Mr Lingo Interview
Bone and Delbwoy took time out of their busy schedule knitting together the fabric of society to catch up with the man behind the new UKHH.com mix CD, Mr Lingo. Mr Lingo is the founding father of the Funk from the Trunk crew who have been shredding dancefloors across the UK.
Five years on from setting up the infamous brand, Lingo & FFTT have not looked back, finally arriving here at UKHH towers to produce the wonderful “Cache Well Spent” CD. The FFTT collective has since showcased some of the world’s finest funk acts such as The Bamboos & The Haggis Horns, and Lingo has supported artists including Fat Freddys Drop, Breakestra, Ugly Duckling, Questlove and The Nextmen
First up, for anyone not in the know, fill us in on who Mr Lingo is?
Yes yes. I’m Mr Lingo, longtime DJ, founder and creator of the Funk From The Trunk empire and former writer/reviewer/serial blagger for ukhh.com. I’m also in the top 20 all time posters on the site!! BIG!
How you came to be involved with UKHH.com?
I got involved with the site in something like 2002, when I was living in London. It was mostly just on the forums at first, but then helping out with writing articles, interviews and reviews, getting involved in the scene and scoring major blags. That sort of thing. If you think back to how big some of the Kung Fu and other nights were back then there was a lot going on….. I also got involved with promoting the now infamous ukhh Festivus and the less-so ‘Ya Don’t Stop’ Nights, before setting up the FFTT nights in London in about 2005
So how come you started out in hip-hop but ended up making a name in funk? Surely it should be the other way around?
Yeah I guess so! I got into hip-hop in about ’94, so came in right when there was loads of golden age stuff to listen to and still some cracking stuff to come. I was big into Lords Of The Underground, Tribe, Snoop, Naughty By Nature, Kool G Rap, Biggie and Wu obviously, that’s when I started getting into funk and breaks more and more as I got older.
So where did the DJing kick off? Were you bitten by the bug listening to the mixtapes of Ca$h Money, Jazzy Jeff, Funkmaster Flex & that lot?
Kind of… initially DJing wise I started mixing at my mates house as he had decks. It was more something cool to do on a Saturday afternoon but I never really though of it as something to pursue. Then when I went to university I guess I must have given it some proper thought as the DJs in the bars i was working in were rubbish. I thought, I can defo do better than them, play better tunes and make money! So i finally shelled out for my own decks and records and started buying loads of hip-hop and its all snowballed from there really. I’d like to know how many records I own and exactly how much of my student and graduate loans I spent on them, but its probably for the best I don’t!
Yeah that figures! So obviously there is a hip-hop influence in there, but what you actually play now?
Its not all strictly funk… like the mix there is a big hip-hop influence but its all kind of fun and funky… actually ‘funky’ is a prefix I hate and try to keep away from using in general. It’s so overused by so many different genres!! I would describe my style as fun & party rocking, with smooth blends and ultimately its dance floor friendly. I want people to have as much fun as I’m having really, so you can expect to hear funk, beats, breaks, hip-hop, soulful classics, reggae and electro through to more uptempo ghetto style booty and Miami bass.
We’ve made our name as the unofficial “2nd Room Party Kings” of Bristol due to all the residencies we’ve had where the headliner has been out-done by us in terms of the crowd!
When I first met you, you were putting on nights in London with fellow FFTTers and forum dwellers DJ DissCuss and Dr Karl Groover, then you moved to another town known for it’s own sound, Bristol. Has that made a difference to what you do and was that not a backward step?
No, definitely not. Bristol has been such a good move for me and the FFTT brand because when I left FFTT was well set in London, with residencies and a regular FFTT night in Shoreditch for the others to keep going, but in real terms London was a bit too big to get noticed. There is so much competition in terms of other nights and promoters spending serious money, so I fancied a change of scenery and Bristol was right place and right time. It diversified what we did and got us involved with festivals too.
So how does Bristol compare to other cities?
Pretty well to London, as its such a musically diverse city. The music scene is seriously as big as London but as its in a smaller city where everyone knows each other. Straight away I was involved in the scene with FFTT as no-one really catered for the party funk/hip-hop side of things so it meant there was a plenty of opportunities to get involved with all the big nights here and make a name for myself. Nights like Hospitality, Shit The Bed, & Shoestring cover a broad range of music and get all kinds of big acts down here, as well as that personally I’ve supported and booked people like Fat Freddy’s Drop, Ugly Duckling, The Nextmen, ?uestlove, DJ Vadim and Breakestra. We’ve made our name as the unofficial “2nd Room Party Kings” of Bristol due to all the residencies we’ve had where the headliner has been out-done by us in terms of the crowd! A couple of times we’ve had our room close early due to the headliners chucking their toys out of the pram!
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