Million Dan

Hailing from London UK, Million Dan is one of the most exciting urban hip-hop, hip-hop/reggae artists to ever emerge from the United Kingdom.

Million Dan aka Mike J first exploded on the scene as a kid as a member of the groundbreaking UK ragga hip-hop outfit “The Demon Boyz”. “The Demon Boyz” brought a fresh angle and energy to hip-hop music worldwide, delivering some huge singles and albums that won them some of the industries most respected awards.

After several years of touring “The Demon Boyz” went their separate ways and Million began to focus on his dreams of becoming a solo artist. It was a long journey of personal development that allowed him to travel all over Europe, Jamaica and Canada and truly come into his own as a vocalist, developing a huge following for his distinctive lyrical style.

In 2004 Million struck it big on the circuit once again with the massive club anthem Dogz and Sledgez, a tune that rammed dance floors across the globe with an infectious energy that must be heard to be believed. Dogz and Sledgez was play listed on Radio and Music TV around the world and led to Million being nominated for several awards in the UK.

Since then Million’s progress has been steady and strong. He has been extensively touring with well-known hip-hop and reggae artists and assembling his own independent record label “Million Dappa Records”. Million Dappa is distributed by Boombox Distribution and has already spawned a major hit through Pull Up, one of Million’s heaviest releases to date, a charging club anthem that peaked at number 3 on the Radio 1xtra Worldwide hip-hop Charts.

Million has just completed his first mix-tape “Infrared”. Mixed by Daddy Skitz, “Infrared” is a journey through Millions influences from reggae to hip-hop and sees his rhymes placed against some of the biggest names in Urban music worldwide.

I have known Million Dan for several years since a chance meeting in Montreal and we have managed to keep in regular contact. The rest of this interview represents a recent chat I had with the big man and the odd bit or piece gleaned with email conversation.

So Million, what’s happening right now with you man? Tell the people about any exciting new and recent developments in your world.

Yes Martyn! Good to hear from you again maan! Developments?! Where do I start?! 2006 has been the biggest year in my career so far maan. It’s consisted of big single releases, big video releases, big touring, and the biggest thing – the birth of my own independent record company – Million Dappa Records. We joined forces with one of the biggest urban music distribution companies in Europe, Boombox Distribution and from the word go it has been success after success.

Our first release was the Million Dan single entitled Pull Up. Also on the single was the absolutely groundbreaking Dogz n Sledgez tune (Million Dan’s previously released club smasher which dominated everything & won him various industry music awards), a new joint called Tek Microphone, and of course Pull Up Remix (the mix featured on the Pull Up video). The Single went straight into the Radio One World Hip-Hop chart at number three!

The song instantly got play-listed right across the Radio One network. Other radio station also championed the song, along with the biggest club DJs bangin the tune hard on the dance floors. The Pull Up video also had the same success, with the video being play-listed on MTV Base and Channel U – which is the most viewed hip-hop video channel in Europe. Channel U ran phone-in competitions for the song/ video and all together, the whole project was a complete success.  We’re now really looking forward to ’07.

So what’s the story with the Infra-Red mix-tape? Give us the lowdown.

During the summer of 2006 – Million Dappa Records and our distribution company thought it would be perfect to drop a hot mix-tape at the beginning of 2007. Whilst having big success with the single, we then thought , yo, now would be a good time to debut my first ever mix-tape to the masses. So that’s exactly what we did! I jumped in the studio with my good bredrin DJ ‘Daddy’ Skitz – who I was also currently then touring with at the time. We went straight to work maan. We assembled some of the biggest tunes and assembled the biggest hip-hop stroke bashment artists in the known Universe, then I said Yehhh, let me go in wid dem!!

Even before the project was finished, word went around the industry like fire! I had niggaz callin me at all time of the day and night askin me for early exclusive previews to dat shit! I was like yo maan, you’re gonna have to waittttt!!

On a more serious note though, people have to understand this… The Infrared Mixtape is more like a pre-album, rather than a conventional mix-tape. It’s a musical journey & allows the listener to hear some heavy tunes, as well as get to know and understand Million Dan. It features some of the most talented MC’s ever to hold a microphone, and reflects Million Dan’s musical influences, which range from hip-hop to reggae.

Featured are some true heavyweights from around the world. To name but only a few, there are artists like Busta Rhymes, Nas and Mob Deep (US) to Bounty Killer, Assassin and Sizzla (JA) to the UKs finest Demon Boyz, Rodney P and MC D. Mixed by the one & only DJ ‘Daddy’ Skitz from BBC Radio 1Xtra.  The Infrared Mixtape is the beginning of a concept, of which the Spektrum Ride single will follow.

The heavily anticipated Spektrum album will be released later in 2007. (Check official websites below for all updated information).

You have just had a big hit on the European circuit lately with a song called “Devon Cream” featuring yourself, MC D, Rodney P and DJ First Aid. Wha gwan with that blud?

Yehhh Martyn, that was the other big current news I knew you were gonna ask me about!

Yo, I’ve played the leading role – featuring on another smash tune hitting ALL the major & pirate radio stations across the board. The song features me alongside two of the U.K’s finest Rodney P and MC D. Produced by a bredrin of ours – DJ First Aid, this song is doing hurting everything in its wake!!

I had a strong feeling the Devon Cream song was going to do well, so prior to the release I asked Producer Baby J’s (The biggest hip-hop producer in the U.K right now) and his video production company (Baby Knotted Films) to make the video for the song, to which Baby J agreed. Baby Knotted Films then went on to create one of the best urban videos of 2006. MTV Base and Channel U have also play-listed the video.

When is the album coming out? What can we expect from it?

The Spektrum album is simply gonna be an absolute show stoppin killerrrrrrrrrr!! The songs I have recorded for Spektrum so far, and the artists featuring on the album are gonna have people saying, yehh, it’s about time we’ve had a real album hit the streets. I’m still putting the finishing touches on the album, and believe me – it’s gonna be a juggernaut when it drops.

Could you briefly give us your thoughts on the state of reggae and hip-hop music at the moment?

I love the growth and the development of reggae music, and I am so happy that reggae music has now become a new form of pop music. Remember pop music is simply short for POPular music. When you look across the world music scene, alongside some of the biggest artists on the planet like Beyonce, M&M, 50 Cent and even U2 and Red Hot Chilli Peppers etc, you have names equally as big such as Sean Paul and Damian Marley.

The same goes for hip-hop/RnB music – there are simply too many to even mention! It is truly pop music and my two genres (hip-hop/reggae), that I was born and raised on, are the music that everybody wants to be a part of. Yeh man…I love it.

What artists have you been checking for these days? Let me break that one down into countries…top three from each.

Top three artists I’m feeling from the U.S right now are Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep and Cassie. From Jamaica they are Bounty Killa, Sizzla and Assassin. From Canada, JB and the GCP Crew, Kardinal Offishall and MC Nai. From U.K they are Taskforce, MC D and Rodney P. And from France they are Sian Super Crew, Sunka and Missill.

There are more artists I could mention, but I’ll leave it at that!

Where do you see this all going?

Upwards, skywards, elevation in its true form. Our moves in 2007 will simply speak for themselves. I want all my fans/supporters out there in New Zealand and Australia to keep their eyes firmly placed on this movement, cause big tings a gwarn! I definitely feel the love and support from out there and Million Dappa Records will definitely be coming out there this forthcoming year 2007. And to all My Space users – come and link us on My Space and our other various websites.

Yes Martyn, nuff respect for the interview blud. And I just wanna say to everybody out there in New Zealand andAustralia – Martyn Pepperell is a very bonified and active part of Million Dappa Records and has been for the last six months. If anybody would like to reach us from NZ/ Australia, please contact Martyn.

Lastly, I wanna dedicate all of my successes to the loving memory of my mother and father – Phena Deleta Dunn and Hubert Dunn.

Martyn Pepperell