Μία συζήτηση με τον κορυφαίο μουσικό του label “Chinese Man Records”
Τον λένε Adrien, και γεννήθηκε στη Γαλλία από οικογένεια που έχει τις ρίζες της σε Γαλλία, Ισπανία και Βρετανία. Οι περιπέτειες του ξεκίνησαν το 2004, όταν εμφανίστηκε στη σκηνή της Jungle και της dru&bass με τους Cool & Deadly. Δύο χρόνια αργότερα συμμετέχει στο project Liquid Wicked μαζί με τους Von D και Ben Masala. το 2011 ηχογραφούν με τους Chinese Man το κομμάτι Miss Chang. Αυτό που ακολουθεί είναι μια επική περιοδεία με πάνω από 120 συναυλίες και φεστιβάλ σε όλη τη Γαλλία, Αμερική, Ευρώπη, Aσία. Μόλις ένα χρόνο αργότερα συμμετέχει στην επετειακή περιοδεία των 10 χρόνων της Chinese Man Records και συνεργάζεται με τον Johnny Osbourne και τον YT στο κομμάτι Independent Music, που κυκλοφορεί στο The Groove Sessions Vol.3 της εταιρείας. Το 2016, κυκλοφορεί ένα νέο άλμπουμ με τίτλο Cool & Deadly λαμβάνοντας τεράστια διεθνή ανταπόκριση, ενώ 4 χρόνια αργότερα κυκλοφορεί το τελευταίο του πλήρες άλμπουμ με τίτλο "Special Request", με συμμετοχές καταξιωμένων μουσικών όπως τον Τζαμαϊκανό Davojah. Το 2022, δουλεύει πάνω σε μερικά νέα τραγούδια για το νέο άλμπουμ του σπουδαίου Τούρκου παραγωγού Samity με έδρα τη Βουλγαρία, και περιοδεύει σε διεθνείς συναυλίες μαζί του. Ο Taiwan MC είναι ένας ευγενικός και πολύ άνετος τύπος, που μας έδωσε την παρακάτω συνέντευξη μετά το μεγάλο λαιβ του στη συμπρωτεύουσα, και μία μέρα πριν της συναυλία του στην Αθήνα.
Φυσικά, η μεγαλύτερη μας απορία και η ερώτηση που ξεκινήσαμε δεν θα μπορούσε να είναι άλλη από το, πώς πήρε το όνομα αυτό - μιας και αναμέναμε πώς κάπως έτσι θα ήταν η ιστορία - και βέβαια, πώς προέκυψε η συνεργασία με Chinese Man..
« I used to smoke all day that weed called "Thai Stick" and basically all I wanted at that time was to be the number one deejay ! So I came up with the artist name Thai One MC and variations like T Eye One, Sticky Tai One, Ranking Tai One (in reference to Ranking Toyan, one of my favorite singers) then the name quickly shifted into Taiwan MC !» ... « I worked later with a great brazilian DJ from Paris called Jonathan Chaoul aka Tchiky Al Dente, he introduced me to the label Chinese Man Records in 2010...Give Thanks for the connection! »
Creativity can stem from various factors. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from ancient & new music discovered on vinyl or on the internet, sometimes very randomly, old movies, interviews of jazz musicians, videos with mad scientists, sound engineers or beatmakers explaining how their machines work, the music I hear in partys and raves... and of course all the people I meet everyday...
What do you enjoy most about collaborating with other artists, and what are the criteria you set for someone to collaborate with you?
No criteria, I go with the flow...I love the contrast between the voices, the different ideas that come up in a collab are inspiring, the random or unexpected genius strokes when minds collide in a music studio...
Sound-wise, your music remains distinctive and has formed an outstanding identity for you. Would you try to experiment in another style in the future or have you found exactly what you want to play?
I try to enjoy myself when I write music and have fun with all kind of styles, I have also explored different ways of singing or producing with my releases, allways linked to reggae, but sometimes in directions like hip-hop, dancehall, latin music, dub, dubstep, bass music, electro etc I like to mix genres as well, especially if they not supposed to work together ! Fusion...
What do you think makes hip hop so flexible that it can be combined with other types of music, as a result of which disparate sounds seem to belong "under the same genre"?
I believe Hip-Hop from its origin was a heavily sample-based music, and very inspired by Jazz, and Reggae, amongst many...that are allready extremely "multiple" styles..
MC's like to chat on different tempos, rythms or beats ! These elements have made Hip Hop one of the most popular styles nowadays incorporating many different sounds and still growing, on a global scale from underground to mainstream, and Hip-Hop still stays exciting and relevant along the years!
If you had to choose five records from the last 20 years, which would they be?
I would start by picking older records 😁
I mostly listen to 60's to 90's music !
But if we talking about records from the year 2000 until now, I would say, in no particular order :
Roots Manuva - Run Come Save Me
Shy Fx - Diary Of A Digital Soundboy
The Streets - Original Pirate Material
Moodyman - Black Mahogany
Ty - Upwards ... - But if did this list tomorrow maybe it could be different answers 🤣
You have released several albums and you continue to work on new releases. In what ways do you think your new releases are different - or even better - than the previous ones?
I dont know actually if my new releases are better than the previous...I will let the public to decide... I would say my new records are probably technically more advanced, with louder mixes or masters ...but I still like my first EP "Heavy This Year" very much, I still think its one of our best works, even if its maybe not the most listened to at the moment !
Would you like to explain to us how do you end up choosing the covers of your albums that are equally characteristic?
Its all the genius of Julien Loïs the artist who designed them... I usually give him a few indications at the beginning, the general idea being Limonious style with many funny details for stoners (like me) who like trippy vinyl covers... he draws everything, even the lettering, by hand, no ready made fonts, I sent him the cover of the LP Uprising by Bob Marley, that I really like, I sent him as well some french and british old school cartoons and pictures, also the famous Scientist LP artworks and thats pretty much it ! He then decides of each different cover concept and takes it 100% from there ! I am allways very happy with the end result...killer style !
What were the biggest challenges you faced in your musical journey? Do you have an interesting story that you would like to share with us?
Hey, I was allways lucky to meet the right people at the right time so I guess I didnt have so much of a challenging career...so far... 😄 I would say one of the biggest challenges after actually getting the necessary recognition from your peers, from the public, and from the media...is actually keeping the people entertained years after years...stay relevant in time ! Even when everyone is listening to Trap or Drill for example, and you are still into Roots Reggae...🤣 Thats the hardest one I guess !Tell us a strong memory from one of your concerts.
Every concert is unique in its way, some good some bad, some boring, some exceptionnal...some emotionnal, its all about the crowd interaction but there are so many elements that go into the equation ! I remember one very roooooots open air gig in the Rif mountains in Morocco years ago that was pretty remarquable ! Playing in Colombia, Mexico, Canada, China as well was a great feeling...but I am allways looking forward to the next show !Is there support and a dedicated audience that continuously follows you?
Yes and I am very grateful for that, even when I dont release music for a long while I realise that people are still listening to the tunes in my catalog, following me on social media, and asking me when the next track will drop... I've been lucky to play in many different places in the world, and it seems like people keep coming to the dance every time in greater numbers...so it's all good !
How do you imagine, or rather, what would you for your musical development in 10 years?
I hope I will still have the health & energy to keep going strong in 10 or 20 years time ! As I said earlier to stay fresh and not sound like a "reggae has been" could be a challenge when i will be 50 years old 🤣
Otherwise more seriously I would like to have my own recording studio in the mountains and produce, compose, play music all day...
What are your future plans? What should we expect from you ?
I have plans to keep touring, in France, Europe and a few worldwide gigs in the books...I hope to come back soon in Greece ! Its an absolute pleasure to be playing my music and travelling around the world ! I'm grateful for this lucky life, I will also release a new EP in 2023...Stay Tuned...
Συνέντευξη: Marilena Veneti, Ria Hellebore
Special Thx to: Adrien & Aggelos Papapetridis