Posts Tagged ‘rago magazine

04
Dec
09

The Trickery of Wolves!!!!

Tricksta interview by Christian Nembhard

christian.nembhard@googlemail.com

Tricksta has been one of the most prominent figures in the UK Rap genre over the last 15 years. After establishing Wolftown Recordings in 1997 with co-owner LATE, the label has gone from strength to strength and so has Tricksta’s Reputation. With well over 50 releases under the labels belt and branches of Wolftown, which include Rago Magazine, UK Runnings and Park Street PR all standing on the own it, most definitely feels like a good time to be Tricksta. The Road Journal has managed to catch up with the one-man enterprise and drill him on his future plans and past experiences.

After years of owning one of the most prolific Hip-Hop record labels in Europe ‘Wolftown Recordings’, would you say there is still room for you to learn anything new?

Well first off I want to say thank you for doing this interview with me. Means a lot to have support from your blog as I really feel what you are doing. As far is there anything left to learn that’s new? I would say definitely. I mean when I started Wolftown back in 1999 with Late, we was releasing vinyl and doing audio cassette promos… now we release CD’s and MP3’s. Things change in music so quickly, not just formats but styles, attitudes and the whole structure of the industry. There used to be six major labels, now some have merged and there’s only four. So yes, I think anyone who says they know everything is lying, plus I think that’s a bad attitude to have as well. You got to keep on a level and embrace change and new ideas and people.

Would you say being based outside London is an advantage or disadvantage and why?

That’s a great question answer I think is both. I think I miss out on a lot of good events, as well as good opportunities not being in London, as well as the added bonus that most distributors, publishers, labels, good independent stores and most artists are from there. BUT on the other hand I not distracted or influenced by what happens in London, instead I’m in my own little world in Wolftown focussed on what I am doing. It means I have to work twice as hard but I am workaholic anyway so I don’t mind! I like just doing me, and I think I am allowed to do that more not being caught up in the whole London vibe. I do love London though; it’s such a special place and its own unique vibe.

As well as being label manager for Wolftown you are also a highly skilled producer, can we expect a Tricksta Album in the near future?

Let me give you the exclusive on this! The answer is YES… it’s going to be called ‘Out Of Darkness, Cometh Light’ which I think is a statement about my life, my musical career and also the slogan for Wolverhampton City the place I rep. The concept of the album is that I am doing a collection of collaborations with artists just from the UK. It’s sounding great and features the cream of the UK scene.

It’s December 3rd 2009 and the album is due for release in June 2010, so there’s still a few months left before I wrap it up but I can tell you who definitely features, as in their vocals are on the beat… TBear, Dubbledge, Yogi, Serocee, Iron Braydz, Reload, Manny Moscow, Late, Blazin, Scorzayzee, Grizzly, Sketchman, Wordsmith, Size8, Supar Novar, Big Ben, Genesis Elijah, 10Shott, Big Cakes, Jai Boo, Conman, Seanie T, Conspicuous, Joe Gutta, Kid Rad, Inja and Sonnyjim. I am waiting for so much more to come in, but it’s a waiting game coz Xmas soon come.

Rumor has it you have been recently working with youths in the community to raise their aspirations and teach the music production skills. Has that been a rewarding experience?

Yeh it’s something I got into at the top of 2009. I find young people inspiring and I know what its like to have no opportunities especially in the Midlands. So I feel like it’s me giving back in the goodness of Hip-Hop. I really enjoy doing this, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to help people. I genuinely care about our music and always help anyone if I can, so the teaching feels like an extension of that. Its good energy.

Is your whole life dedicated to music or is there a life for Tricksta away from music?

Yes 100% committed. The truth is I am a bit sad really! I enjoy quality time with my daughter and like good food. I love this music thing… people have stated saying ‘I Am Hip-Hop’… well that’s kinda how I feel. I feel my hard work pays off though… just look at the amount of good product we have released.

What has been your proudest moment in music so far?

There are a few things really. Being asked to give out the ‘Best Hip-Hop Award’ at the UMA’s in 2007. I mean even being nominated would have been special but to be asked to present the award was big.

I am very proud that Wolftown Recordings has now been going of ten years. That sweets me star! LOL.. Soooooo many people laughed us off, thought we was going to be in it for a minute, but now people ‘get us’… what we was doing with artwork and posse cuts in 1999 is now the norm! BUT trust me, I know man have been influenced by our label and the things we have done, and I take that as love.

I also worked at a record shop, a record label and DJ’ed in the USA before I was 25! That’s quite special. Damn, you forget you know as you get older!!!! LOL. There’s nuff, I proud of it all. I am very passionate about the whole music thing.

There are many arguments regarding the term ‘Urban’ and ‘Black’, which bracket to you think most suits your music and why?

Neither. I make Hip-Hop. Straight, some people will say some of newer shit sounds a little dubstep or grime, but to me that’s still Hip-Hop. Call me Urban if that means I am from  council estate one-single parent background, and ‘Black Music’ is indeed what it is, as is R’n’B, Jazz, Blues, Motown, Reggae and most World Music. As I white person I feel comfortable saying I make Black music because that’s what it is!

You are the self proclaimed ‘Hardest Working man in UK Hip-hop’ and ‘Mr Never Sleep’, do you think by using that title you add pressure to yourself to maintain your work load and ambition?

In all fairness that comment isn’t self proclaimed, it’s something that HHC put in a feature about Wolftown. Also Eastborn from Glasgow interviewed me for UKHH.COM back in the day and he used ‘Tricksta – The Hardest Working man in UK Hip-Hop’ as the main pull out phrase. Just wanted to say that as I don’t want people thing I am on a big-headed tip, coz I am blatantly not!

Yeh in all fairness, it doesn’t put pressure on me. I do this thing like 24-7 and I know some people aren’t in a position to that, but I have paved my own way. I have worked it out and built a little empire. BUT I put the work in… not pain no gain! So I don’t feel under pressure because I can move so fast if need be but even if I am rocking at normal speed it appears to be prolific. I have released sixteen official retail CD’s this year as well as ten free downloads. That’s a total of twenty six projects. I feel like we spelt a little this year! Hahahah.

The internet has opened the world to the possibility of self-promotion, do you still think traditional radio still has a say on sales figures?

I think the internet is now more important than print magazines, but I think radio is still a massive medium. It’s the next best thing to TV. Very powerful, but mainstream radio is where the majors live and it’s very, very, very hard to get play and even when you do it’s once or twice. Radio in this country misses out on so much good music and to be honest with how the new generation worship You Tube they need to fix up really. One of my students said the other day that ‘You Tube is even better now the major labels have taken their crap off!’ I had to laugh! LOL.

Do you think being white in such a black orientated genre is an advantage or disadvantage?

For me I aint white or black or pink or orange or purple… I’m Tricksta and I’m Hip-Hop! LOL. Everyone is individual and it’s had to class everyone who is white as the same or everyone who is black the same, because that’s just too stereotypical and for me I don’t do stereotypes. I mean just because a white guy is wearing a suit doesn’t mean he’s a good guy and a black guy with a hooded top doesn’t mean he is going to hurt you. Everyone is responsible for themselves, and it’s how you as an individual go on that really makes the difference, but I am also not saying that racism does exist.

You was a well-known club deejay in the 90’s and early naughties, do you still have the desire to practice that trade?

A DJ was what I did first. So its like say you drive a nice big car now but you remember you started moving on a scrambler motorcycle, every now and then you’d want have the urge to jump out your car and get back on a motorbike! LOL. Its part of me, and I love seeing people have a good time, that’s why I started playing. The reason I am getting booked is people aint got them old, old tunes! And I still have my 15,000 deep record collection!

What can we expect next from Wolftown Recordings?

UK RUNNINGS & LATE ‘UK Rap Scallion’ ALBUM – March

TRICKSTA ‘Out Of Darkness Cometh Light’ ALBUM – June

MANNY MOSCOW ‘TBC’ ALBUM  – September

Don’t forget to check out all Tricksta’s web links…

www.myspace.com/trickstawolftown

www.wolftownrecordings.net

www.ukrunnings.co.uk

www.myspace.com/ukrunnings

www.ragomagazine.com

www.myspace.com/parkstreetpromotion

www.parkstreetpr.co.uk

www.sturbanclothing.com

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