Tell us a bit about your work with Soul Jazz Records.

OxThat was a really good time. I first went with Pete Pressure Sounds and Nick Manasseh, I can’t recall which one was playing, at the Blue Angel. And what was totally new to me was hearing a mashup selection, anything goes, no set order, it was random, but it really worked for them and I really liked the environment. I was hearing tunes I’d never heard in my life that I really liked outside of reggae, and I thought, this is wicked. But the only thing it just needed was a bit of mic, a bit of intro.

I can’t remember if I asked them or if I just picked up the mic. I was on the mike for about three minutes, then just remember feeling sick. They took me round the back, I got my composure and then continued. They put some money in my hands and I was like nah what ya mean, I’m just passing, I’m a reveller you know, but they insisted, and I just started doing mic work for them.

Depending on who was playing I’d bring records as well, like the first time we went to Australia, and now it’s 13 years that I’ve been working with them. It’s been good, they’re cool guys and respect to them, because I’ve got to travel all over the world, all over Europe , two tours of Australia, and for that, give thanks.

You’ve also helped with some of the Soul Jazz compilations?

Yeah I’ve helped the with the compilations. Sometimes they’ve used my records as sometimes its quicker, or it’s not possible to get the master tape. And I’ve done two comps myself, ‘Studio One Lovers’ and ‘Studio One Sound’.

I’d love to do them all if I’m honest, I would love to take full control, as I think there’s more scope there to do more.

Its a really nice selection so far and they’ve brought the music to the attention of a whole new audience as well. There’s always a lot of care put in to the releases. Its been a really good experience working with them guys.

What are you up to in recent times? What projects are you working on right now?

Somerset House in London has been hosting an exhibition called ‘Return of the Rudeboy’, courtesy of Dean Chalkley and Harris Elliot. Well there is a track to coincide with the exhibition, let’s call it the sound track to the exhibition. It’s not produced by me, it’s produced by Jo Wallace, and the track was laid by Ashley Beedle. It’s called ‘Return of the Gentleman Rudeboy’. I think it’s on sale exclusively at the exhibition but if there is any sort of buzz for it then it will get a general release. I performed the song at Somerset House on 21 August.

Soho RadioAlso, I’m now broadcasting again on Internet Radio. The station is called Soho Radio London and my show is called Soho Skank, between 8pm – 10pm Tuesdays UK time. But all the shows are on the Soho Radio MixCloud, available to listen to anytime.

I now frequently work with Tiny T, Naoko the Rock, and Asher G, collectively we are called Ska Lavin. We specialise in vintage Jamaican tunes from say, late 50s to late 70s, that’s our focus. We don’t just play ska, we incorporate ska in our sets, but we play reggae – lots of it! And we play rocksteady – lots of it! And we play ska!

We also tend to stay away from the mega-hit records, because we want to share the vast amount of other quality good records that people just don’t get to hear in a club environment. Some deejays may have them indoors but would never play them, because if no one push up their lighter, they feel it’s a failure. But we think, for example, Dennis Brown has made 300 singles and 10 of these are hits. Does that mean the other 290 remaining singles are no good? It’s unlikely, so we will fill those gaps, we play tunes we believe in and love, we are not programmed.  Come check us out when we play at a place near you.

Rootikal is another outfit I work with as well. With them, I’m selecting and doing mic, and can be playing a mixture of old and new. The other members are Dave Hill and Mr Faso from Italy.

No time for sleep eh, haha.

Ska Lavin flyer
Ska Lavin flyer

Any last words?

I would love to play a mash-up set for about four hours to about 60,000 people, and I still hope to go back into production one day.

Oh, I forgot to mention quickly, check out the ‘Skatisfaction’ CD by Phoenix City All Stars, you’ll find a track on there by me as well.

More love to the world!

Ox Seh Dat!

More info:
Dub Vendor
Soho Radio London
Soho Radio MixCloud
Ska Lavin Facebook

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