Sunday, 13 March 2011

Dr Syntax - Interview

Having featured on or been part of or produced himself some of the UK's best hip hop its fair to say that Dr Syntax is a name most people in the "Scene" have heard of.

Currently touring and selling his Benny Huge Album, we caught up with Sinners to find out whats happening.

Flyspittin: Thanks for talkin to us, So how's things going at the moment?

Syntax: Really well, thanks. My album ‘Benny Huge’ came out in December. Anyone who makes music on any level knows what a headache it is to make an album and get it out, making sure it’s done properly, so it’s a relief to finally have it out there and get some positive feedback for it.

FS: You’re playing shows all over at the moment with your Benny Huge LP, how are the people finding the new material?

S: The feedback from shows has been really positive. I deliberately picked beats that I thought would go down well live and crowds really get involved with what we’re doing. I did a show at the Concorde 2 in Brighton recently. The capacity is 800 and it was rammed. People were going so mental that the heat they created triggered the heat sensors and cut the power off! At the time I was pretty pissed off but in hindsight that’s quite a result!

FS: I first saw you live with the Foreign Beggars a few years back, is there any plans to do anything together again in the near future?

S: There are no plans at the moment, but I definitely want to do something with them again. It’s always really easy for me to work with them – we’re good friends and their work ethic is really impressive. I toured with them in 2004, and then again last year, and it reminded me of just how good they are. I hope they get absolutely massive, and they’re not too far off making it happen.

FS: If you had to pick one what would be your favourite track from the new album?

S: I think it would have to be ‘Jump Up’. It’s a lot of fun to perform and it makes crowds go bonkers. That’s the track that we were doing in Brighton when the power cut off. I’m in a new crew with Pete Cannon, who produced it, and it’s indicative of what we’re trying to do as a group now – the biggest party beats with tight raps and catchy choruses.

FS: Are there any emcee's right now that you think are gonna be bigger this year?

S: Derogatory aka Spike English is the other rapper in our new crew, and he’s touring with me as my hype man at the moment. He’s also from the crew Tactical Thinking. He’s got a dope, understated style and I feel we work well together as MCs. Also J Man and Unanymous from Plymouth are both incredible. An emcee I know from Brighton called Rizzle is going to be massive very soon. His group Rizzle Kicks are killing it. Very poppy, but with solid rhyming skills.

FS: I hear you’re back up in Manchester, how does it differ from down south in the way of promoting yourself and your music?

S: On the whole, not a great deal - I’m still promoting myself through my existing channels in the same way I did when I lived down south. I love Manchester though, and while there’s not a big scene here, there are a lot of fans so there is potential. There’s a monthly open mic night called In The Loop at the Ram and Shackle, Fallowfield. I’d really like to see that develop into the cornerstone of the scene, in the same way Slipjam B is in Brighton, or Speaker’s Corner was in London. One big thing for me though is that I host a radio show with DJ Andy Peek on every week now (92.8 FM in Manchester). It’s called the C’mon Feet Elements show and it’s on every Monday from 7-9pm. Anyone who wants me to play their music or fancies coming on as a guest should get in touch either via the Dr Syntax Facebook page or Twitter (@realdrsyntax).

FS: do you think the "scene" in the UK is getting any better or bigger in recent years?

S: The underground hip hop scene is small - minute really - and definitely doesn’t get the attention it got 5 or 6 years ago. It’s relegated to smaller venues or support slots and backrooms at dubstep nights. It’s having a minor resurgence though, which I’m proud to say I’m part of. Groups like Contact Play and London Zoo are playing gigs all over the place – there is a demand however small. I think that if you’re good at what you do and come across well live then there’s always a place for you – you just have to get on with it and work hard, and not over-analyse it and moan about it. I see it as a massive luxury to be able to go and do shows to appreciative fans – even if the scene gets no more exposure than it currently does, I will still look back on this as something special.

FS: Dont Flop is now a current fixture across the UK, whats your views on this new surge of battling?

S: I think it’s a really good thing. At the top the standard is ridiculously high – people like O’shea and Tenchoo are as good as anyone in the world. I don’t follow it religiously but catch the big battles and go to the ones in Manchester sometimes – in fact I’m playing at the next one on 26th March. To me it’s more like sport than music though. It’s cool, but it’s not the be all and end all. It can be good exposure for an artist if they are good at battling, but the exact opposite if they aren’t, even if their music’s good.

FS: whats next for Dr Syntax?

S: I’ve got an EP coming out with a label from Bristol called Screwloose. It’s a Dubstep, Drumstep and Drum and Bass EP, so it’s definitely a little different to what people are used to hearing from me, with production coming from Koan Sound and Statix among others. I’ve also got my new crew with Pete Cannon, Spike English, DJ Manipulate and a singer, Rebecca Stephens (formerly of indie-pop band The Pipettes), which will be rooted in hip hop but also have dance music influences. I’m going to keep touring and recording and releasing music, and hopefully hit some festivals this year.

FS: Thanks for the chat.

S: No problem, Thanks for the Interview.

You can purchase Syntax's New album @ Sinners Bandcamp Page where you can also buy a Huge T-Shirt.

Check out Single "Hire Me" below and Support Local Hip Hop!!

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