“You might find this hard to believe but I’m a really shy person. I don’t actually buzz off the sound of my own voice!”
These are not the words we’d expect to hear from an MC. Then again, there are few MCs blessed with the same depth and honesty as DRS. From his early work with the Good Looking crew to his ongoing adventures with Calibre, his accolades in a crowded scene of mic-munchers make him one of the most respected in the game.
“There are a lot MCs who do buzz off the sound of their own voice,” he says in his instantly engaging Mancunian drawl. “My own goal as an MC is to enhance the music. Other MCs seem to like the idea of battling the music, or conquer it like it’s a war between them and the DJ. I’m just a guide. It’s just a massive journey from the beginning of the night to the end of the night and I’m there to guide you through it. The music’s gonna do this now. Jump up and down now. Turn left. Turn right. That’s me, I’m the guide. But if you’ve got the same journey with someone shouting ‘right, fucking do this, fucking go that way, fucking do this!’ it’s not gonna be a smooth journey…”
Tell you what WILL be a smooth journey? His debut album ‘I Don’t Usually Like MCs But…’ Playful, insightful and raw, the album includes work by the likes of Marcus Intalex, Calibre, Lenzman, Lynx, Enei, Genotype, dBridge, S.P.Y and is produced by the spotless sonic craftsman Dub Phizix. Here’s the video from the first single Count To 10, which is out now.
“I’m lucky to know some of the best producers in the scene,” he grins. “I’m a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. It’s just honesty. The album’s about social issues to relationships to everything. However I do it, or whatever I’m talking about, I never dress it up. There’s never any sugar coating – it’s how it is. I think everyone’s awkward, whether they admit it to themselves or other people or not. I think people appreciate it when someone likes me stands up on stage and says ‘look, I’m awkward, I don’t feel comfortable doing this’ People identify with that. Not everyone is Mr Confident or Tommy Big Bollocks!”
But wait… DRS’s MC journey began with one inspired night at a rave. He just jumped up on the stage and asked for a mic. The DJ he hassled? Marcus Intalex. Who’s Tommy Big Bollocks now?
“Haha, yeah but I was just buzzing then,” he laughs. “To tell the truth, I actually wanted to become a DJ but I couldn’t afford decks!”
The DJ world’s loss is the MC world’s game. And when you think about it, very few MCs would have the bollocks, or the fanbase, to release an album. Jenna G, Tali and Dynamite are the only other MCs we can think of who’s committed such a feat. And none of them had the same all-star cast behind them that DRS does.
“Actually I’d like to big up Dub Phizix,” he says as we sign off. “He’s one of the only producers who’s really made my voice sound how I want it to sound. Or how I’m most comfortable hearing it.”
Years in the game and still not comfortable with his own instrument. Spoken like a true artist. Crucially, we’re comfortable with his voice…. And can’t wait to hear the full album.
Count To 10 / Holding On is out now.
Listen and download here.