Hailing from Brixton, London, the legendary DJ Pied Piper first came to our attention in the 90's with groups like Hijack ('The Horns of Jericho'), Da Click ( 'Good Rhymes') and The Masters of Ceremonies ('Do You Really Like It?'). During his time with Hijack he completed three world tours and supported groups like Public Enemy, Buster Rhymes and De La Soul.
Working with his brother Unknown MC (aka Kamanchi Sly), Piper was influential in bringing their rap influence into the garage forum, before working with seminal UK garage artists MC Creed, PSG and Valerie M to form garage group Da Click. Piper really rocketed to fame in 2001 with his number one smash hit “Do You Really Like It” , made in collaboration with The Masters of Ceremonies (MC’s DT, Melody, Sharky P and Unknown MC) and the track went on to sell over 500,000 copies in the UK alone!! A true all time UK Garage classic and Ayia Napa dance floor anthem still being played on today's floors.
Always a popular DJ don, Back To 95 welcome back DJ Pied Piper to their Boxing Day Special at the Scala on Friday December 26th and we catch up with the Piper ahead of this festive show.
Are you looking forward to the Back To 95 Boxing Day Special and why do you think events like Back To 95 are so popular?
I always look forward to Back To 95 as a DJ and a raver. Me and Mike 'Ruff Cut' Lloyd broke through as DJs round about the same time so we know each other very well and have played back to back many times over the years and its' always been fun. I think people love Back To 95 because they know what they're gonna get - the best raving experience money can buy! It's like buying a Rolls Royce :)
What can party people expect from your set, styles and sounds and do you have any secret weapons you can share with us ?
They can look forward to some proper old skool…not sure exactly what I'm gonna play until I turn up :-) I don't plan my sets but there's enough in the bag for every kind of mood and vibe.
You're something of a legend of the UKG scene. Where did it all start for you?
It all started many many many years ago like all good stories: -)…and like a good story it's long so the highlights are...me and Unknown MC have been doing this since I was 16 and he was 14 and the story continues.
How did you get your name and is there a story attached?
The first time I played out the promoter asked me my DJ name and I didn't have one! He said "Well you've got half an hour to make one up" so I did. I work better under pressure ;-) lol
UKG was one of the first home grown sounds to really make it big in the pop charts and cross over into the mainstream, and is still going strong 18 years later. Most people tend to believe that "their" era of music was the best and that modern day music just can't compare. Do you feel that way about the 90s, or do you think the current output from the UK 'urban' music scene is just as good?
Any music that represents what I call urban music is great. It's helped our scene incredibly I believe, but it'ss changed a lot. It's all about plug-ins and digital effects so the sound is different..not worse but the same.
How do you think the sound has evolved over the last couple of years with the success of Disclosure etc
I thinks it's just different now. It's all gone a bit fast food and very few tunes last a few months and then they're gone forever. I also love deep house and drum n' bass.
There are lots of clubs nights celebrating the soulful house and garage of the late 90's what do you think it is about music from that era that people just don’t want let go?
It's keeping me working so long may they prosper ;) The demand is there but I also play all kinds of events and clubs all over. My second favourite crowd after old skool is students as they love old skull and new skool.
What advice would you give to aspiring DJs & Producers?
You create your own future, so believe in yourself so make it happen with hard work and belief...you can't fail :-)
Does music play an important part of your life when you’re not working? If so what would you listen to to wind down and chill out.
I love music but outside of work I listen to Talk Sport and Talk radio. Because I produce music I need to switch off when I'm not in the studio. I also chill out on my X Box One like most performers I know.
What three records never fail when you’re trying to get people up on the floor?
'Melody',the BOP tune and most of Tuff Jam's tunes.
And before you leave us, can you tell us something you think we should all be listening to before we head out the door to Back To 95 Back To Back Special ?
'Where Ever Love Is Found'…see you all there! Bless
Pied Piper headlines the Back To 95 Boxing Day Special alongside Matt 'Jam' Lamont, Scott Garcia, Jason Kaye plus MC Hosts, Buzzard, Creed and DT, old skool jungle with Jumping Jack Frost and Uncle Dugs and much more on Friday December 26th at the Scala. For all info check out www.backto95.com or facebook back to 95