Michael‘s done pretty well with his features here on FatKidOnFire over the past few months. We’ve had a good few brilliant interviews, write ups and insights into the dubstep scene in Holland – which continues today with a feature with H.E.N.C.H Records founder Jakes, who Michael recently met at Resist in Eindhoven.
Having had to utilise some fairly impressive stealth skills to get my wristband checked and then back stage, I was fairly anxious as I stood waiting outside of Jakes’ dressing room. The promoters at the Dutch Resist event were strict on their backstage policy – not that I could blame them, with as many people present as there were. As I was checked by security, a couple of groupies were in front of me – begging for backstage access.
Jakes had just performed in front of roughly 2,000 people and totally smashed it. The surge of energy that was released during his set made the air almost feel electric, and the H.E.N.C.H boss was still very much in the zone – but even more down to earth than I had anticipated. What followed in our conversation is here for you to read…
Having just performed a b2b with him, how was the set with Vodex? It’s a natural thing. He’s a part of the label and family.
People were asking it for a while, so it happened.
Your set absolutely smashed it! Do you enjoy visiting Holland? I love it. The people are into everything and I really enjoy it when I can mix it up. I can play dubstep for a minute, then some grime, trap or techno.
You started out as a drum and bass MC, could you tell me more about that? I still am a DnB MC actually, getting back into it right now. I’ve recently done tunes with Critical Impact, N3GUS and have a couple with TC coming up.
Do you use your own vocal samples in your own tracks? Only a couple of times, but I am planning to do it proper…
I was in the drum and bass room, but one time I came into the dubstep room and Mala was playing. That was it. Mala will forever be my favourite producer and DJ.
Why Mala? Because he is unique, it’s all about being unique.
The initial days of H.E.N.C.H. How were they for you? Loved it. Amazing and still is.
Why still? Because everything is still fresh.
What releases are in the label’s pipeline for the next few months? An EP from Eddie K just dropped. Then there’s a Tek-One album. After that is my thing. We’ve also got drops from Subzee D, Temo and Vodex. I’m also going to start doing the monthly mixtapes again.
Are there any news names being added to the H.E.N.C.H. roster? There’s a couple, but I want to hold it down. As soon as you see it you will understand why.
You are known for a string of high quality releases. How do you go about achieving this? I just go in man.
Because? Because I have to.
Why do you have to? This isn’t just a party, this is a job. And it also is my life so I have to progress. I have to think forward and check what’s coming around the corner.
You are saying you have to, but what really keeps you motivated? My fiancee.
H.E.N.C.H. (‘Hard Earned Never Caught Hustlin’). How did the name come about? Basically I thought it up while we were driving in a car somewhere. It just came at me. I always had the idea for the logo in my head, but I didn’t know how it would be until it was on paper.
[Jakes b2b with Vodex in Eindhoven in March. Part 2 is here]
It says in your bio that 2013 is your year. What have been the highlights so far? The year’s gone really well so far. Again I can’t really say anything – but the highlight for me will be on a film.
When making tunes, how do you approach the production? Are you very structured? Never. I just go in and start a loop, put a bassline over it and take it from there. If I don’t catch a vibe in two hours, there is no vibe.
What advice would you give to any new producers just starting out? Do your thing. Be original and stick to guns first and foremost.