TiD&B Interview & Mix: PreshaPosted by Lady V on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
As an influential member of the D&B scene in New Zealand, pushing the genre forward not only as a DJ, but also as a promoter and as label boss of Samurai Music, we were very excited to catch up with DJ Presha. Â He explained more about running his label, updated us onÂ some of his favourite NZ artists of the momentÂ and also confirmed plans that he will be visiting the UK and Europe in March…
TiD&B: You have played an instrumental part in developing the D&B sound and culture in New Zealand, but for those who may not be familiar with your work, can you tell us more?
Presha: I’ve been involved in the D&B scene here in New Zealand since 1996. I started out putting on parties, most notably the first weekly D&B regular called ‘The Breaks’ which went very well. I went on to work on tours for most of the big name D&B DJs out from England for the last 15 years, firstly as part of a company called Subtronix but more recently under the Samurai Music banner. I have obviously DJ’d the whole time, and also used to run a label called Subtronix Recordings. I have also distributed most of the D&B that’s come into NZ for the last 15 years and more recently even owned a store!
TiD&B: With so many achievements in D&B under your belt – have you ever been interested to dabble into producing too?
Presha: I’ve just not had the time. I have always had a working set up but with all the roles I have, I’ve never sat down and put the producer’s hat on for long enough. I did dabble in production, working with some people but nothing ever really of major note. I’d say I hope to change that soon but that may just jinx it!
TiD&B: What is the D&B scene in New Zealand like – is it specifically different to other D&B hubs across the world?
Presha:Â Like everywhere, it has its ups and downs, but we have had some very amazing years here though, that’s for sure. The fans are very passionate and know their tunes, but from my experience they seem to be more receptive to brand new music when someone with an English accent plays it than a local. Â We definitely have a healthy scene that belies our small population in terms of attendance and fanbase per capita and we have bred a lot of great producers!
TiD&B: Samurai Music definitely has a strong identity in terms of image, presence and choice of releases, can you explain more about your musical ethos behind the label?
Presha: It’s basically what I like musically, that’s the main criteria – but it’s more and more of a challenge to stay on top and relevant in these fast moving times, and I love it! For me, labels like 31 Records and Metalheadz in the mid to late 90′s, the way they presented and molded the sound then, that’s what I look up to and aspire to, and my goal is to be involved in the sculpting of this music in one way or another. My passion for it is as strong as ever.
TiD&B: You’ve promoted and brought to our attention artists such as The Upbeats, Trei and more recently Tokyo Prose, highlighting a wealth of talent coming from New Zealand, who else should we be listening out for?
Presha:Â I think Dose is the next Kiwi to really make a mark, and obviously Cern has just released his debut album and it’s very deep, personal and musically mature work. Â I think Menace is a great talent and I hope to hear more from him. Â As far as ultra new talent, I haven’t heard much beyond Tokyo Prose at this point but I’m obviously keen to hear more, as always.
TiD&B: You’ve said before that ‘a good tune is a good tune’, but what do you look out for when selecting releases?Â Do you have any tips for budding producers who’d want to get your attention?
Presha: Be themselves! I sometimes miss tunes to be honest as there are so many good ones floating around. I’d say send them to Nymfo and get him to tell me they’re good, that usually works!….Honestly though, just be yourself, create an original sound, of course incorporate influences from current stuff you love but make it your own, and let your music talk for you.
TiD&B: Which track is an essential in your record box at the moment?
Presha: Do I have to pick one? Ha ha!Â I’d chooseÂ Dose ‘Reason Being’…it’s one of those tunes you can always rely on to reset the vibe.
TiD&B: Although having DJ’d D&B for over 15 years, is there an artist that you really admire and have looked up to?
Presha:Â I’m lucky to say that the ones I do look up to are my friends;Â Calibre, Klute, Marcus Intalex, dBridge, and of course my favourite DJ, the guy that I always watch in amazement; Doc Scott. I only wish he would make more tunes!
TiD&B: We’ve heard you’re coming to Europe in the next couple of months – can you tell us more?
Presha:Â I’m over on an extended holiday to put a bit of extra work into the label and play out as much as possible. I was over for Sun And Bass in September and went around Europe for a bit and just felt I needed to come and spend some time there…I’m available for bookings from March onwards, all across Europe! Hint Hint!
TiD&B: Finally, why Drum & Bass?Â What is it about the music which has kept you hooked since you first heard it?
Presha:Â I’m not sure I know the answer to that. I remember hearing Terminator and early Source Direct & Photek records and it was like a bell rang in my head. I’ve never for a minute fallen out of love with D&B. Â I’ve always wondered what keeps the passion for it so strong but it’s too hard to explain; it just completes me. It’s a part of what I am and always will be.
Check out DJ Presha’s exclusive mix for TiD&B; 1 hour of deep, deep dubs!