Introducing the first edition in our ‘BNTL Presents’ series where we spend time capturing the natural activities of interesting figures in the creative sphere that we inhabit. Allowing them to tell their own stories, in their own words.
Our inaugural subject for the series is Shy One (DVA).
“I used to be called DJ Malicious before I made beats. back then tunes would spread fast by bluetooth. So when I started making beats I didn’t want anyone in the ends to know it was me. I didn’t want it to be judged on gender or because they knew me. I weren’t trying to show my face so I quickly just thought of the name Shy One. I sampled a Teedra Moses tune which ended up getting out to West and the name stuck after that.”
“My first release ‘Decaffeinated Love EP’.. was just beat making; all from the heart. I didn’t know anything. I didnt EQ anything, I didnt compress etc anything. WAV samples dashed in Fruity. A bit of reverb and that, but I didn’t even know what those things really were back then…”
“I used to play the guitar in School. Then Grime came and I was on the beats. But college I was exploring and listening to Bloc Party, Nervana, Temple Stone Pilots, Lightspeed Champion.. Whilst I was making Grime. When I was banging out Bloc Party that was when I made my first EP. I find Grime and Rock are very similar. They can both be passionate, agressive and raw..”
“For Big Dada’s Grime 2.0 comp I made a tune called 927 – Freeze FM (92.7fm) that’s my tribute to them. Freeze was my station. It was around the corner. I actually felt ecstatic knowing that Roll Deep, and some my favourite MC’s were down the road; we can hot it up now it’s not there anymore *laughs*. Freeze was epic. It brought The best MCs from this scene we were obsessed with to our doorstep. No one great was from Harrow. But they came here at least *laughs*. Bashy’s birthday set from 04, i’ve still got that on tape. Everyone came down for that. I think u had east connection, musical mobb, roll deep, special delivery.. Freeze was the one, we could claim, Harrow felt included. And it was amazing. I remember thinking ‘oh my gosh. Wiley and them lot are like half a mile away from me’ and staying awake waitimg til the tape hit 45 minutes so I could turn it over, putting my headphones in the stereo so I could go to bed; coz I got school. But i’d be in the playground with my walkman next day like yeahhh”
“Friday night was chinese takeaway, ginger beer and sitting down making beats when I was 14. That was the ting. Coz I lived too far and I was too young to go West and stay out late with the mandem. I was in an old grime crew and we were called ‘Kurupt Minded’ *laughs*, and then ‘Conflict Connections’ (I didn’t have a say in any of those names). But yeah it was long, my Mum wasn’t really down with this whole getting the night bus and being out with the mandem all hours. So I had to keep my backside in South Harrow.”
“You do a whole days work.. 9-5. And you come home and wanna sit in front of logic and make a beat. Nah, can’t do that, energy’s been drained. But, I find that once i’m up in the day, for instance when i was at work, i’ll take my laptop with me, and snatch like 50 mins of my hour lunch break and half hour tea break, and work on a beat. I could spend that time working on one ‘kick’, but feel like ‘ah, I’ve done something today’. That’s not enough though. Thats why I’ve had to quit my job and just do this. I can’t die with unlived life in my vains, and unheard tunes on my hard drive..”
” i’ll start the radio show with something slow. I like to build up the pace. I usually end at 140 bpm. Thats when i’ll get some Grime out. If you go through most of the podcasts It would starting with an old tune.. Like an old lil Kim tune or reggae tune… It’s very indulgent. I play for me. Pretty much just play stuff that I love and really need other people to hear. I just want other people to feel how this music makes me feel..”
“I love soundcloud because it’s where you find producers/beat makers like myself. They don’t make money off music, it’s not there bread and butter. They work a job they probably hate or they’re studying or some shit and music is their release. It’s there solitude. There’s that rawness. There’s no formula.. you know? It’s like crate digging, but digitally. A little reminiscent of going uptown/blackmarket and listening to white labels back in the day”
Photo’s by Tom Spellman