Jake thanks for taking the time. You good? What’s been filling your time in (hopefully) the final lockdown?
Jheeeeeeeeze Lockdown and COVID have been beyond testing and something no one was ever ready for. Given my passion for live events and immersive environments within Music & Arts, it has been very hard to operate on any normal spectrum throughout this period and I have suffered severely with aims, focus, lifestyle and mental health, like most for the last year plus. Saying that I did find focus within creating Musicology Media Channel and adapted to the times by bringing about a platform to which people can still connect, inspire and network without the social aspects of Live Music Events being forefront to our lives.
COVID19 caused the manifestation of Musicology Media Channel as an online digital platform for artists to express themselves and has now grown to be a formidable force for inspiring unknown artists back to back with known artists from all across the UK, Local Legends to Label Bosses, Musicology is out to inspire and connect.
Tell us a bit about how Musicology got started…
Musicology started at The Old Red Bus Station in Leeds in their first year of opening (4 years ago) and quickly branched off across the city taking on a staunch attitude towards programming of all genres always using Arts and Grassroots venues, supporting the local scene through financially viable means, as well as bringing in local supports on all shows to capitalize on the wealth of talent that often gets obstructed by other major collectives in the lime light, leaning on headliners and monetary ventures as their sole aim.
If you have a passion for something and put in the time, effort and love, then you will start a scene with a vibe which money can’t always buy. Over the last 4 years we have worked across the city of Leeds in many venues including Old Red Bus Station, Hyde park book Club, Blueberry Hill Studios, Studio24, Temple of Boom, Beaver Works, Freedom Mills & more…….
Working with artists such as (in no specific order) Loefah, Sumgii, Foreign Beggars, Trellion, Lee Scott, Jazz T, Dr Zygote, CLBRKS, Lord Apex, Onoe Caponoe, L ZEE ROSELLI, YNG FINESSE, Chunky, ETCH, BIOME, Eva Bee, TrueMendous, Pertrelli, The NorthaZe, Lex Amor, Verbz & Mr Slipz, Vitamin G, Harvs, Kemastry, Wundrop, CMPND, Necktr, Lausse The Cat, Izzi De Rosa, The Young Wizard, MAGUGU, Stagga, Dialect, LUSO, Datkid, Jack Danz, Joe Snow, Prys, 1Jack, Ghost Town, Jack Jetson, Sangria Kong, Selrok, KAO, Cactus Corino, J BRAVO, Renee Stormz, TEKS, Donimitsu, EDDY, Daddy Abe, PhenicianGOLD & Many More
Nationally and internationally, Leeds’ music scene has a reputation for being ravey. Most notably for the SubDub sphere of sounds from Dub to Jungle that spawned Outlook Festival. Does hip hop get a bit eclipsed locally?
I want to give a huge shout out to the people that run those events from Leeds, people I look up to with the upmost love and respest; Simon Scott, Noah Ball, James Rice, Andy Lemay, Joe Finwa, Mark Iration, Jack Vagabondz, Huw Williams ‘and all the squad!
Musicology represents all genres and sounds. Musicology Media Channel had a focus on Hip Hop artists from the get-go, although we will be doing a few months with more focus on certain labels, genres and genders in the near future. Ultimately we want a healthy scene for everyone, but in regards to the local hip hop scene, Leeds has always been bubbling as a city, with artists like Skinnyman, Braintax, Jehst & Tommy Evans, as well as many other legendary UK hip hop artists originating from Leeds, such as……
Defenders of Style, Alphabetix, Tha Office, Stay Focus, Yorkshire Terrierz, No Change, 9 Livez, Chief Wigs, D Double Dagger, D BIZZY, Fresh jive, Tony Green, DJM, Versatile, Dj Agent M, Dj Nik Nak, Dialect, Krawler, Daddy Abe, Luso, 1Jack, Jack Jetson, Sangria Kong, Selrok, Donimitsu, EDDY, Daddy Abe, Bud Rat Records, Skip Class Records, Illernature & White Brick Distribution the illest label about to bring the noise, straight out of Leeds……..
Sounds within genres come and go and trends allow for energy in certain aspects of the music, but essentially if you want a healthy scene then you have to put in work wherever you reside and pump energy into growing your scene with a try, succeed or fail approach.
Can you recommend us some artists from the city that hip hop heads should be switched on to?
Defenders of Style, Alphabetix, Tha Office, White Brick Distribution, Skip Class Records, Illernature Records, LUSO, 1JACK, Jack Jetson, Sangria Kong, Selrok, Matta, Lunar C, Jack Danz, Pertrelli, PhenicianGOLD, couchlocked, Obi Joe, Quade PoundSign, Seedie B, DJM, Dan Hills, KD, Kemetstry, SKORDOGG, The Scriptors, Chills & Precinct Phantom, Bud Rat Records, Dialect, Krawler, The Northaze, J Bravo, OLA P, Necktr, Space Dolphin, Lanky Sun, Tonia Victoria, WaxyVixen, D3 Creations, Rafe The Rustler, DJM, Dj Agent M, DJ Nik Nak, Stand Tall Ent, Heavy Crates, Hashfinger, EDDY, Malik, Paaris, Cai Horseman, Breaksmiths, EandL Band, Hurell, Haggis Horns, Bambooman, Mike Drones, Samurai Breaks, Rekah, Billy2Chips, Versatile, D Bizzy, Hops, Alamak, Teks and myself – BT3K (Beat Freak)
Once-upon-a-before-corona, Musicology was all about live events. Fair to say you’ve had the cream of the UK crop pass through. What was the maddest show to date?
Haha yeeeeeeeh, we’ve had some seriously dope artists pass through over the last 4 years. We will be holding some serious heaters for our 5th year anniversary next year, as well as a full term of events about to be announced September to December. Watch out for that next few weeks on the Facebook Musicology Events page.
When it comes to the maddest show to date… Personally, I’ll give to the Trellion event when a fight erupted between various people within the crowd. Not something that you ever want at any event. People being thrown onto the stage and getting punched up. But it was resolved quickly and the gig energy was truly heated after that incident which was resolved peacefully stage-side by myself and decent security.
I would like to add, regardless of how mad the gig may be, we all love energy and vibes but please, please do not be abusive to staff, graffiti premises or generally disrespect venues. This has been the downfall of so many incredible events from day dot. Deadbeat festival, one of the illest festivals I have ever been to for hip hop suffered from these repercussions sadly, as did Boom Bap festival as far as I’m aware, and many many other venues. Please show respect to promoters, staff, your fellow dancers and head nodders, the venues and surrounding areas.
Musicology’s latest incarnation as a platform for live bars came about during the pandemic. Not going to lie, Team UKHH took a bit of a fuck it attitude and put that shit on pause for a year. So props for making movements despite the fuckry. Was starting the bars missions something you were planning to do already and just pushed ahead with? Or did it come about to fill the void that live music had left?
In terms of bars… myself, Nick Devine, Dan Dowker & Sangria Kong have run Elements in Leeds for many years, this will be our 8th year. I think. Sorry, time flies. But essentially we hosted the illest hip hop from the US & UK throughout that time solely on Elements before I started Musicology we got that bars thing on lock ‘yo!!
We done covered KRS1, Mobb Deep, Nas, RA The Rugged Man, Big Daddy Kane, Ghostface Killah, Gza, Lord Finesse, People Under The Stairs, Souls of Mischief, Chali 2na, Open Mike Eagle, Jon Wayne, Chester P, Jehst, Micall Parknsun, Lee Scott, Trellion, Ramson Badbonez, Jam Baxter, Dead Players, Foreign Beggars just to scrape the surface of our coverage over the past 8 years…….
I originally started Musicology because Nick Devine wanted to focus solely on hip hop where-as I wanted to allow different artists and genres to grow through Musicology. So I happily started Musicology and continued both ventures, allowing for pushing Music forward in every direction, which is always and forever my drive in life…
With the Musicology Media Channel again I have put a lot of focus on Hip Hop MCs, but as I previously mentioned, there will be seasons of grime, I want to see many more female MCs on the channel for sure, really dipped on that one and feel we should be representing more female artists.
This is something I have put focus on a few times with programming and events. More female artists. Even doing an entirely female curated event the second year of Musicology at Temple of Boom with TrueMendous, Lex Amor, Renee Stormz & Eva Bee and an insane support roster to boot with Izzi De Rosa, Pheniciangold, B-ahwe, Lulia Togara, Tonia Victoria, Hanna Haley & T.MO hosted by the incredibly talented Talie The Poet. Such an incredible vibe from start to finish, everyone was really appreciative of the programming and many links were made between artists, which have flourished over time.
Some-how we’ve managed to get 20 artists deep with no female artists. Shocking to be honest… We do have 2 coming up and we will be doing a few months focus IE. 4 X Female B2B over a month, 3 months a year maybe, to try boost the female presence on the media channel, as well as another entirely female line-up 26th of November in Leeds.
The first video you shot was with rising talent and recent Blah signing CLBRKS. Was there anything that you were figuring out how to do on the fly?
I have worked with Conrad a few times and I put on his first Leeds premiere a few years back for the Trellion event with various other UK artists in Leeds at Blue Berry Hill Studios. We are doing a show in September in Leeds with CL. Cant reveal any-more on that yet. Seriously dope artist, really-nice lad, breezes profession with finesse and swag. True G! Enjoying watching CLBRKS finesse the scene for real!!
As far as working ‘on the fly’ these trips are always on the fly other than the initial artist liaison, groundwork and logistics from myself. We have worked in some kooky and truly shady locations as well as swish as snazz-Pads and always ‘on the fly’ Haha
This is what makes the whole formula something slightly unique I believe, as, as much as I love things like COLORS or Tiny Desk and all the artists on their channels, literally incredible do not get me wrong in any way shape form, I do feel there is something to be said for catching artists in unique locations with more raw authentic content.
I originally worked with NOCLONES and Vulgur Finesse with NOCLONES covering videography and digital snaps and Vulgur Finesse covering film snaps… Also one of the most talented photographers in the North of England Danny Flack – Flack Photography. Please go check out all of the above, they are truly talented individuals who are driven by hip hop culture and their own works aside.
I have a new team for Musicology Media Channel I now work with Alex Ferguson – Masika Visuals & Chris Kidd Crooked Multimedia and a couple of other dope whizz kids…. You know…. Dan Dowker has always done the branding for Musicology from day-dot. He is a good friend, sick DJ, amazing producer, illustrator, content creator & visual artist, check out his work!
Everyone plays their part in good consistency as well as bringing about healthy change. But we can operate ‘on the fly’ and capture the dopest artists wherever we go! Watch the ride! Team Effort! Big ups everyone involved!
Its def got a casual one take vibe, which is a feel that runs through the videos you’ve shot so far. Is getting things in raw form with minimal takes part of the ethos in general?
Yes, this is evident from the get-go and certainly the formula which you see up until the Oliver Sudden video. Straight cuts, grainy-footage and quick edits to raw exclusive bars.
After the Oliver Sudden video and for Ramson Badbonez, Donimitsu, Oliver Rees and a few others, we have adapted some editing techniques from some older footage we had which wasn’t going to add up without some colouration and glitching edits on the footage to bring continuity.
For a new channel, the calibre of artists you’ve already had drop bars is very high. Has that come about through links built from the history of live events?
Yes certainly. I have been building links in the music scene for the last 15 years or more. We have a host of live shows ready to put out for September to December 2021. Very excited to announce those, they’ll be going out as a full season of events in June.
Check Out Musicology Official on facebook for all Musicology events coming up!
Looks like you’ve been playing quite a successful game of High Focus bingo. (To date Badbonez, Datkid and all of CMPND). Is there more in the works with the label roster?
Yes, we have various artists from the High Focus roster on the channel already and more already filmed. Not dropping any names, sorry, but that’s the credibility of watching the channel each week to see who drops… Big ups High Focus records every time!
What’s a personal favourite bar (or favourites) that MCs have dropped in a Musicology vid?
Aaaaaah man, that is just way to hard to put down to one singular bar. No chance.
The whole experience of inspiring and connecting with MCs along the way and seeing reactions, how people work, how people are in person, how they snap into character on camera, or simply merk it as they are. There is a true art form from all involved and capturing that is the essence of the Musicology Media Channel. Pure Heat from all directions if you ask me…
Who can we expect to see appearing on the channel soon?
We have artists from White Brick Distribution, High Focus, Blah records, Yogocop, Rushed Rat Records, Brain Scran Records, Defenders of Style, Split Prophets, Green Brick Records and many many more trust me!
Big ups everyone representing! The channel feeds off MCs and energy and ya’ll killing it!!
Who’s on your shortlist of artists that you’d most like to get in front of the cam? Realistic and completely impossible.
Realistic or vaguely Possible… Magugu, Mysdiggi, Verb T, Leaf Dog, BVA, Reveal, Rodney P, Kashmere, Skinnyman, Chester P, Si Phili, Scorzayzee, Juganaut, Cappo, Micall Parknsun, Nah Eeto, TrueMendous, Lex Amor, Bel Cobain, Mowgli. So many more…
Impossible or seemingly impossible… CASISDEAD, Roots Manuva, IAMDDB, Estelle, Rag’n’Bone Man, MCD, Ms Dynamite.
As if Musicology wasn’t enough you also have founding Elements and part curating BoomBox Circus on your musical CV. What’s the vibe of these other endeavours in a nutshell?
Elements as previously mentioned has run for 8 years plus in Leeds and focuses solely on US, UK and world hip hop 100% and we have hosted the A-Z of the illest from around the world over the past 8 years. Big ups Nick Devine, Sangria Kong and Dan Dowker from Elements.
Boom Box Circus is a totally different flex completely encompassing all genres across 8 rooms, Indoors & Outdoors, with Performance, Dance, Lighting, Rides, Immersive atmosphere and décor throughout the entire circus and crowds of up to 2200 each month at Beaverworks Leeds. We cover all sounds Funk, Soul, Jazz, Hip Hop, Dub, Dancehall, Reggae, Dubstep, House, Techno, Jungle, DnB, Footwork, Bassline, Hard-Tek, Gabba, World & Beyond. Something for everyone!
Huge shout to Sash Van Wah, Arran Alkatraz, Adam Cuthbert, Dave Beer, Graham & Carol, Arran, Carl, Pete Rollinson and everyone who makes Boom Box Circus what it is.
Just clocked you’re involved with organising Return To Wonderland at Beaver Works which looks like an insane party. Is hip hop making its way on to that bill? What other live stuff is in the works now that things are opening back up?
Of course. We represent all sounds, ages, styles, crews, flavas, for the love of music, arts and culture!
Our parties bring together all elements of immersive environments and invite people to participate in a wonderland of performance, visual arts, sick sound systems, dope spaces, I think you get the picture haha. Come along and check us out at Beaverworks each and every month of the year.
Any shout outs?
All the various photographers & choreographers working along-side Musicology on road across the UK. Big ups everyone putting in work! Would like to give a big shout out to Alex Ellis, Honey JD, Aboveground, This and That Media, Tim Fish, Sektion Red and everyone pushing the scene forward every day!!
Tony Green from Fresh Jive, Dave Beer, Kellie Adams, Simon Scott, Sash Van Wah, Daddy Abe, Jack Danz, Disgust, Danny Plainview, TEKS, Donimitsu, EDDY, HeavyCrates, Yogocop Records, LDC Radio, Ben Lilly, Tony Allan, Joe Black, Konny Kon, Strategy, Drs, CHUNKY, Chimpo, Skittles, Jon Phonics, Jazz T, Harry Love, Farma G, Chester P and so many more people who have inspired me, worked with me, blessed my life in any way during this musical journey so far. Also – Joey Deez RIP Shouts Village Live Records.
To stay in the loop with exclusives from dope artists from across the UK, subscribe to Musicology Media Channel on YouTube HERE and follow on Insta HERE.