Born and raised in East London, Mike’s ﬁrst instrument of choice has always been the drums.
“Whether it’s live drums, sampled breaks or programmed beats, nothing hits you like the drums, and there’s no feeling like pounding the shit out of a real drum kit! Aged 12 he got his ﬁrst drum kit and would literally seek any opportunity to drum.
“I remember I was about 14, there was some band playing a public gig in the street, having had a couple of drinks I was compelled to go up and have a go, completely bemused the drummer agreed and I ended playing some mental 10 minute drum solo, I’m sure it must’ve sounded shit but the crowd loved it!”
“Moved to Bristol when I was 17, my older sister was going to Uni, I went to visit her and she was going out with a guy who was signed to Melankolic (Massive Attack’s Virgin Imprint). I’d just started producing and he liked what I was doing he suggested I moved down there, a month later I did just that, I was sleeping on his sofa for months!”
“I was introduced to some of the local young MCs. I remember the ﬁrst session we did, they spat over a couple of my beats and as soon as I’d burnt them oﬀ they drove straight down to Passion FM (Bristols biggest and oldest Pirate radio station), Literally within half an hour of recording I was in my ﬂat listening to my music on radio for the ﬁrst time, I loved it!”
A collaboration with East London MC Klashnekoﬀ made it onto the 1Xtra daytime playlist and a video for a diﬀerent version of the track made it onto MTV Base and several other music channels.
For Mike, a personal favourite achievement was a Maida Vale live session for Radio 1, orchestrating the live band and drumming whilst running the samples from his Mac.
“It’s an amazing studio with the most talented engineers I’ve ever worked with, we had a full live band, three singers and an MC, the vibe in there was incredible”
More and more vocalists continued to pass through and Mike continued to ﬁll up his hard drives with all the talent he could, a huge range of MCs from Sway to Rodney P, and incredible singers such as Raleigh Richie, Tanya Lacey and Nicole Jackson.
“I’d always liked listening to Drum and Bass, but the record that changed it all for me was ‘Aztec’ by Spor, I clearly remember I ﬁrst heard it on Rampage’s daytime show on 1Xtra, they played it in the mix and I actually texted in to ask what it was, I just had to get hold of it!”
Having decided to move back east a world away from the intensely networked Bristol music scene, Mike made the decision to dive solely into making Drum and Bass. And with that also a new studio which he built from scratch to suit his needs, complete with real drums and a wide array of instruments.
“I’ve always had studios in my ﬂat, which is cool but to be honest I got sick of doing everything on headphones, you can’t blast out bass music at 3am every night! Now I can listen to everything through the monitors, plus I’ve got a proper PA system in there with an 18 inch sub!”
“The other luxury for me is that I’ve got a drum kit permanently set up, it’s great if I have an idea of a break that I want to have in a track, If I can’t ﬁnd one that ﬁts I can just get on the drums and record exactly what I want.”
“I’ve always had milestones I’ve wanted to achieve, and then it’s right onto the next one; ﬁrst it was getting played on pirate radio, as soon as that happened I wanted to get played on 1Xtra and Kiss, that happened, so then it was Radio 1, then MTV, then Maida Vale… and so it goes on!’
“I want to make a really strong and coherent Drum and Bass album, with a consistent tempo and feel, there’s a few vocalists I’d really like to work with. Doing something like ‘Later with Jools Holland’ would be cool, other than that we’ll see… a Mercury Album of the Year would be very nice, Haha!”
Mike is clearly a talented producer and musician, passionate and enthusiastic about music.
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