The Irish accent has a certain musical quality to it. The reflection and tone in Irish peoples voices give it a certain rhythm that I find make it great for hip hop. Artists such as Messiah J do it well without it sounding comical or embarrasing. DFX Major is another example of this. He’s an Irish hip hop artist and electronic producer based in Dublin and I caught up with him to find out more.
How did you get interested in hip hop and electronic music?
My step dad had a big part to play into introducing me to a lot of music, mainly electronic. I had a free reign of his collection of over 1000 CDs so there was pretty much no end to experimenting playing random albums of his going through my teens. As for producing, I got this music software called “eJay” out of a cereal box as a kid. My love for producing started right from that moment. Started off making seriously cheesy dance tunes eventually progressing towards the rap side of things when I was about 14/15 years old. I was into a lot of gangster rap for many years, all the classics. I figured hey I could have a go at this so I did. I don’t think the US rap ever impacted my style though, I’ve always strived to try and stick to my own sound, although starting out it’s very hard.
What do you make of the Irish hip hop scene at the moment?
Generally, I don’t rate Irish hip hop much. There seems to be the same patterns emerge and re-emerge I don’t think there’s many artists who are really showing face in their music (not to say they aren’t out there). The battles are always a good laugh to watch but I just can’t take the whole thing seriously and it seems to be one of the main focal points in the scene. Not raggin’ on it though to each their own I guess, who knows what direction it could end up in. D’n’D is one Irish rap artist I think is doing something great musically.
Do you mainly write by yourself or is it a collaborative effort?
I enjoy working with other people but a lot of the time I am just working away by myself. Not that I have a problem working with people it’s just I haven’t met anyone really interested in hopping on board, or bringing the sort of sound I’m striving for you know (I’m a picky bastard). It can be quite labour intensive both writing and producing, but I won’t lie I fucking enjoy it that way. Very satisfying to finish a song that you’ve built from the ground up and produced yourself. Something in the works right now is a track on the way with Limerick producer Deadlybuzz, which should by all rights be a seriously fun one to work on.
How do you find being based in Dublin? Does your stuff go down well up there?
Being based in Dublin is class, there’s definitely the scene for my tunes to go down well, it’s just making the right connections that counts. It seems there’s a tightly-knit group of heads running the more popular electronic nights and they like to help each other out so it’s just a matter of cracking into that circle really if I really want to get my name out there. I’ve played in the Twisted Pepper, certainly the most bumping of all my shows but I found my gig in Whelan’s with the CTRL ALT DELETE crowd to be more personal if you get what I’m saying. There was a savage crowd that night and was good meeting other producers and music fans alike.
What releases have you out?
I have a never ending album I’m constantly working on that I have no idea when I will feel ready to wrap up but I did release a little album type jobby called “Flaw Monger” this year. It’s basically comprised of all the tracks I thought I was never going to finish, I spent a few weeks finishing up the beats and then went on a weekend long recording binge. It’s very much a raw, uncut nosedive into my music. I dunno how I feel about it now though really, I’d like to have something more polished to my name. I guess that’s life. Think of it as a collection of bootlegs that aren’t exactly bootlegs… Or something?
What stuff are you listening to at the moment?
I had a relapse back into grime there recently so as of late I’ve been bombarding myself with plenty of UK vibes (anyone dubious should seriously listen to Wretch 32, amazing artist) but other than that I’m currently bumping lots of Igorr, Milanese, Emancipator, some of Odd Future‘s tunes, Nirvana and Shpongle.
Would you consider yourself a rapper or an electronic producer?
I’m very dubious about using the term rapper, If you tell someone you’re a rapper they instantly shoot you this look of “Oh, you’re on of THOSE sorts, eh?” I usually work it like this, I say “I produce dark electronic beats and do live vocals to them, I guess you could call it rap” and they say “rap?” and I say “yeah”. Mightn’t seem it, but trust me works out best for everyone that way hahaha
Best gig you’ve ever seen?
I’m racking my brains here, I have the feeling I’m forgetting something more memorable but I’m going to go with Infected Mushroom DJ set at Life Festival ’10. It was one of the hottest days of the year, everyone swarmed down to it in the middle of the day and the vibe was just amazing. Care free me In the baking sun surrounded by hundreds of beautiful people all dancing as one. Gotta love that peace, love union and respect man 😉
Just wanna say thanks a mill for the interview Ken, hope that people enjoy the music.