Merissa Campbell aka Cooly G is the heroine of UK funky, paving the way for the sound with her series of mix tapes and DJ sets, she’s pushing the sound further into the ears of the funky/dubstep/beat lovers fanatics with her first EP Love Dub/Narst, out this month on the unstoppable force that is Kode 9’s Hyperdub label.
“I had no idea who they were” she admits about her first encounter with Hyperdub, “I just went with the flow, but after meeting Kode and Marcus, I felt a connection with them and they knew what I was about musically.” Growing up in South London, Cooly (who’s also a mother, a semi professional footballer and teenage behaviour consultant to boot), grew up in a household where both parents were musicians. “I’d listen to reggae/dub because of my dad’s background and acid/house because of my mum” she continues, “my dad was producing music when I was a baby girl and my mum would be singing, so I’d always be in the studio. I’ve still got one of his mixing desks, proper analogue! So if you put the two together you get me a DJ, producer and singer.”
Cooly manages shows off the two sides that make her sound so hard to ignore on the EP, on the A-side you have Narst , an epic six minute doomsday-esque track with harsh strings, dark basslines, soca beats and chest tearing subass. While the B-side is Love Dub, a mix of loose percussion, soft basslines alongside some soulful funky house vocals. “I made Love Dub on Sunday afternoon when I was chilling with my mate” she reminisces, “I had my computer ready to go I said ‘Oi bruv I’m gonna make a banger right now I can feel it….’ He was like “Yeah man, I’m gonna kick back and watch”. So I did and 'Love Dub' came out like that, it’s about a boy I think I used to love and we broke up and I missed him I think I was in loveI guess. With 'Narst' I was at my next producers house last summer on his computer using the Logic 8 music program testing out sounds and that’s what came out.”
Cooly G - Love Dub [Hyperdub]
Describing her sound as “deep dark sexy house, broken minimal tech and tribal” she admits that people question which musical genre she should be placed in; “I’m still trying to come up with a new name for it, people have been telling me it’s a new thing.” Alongside label mate Ikonika, Cooly is the second lady of Hyperdub and together are proving that it’s not the only boys that can make some serious beats. So how does Cooly feel about being one of only women to represent for the UK funky and beat scene respectively, “I just don’t have an answer for that” she says honestly, “I’m just doing what i do best and I have been noticed now because of my new sound so that’s probably why, other than that, I don’t know”