MURKAGE DAVE: Haha it was my girlfriend’s dad, in the lyric anyway. I make pop music. It’s not commercial. But I’m blending all my influences to make something new. If I was 19 years old and white it wouldn’t be difficult, everyone would just call it pop. But then if I was 19 and white i’d def have different influences haha. I have friend called Orelsan who’s a big French artist, and he calls it ‘Underground Pop’, which I quite like.
The idea of British cool since the 50s, our fashion, the way our language evolves, all are very influenced by West Indian culture
MD: For the amount of us that are here, our impact is huge.. The idea of British cool since the 50s, our fashion, the way our language evolves, all are very influenced by West Indian culture. Production/engineering techniques in music, the strength of DJ culture in the UK, how much better our nightclubs are than in mainland Europe, a lot of that is driven by soundsystem culture. And it’s not just the ‘creative’ areas but sometimes it’s easier for things to be more visible within pop culture than other places
MD: I really love Sting & The Police. Every album. Love the Sting solo stuff as well! I feel like Sting has that thing where he’s not humble enough for a lot of British people so they’re not too sure about him. And I know all the proper punks aren’t backing it. But I can’t lie he’s been a huge influence on me as a songwriter. Another one is Drake. I feel like hardly anyone doing an interview will list Drake as an influence, apart from maybe the guys that make road rap, because he’s so big it can’t possibly make you sound interesting. But ultimately we all listen to the guy and he’s had a huge influence on how music has sounded for the past decade so it is what it is.
MD: Dizzee Rascal - Respect Me - ‘Boy In The Corner’ gets all the love and rightly so but the second album ‘Showtime’ is such a perfect snapshot of the paranoia of a hood star in London. It’s a record that could have only been made at that time by that artist and for me ‘Respect Me’ is the most potent example of what that thing can be I think. Even by today’s standards the flows are top tier, and that DJ Wonder beat just won’t stop coming as he’s bitterly trying to claw his way up this sisyphean hill of respect from his detractors, it’s so fucking bleak.
I learned early on that there was also this folk feel to the shows as well, it’s all of us singing it together
MD: The show you’re talking about was a while ago now i think early 2019? When I started playing out live I definitely made a choice to move like a rapper haha. My budget was limited and I didn’t want fans to be let down by totally changing the sonics of the records live. But I learned early on that there was also this folk feel to the shows as well, it’s all of us singing it together really. As things move forward I’d love to have a band, something multifaceted like Talking Heads or LCD Soundsystem. Would love to do something with set design like the Talking Heads ‘Stop Making Sense’ film or the Prince ‘Sign Of The Times’ show.
MD: That’s a big compliment and also a great reminder to watch the Small Axe stuff, I was writing ‘The City Needs A Hero’ at the time, so didn’t have time to properly zone in. I would say that the art world, despite knowing nothing about it really, is a huge influence on me. Any time i’ve ever been stuck creatively, a visit to a gallery tends to shake me out of it. I’m heavily influenced by the creative approach of guys like Basquiat and Keith Haring, and more recently by Jean Dubuffet who came before them, he’s a fascinating character.
MD: Mess Cafe. Hackney.
MD: This world is chaotic and I think by trying to fix it we invariably create new problems but I think we can make it better by all of us wanting it to be better. For me that’s the whole point of being alive, and it can be the smallest thing, like smiling at someone in the street, or you could be the intermediary who starts the conversation to get things done, or you could be actively trying to feed and clothe the homeless. But I think for all of us, looking beyond the end of our noses and trying to do some good is the way because ultimately this is what adds up to us living in a better world.