Thursday, 27 August 2009

Peering into Cooks pot, what's bubbling?

What’s your favourite colour?
Eh, probably purple

What’s your favourite food?
It’s definitely not my mum’s curry! I’d probably say its Thai green curry right now because it’s fucking spicy.

Cooks you’re from North London what effect did that have on the type of music you got into?
Yeah i was raised in between a really fucking ghetto area and a really fucking nice area. Half my school was full of gangstas and half my school was full of posh kids. I was one of those kids that was stuck in between both the classes and somehow I’ve managed to come out alive and not turn out like a geek either.

What effect has it had on your music then?
Oh loads, it’s probably been the biggest influence, you know one week I’d be listening to emo-goth the next week I’d be listening to grime. So definitely because of the way I’ve grown up I’ve been more open minded to get on with both types of people rather than being a typical Asian rude boy from north London.

I see your a tutor in the 808 academy taught anyone how to beat juggle yet?
Basically I used to give lessons about ten years ago to all the little rude boys in the area but since then this will be the first time I’ll be doing it again. I’ve been pretty busy recently so I’ll start from mid September and then I’m pretty much booked up after that.
What’s a Geek Dj Cooks?
When i say a geek I’m just talking about someone who’s middle class and totally does not understand working class culture or working class ethic. Not that i necessarily have any problem with it as most of my mates now are middle class.
You see the benefits in both Geek and Street and combining them?
Oh yeah definitely coming from a working class family and being raised with middle class people is probably the best set up. I can put on my posh accent when i go for a job interview but at the end of the day i can still get on with everyone from the ends.

What’s so important in mashing up genres for you?
Personally I’ve went through so many phases into so many types of music and i still haven’t really found one genre where i was like this is it. So when it comes to a live set i know there’s people out there like me as well who are like ‘fuck i really wish you could drop a grime sample in there’ or something like that. Also when it’s too hardcore or too techno i think it kind of gets saturated so to bring it back to earth what you can do is throw a few samples on there or loop an acapella which makes the music so much more accessible.

Your rise seems meteoric, while other D.J’s seem to be happy with their regular slots; you seem to want to be after a global slot. Is it just the paper or is there something else?
It’s not the paper at all! A couple of years ago i was living a really comfortable lifestyle while playing the west end clubs and i was doing so much more than your regular west end dj. Its piss easy, so it’s not about the money actually it came to a stage when i was doing three or four nights a week at places like Movida and Amika and they were paying me £400-£500 a set. It just hit a point where i wasn’t getting to express myself so fuck the money I’m on this because i fucking love the music.
Are you after world domination then?
Most definitely! I’m in love with this stuff and it pisses me off when I’ve played a festival where a big name Dj has come off after a massive set having just played one record after another. Then I’ve been his warm up and destroyed it more than that! It’s just that hunger for it.
So seeing big names above you who are less talented gives you the hunger?
Without sounding like a cock, 100% most definitely! There are Dj’s and then there’s Dj’s who are in love with music and study music. Anyone can mix two records together using laptops. It’s all about bringing a bit of creativity to it and bringing a bit of talent as well.
Do you consider yourself part of the East London scene?
I don’t want to pocket myself as saying I’m East London but I’m definitely not West London, if anything I fucking hate that place.
Why so?
When i was getting criticised for being creative that’s when i thought they might as well just have an I tunes playlist on. Similarly with the east end thing i feel it’s like you can’t go to Tesco’s without an SLR camera slung over your back. It does get a little bit too much. At the end of the day I’m not one of those people that dresses first and then listens to the music. I’m one of those people that listens to the music and that’s what influences my culture and everything else.
Seeing as you’ve played around the world, how does London’s scene compare? Are we overrated?
Right now there’s not many good nights going on in London and there’s too much beef with throwing a warehouse party. But on the other hand we’ve got so many fucking wicked Dj’s coming down, for example one of the best nights in London right now for me is Always Fridays. I love going down to it but sometimes it hasn’t been so busy and they’ve got massive Dj’s playing! I don’t see how that’s possible! Until you consider there’s so many three pound nights where you’re average Joe whose wearing the skinniest jeans on the planet, doesn’t actually know anything about music but because it looks quite cool his fucking playing a set. It’s watering down our culture to be honest. Until you think that it’s only because east London is so fucking saturated you know i wish we could take a break for a second and all these people who are die hard east London heads could sort of step back for a second and say you know what we need to stop.
From our peripheral a capped villain appeared. “You guys want any coke?” Spreading wraps like playing cards in his hand. “Nah mate we’re recording an Interview, safe though.” He left, we continued.
I listened to your May mix which smashed it I especially liked the last tune. Shouldn’t D.J’s play the slow number again so we can get our slow-grind on?
Ahhh, i don’t know man fuck like if you’ve got an hour set and boyznoise is coming on after you and you’ve finished with a slow jam. The minute he comes on your gonna look like a fucking pillock! I don’t know maybe that’s the reason. I mean I love a few slow jams I’d play vibe at the end of every set if i could man or bump n grind.
What’s next for Cooks down the train tracks?
I’ve pretty much gone as far as i can with Dj’ing and playing records. The next thing for me on that path of world domination is to make music. While touring I’ve met loads of cool people in the industry so there are a number of remixes coming out which you should watch out for. The first one is Deadkids – snakes, I play with Dels quite a lot so we’ve got a remix for Shape-shift which should be coming out on his E.P. A Franz Ferdinand remix is on the horizon as well.
Thanks to Dj Cooks he has also hooked us up with his August mix packed with plenty of exclusives!
Interview & Words: Darragh O'Meachair
Photography: Voita Otevrel