On Friday the Digital Soundboy Soundsystem rolls into Farringdon. It does precisely what it says on the tin – in that it unifies six artists (Shy FX, Breakage, B.Traits, Donaeo, Youngman & Stamina MC) who are on the Digital Soundboy label in a soundsystem type situ – and in honour of their performance we’re handing the reigns of the blog over to them for the next week.
Today we’re profiling the top dog and master of DSB; the production brains behind ‘Original Nuttah’ amongst so much more, Shy FX. With a strong heritage in drum & bass circles, he’s released numerous singles on labels too numerous to list, Shy FX has produced tracks for Dizzee Rascal, made incredible remixes for artists like Plan B and stands now as the pinnacle of the Digital Soundboy empire. Giving artists like Breakage, Donaeo and Youngman a platform to jump off from Shy is working hard on building a legacy.
We caught up with him to find out what he’s got in store for the takeover…
Can you introduce us to the Digital Soundboy Soundsystem?
Well basically it’s me alongside Breakage and B.Traits on the decks, with Stamina, Youngman & Donae’o on vocals. It’s understated in a way, but very spontaneous and energetic bringing the soundsystem culture to a club environment. For example Breakage might play something that inspires me to jump on and draw for a particular track. Same goes if one of us plays a record and it inspires one of the MCs to jump in and roll out a vocal.
Also look out for the occasional special guest to jump on the mic!
What can we expect when DSB takeover fabric?
Vibes, energy, rewinds and general ruckus!
What’s your role as label boss of Digital Soundboy?
To bring the likeminded together, oversee the business and A&R all releases. But really the hardcore roster of the label all have an input into the labels runnings. It’s a family situation.
How do you fit this in with a busy schedule playing out around the world and being the remixer of choice for a lot of other artists and labels?
I don’t sleep…
Over the past couple of years, your sound both as a producer and DJ has moved on from being strictly drum & bass, how would you define your style now?
I don’t define my style and that’s how I keep it moving. Even when I was making purely d&b I never really saw myself strictly as a d&b artist. More-so just a musician who made music to fit within that tempo. I’ve also worked under other alias where I put out garage, soul and reggae music. Now I just put everything under the Shy FX banner.
We’ve heard you’re new album ‘Larger Than Life’ will be dropping this year – can you tell us more? How long have you been working on it? Will there be beats reminiscent of your last LP ‘Diary of a Digital Soundboy’?
Watch this space... If I told you I would have kill you.
You’ve championed several newer artists and played an instrumental part in helping them breakthrough, such as more recently, Donae’o and Yasmin, has this been accidental or a deliberate focus and new direction in your career?
It’s always deliberate, but at the same it’s always a natural and organic process. I work with people I like and believe in and I guess the cream always rises to the top as they say! Artist development has defiantly becoming a bigger focus in my day to day and general career. For example working with Breakage, and helping take him further. It’s a really exciting and challenging part of the job and running a record label.
Finally, some quick-fire questions to help us get to know the DSB crew a little better:
Who is the most fun to tour with?
Pass that could get me into trouble.
Who is always the last to leave the dance-floor?
Stamina - because he can’t stop saying goodbye to ravers; he always leaves the dance with 30 new friends!
Who is the funniest?
Breakage and B.Traits always give me jokes.
Tell us something we might not know about one of the DSB crew?
Breakage has a strange tattoo of a actual anchor on his calf!
What’s your favourite recent DSB release?
Can’t really answer that as I sign them all because I love them and love them all for different reasons.