As frontman of The Shamen back in the early 1990’s, Mr. C rose to prominence with the success of tracks such as ‘Ebeenezer Goode’ and ‘Move Any Mountain’. In recent years he is most well known for his part ownership of The End, one of London’s best ever venues, his own night Superfreq which he continues to tour around the globe, his label under the same Superfreq guise which relaunches this year, and of course his legendary DJ sets which incorporate all that is good in electronic music.
From milkman, to MC, to one of the world’s most respected DJ figures – Mr. C chats with MEOKO about some of his secrets to success and the importance of meditation, confidence and a positive mental attitude…
Everyone has a different story of how they got involved in electronic music. Yours is better documented than most with your background in MC’ing and the Shamen. Can you tell us about your very first ‘clubbing’ experience?
I started clubbing at only 13 years of age, first going to the disco pubs in Hackney Road & Shoreditch & then to the Lyceum Ballroom in the Strand & Busby’s in Tottenham Court Road. I then hit all the CB radio clubs which were awesome in the early 80’s & by the time I was 16 I was going to the Titanic in Mayfair & Xenon’s in Piccadilly. It was at 16 that I started to MC in the clubs.
At what point did you decide that this is what you wanted to do?
I knew I wanted to be involved in music & nightlife from about 15 years of age which was why I started writing rap lyrics.
Which point did your parents accept that this is what you wanted to do?
I’m from a single parent family & my mum was always happy with my choice until I hit 21 & gave up my last regular job to be involved in DJing full time at which point my mum went nuts. We had a big row & she told me “We can’t fucking eat vinyl”. 6 months later she ate her words when I was bringing in a comparable wage to my last real job, which was a milkman.
You left school very early with no qualifications but have gone on to become very successful…what would your words of wisdom be to a young nipper asking for some worldly advice…keep your head in the books and you’ll go far, or work hard but party harder?
I think that if you have a chance to go to college then you should go, but there are many poor families that can’t afford to send their kids to college. To these kids I’d say believe in yourself & your art or chosen profession.
As my lyrics said in “Move Any Mountain”: Put your mind on what you want & you will go higher, put detailed thought into every desire, believe in yourself, you’ll know what you’ll find, there is no can’t in a trouble free mind…
If you work hard for what you want, have vision & visualize in absolute detail, feeling the joy of achievement as though it’s already achieved & work extremely hard to achieve your dreams, then they will indeed come true. The reason I’ve done so well is because of my complete belief in myself. Also, I thoroughly recommend learning meditation as this connects you to the world of the ideas & also makes your belief in yourself more powerful.
It’s been 4 years since ‘The End’ very sadly shut down. Do you miss it and do you ever see yourself opening another venue again?
No I don’t miss The End. I do look back with the fondest of memories as it was the best club in the world & through the sale of the club, I was able to really help out my very poor family financially which alone made it worth closing. As of yet I have no desire to open another venue, I’m very content doing my Superfreq events the world over so no more owning clubs & tying myself down just yet, but never say never.
You moved to LA after the end of ‘The End’. How does your lifestyle differ there to the one you had in London? Would you say it offers you a better quality of life?
The quality of life is way better, just think about the incessant rain that London has had for the last 8 weeks. London is like New York in that’s it very fast. Here in LA things are so much more relaxed, the people a very friendly & the lifestyle is so much healthier. Also I bought an amazing house here in LA which for the same money would’ve got me a crappy 3 bed semi with tiny rooms in a crap area, so on the whole I’d say the quality of life here is way better than in London & because of that I have no desire to move back any time soon.
Did you know there’s a hotel in LA called Mr. C? This extract was taken direct from their website: “Mr. C Beverly Hills represents a modern version of old-world simplicity, stylish European glamour, providing today’s traveler with a comfortable, elegant and effortless experience…” Sounds like they’ve named it after you??
I did know that there’s a hotel with that name. Maybe I should go along & ask them if I can design one of the rooms.
2012. The Olympics or the end of the world as we know it?
Well of course, even with all of the people slagging off the Olympics, it will still be a wonderful sporting event that pulls together all of the people of the world & that’s why it’s so important & great that London is hosting it.
As for the 21st of December 2012 doomsday prediction is all nonsense but the shift in consciousness is very real indeed. The Mayans didn’t include leap years so that date would actually be August last year & everyone can see from the use of social networking that the consciousness shift has well & truly happened with so many people talking about things like meditation, positive thinking & being the change that we seek. Also people are being very active in changing world politricks & such like so we’re living in very exciting times indeed.
We loved your track ‘Dark Moon’ on Wagon Repair. Have you got any upcoming releases scheduled?
I have lots of upcoming releases. I’ve just had part 2 of my new EP with [a]pendics.shuffle called Something Strange on Adjunct Audio released on vinyl 1 week ago & the original was out in April. I also have my remix of Money Dish by David Scuba & Mikael Stravöstrand on Riff Raff coming out next month & the month after that I have my remix of Obel by Fractious being released on NB records from Austria. I’m also re-launching Superfreq Records in the Autumn with the first of those releases being a new Mr.C EP & I also have a new project with Affie Yusuf as Indigo Kidz & my Sycophant Slags project with Adultnapper also coming out on Superfreq. I’ve really stepped up my studio activity over the last year or more so expect to see a constant flow on new music as Mr.C, Indigo Kidz & Sycophant Slags from here on in.
You’re a firm supporter of meditation, like you are electronic music. Which do you think has benefitted you the most?
Without meditation & positive thinking, which I’ve been doing since I was 17 years old, I would not be doing so well in my music career.
DJ Polls always bring up a lot of entertaining debate online. If you HAD to choose one, who would top your list as best DJ?
I think all DJ polls are bullshit & detrimental to the music industry as a whole. I have many DJs that I love to listen to which differs depending on my mood & what I want to hear. If I had to pick one DJ though, it would be myself. I used to be conceited, but now I’m absolutely perfect. 😉
Many people might not be aware that you are selling your entire 14,000 strong vinyl collection on Discogs. How’s that going? That is quite a task!
It’s going great actually. I have friends doing it for me & splitting the cash with them & it’s such a buzz to know now that all of that amazing specialist dance music is no longer sitting in a locked garage gathering duct but being enjoyed by people that have been searching for those tunes. There are about 3500 up now & about the same amount yet to go up.
To check the collection out go to: https://www.discogs.com/sell/list?seller=Mr.C.Collection
What would you say if you received a phone call from Paris Hilton asking you for some DJ lessons?
If she paid me handsomely I’d teach her to be one bad arse DJ.
Now then, imagine this scenario… an alien lands and asks you to follow him. He takes you to one of his alien after hours, where you feel quite at home, and he tells you… ‘When I send you back to earth you will have the power to change one thing’ … what will it be?
It would be that every man, woman & child above the age of 10 years old would meditate for 20 minutes twice each day. With that would come a complete Human consciousness shift & world peace.
Words by Nick Maleedy