For the latest in the series of collaborative mixes with the grime focused Uncle Albert Says blog Tomas Fraser profiles J Beatz, a North London based producer whose instrumentals have been used by emcees like Badness, Devlin and Big H.
Despite experiencing varying levels of success after first making waves back in 2009, J Beatz is currently enjoying something of a renaissance. His raw, unforgiving sound finds favour amongst the generally more scathing purists, whilst those newer to the genre are drawn to the energy that only 140 bpm can muster. His music is especially potent when delivered alongside the cream of the crop of up-and-coming emcees. His latest single ’8 Bar Mucktion’ did exactly this, with the track’s widespread approval ensuring J Beatz guest spots on BBC 1Xtra and Logan Sama’s Kiss show.
Keen to build on the success, J Beatz is eager to showcase what he can do on the decks too.
Sonic Router: For those people who may not be too familiar with you as an artist, how would you introduce yourself?
J Beatz: I’m J Beatz, I’m a 19 year old grime producer and deejay who’s worked with the likes of Badness, Frisco, Devlin and Bloodline. I also have music licensed on Ministry of Sound compilations ‘Adventures of Dubstep and Beyond’ volumes 1 and 2. Short and sweet.
Although you’re more commonly associated with grime, you cut across the 140 spectrum in your mix, incorporating a few old school garage joints, hip hop and even some elements of dubstep before finishing on a Lily Allen dub. What was the thinking behind it?
I tried to make the mix cohesive by adding different sounds and tried to showcase different genres that might surprise a few people. I threw in a few new producers too like Neon Beats, K1 and Typah as well as the more established guys like Spooky, Mr Mitch and so on. In terms of the switching up between the UKG sound and grime, I’d definitely do that in a club – I like everything at 140 really. I like to put it all together in one melting pot and hopefully people respond to it.
Can we expect you to experiment outside of grime when it comes to producing too?
I already make a bit of hip hop on the sly but it’s not in abundance. I’m a producer overall but predominantly grime – I’m not gonna limit myself though. As a producer, you’ve always got ideas so why waste them? If you do hear other bits from me outside of the grime spectrum, I guess you shouldn’t be surprised.
’8 Bar Mucktion’ made a real impression after its release in December. What was the idea behind the release? Did you anticipate it being so successful?
I hadn’t had a lot of music out for a while so I was determined to come back with a bang. I took time out for college work and to work more on my sound so I wanted to make a statement. I managed to get in touch with the emcees I’ve worked with before and a few more I felt could do the track justice and thankfully it all worked out. I managed to get airplay with Logan and on 1Xtra which was great for my profile too. It’ll be the first single off my vocal EP that I’m currently working on and it should be out sometime in the summer on my own imprint, Crown Jewels.
With that in mind, what can expect from you for the rest of the year?
I want to stay consistent, that’s the main thing. I’m going to be releasing collaboration EPs throughout the year plus all-star compilations via Crown Jewels are on the cards and I’m working on an old school remix CD to be mixed by myself. That’s also due out in the summer and will be available digitally.
1. J Beatz – Sargent – Crown Jules
2. Assassin – Idiot Ting (J Beatz Blend) – CDR
3. J Beatz – Foundation Riddim – Beatfighter.co.uk
4. M.I.K – Murder The Pen (Foundation Riddim) – CDR
5. Merky ACE – Do Dis Ting Part 2 (Foundation Riddim) – CDR
6. Darq E Freaker – 8 Bar Mucktion Remix Ultramental – Crown Jules
7. J Beatz – R.I.P – Crown Jules
9. J Beatz – Oceana – CDR
8. Aaliyah Feat. Timbaland – Are You That Somebody (J Beatz Bassline Mix) – CDR
9. Whitney Houston – It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay (J Beatz Remix) – CDR
10. J Beatz – Artwork – CDR
11. J Beatz – Old Blue Last – CDR
12. J Beatz Feat. Various Artists – 8 Bar Mucktion – Crown Jules
13. Jammer – Feedback (J Beatz 2012 Mix) – Jahmek Da World Productions
14. J Beatz Vs Dizzee Rascal – Sargent Vs Strings Hoe – Crown Jules
15.. P Money – Don’t Jump Acapella – CDR
**** J Beatz – Injunction *****
**** Spooky – Rude Activity Rally Version *** – Plainface Records
16. J Beatz – Injunction (Mr. Mitch Remix) – CDR
17. J Beatz Vs Ripperman – Rubble Remix – Crown Jules
18.Mr. Mitch – The Last Stand – Gobstopper Records
19. Jammy Beatz – Busin At Em – Crown Jules
20. J Beatz Vs Rapid – Cheque Remix – Crown Jules
21. Typah – Uppercut (8 Bar Mucktion Remix Instrumental – Crown Jules
22. J Beatz – Cinematic – Crown Jules
23, Neon Beats – Attack V.I.P – Plainface Records
24. J Beatz Vs Oxide – Rap Dis Remix – Crown Jules
25. K1 – Apocolypse – Ghost House Records
26. J Beatz – Friday The 13th – CDR
27. J Beatz – Purple – Crown Jules
28. J Beat – Untitled – CDR
29. Lily Allen – The Fear (J Beatz Chill Out Grime Mix) – CDR
Catch Uncle Albert’s debut club night in association with LNUK at East Village in London. Royal T and Last Japan headline. £5 entry. More info here.