An Introduction to Raygun

An Introduction to Raygun

 

“So Joe, who influenced you to get into Mcing?”

 
There’s a lot of Mc’s that I was into before I started. I listened to a lot of rap music growing up, so that was a big factor. I always wanted to be a lyricist and always wanted to rap and rhyme and always did in my spare time, but I never really pushed myself or did it publicly. Then I came to Southampton and started going to some open mic hip hop nights at the soul cellar where I met a group called Route To Roots who were doing an open mic jam and that gave me the courage to get up and do it in front of people whether it was good, bad, ugly or all of the above. But the Mc’ing side of it and where I find myself now with drum & bass and dubstep, I’ll have to say the guy that gave me the push was my good pal of mine, who I am proud to call my manager (lol) Visionobi. Living and working with him would often result in us cyphering, often drunk at house parties at silly o’clock. He realised that I could spit and pushed me to get involved at events, so yeah I would say he kind of got me out of my shell and gave me the push to really get on stage and do it.
 
“Where was your first gig?”
 

I can’t really remember but I guess spitting bars at the Route to Roots nights, and then at the Wax nights. Before I was MCing I was DJing for a Brighton based MC called Influx. We played at Outlook Festival back in 2012 , and I was on the Archetype Agency boat party on the Friday night getting drunk with the Four Owls, every act apart from them was a dubstep DJ and there was no Mc booked. Fliptrix was holding it down on the mic but was about to do a set with the Owls so drafted me to get involved. The guy that was Dj’ing was Seven. Whatever I I was doing (because I can’t really remember) he liked and invited me back for the Wheel & Deal boat the next day to join him as MC for Uprise Audio which he had just started. The rest as they say is history…

 

“You mentioned you got more into music when you moved to Southampton, what were your favourite parties back then?”
 

When I first got to Southampton I was really into my metal music and obviously hip hop, mostly US hip-hop. The first real good UK hip hop nights and drum and bass nights I ever went to were Raygun Youth, which is where I got my name. Shout out to Steve, still holding it down in Southampton as one of the finest purveyors of Belgian craft ales at Belgium & Blues. He was the guy back then putting on the baddest shows and I went along to all of them and got fully involved in my first year of university. One night in particular which was a huge turning point was Foreign Beggars at The Nexus. My friends knew Pavan and he came back to our uni halls after the show and we spat bars back to back for hours. That’s when I really decided I was about this life! The Soul Cellar was then a massive place for all of us. I’m sure everyone will agree with that, all of our crew that came up through the years, it all kind of stemmed from there really. Raygun found a home there and our crew started Release dnb as well- shouts to Gerra & Stone, Visionobi & Freeman MC! I’ve got to shout out Wax at Rhino and the chief and Nuno! Some incredible memories were made and friendships cemented in that place on a Wednesday night!

 

“So what are your favourite parties at the moment?”
 

London and Bristol always have the baddest nights I find. Based in Southampton these are the places I gravitate towards for line ups. In recent years since I’ve really been doing this MC thing seriously, going to America the couple of times I did with Seven was incredible. New Orleans if anyone ever gets the chance to go there is party central. There is a night I played at twice which my friend Unicorn Fukr runs every Sunday called Church* and it’s in an incredible venue called the Dragon’s Den and it’s just unreal. That place just always sticks out in my mind because I had two amazing nights there man, I spent my 30th birthday with the Uprise crew and was made to feel like a local by the good people of Nola. When it’s your birthday in Nola people pin dollar bills to your clothing so I woke up the next day $40 richer! And of-course Outlook Festival, in my eyes is the best party on the planet. They have got the best sound systems and the most unreal location. A lot of the artists that go there are part of the family and they all make their dubs to take to Outlook to play on those sound systems. You get to hear the freshest dubs on the best sound systems in an abandoned castle by the sea. Perfection in my opinion!

 

“So who are you working with now? Career wise”
 
Like I said I met Seven in 2012 and we’ve been working on Uprise together since then. He made me a director of the label and I’m slowly growing in to the role of label manager. We’re pushing that real deep dark 140 sound. Drum & Bass wise I’m a resident for Flexout Audio and I’ve recently been hosting for Cyberfunk. I am currently working towards 2 EPs I would like to have done this year. One dnb and one dubstep. I am currently writing like mad for these and getting the beats and colabs lined up to hopefully start recording later this month. I always have things in motion with my bro Ant at Co:Lateral. We haven’t made and released as much as we would have liked as we live in different cities and sometimes life gets in the way of these things but we are in it for the pleasure so no pressure really! I’ve also got a project in the pipeline with my brother (and manager lol) Visionobi, with me and him on the bars and an incredible producer called Taelimb who’s also part of the Flexout camp. I will hopefully be revealing more about that soon!
 
“Any advice to any aspiring Mc’s & Hosts?”
 

Yeah I guess, be humble, keep learning, writing, practicing and networking as much as possible and opportunities will come up. In the deeper realms of electronic music that I navigate, hosts and MCs are kind of secondary to the music so knowing to say the right things at the right time and not over doing it are essential skills to learn. There will always be people out there who don’t like MCs and will be negative and voice their opinions in Youtube comments or on mixes etc. Thats cool, they are entitled to their opinion, just don’t take it to heart because for everyone of those there is probably 20 people listening who do like what your doing but just don’t say anything. I hope!

 

“And lastly Joe, if you could deep fry anything in the world what would it be?”
 
We have had a little discussion about this over the last couple of days and it’s been a bit of a noodle scratcher but I’m going to have to go with the cheese and ham toastie. I think it could be held together with some well positioned cocktail sticks with a nice beer batter coating and I think it could be a winner. I did try it once with a BLT but the lettuce and tomato went a little bit weird so I think cheese and ham would melt down well and held with some well positioned cocktail sticks that can be pulled out afterwards. Tactical!

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