Ninja Terminator: Jaguar Skills
You’ve become known for an increasingly eclectic musical style. After telling us about your childhood and being surrounded by 1000’s of different records do you feel this just reflects you musical tastes?
Yeah, I have a very varied taste in music as I grew up listening to music in a very varied way. I view it purely on the music itself as long as it sounds good to me then I’ll play it. I’m not concerned with genre, style or tempo. I learned to play via hip hop and one of the things that used to be about was being inclusive and taking influence from everywhere and everything around you. Now days we tend to only focus on specialist DJ’s and a lot of people warned me that you had to play a niche to be respected. Now I think that’s bullshit. De La Soul and DJ’s from that generation were allowed to play whatever the fuck they liked and that’s how boundaries were blurred and pushed and creativity was bred. They’d just play some off the wall shit because the rule then was you weren’t allowed to sound like everybody else. You had to show who you were as a person. Like I like to think regardless what you think of my music that you’d instantly recognize it as me. Even if you fucking hate it – which obviously I hope people don’t- that’d you’d still recognize it as me. Some people won’t like it some people will love it, that’s just music and I get excited when I’m about to play something weird, something unexpected, something I don’t know how the reaction will be. That’s when I get the buzz. Some people don’t get it like some guy tweeted me saying “All you do is play other peoples tunes!”- that’s what DJ’s do. The main skill of a DJ should be to know what to play not be a producer just playing his own stuff.
Could you tell us about the creative processes that you go through when creating new music and mash ups?
Well for me the most important thing is and always will be the music. It sounds obvious but it is very easy to get caught up in the technical side of things. I try not to sit on things for too long as I don’t find that to be a good sign, when I have the initial idea and am then able to execute it quickly for me that is when I know it works. It’s important to go with your gut to get a rough outline of what you want to do before you start working on the details. Do the cake first before you start working on the icing otherwise what have you got? A shit cake…
How to not make a shit cake by Jaguar Skills. I’d buy that cookbook. It could be the name of a new mixtape…
(Laughs) Yeah I think we might be onto something here. Jaguar Skills cookbooks and mixtape packages. ‘How To Not Make A Shit Cake Vol. 1’!
Can you tell us an interesting fact about Jaguar Skills we couldn’t guess?
Well I was in Batman Begins. I was one of the thugs in the dock scene who gets banged out by prime Batman. That was an ambition of mine to be in Batman and I managed to get my way in there. As a kid I loved comics and Batman so to get to get in there and fight Batman was awesome. Now I just need to get my own radio show on GTA. If I had my own show on Grand Theft Auto I’d fucking rock that! That’s always been one of my dreams.
Where have been your favorite places to play?
Wow. There have been so many. Womb in Japan was sick as the crowd were really really excited so that was really great. I was honoured to play Pacha Ibiza as the place has such a history but I love festivals. Festivals are fucking insane and that’s why I love them. I mean I’ve been up a 100 foot spider with chicks firing flame throwers around me. I mean how cool is that?
What does the future hold for Jaguar Skills?
Well I’ve got the new mash up mix album on Ministry Of Sound which will have 18 distinct tracks on it and will be full of samples from old skool hip hop tracks and other sources that I’ve enjoyed. I’d like to do a production album at the boundaries of my own taste but think it’d be too weird if I took it to the max and that nobody would like it! I have to be aware of my audience.
We’d like to hear it…
Maybe I’m already doing it. It may well be under an alias… I’ll also be doing a production album as Jaguar Skills and playing lots of festivals. I’ve also re-bought my entire hip-hop record collection of like a 1000 songs and am looking forward at playing them at a party for all my friends to run through a history of hip hop as that is something I’ve always wanted to do so I’m excited for that.
Jaguar Skills And His Amazing Friends VOL. 2 will be available via Ministry Of Sound on the 24th JUNE 2013.
If you’d rather catch Jags live and in the flesh then you can grab tickets for one of his tour dates including his London show at Koko on the June 22nd by clicking here or catch him at the London Electric Daisy Carnival by clicking here.