Music Interview: Cockney Nutjob
Cockney Nutjob drops his new EP next week. 25ThC from Jellyfunk Allstars has a chat to him about his new release, about what festivals he is playing this summer and about how he came up with his name:
When and how did you come up with the name Cockney Nutjob?
Some time in 2009 I had just started to DJ again and I had spent a good few months trying to think of a good DJ name. My Mrs had got me to watch the series ‘The Mighty Boosh’. There is an episode called ‘The Hitcher’ where one of the characters jumps out of a box and says “I’m a Cockney Nutjob” and I had a bit of a eureka moment when I saw this. Firstly cause it sounded amazing and secondly it was so relevant to me. I am officially an Essex boy, but growing up not far from the East end have always loved the ‘cockney’ culture. I also have a fairly crazy personality in a bit of a comical way… so it was the perfect description!
How would you describe your sound and which artists influence you?
My sound comprises of Hip Hop style breakbeats, combined with chopped up samples of rock steady, ska and reggae from 50’s, 60’s & 70’s and wobbly basslines to finish. It’s hard to pin point all the artists that I have taken influence from, but Rebel MC, Prodigy (early 90’s) and SL2 stick in my mind as I think they were the first to combine breakbeats and reggae styled samples.
Your live sets usually including Kurnel MC. How long have you guys known each other and how do you go about planning your sets?
We met sometime in 2013. I was promoting a night in Bournemouth and he approached me for an MC slot. He killed it and from then on, he has been dropping his fine vocals on most of my sets. I tend to share my tunes with him once they are nearly finished so he can get a feel for them. He comes prepared with vocals that he has worked on around some of my tunes and the rest he just freestyles on. My sets normally contain pretty much all my own material, so what ever order I play them in on the night Kurnel is able to adapt. I usually have half my set packed with my fresh stuff and the other halve with older favourites.
Can you tell us about your production setup in terms of software and hardware?
I use Ableton, but don’t really have any hardware for production. I also mainly use Massive as my go to synth / bass plug in. I have a few other plug ins, but my other fav is iZotope Alloy2.
You have a new EP out on 29 June on Scour Records. I’ve had a sneak preview and it is excellent. You kindly allowed us to use one of the track “Not a Test” on our [Jellyfunk Allstars] recent Shindig video. Can you tell our readers what they can expect from the EP?
You can expect four ‘reggae drenched’ breakbeat bangers on this EP that are hopefully on par with the last one. Again, I have tried to offer something for everyone. Whilst they are all in the same niche they come with different BPM’s and characteristics, but all of them share uplifting, get your feet moving on the dancefloor vibes!
Scour Records is a great label and I understand that your debut EP for the label “Heads Boppin” is the labels most successful artist EP to date. How did you get involved with Scour Records?
It started when I came across the weekly scour on the Ghetto Funk blog, I think some time in 2011. So many great tracks were featured on this and at the time I had only just started getting into the producing side of things. To me getting a track featured in the Scour was my first aim in my production journey. At the time it seemed like it was the ultimate seal of approval and it came with lots of exposure from the large following that it had. I eventually did manage to get 1 or 2 tracks featured, but quite a few were turned down. James (Scour head honcho) has such a good ear for music and even when he turned down tracks he took the time to explain what he thought could of be done better or tweaked. What worked and what didn’t, etc. He is really good at positive criticism and I reckon quite a few people in his position may have avoided it or not bothered with it, but he took the time out on every track that he received for the scour, which is extremely commendable. It certainly helped me to improve my sound.
Soon after the launch of ‘Scour Records’ it was clear that James had carved a brand of top quality, cutting edge music featuring work from some of the breakbeat scenes best rising stars (in my opinion). I then aspired to get a track released on the label and finally in 2015 James gave me the thumbs up on one of my tracks (Firepower) which was released as part of ‘Scoured Cream vol.5’. Since then I have felt very much on board with Scour Records and hope to continue releasing the best of my material with the label.
We first met at the Shindig Weekender this year. It’s a brilliant boutique festival and we had a great time. Why do you like the festival and what do you put its success down to?
Over the years before it, Ghetto Funk had become such an iconic name/brand in the breakbeat scene, you always knew Shindig was going to follow suit and be just as awesome. What I love about it is the variety of top quality underground music that is showcased at the event. The headline acts that are picked are always spot on to.
Jellyfunk Allstars have been asked by Spinforth to play a Saturday afternoon set at Leopolloza festival in Cornwall this year and you are also playing again. What can you tell us about this festival as it will be our first time there?
The thing that sticks in my mind the most is the awesomeness of the Temple of Doom stage. It really is amazing! The event also pulls in a great crowd too and features plenty of cool live acts and DJs.
What other festivals do you have lined up for the summer?
Leopallooza in Corwall, 28th – 30th July
Love Summer Festival in Devon, 11th – 13th August
Sunrise Festival in secret location near Bristol, 18th – 21st August
You have also just released your brilliant “100% Cockney Mixtape Vol.2” as a free download in advance of the EP. What else can we expect from you in 2017?
After the EP I will be sharing a freebie feat Kurnel MC called ‘Differences’ which was featured on the “100% Cockney Mixtape Vol.2”. I will then probably have a couple of other free tunes to finish the year off, but I haven’t decided which ones yet.
Badman EP is released by Scour Records exclusively on Juno Download on 29 June 2017. You can buy it by clicking here.
Interview by 25ThC.