Carnival 2014: Rampage Interview
To get in the Notting Hill Carnival spirit we decided to interview some of the Mi-Soul DJs who have particularly deep involvements with Carnival. And who better to start off with than the legendary Rampage Sound System? We caught up with D’Nyce to gain a little insight into the history of Rampage at Carnival…
Before becoming involved as a DJ, what was your first experience of Notting Hill Carnival?
My first experience at the Notting Hill Carnival came with RapAttack under the Westway flyover. Alongside Mastermind, RapAttack were the only DJ’s at the time I knew mixed and delivered the music the way I wanted to hear it… mixed. I was 14 at the time.
How did you then become more involved in Carnival?
How did I become more involved in carnival? I knew I wanted to be a DJ from a very young age, coming from a musical family. Carnival was the biggest platform for a young black DJ to perform in a very limited urban market. I was way too young to be there but started to look for an angle in the 90’s.
How did having your own sound system/stage come about?
I lived in Ladbroke Grove and on the road where Rampage currently play. I remember being woken up one year to loud bass and vibrating windows. The legendary Soul II Soul had set up for the first time and played that year. They didn’t pull a large crowd to my surprise, then the next year they vanished. So I decided to approach the carnival committee… the rest you know!
With Carnival’s growing popularity, how do you aim to develop Rampage Sound System each year? Is it a case of showcasing new talent or do you introduce new features to attract new fans?
How do we develop rampage each year? It’s about being innovative but still remaining true to our core foundation and heritage. The Carnival’s roots are from the Caribbean but it shows respect to new artistry and diversity of the UK youth born and raised. We try each year to balance our delivery and hope to explore possibilities of being on the route and at our site.
What is the biggest difference between Carnival now and when you started?
The biggest change from then and now has been the change in our culture and music. That’s why the balance is so important. It’s easy to forget where we come from and get caught up in the moment, but when you ask people to wave the flags of their family’s heritage it’s an amazing view! I always like to bring it back to the beginning and reflect, so those who come to Rampage feel and learn the foundation of what we’re about. Jungle to d&b, dancehall to reggae, uk garage to house and so on…
Is there a song that always features in your sets? If so, what is it?
I believe we always feature each year ‘Shy FX – Chopper’ (remix), just for the hell of it. And ‘Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy’.
What can the Mi-Soul listeners expect from Rampage Sound System this year?
This year, as every year, the Mi-Soul listeners can expect energy and more vibes, great acts and amazing live mixing!
Which artists/DJs will you be supporting this year?
If I told you the acts we will be supporting this year that would spoil the surprise! What I love is people come for Rampage. The acts are just a gift we give back for the support.
Let’s end with a fun one. If you could have any artist, dead or alive, perform on your stage who would it be and why?
If we could have any artist on stage at rampage dead or alive it would be Biggie, Bob Marley…??? Give me MJ!!! Michael Jackson, can you imagine? I’d have tears running down my face. ‘Off The Wall’ growing up was the ultimate album. It’s going to have to be MJ for me.