Boys and girls we preset to you the one and only SGT POKES .
The voice of DMZ and a legend among all the dubstep headz
Layback, light your spliff if you have it and just relax
Take your time and enjoy this interview
Who is Sgt Pokes ?
Sgt pokes is a dubstep mc from south london part of the dmz collective and affiliated to numerous other dubstep labels and squads.
Tell us a bit about your life story and when did you start beeing interessed in the art of toasting aka MC´ing ?
hahahaha, now that , as they say, is a long story! When i was young i was hearing a lot of different music, it was very strange . My Irish mother would Play loads of reggae ,motown and soul. My St.Lucian father was banging dire straits and shit. Plus i was hearing the commercial radio- i loved the 80s britpop , plus things like the fatboys and run dmc got me interested in the mcing angle. Then vocal acts like, stevie v that had , to my mind,that edgy british club vibe. Groups like the eurythmics made me fall in love with the synthesizer. One night in 1990 a friend showed me this radio frequency (actually , when i think about it, it was coki”s cousin who lived across the street.) where you could hear the police radio transmissions. One day when trying to hear this i found Energy fm, a local pirate radio station playing hardcore- i lost my shit?! i was like wide eyed sayin “what the hell is this shit!!” From there i guess it was all a logical evolution, hardcore forked into jungle and happy i was pure jungle , too young to rave but wily enough to get my hands on the tape packs from the big dances, Roast, Dreamscape, Desire. i was obsessed . from 93/94 i was mcing around friends houses with mala and a little bit later coki- we were all at school together. it never stopped from then really.
How´s your creative process ?
I dont have a process, i just kinda go with it, anytime i try and create a certain thing i end up mutating it again and again or just having nothing- if i just accept that i am going to create something , something will come.
Where do you find inspiration and energy to your powerfull words ?
from the music and the crowd. And sometimes from the gin.
Having Dubstep such a deep ifluence on jamaican soundsystem culture, how important do you find MC´s in dubstep nights ?
Mcs are important, they can convey the djs vibe to the crowd and the crowds vibe to the dj. Good dj mc partnerships ,Bukem Conrad ,Andy.c GQ , Brockie and Dett that have that real chemistry is unbeatable.thats why `Hatcha and Crazy D works so well- they know each others style inside out so its pure vibe.
DMZ is probably to all the dubstep headz like Mecca for muslims. When did you meet coki n mala and decided to started DMZ ?
People need to get this right, Dmz is made up of loefah ,the digital mystikz(mala and coki) and myself. All four of us came together years ago, as i said i was at school with mala and coki and met loefah properly around 95 i think. We were making tapes forever , as a unit, playing parties as a unit- truthfully we’ve been doing dmz in a sense, since then. But we never really “made the decision” to do it , we just did it.
Well you went to party´s all around the world, favourite places to be and most amazing experiences you ever had as SGT POKES ?
This whole experience has been incredible, i am truly fulfilling a teenage dream and it is a blessing. i love the B.low party in barcelona , the crew behind it have become good good friends to me and have built the wickedest dubstep party in spain, hands down. Also geneva is like my retreat and i disappear into the hills just outside geneva for a couple of days everyime i play there). I love prague , to be honest i love it all! but i think the most amazing place ive seen so far has got to be iceland – it was like being on a different planet! we played at a sick party out in lisboa a couple of years ago, playing alongside Buraka, Unfortunately , ive only ever had the fortune of going to portugal once….
Its really interesseting for me that the dubstep culture as learned so much from Dub and punk culture, it as such a young DIY energy all over the globe, where do you find dubstep in the future ?
Who knows, wherever it goes some people will love it some people will hate it and some wont care either way.
Did you ever expect dubstep to grow so much ?
yes and no. No because no new dance music had really broken through to my knowledge but i hoped yes because i knew the music was so good.
You have a radio show right ? Tell us a bit more about that, how´s it going ?
Yeah , i do a show with Boomnoise on subfm., its generally bi-weekly for me unless i have a gig. We wanted to do a show that wasnt a pirate radio show in the typical sense, we wanted to do a show that was a bit more chat and very light hearted , so on the early shows we would get people on the show for live interviews and live mixes , the shows evolved a lot and i feel like we have definitely hit our stride again. If you want to check the archives of our shows or tune into live ones (every other wednesday on subfm 8-10gmt) go to subfm.com and search boomnoise and pokes.
Plans for your future ?
THANK YOU SGT !
much love n respect !
RUI aka VOODOOKID