Here's my interview with rapper Darren Mason
How'd you get started in music?
As a child (aged 11) I always sang silly songs as a child, making up ramdom songs and backings on a rubbish old keyboard - I started playing the tuba in school an spent many years playing in symphonic bands, brass bands and orchestras. My secondary school had a good music teacher. In my adult life i continued to experiment with DJing, a making beats before finding a passionion from performing and song writing. Co-Formed a band and did some gigs around london - the passion never left and i still love performing and songwriting.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
So many over the years MJ, Prince, Madonna from my childhood, Stevie Wonder, Amazing! Love Jungle & Hardcore in my early days... Mos Def for his flow, Busta from his imagination, Massive Attack were a massive influence in terms of the darkness I enjoy in music, Bjork also for her originality, Tina Turner /Beyonce for her Energy, King Krule for his character, Kendrick Lemar for storytelling and lyrical content, - I'm a lover of all types of music really, i think studying it has exposed me to much.
When I go on stage I try to invoke the energy of Prince - He was the best performer I have ever seen - Confident, talented with Swag. I love the way he flipped between vocal styles and instruments. I have been a Music Teacher in Schools, Colleges and Universities and have been in contact with so many talented students and musicians - Seeing them do well is inspirational - the level of talent is amazing out there. They have inspired me to always do better. In modern time I really like Pa Salieu, Berwyn, Sault,
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
Stay true to yourself - Make your music about being more of yourself - Also reflect on why you want to do it in the first place, it can get hard in this industry and ego can be put through a roller-coaster ride - The love of music should be the only main focus, the other stuff is somewhat secondary...
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
My presence I feel - I'm 6 foot 5 and have a big voice - I don't mind using it and willing to wear my heart on my sleeve ... I try to embrace and enhance my individualism truly. However - I do believe that everyone has their own persona and thing that sets them apart.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Its going to be a big(ger) year as I have a 10 song album coming in maybe may or june this year. I have named it 'It's Only your Mind That Lets you Down' which sometime what i think - defo a lifelong dream that is coming true. The first Single 'Like a Bear with a Big Axe is to be released on 18th February 2022 - I plan to do some gigs to perform the songs old and new and build my audience but still thinking about the right approach for this - I really want to get into the creation and promoting shows for myself and other bands - Promoters can sometimes try to make money out of you and the focus can be lost. I want to create a good product where all can get paid fairly for the years of investment. Will keep you updated