Big jungle vibes with both Nightshift and King Yoof a run, not forgetting their huge new release on Benny Page’s Dub Shotta. Stay tuned for plenty of information as Jamie gets all the details.
Let’s start from the top, the brand new banger ‘High Grade’ is just what the world needs right now, a full on jungle riddim with a ton of good vibes! How did you all come together to create it? Was it a Zoom evening session in the studios? It must have been great to work with Myki Tuff.
King Yoof: I’ve known Nicky (Nightshift) for many years and over the lockdown period we have written a whole bunch of riddims for my album on Biological Beats and tracks for Dub Shotta.
‘Highgrade’ started out as a bootleg as it’s based around Drake’s ‘Blem’. I asked Myki Tuff to grace the track with his lyrics; he also sang ‘Herbz’ which was a massive ganja tune for us at Chopstick Dubplate.
Do you think Benny Page’s Dub Shotta label gets the props it deserves? It’s certainly been one of the hardest working labels of 2020 with a ton of great output.
King Yoof: Benny’s always represented good quality jungle music and the label has been building nicely.
Nightshift: 2020 was a testing time. Dub Shotta and Benny’s selection always delivers.
Is getting the right recognition for a label important to you both? Do you feel that the amount of graft required to run a label ever registers with people or is it something that’s not important to you? No doubt a lot of people just do it for the love of the music.
King Yoof: I’ve been signed to both independent and major record labels and it’s all about what both parties bring to the table, if you notice I only release on a few labels as most just can’t give me what I want as an artist.
If a label doesn’t want to put the time and money into you, it shows they don’t have the faith. Anyone can just put out a digital release but it’s the relationship you have together that pushes everything forward. Paying for videos, good artwork, promotion, paying advances etc. It all adds up.
Nightshift: As an artist I have to say how important it is to be on the right label, have someone back you and your ideas, see the potential and commitment for the present and the future. Keeping everything afloat the whole time, but someones gotta do it!
I am sure over the next few years that will change as you see who makes music for the love and for the money!
Talking of support, is the upfront jungle scene as well supported now compared to when the sound was new and fresh? Is the assumed lack of support down to how flooded the market is or simply because so many genres exist now?
King Yoof: Yeah I think it still gets the support, I see a lot of drum and bass artists making reggae/ragga based jungle to get on the radio and jump on the wave when a more commercial act like Chase & Status or Shy FX bring out that style of jungle.
If we wheel it right back, many pirate radio stations would happily support our music. Granted we now get the odd crossover from some reputable and some questionable artists however, lots of good quality jungle could well be suitable for both underground raves and the likes of BBC 1Xtra airplay yet it never seems to happen. Why do you think this is?
King Yoof: The BBC runs off playlists and the question is why doesn’t a whole load of talented people get airplay from any musical scene let alone jungle? That you would have to ask them.
As for it getting more support in the raves a few things I noticed from my own experience is a lot of the time I get told “This ain’t what the kids are into” or “Nah that ragge nonsense brings trouble”. The other factor is a lot of DJs are too scared to step out of their comfort zone and end up playing what everyone else is playing. This can also work in my favour as I’ve played the same raves and played my style and got the bigger reaction.
I’d like to see more unity between drum and bass and jungle, like how it used to be, as it would make the events more interesting and less one dimensional.
Nightshift: Personally I feel that jungle could be represented a bit more on the BBC and other national stations, there isn’t a national DJ or station repping our sound.
With the influx of music I guess it must be harder to represent everyone, I think DJs who have access to all this music should definitely show more support to the consistent labels that exist! A lot of them do but a bit more wouldn’t hurt you know.
Chopstick Dubplate is no doubt an international label, that must mean you have fans all over the world right? Is their one country outside of the UK that really provides you all with a ton of love? Any cities you want to big up?
King Yoof: Chopstick Dubplate has a sound that appeals to a very wide market, mainly because of the reggae and ragga influence in our jungle. We run the crew like a reggae sound system. Because of that we are able to play at not only jungle and drum and bass raves but soundsystem events, reggae clubs and huge festival stages.
Being an international label must mean you have a ton of unreleased tracks sent on a regular? How’s the up and coming producer scene right now in your opinion?
King Yoof: At Chopstick we only release our own material as a crew, however, we have been hooking up with various producers on collaborations. I do get sent a lot of music from new artists and it seems healthy right now.
What I would like to see more of are jungle vocalists as everyone just wants to do the jump up double time thing which is ok but I wanna hear a new Ragga Twins or a new Singing Fats, so far I’ve only seen Natty Campbell really come through and make an impact.
Flip the script to well known producers, can you both give us your top track of 2020 from another label? What tune really hit the spot last year? What made this stand out from the crowd?
King Yoof: I liked that tune Voltage did with Demolition Man “Life of a DJ”.
Nightshift: Clipz ‘Again’.
People often talk about the negative side of 2020 however, can you think of something other than studio time that stood out for you both in respect of making the best of an awful situation?
King Yoof: I produced the Dub Pistols latest album that made it into the top 20 international charts which was a mixture of reggae and jungle. I also bought a boat to live on.
Nightshift: I produced some up and coming pop, rap acts, some of the music was played nationally. I also set up my home studio / DJ area, and got myself ready to turn that into a full time business recording.
And on the same tip, for anyone struggling right now in 2021 to make sense of how to move forward – Any words of advice?
King Yoof: “Life is like walking. At any time in your life you have the power to turn forward.”
There are two ways to walk, by applying the gift of choice we choose to walk forwards or we can choose to walk backwards. Because we choose knowingly with every step we take forwards or backwards we are accountable, because we are accountable there are consequences. Consequences however are not chosen as they may be delayed but by and by they will come. Forward walking choices are rewarded with consequences that light the way to peace,happiness,joy,comfort,knowledge and wisdom. Backward walking choices bring the consequences of misery,despair, lies and darkness. At the end of our lives and our body passes into the next realm we will know whether we are being of light or a being of darkness.
Nightshift: 2020 has shown what is really important and how to appreciate what we have already because most people take small things for granted, me being one of those I really appreciated the simple things and that’s a great start to move forward.
As things hopefully move towards a brighter future, what’s on your minds for summer 2021 and beyond?
King Yoof: Float about on my boat, make more beats and drink rum like a pirate.
Nightshift: More adventures in general, working towards an album, DJ sets, actually playing my music to a live audience.
Release wise, what should we expect to hear coming into Spring from you both? Any more banging vocal collaborations? Any remixes of classic jungle tunes? Maybe something totally different?
King Yoof: We have our next collaboration release on Dubshotta feat Natty Campbell, Chopstick Dubplate valentines release out this February, finishing my album for Biological Beats and putting the finishing touches to next Dub Pistols album.
Nightshift: I also have my single with the informas Jackson which features jungle breaks, killa subs and trumpets!
Any big ups?
Jacky Murda, Natty Campbell, Benny Page, Barry Ashworth, Demolition Man, Brockie, Fatman D, Nicky Blackmarket, Uncle Dugs, Andreea, Sigma, Cliques, Modulizer, Foxy, Pyro Radio, Drum and Bass Bible, Phil and Mo Specimen A, Froe Tms, Pavan 4rn Currency.
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