnB MC!
Name 3 people in the DnB industry that inspire you and why?
The Ragga Twins, Navigator + Shabba D all inspire me as an Artist due to the fact that these guys have been around 25 years plus and they’re still shelling down the place and bring that original old skool vibe in this new skool era.
As an MC, I guess you never know who you might be hosting for on the night, who do you always look forward to performing with and why?
If it’s a last minute booking then yeah you might not know who your going to be hosting for but it’s never an issue really to be fair. I would say working with Nicky Blackmarket and Fatman D is definitely always a good one. Working with two vets in the game, as a new guy in the industry is always a pleasure and the combination works very well.
How do you feel about Grime Artists performing on DnB lineups?
I love the fact that some grime MC’s are coming back to the roots of where it all began, because if it wasn’t for our music – DnB + jungle, then their music wouldn’t exist . It’s definitely a good thing in my eyes, it’s opened the doors up for our genre as well, just a lil more and shows people that jungle + DnB is still a strong force in the UK music industry today.
What was the last album you listened to?
The last album I listened to was Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid Mad City – great lyrics a very good artists, one of the best in these times.
If you had to choose between chicken or rum, what would it be?
Definitely Chicken! Rum can’t feed your family…..
Is Boxer Banton anything like Tyrone Allen or is your MC alias an outlet purely for your creativity?
To be honest, Boxer Banton is the same person as Tyrone, i’ve always had the nickname Boxer as I used to box, so it just made sense. What you see on stage or hear on radio is how I am an feel as I try to bring a uplifting vibe with harmony and melodies.
Whats next for you?
Got a few bookings coming up in the near future but right now It’s been taking a back seat due to real life! But, i’ve got a couple of mix CD’s in the pipeline with Puppetz from Hungry and who’s part of the Biological Beats family. Plus another mix with Dj Assassin, he’s part of the Rollerz collective – so watch this space, still a lot of fight in this old dog lol.