Was it true that back then around London, every community would have its own sound?

Ox at Notting Hil Carnival 2014
Ox at Notting Hil Carnival 2014

Back then so many people had a sound, small, medium, and large sound. For us, sound system was a way of life. It kept you out of certain troubles, kept your mind focus, and also you could earn a decent wage from it, if you were good and disciplined. So you know, for some it was a past time and for some a serious business.

In those days you could party every night, usually in the basement of a cab office or someone’s house. We called these places shub-ins. When Saturday night came, you could find a minimum of 15 dances in Brixton alone, and that’s no exaggeration. Might have been more, but not less.

And your sound didn’t just play reggae?

Yeah that’s right, we also included soul. You know we have to cater to those ladies as well. It’s about entertaining everyone that shows.

Also in the late morning at the end we would play a little ska maybe, usually at request, or if we knew we had some good dancers there who could shuffle. That was exciting to see two guys battling on the dance floor giving their best.

For me like I said, I never set out to be a deejay, and I used to buy across the board. If there is something I like I’ll buy it, thats it. So I portray that, if I’m entertaining I wanna play stuff I like and believe in.

The sound lasted until about 1990. I enjoyed that experience, I’m really gutted I got no photos of me or the crew from that time.

I’ve always thought of you more as an MC then a selector or soundman….

The mic thing just came naturally to me, in the sense it was customary for a man to break the silence while the record got changed, because most sounds were using one turntable and not two. So if you were playing to an audience and didn’t have a mic man, then you would just have to do it yourself. Which I did a lot in private parties where a sound system wasn’t required, just like a stereo set was enough to use in one room.

So I’m not a mic man in the sense of flashing or spitting lyrics, as it’s known nowadays. I just bop and weave in and out of the music like an added, floating ingredient. My strongest vibe is selecting I feel.