Inner Circle : Snips
What got you into DJ-ing?
I always wanted to be a producer and watching guys like Premier, Pete Rock & Marley Marl I just figured becoming a DJ was a right of passage….. which for all the best producers, it is.
What defines your sound?
In one word I would say soulful. Whether I’m doing House, Hip Hop or RnB theres always a rooting in Soul music
What keeps you motivated?
As morbid as it sounds….. Death. The fact that I know theres an expiry on the time we have here, I wanna do as much as I can while i’m on this planet
Is there anyone/anything that you look to for inspiration?
I actually started trying to internalise inspiration because I found I started believing I was only capable of achieving what I have seen others do. Once you remove that way of thinking, Skys the limit
Who’s on your radar that’s up and coming from your area (or in general)?
From London…. Mmmmm. It’s mostly the Nu Jazz sounds coming out the city. Kamaal Williams, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Theon Cross Etc
Favorite thing or artist to listen to right now?
I listen to a lot of old music. This week I’ve been listening to nothing but Stevie Wonders “Songs In The Key Of Life"
Favorite spot to grab a bite in?
In NY I’m still trying to source out the best spots. In London my go to is a Caribbean spot in my old neighbourhood called “Rudies"
What interested you about playing The Wave?
Playing with Big Bear & Yvng Paul in London and they KILLED it. I knew from their vibe that the party they had in Boston would be somewhere I would wanna spin
What was your perception of Boston before you played The Wave?
I always saw a duality in Boston. On one side I think of films like The Departed and on the other I think of growing up listening to artists like Ed OG
Amazing. I really enjoyed it. Boston is a really cool city. Theres definitely strong Hip Hop roots here
Digital or vinyl?
One thing you can’t travel without?
Can you tell us a bit about how you founded Barbershop Records and Livin’ Proof?
Livin’ Proof is coming 12 years old now and was something that myself and 3 close friends founded as a response to our favourite record store, Deal Real (which we all worked at) closing down. I guess you could say it was an equivalent to Fat Beats in NY and served as a hub for Hip Hop heads in London. When that closed we began a small Sunday night party for all our friends at a bar in London called Market Place. Over 12 years it grew from 30+ people every week to selling 1000s of tickets a month. Barbershop is my recent endeavour and really has just served as a purpose to release my own music.
How long have you been in the states for, and what’s been the toughest thing you’ve had to get used to so far?
4 months so far…. THE WINTER!!! That NY cold is next level. I don’t think anything prepared me for just how tough the winter is.
Why did you decide to make the leap across the pond?
It was primarily to try and expand on my DJ and Production career but also about setting a new challenge. I feel like there wasn’t really anywhere for me to go in London so the next logical step up is NY. That and the fact that I do prefer the lifestyle in New York. I find it to be a lot more socially progressive than in London. In London if you’re not living in the suburbs with 2 kids and a mortgage by 30 then you’re definitely a bit of an outcast.
Are there any clear differences between London and New York? Things you love/hate about either city?
They are actually very similar places. I think NYers are a little warmer than Londoners. I definitely feel they’re more embracing. The hustle and speed of the cities though are pretty similar.
What’s it like producing for such a range of different artists/genres?
- It’s definitely what inspires me to keep going. I listen to a wide variety of music and am inspired by so many different sounds it would be limiting for me to just work with artists that represented one particular sound.
Being in an interracial relationship myself, I’ve definitely experienced some shit - have you noticed if it’s had an effect on your work or life-outlook?
- On the surface I have definitely experience prejudice from both black and white people but I tend not to pay it any mind. Being married to a Black woman definitely does allow me an insight to just how deep-rooted both misogyny and racism (and often a combination of the two) are in both the US and UK alike.
You guys can catch Snips gettin busy in NYC or across the pond :)
PS - a little British English never hurt anyone, it’s actually kinda cool innit?