DJ SS interview
With over 10 years in the business and a record label under his belt, DJ SS is undoubtedly one of the most sought after Drum & Bass DJ's in the world. A strong crowd gathered at the Drum Club to witness the man's musical onslaught with the lyrical fire support of MC Warren G, after the dust settled, I caught up with him.
One of the founders of Formation Records, SS who's real name is Leeroy Small, did not imagine how well it would take hold, but the Drum & Bass world received it with open arms and he has never looked back.
"It's good to be part of a major industry really. it's good to say we were there from day one, 'nah mean, and we've been representin' labels, were going a good ten years strong now. It's a good feeling when you go to different parts of the world and they play records that are ten years old, and from my label, and I think yeah man, I've achieved something, d'know wha'm sayin', It's been my ambition with this label and I never expected it to go way this far. The future looks bright, with quite a few album projects coming out."
But this stuff is not just for the dance floor, we need somethin' to kick back and chill with on Sunday mornings, so a label must branch out to cover the smooth stuff too, right?
"Definitely, we've always been there. I'm into Drum & Bass as a whole, nah mean, we don't just cater for one style because Drum & Bass isn't just one style. That's why we do the Jazz & Bass projects, it's a Jazzy vibe, for the more, I'd say advanced raver, y'know, that can appreciate the music side of things. We got the New I.D. (New Identity) label - deep and dark and jazzy, we got the Formation (label) to cover the dance floor, we're coverin' it all, definitely."
This guy knows his ABC's believe me, but when asked about how he and Warren first hooked up, his professional composure was replaced by a relaxed and reminiscent expression, with a grin from ear to ear:
"It starts from like, kids, nah mean, we used to go robbin' together, it's that deep (laughs) know wa'm sayin', way back in the day, from school'n'that, so, yeah man it's been way before the Drum & Bass scene."
SS is the shortened version of Scratch 'n' Stein which is his DJ alias from his Hip Hop days. Warren, also a veteran of more than 15 years in the underground scene, has been an MC in almost every sect, Is this the scene where they discovered a partnership?
"He (Warren G) was more on the Reggae side of things and I was on the Hip Hop side of things, he went his way, I went my way, and later on we just linked back together again, but my original influence is definitely soul / hip hop really, I could say hip hop is probably my first love, definitely."
And finally, the mandatory question, how did you find the crowd tonight?
"Wicked, always wicked when we come to Perth, always man, love it every time, people appreciate what we're trying to do, you know, they come out in their numbers and represent. From when we first came here way back in '94 / '95 to now, it shows that it's been worth while, nah mean, people have been taking notice of what we're doing, appreciate what we do, you can tell by the numbers that were in there tonight. It's all good man, definitely."
Look out for the Remixed Collection Album and SS's own Solo album out soon on Formation, I'm out of here, Peace.
Sat 19 Feb, 2000