First up, for those who are not familiar give us a breakdown of who Mixed Origin are?
Circle City Boi: Yeah, we're an independent entertainment company / group and we're quickly becoming pioneers of the urban scene in Milton Keynes. We've got 3 members, myself The Future, Daniz and D-lux who is our producer. As a trio we got our name out by performing at local events such as Music Live, Buddha Blue, Spice Lounge and Nexus where we opened shows for Asher D, N-Dubz, L Man and Big Narstie.
We recently got in touch with a PR company called 'MK Vibe' who've organised shows at Xscape alongside D-Fam and Vigar & Diddy. MK Vibe has provided us with regular media attention in newspapers, websites and radio interviews.
You have had quite a journey so far, what has been the biggest obstacle you have had to face and how did you overcome it?
Circle City Boi: Errr... examples that i can think of is the fear of facing a crowd for the first time at a UK Unsigned competition outside our endz. We overcame that by performing at open mic nights, showcases and festivals around the country which helped us gain confidence and experience.
The major obstacle for us is bridging the gap music wise between Milton Keynes and London. There’s been times when we felt like people weren't taking us serious which felt kinda funny because we moved to Milton Keynes from North Weezy. We're overcoming the issue by networking with London based artists and collaborating on mixtapes and doing shows etc.
What can we expect from Mixed Origin over the coming months?
Circle City Boi: Where shall I start... erm ok, we're preparing to film and release our first video, we've also recorded our second single and at the moment we're getting the company myspace page reconstructed. I'm also in contact with 3rd Lens Productions to get our official website designed and have plans to launch a clothing line.
I'm currently working on a mixtape titled 'Back to the Future Volume 1', theres a Radio One DJ who is interested in hosting it with a line up of Channel U / Base & my very own Circle City artists set to feature. WATCH THIS SPACE!
You are currently in the process of shooting the video for your “Thru The Front Door” track, how is that coming along?
Circle City Boi: We were put in a position where we had to change the director and film crew so that caused a delay, I can't give an exact release date right now but the preparation for filming is going well. The new director for the video is our close friend Nacami of Stallionz Entertainment and filming will be done by 3rd Lens.
We've been in talks with Terry Stone who invited us to a pre-screening of 'Rise of the Footsoldier' who agreed to play the character of Andy White (Rollin' with the Nines) to create a trailer / continuation of the film. In my opinion it's an excellent idea because we don't want music to be our bread and butter and i felt this could open doors for us in the T.V and film industry as well.
What are your views on the UK Hip Hop scene right now? There are some amazing artists making their voice heard, what makes you different?
Circle City Boi: On that note some artists that people consider amazing I feel aren't offering enough, they still don't touch the hearts of their audience. I feel that we have to destroy and rebuild because everybody wants to call themselves an artist, I'm looking at some of these grime ediats and think to myself what’s artistic about saying 'I'll bring beef to your mums house', c'mon that’s just lame. We need to raise our standards and really think about how UK music should sound so we can present it to listeners worldwide. The artists I give props to are Asher D, Skinnyman, Craze 24, Mike GLC, Choong Fam, Kano and Sway.
I feel what makes us different as a group or even solo is that we are business minded whereas a lot of these wastemanz think hip hop is a joke or a way to incite unnecessary violence. Mixed Origin aim to be role models for the youts and reach out to people from all ethnic backgrounds to encourage them to be forward thinking and set themselves goals and targets by using our style and class instead of unwanted preaching messages.
There has long been an association between Hip Hop music and violence; do you think Hip Hop music is to blame for the high levels of violence within our society? Or is it simply an area to point blame?
Circle City Boi: I’d be lying if I said no and in some cases I believe the gang culture has been to blame for the loss of peoples loved ones especially this year... 2007. As a rapper I know what I'm saying on a track could influence people to do things they may regret later when there staring at four walls of a prison cell.
I understand hip hop is not just music anymore; it's a lifestyle so I think people within the music circle should think more carefully on what message and image they're putting out. This brings me back to Nasir Jones’ destroy and rebuild strategy where we need to make changes before more innocent children are killed for unjust reasons.
On the other hand hip hop is not the only reason for the increase in violence within our communities because the same argument could be raised about video games that are sold to underage kids, alcohol, films, drugs, life at home etc. I also believe the media are focusing too much on the negative effects of hip hop rather than the positive and it's causing a stereotype against people within the urban community.
I felt Kidulthood was an accurate account of what’s really going on in a young person’s life where we have been neglected and outlawed by society. In conclusion people need to know the difference between lyrics and real life because most MC's are just releasing their anger and frustration on a track so that they don't have to do it in the real world.
Do you feel the UK offers our own artists enough support to succeed as a multi platinum selling MC?
Circle City Boi: Well I feel the UK has still got a way to go yet before we can be talking about multi-platinum status as people are still unconvinced about hip hop in this country and there’s only a small percentage of people actually buying the music. Customer’s attitudes have changed and nowadays they'd rather download for free therefore it affects an artist’s sales and profit margins. So no I don't think the UK offers enough support to artists, it can be heartbreaking to know people would rather buy a 50 Cent CD over a UK artist just because it's glossy and sugar coated.
I feel MTV Base could do more for the scene by playing more UK hip hop / R'n'B during the day rather than leaving it ‘till 2am in the morning when no-ones watching. Also Channel U has been a great outlet but I feel it’s time to select the best and reject the rest.
Circle City Boi: Yeah I'd like to give a shout out to Daniz & D-Lux, Nacami, Sanchez, O.b, Zeddie, Zaheer Music, Andy Jones of MK Vibe, B-Kay & Kazz, Klassik, Red Dragon, JMC, Sam Jenkins, Justice, Nemesis & Arrogance, Green, DJ Ames, 3rd Lens Productions, DJ Limelight, Terry Stone, Peeks, Origin's Media, My Sis Olivia, Auntie B, Cousins Jason, Jermaine & Paulie plus the rest of my family in Kingston, Jamaica. Big shoutout to Danielle Fear, nyce one!
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.