Saturday, 30 March 2013

Interview with J Rolla

Thanks for taking time to chat with us, first up, how about a little introduction to yourself for the readers....

J-Rolla: Hey all, I'm a producer from Lyttelton, New Zealand. I like to focus on more than one genre of music to keep myself busy as I tend to get bored of always making one certain style. I am addicted to creativity, I always need to be making something, whether it's music, producing & mixing, running various labels, clothing designs, websites and various other art projects, I always have inspiration to create something, can get annoying when you just want to relax haha!!

You've been making Jungle, DnB, Dubstep & Breaks tunes since 2009, how did you get into music production?

J-Rolla: Well, I actually first started producing way back in 2003 when I attended an Audio Engineering Course fresh out of High School. I started producing Hip Hop, whacked out electronica and made beats for assignments like radio ad's etc.
It wasn't until 2004 when I really fell in love with Drum & Bass after going to so many great gigs at The Ministry here in Christchurch as well as many great nights on the West Coast of New Zealand. I brought my first sets of decks in late 04' and
me and my cousin, Mercenary (of Perth's quad production team, Network) both started mixing at the same time, we rinsed them things every single night, we would go 5 tracks each. While he had his 5, I would chuck my headphones in the computer and start producing drums in between then a little further down the line I would let him mix for a little longer while i had my headphones on matching up
my newly made drumloops on the computer with his mixing on the decks. After a few years of building up my knowledge of  production, falling in love with Roots music, Reggae & Dub and trying to blend it into my Drum & Bass productions, i finally found my sound and was ready to take a more serious approach to it and start uploading my tracks up on the internet.

The first 4 tracks I uploaded were signed by Jungle veteran RCola to his JungleXpeditions label which gave me the confidence to keep the tracks coming, it all progressed pretty quickly from there really.

You also run Dubpride recordings, tell us a bit about that and whats happening with it....

J-Rolla: Yes, I co-own Dubpride Recordings along with Konsida (Jesse Ironshirt), the aim for Dubpride was to showcase amazing Reggae & Dub inspired dance music of all genres from artists all around the world. We've had a very good run with our releases so far, we've been a little quiet lately but that's just because we have a very strong view on quality when it comes to the label and great tracks just don't come by everyday. Also we get busy with our own projects, mine being production & mixing, as well as running my Ruffneck Rollaz label and Jesse gets very busy with his Dubstep label, Ironshirt Recordings, also he's moved out of the studio so we don't see each other everyday now. Expect a lot more in the future though, as we are always on the hunt!

Going back to making tunes, whats been your favourite personal production to date?

J-Rolla: Damn! Hardest question yet! My most successful would have been my remix of Rihanna's "Rude Boy", which clocked up over 11,000 plays. As for my favourite though, either the track I made with the amazingly talented Bonnie Legion titled "Ignite Me" or my remix of Groove Armada's "Superstylin'".

Whats the scene like in NZ?

J-Rolla: The scene in New Zealand is and has always been amazing, going out to a gig here I have never had a bad time. It's a good advantage having a country so small, everyone knows and supports each other. So much great talent has come from this country, Concord Dawn, State of Mind, The Upbeats, Mosus, Freq Nasty, Truth, Shapeshifter, Antiform, Organikismness, Agent Alvin, MC Tali, Salmonella Dub, Fat Freddys Drop and sooo much more. Seriously I could fill this page with talent from this country!

Tell us a few tunes you're feeling at the moment.......

J-Rolla: Really feeling the new Ed Solo & Deekline album, love the good time vibes on the track "All Gravy" featuring Darrison, all the Dubwize Drum & Bass
tracks on it kick ass! Still really loving Toronto Is Broken's "Spirit Song 2012", really digging the new Alaska track "Dolorous" featuring Robert Manos,
the new Dub Pistols album "Worshipping The Dollar" always make me want to jump in the studio, also the f#@king outstanding job that Ed Rush has done on the remix of Rudimental's "Not Giving In". Anything by Phaelah or Seba when i'm chillin'.....

You've got a full album in the pipelines, can you tell us more about that?

J-Rolla: Yes I do plan on having an album ready later on this year, it's a long process but I already have around 4 to 5 completed tracks set aside for 
the album so far and hope to get as many vocalists and other producers on board for it, while still keeping the focus pure and the sound, my own.

Thanks again for taking time, any last words and/or shouts?

J-Rolla: No problems. Last words of advice for producers, If your struggling to get people to pay attention to your music, it's not always because your tracks aren't
good, a lot of the time it can be because your tracks are original and they simply aren't used to the sound yet. Make music you believe in, for yourself, if 
your sound is original then that is the best thing that can possibly happen, don't change for no one. You'll only get so far following in someone else's shadow,
but if it's new and original, then you are the one setting the limits! People like things that are new, not cheap imitations...

Shout outs to everyone who has ever taken the time to checks my tracks, showed support and given feedback. Special shouts to Sabon (My Girl) for understanding that my brain usually thinks 80% beats & 20% everything else, Jai (My Bruv), Jesse Ironshirt, Dinneen, Mercenary, Camo MC, Chachi, Wubzilla & Dangergirl, Shane Forge, Savey, Jako, LQue, Insomniac, Jabz MC and all Christchurch & LYTT 328 crew! RCola, Aries, Marcus Visionary, Frisk, David Boomah, Jay Sureshock, MC Frequency, YT, Neil Perch of Zion Train, Erbman Hustlin', Spliff Unit, Isaac Maya, D.K Ritual, Igit and all Dubwize Drum & Bass crew! Schema, Tariq, John VinylJunkie, Ben & Lex, 601, Bonnie Legion, Gav Exit Point, Digitally Mashed and all Future Jungle 140bpm crew! 

Also sorry anyone I've forgotten, you know how bad my memory is, if you've ever checked one of my tracks, I THANK YOU!

Check out J Rolla on soundcloud:
and on mixcrate

As mentioned earlier, J Rolla is working on an album and has a funding project up and running where you can contribute and help to get this album released, you'll earn yourself a free copy for your support too so go on, support great real underground sounds by following the link:

1 comment:

  1. Great interview that boy (Rolla) will go far.