UK Hip Hop: International
DJ Pogo
DJ Pogo
DJ Pogo
DJ Pogo is back. Bringing with him the second "Block Party Breaks" compilation, Pogo's resume speaks for itself. He came first in the 1997 UK DMC, second in the European ITF finals and third in the 1997 World DMC. With his crew, The En4cers, he took out the 1999 UK DMC Team competition and went onto place fifth in the world that year. Then with production he has been involved with the likes of the Demon Boyz, MC Mello, Monie Love, De La Soul and the list goes on.

As someone who has been around for a while now what do you make of the recent label interest in the UK, the recent label uprise - Bad Magic, Wordplay, etc - each with interesting backing/parent companies?

Well, the interest comes from the hard work that a lot of British promoters have been doing for the last 5 years by putting on our own gigs and making British bands headline artists, which has brought on a good feel, good vibe with the public which wasn't there before.

What's happening with the En4cers EP you were talking about a while back? Has it come out yet?

Everybody has been busy. I've been doing DJ courses in schools and working on recording of the Lounge Project while Bizz has been working on Ty's LP and touring with him. Swift has been working on a new battle LP and Mad Cut was doing all the comps. We have stuff done. It's just a case of finding time to mix it and time to promote it.

I've mainly seen articles and info on you lately in regards to your club night, Lyrical Lounge... a recent move to Scala... how is the club going? Who have you had through lately that has been well worth catching?

We had Grand Wizard Theodore and Jazzy J the old-time greats. That was one of my DJ high-points. They were the best and humble too. I had Nino brown out there on the bill with them. He was dope too. They couldn't believe he was from there [Australia] and how big Djing had got. We had Jeru the Damaja and Masta Ace. That was a roadblock. We had a group called Krispy and we still have the open mic session which is always dope. We have Big Daddy Kane coming soon. That should be cool.

What have you been up to production-wise?

I've been working on the Lounge EP. Some of it is going to be live. I am going through the recordings now. We're doing a track with Jeru for that at the end of February. I am nearly done with my DJ Battle Wepons LP. Just a couple of things to add to it which I will do when I get off the road. Done some cuts for Ty's LP, "The Breaks", which is done now.

DJ PogoIn one of your inteviews you mention Pogo Blockbusters. Tell me about some of your favourite flicks.

Well it would have to be the New Music Seminar Battle in 1989 when Melle Mel battled the winner of the rap battle who was Mike D because Mel won it the year before. He said he was still the greatest so he wanted to battle Mike D for his winner's belt winner takes all. So they did it and Mike D ripped it but Melle Mel wasn't having it and stole both the belts and walked out with them and everybody was chanting, "Give back the belts", as we walked out. It was crazy.

Do you have any plans to enter competitions again?

Not really. I think I've made my mark UK Champ, UK team champ, third in the world, second in the ITF European heats. That's a good run I think. Some of the young cats can't even get there now so I've done well when you think of all the other things I do as well. But I do love the battling thing. It's just that I can't put the practice time in as well. It takes a lot out of you to do it all. The DJs know what I am talking about.

Tell me about how you conceptualised "Block Party breaks 2". Did you simply think of some of your favourite tracks or is there another concept/theme to it all?

Yes I do put some of my favs on there but I do a lot of homework for it as well because there is a lot of breaks LPS out now so I had to check what they were doing as well. The line-up changed a lot but is right now. 

How did you go getting licensing sorted because I'm supposing some of the labels aren't around any more?

It was hard for some of them and I wanted some of them for the last LP but the people at Strut [record label] are very good at tracking them down. They have been doing it for a while now and have some sort of formula.

Does being a promoter give you much time to do other stuff?

No. I have no time. That's why I have a good team around me. My manager is a very big help. And Bizness helps out a lot so I get some time. Then there is the touring thing. I love it but it takes up so much time. When I get home I am clueless but I just get on with it.

How did you come to be involved with Ty? How did you contribute to his new album?

I met Ty about ten years ago. He used to come to some of my club nights and just be a fan and dance. That's all he used to do dance. Then one day I saw him rap and was like, "This boy is dope". When I started up Lounge he was who I had in mind to host it. I had to talk him into it but he's the man now. I just did the cuts on some tracks on his LP. I am more involved on a listening level, giving him my point of view when he needed it. And it looks like it all turned out well.

Interview conducted by Mark Pollard for:
Stealth Magazine

Visit DJ Pogo on the web: www.djpogo.com

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