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Marcus Visionary needs little introducing as he has been championing Jungle since the early 1990’s not just producing, but running events and been bringing some of the biggest Reggae artists to Jungle. Hailing from Toronto in Canada he is one of Canada’s biggest music Jungle DNB exports.
Thank you so much for taking the time out to be interviewed for DNB Muzik and for taking the time out, I know you have been mad busy touring across Europe.
What’s your favourite European city?
Marcus : My favorite European city for vacation time is Barcelona. My favorite city to play in is Leeds. Big love to Jungle Jam & Sub Dub. Always amazing events.
How has 2015 been so far?
2015 has been very busy and I’m thankful. I started with a European tour from Feb-March. Since then I’ve been back home throwing events and getting my new studio in working order. The music is so healthy right now so it’s an exciting time for DNB & Jungle.
You grew up with a West Indian food and music, with your parents into Soul, so with that inspiring you, what elements do you love the most?
I think the greatest influence of growing up in a West Indian household is that from a very young age I was exposed to alot of bass. With Caribbean music everything is centered around a good bassline. Hence my obsession with bass culture today.
You love what music does to your soul. If you could sum this up in one word, what word would it be?
With the horrors that are going on in Baltimore right now, what one Jungle tune would you put on to play to unite the world a little more?
Peace Love & Unity by Hype feat. Fats is the first one that came to mind!
You were a DJ before producing. Do you think that’s a good way to start, or do you think the skill of DJ-ing isn’t too important?
I started out as a DJ and I’m happy for that because I learned so much about music structure, reading a crowd, and how to take people on a journey with music. I think there is nothing better than hearing a skilled DJ take you on a journey by selecting records on the fly. It takes alot of talent that many people take for granted today.
You started on belt drives, do you still spin vinyl or you on CDJs now?
I still play vinyl on rare occasions when I’m booked for all vinyl events. I’ve been on CDJ’s since 2004-2005. I loved the vinyl period but most clubs and events are not setup correctly to accomadate vinyl anymore.
The vinyl seems to be coming back with the recently introduced vinyl charts, are you pleased?
I’m happy that people are enjoying vinyl again. I still collect vinyl but mainly for home listening. There’s nothing like putting on a warmly produced record and listening to the artists full vision for the LP. You also can’t beat the sleeve art!
What DAW are you on and what VST’s or hardware are you using?
I’ve been on Cubase since the mid 90’s and I love it. I switched to 100% digital in 2005. Back in the analog days we had an EMU Ultra sampler, Kurzweil K 2000, Juno 106, Akai S 3000. There are way too many incredible VST’s to list.
What projects do you have coming up?
I have a remix single feat. Cutty Ranks & Curtis Lynch forthcoming on Inner City Dance that drops on May 18th. I’ve just done a remix for Seani B (1xtra) that will be coming out on the Morgan Heritage LP (Perform & Done). A new Chip Fu & Screechy Dan remix for Dirty Dubsters on Irish Moss (Big Sound). A new Mr. Williamz and a Demolition Man forthcoming on Totally Dubwise. Another Demolition man & Echo Minott forthcoming on Third Eye records. I also have a 10 track album project coming out with Liondub from Liondub International called ‘Jungle to the World’ that we’re hoping to come out in July just before Carnival.
If I was visiting Toronto, which club and promotions nights for Jungle DNB would you recommend?
Thursday nights I have Run DnB at a Reggae bar called Thymeless (355 College St). There’s a massive soundsystem in there so it’s always good vibes. We have a different promotion company in there every week to keep things fresh. There is also Church Sundays at Tota Lounge (592 Queen St.) Friday’s and Saturdays are filled with great one off events by a big variety of event companies in the city.
2015 has been a very busy year so far with some great events. Which DNB MCs from Toronto are you diggin’?
I’m feeling MC P, Bandit Emcee, Caddy Cad, Emcee Zee, A2, Traj, JD & Lucky General. Badness and Cutty Ranks featured below.
Can you tell us how that came about?
The original version of the Cutty Ranks track came out on Necessary Bass via Curtis Lynch. Our distributor at the time folded so Curtis has allowed me to remix the track and release via Inner City. It’s an honour to work with dancehall legend Cutty Ranks and super producer Curtis Lynch. Inner City Dance is your label, what is your favourite release? Airlock by Artifice.
What releases have you forthcoming on Inner City Dance?
Forthcoming is the new Cutty Ranks then after that we have an E.P called ‘In Our City’ featuring some fresh talent out of Toronto: Artifice, Dcision, RMS & Collin all Shots, Hungry T & Marcus Visionary.
If you could work with one person, (not necessarily a dnb producer) on the planet, who would it be and why?
Scientist. Field, Free Party Warehouse, Bar, Club or Festivals? Field. Nothing like playing music outdoors.
If I saw you out, what are you drinking from the bar?
Lately I’ve been drinking cider or alcoholic ginger beer.
Which gig are you most looking forward to this Summer?
I always have a blast in Antwerp at the City Flow music Festival.
1994 you started your Prophecy Radio Show which is now 20 years running, congratulations on that. How have you managed to run that for so long and what keeps you inspired?
I’ve just recently left the Prophecy as I’ve started a new show on Kool London called ‘The Visionary Mix Show’. I had a great time playing the Prophecy. The first 10 years were extra special as there was no internet and the Prophecy was one of Toronto’s main sources for hearing Jungle Dnb. Lock into my new show every second and last Tuesday from 2-4 p.m and 7-9 p.m on www.koollondon.com. The Prophecy still airs every Sunday from 8-10 p.m with Dj Prime, Mr. Brown & Gremlinz. You can also listen back to my latest shows here: https://www.mixcloud.com/marcusvisionary
Who has helped you the most in our beautiful music scene?
Being a part of the Digital Soundboy family has helped my career tremendously over the years. Big shout to Shy FX for helping me get on UMC artist management & arranging my very first European dates. Big thanks to Liondub (NYC) as we run Liondub International together since 2008. Big thanks to DJ Lush in Toronto who co runs Inner City Dance with me. Big shout to Curtis Lynch who put me on his Necessary Bass imprint. Thanks to my agents Tania (UMC), Slim Pickens (Canada), Gin Saya Carter (U.S) Big shout to Eastman & Suzie G for putting me on Kool London. Big up L Double from Flex Records for believing in us when we first started out. Big up Digital for helping me get one of my first distribution deals. There are so many great people in DnB & Jungle that have helped along the way. Way too many to mention!
I will say, you are a very humble and friendly personality, and you champion great music and great people. If you could give any advice to people starting out, what would it be?
Thank you :) Practice makes perfect. Take the time to learn your craft whether it’s producing or DJ’ing. Take the stairs and not the elevator. Invest in yourself. Enjoy the journey.
What is on your iPod right now?
I don’t have an I pod but the biggest track on rotation right now is Bun Ya produced by Marcus Intalex off of the new DRS LP.
Any shouts and thanks?
Thanks to everyone who continues to listen to my music and support me through the years. Jungle DnB forever!
Interview by Missrepresent. 2015.