It was an absolute pleasure to interview Mr Nugget. He answered all of my questions fully and with great enthusiasm – what a nice guy. Thank you very much Mr Nugget – I am delighted to publish the full interview here on my blog.
1. How old were you when you started DJing? Where was your 1st gig?
Truthfully, I was 11 years old. I used to sneak on my dads turntable/stereo system when he was at work doing the mid evening shift. I would get my sisters, to keep a look out for me in case he got home whilst I was in full swing, scratching on his 7″ inch reggae vinyl. My 1st gig was an under 16s hip hop rave in Birmingham. I practiced for weeks for that, and my hands shook continuously for 30 mins.
2. What was the first record you bought for yourself ?
Eric B and Rakim, Paid in Full, the album – I was and still am a massive hip-hop fan.
3. I see that you have been part of the hip hop/house/dnb/garage scenes – is dance music your main genre or do you have other tastes which would surprise your fans ?
To tell you the truth, I just love music as a whole. I find Jazz very therapeutic, Boney James and Jose James being ideal front-runners in that field for me. I also dig certain indie bands such as, red hot chilly peppers, kasabian and 80s pop, you gotta love a bit of Michael McDonald, Ultravox and Bill Withers.
4. You have worked with some heavyweights in the business, which 5 artists have inspired you the most ?
I would have to say all the people that have assisted me in my journey in creating and expressing myself as a lover of music. There are way too many to count as an inspiration, so to name 5 would be extremely difficult.
5. I see that you like travel – is there anywhere that you would love to visit, and why – also where is your perfect holiday destination?
I absolutely love travelling, and I have been very fortunate over the past 10 years to visit some wonderful countries and cities. As a keen fanatic of history and ancient artifacts, I would love to visit Egypt to see the pyramids, Tutankhamun, The Sphinx, The Temple of Luxor. My perfect holiday destination would be Necker Island, living the life of a king, soaking up sunshine rays, eating the best food, a barrage of soulful music bumping from my vacation home, laughing at the shite weather in the UK.
6. When did you start producing? Tell me something about your creative process. Where is your studio?
I have a home studio, and I also visit others dotted around the UK for engineering. I started producing about 6 years ago, I dabbled as a youngster, but I always got side tracked into doing something else. When I relocated to London and my dj gigs came more frequently, I felt music production was the way forward for me to progress as an artist. Creatively I take influence from producers who I can relate to such as Atjazz, Louie Vega, Josh Milan and a few others. I believe I am still growing in that aspect of my musical career, and there is definitely room for growth. You should never want to stop learning, that’s when you get ahead of yourself and slip up. I don’t churn out music for the sake of it, or for the love of adulation – I do it simply because I have a genuine passion for music and creativity, and whatever comes of it is simply a blessing. Sometimes it can take me while to get an idea off the ground, simply because I usually have a million and one ideas running through my head – that is why I have to dedicate time to do this, but when I do focus, and get myself into gear, the laws of attraction step into forward motion, and keep helping me create more goodness.
7. How did you get Pete Simpson on board for ‘Tell Me Something’ – were you acquaintances beforehand ?
I was in Asia at the time djing for MTV when I heard the Jon Cutler Ft Pete Simpson track ‘Running’ I remember asking the dj who this was. From that day I instantly became a fan. There is nothing better than hearing someone who can sing so effortlessly, and Pete’s voice just oozes soul in abundance. I was looking for a vocalist for my instrumental and I asked Natasha Watts (with whom I previously produced 2 tracks for) if she could hook up an introduction, as she had previously recorded with him. I sent Pete the track, and within a few days he had recorded and written the song himself, a true professional.
8. If you had to choose between production, DJing and MCing, which one would you choose ?
Oooooo!! That’s a tricky one. Honestly, I started off as a bedroom hip hop dj, and I love every aspect of turning up and rocking a crowd behind turntables. There is also the satisfaction of hearing one of your productions on the radio or being played in a club and people dancing to it, or leaving great reviews – that is also a buzz. As for mcing, I discovered that from the reggae sound system days and mcing for garage crews back in my youth. Getting thousands of people to sing along with you is the ultimate high, and that is something I have experienced. It’s a hard one, but I would probably say Djing, playing my own records and mcing over the top of them, all at the same time lol
9. I have asked about which artists have inspired you, what else inspires you to make music ?
I would say I am a leader and not a follower; no one really inspires me to make music, that was just a general progression for me. As inspiration for artists go, I would say Dwele, Kerri Chandler, Tony Momrelle, Julie Mcknight, Amel Laurrieux, Nas, Atjazz, Dj spen, Kenny Dope, Sean Mccabe, Al Green, Robert Glasper, Common, J Dilla, Jah Cure, James Brown, D’Angelo plus many more for their commitment to making music with rhythm and soul.
10. You collect art and sneakers I see. Tell me about your collections.
Yes I do, I have 12 prints and 2 paintings from street artists such as K Guy, and Goldie. As for my sneakers, I had over 60 pairs of Adidas and Nike, but one day I realized I hardly ever wore any of them, probably about 4-5 on a regular basis, so I ebayed most of them and bought some bad boys I really like and actually wear, and the rest I gave to a cancer research charity.
11. I think that most of your tracks have a real classic house feel but with a very soulful edge. I love the soulful samba feel of Free – that has me doing a wiggle from the start. Tell me about your tracks, which one are you most proud of?
I am glad you like to wiggle, wiggling is good and thank you for your appreciation for my debut track, you’re welcome. I was pretty proud of Free, as it was my 1st ever solo production, and everything kind of fell into place. The keyboard player was on point, as was the guitarist – plus as a then 17 year old, Brooke Bailey done a splendid job writing and singing her socks off. It got me noticed, and it featured in in many underground djs top ten hit list in 2009.
12. Are you a good dancer ? Or more of a foot tapping head bobber ?
I would like to think that I am a decent dancer, with a tendency to bob my head if the spirit lifts me. I cannot over exert myself, I have to retain my energy for my productions.
13. Is there something you can tell me that would really surprise your fans ? Are you an expert flower arranger or a secret trainspotter ?
I am really an alien.
14. You seem to have a very refreshing approach to life, taking on challenges and succeeding and always looking forward with new ideas. What is next for Mr Nugget ? Where will your music career take you next ?
Yes, I do believe life is for living, accepting change, allowing oneself to grow, aiming and achieving. Most people go throughout life not realizing what their purpose or passion is. To have no aspirations, goals or dreams, just living day to day to me is possibly the scariest thing I could imagine. I strive for challenges, and continually push myself,.What’s next for me, who knows – I will just continue to do the best I can, keep aiming for my long term ambition, which is to be fully self sufficient, and able to live my life to fullest doing all the things I love to do.
15. Do you have any words of wisdom to end your interview. stories/experiences that have stayed with you for life ?
Words Of Wisdom:
Always believe in yourself, as no one else will
You will not know, unless you try
Fortune favours the brave
You have to invest time and money in achieving your dreams
Having big muscles does not make you strong, mental strength is key in this world
A lot of kids are sucked into this get rich quick way of thinking, and they miss the point in harvesting their creativity and passion to see a fruitful outcome. Hard work, dedication and perseverance always pays. Even if it is not of monetary gain, the experiences will last with you for a lifetime – and you cannot put a price on that.