Mantmast has been a regular feature at Shogun Audio events for his no-nonsense approach on the mic, that always gets the crowd hyped. We spoke to Manty about the early experiences and influences on him as an MC, and the journey he has had with Shogun Audio. He describes his lyrical inspirations as being nerdy but also names classic’s like Mobb Deep and Ed Rush as being important. Like all good MCs, it’s not how much you say, but what you say and when you say it…
What got you started as an MC?
If I had to pinpoint a particular moment then it was the gully tones of Lil’ Dap & Nutcracker from Group Home and Mobb Deep’s Havoc & Prodigy that really inspired me to write my own verses as a 15 year-old kid. There’s something about that clean, simplistic flow which still appeals to me even now. Not long after I was exposed to drum and bass via the standard method of rave tapes and radio and after hearing a 1 in the Jungle show with Ed Rush and Trace I realised this music was me. So it was a combination of the two that got me started – applying simplified bars over 170 was the blueprint to what I do now.
What influences you lyrically?
OK, so I get my geek on regularly and I’m big into the natural world, so sometimes draw on that for ideas. But vol au vents, manatees, X-Wings all feature heavily in the repertoire. The nerdier the better.
What is crucial to being a good DnB MC?
I guess the cliché that’s usually given is knowing when to hold your tongue over a track, but that’s only one aspect. Stage presence along with the ability to adapt to musical peaks and troughs within a set are just as important. You need to push yourself and effectively be your own worst critic in order to improve your craft, not just in mcing but anything creative. In my view that’s all part of it.
Who do you rate as an MC and why?
Without doubt the Shogun hosts; SP, AD, LX and Linguistics all bring their own unique style to the table, but I’m also rating guys like Visionobi, Fokus and Messy. What all of them have in common is progression. These dudes are always coming with something fresh every time I hear them.
Which DJ(s) have you most enjoyed doing a set with?
Last year’s Dour Festival with Rockwell was sick. This year the highlight so far has got to be Star Warz X Shogun Audio in Ghent, but that may well change after the 25th!
What do you think an MC brings to a DnB set?
They’re there to complement the music, create a vibe, regulate if necessary – anything that enhances and doesn’t detract from the set has got to be a positive thing.
Apart from Drum n bass what other musical styles are you passionate about?
Literally everything from minimal to classical – whether it’s fLako or Rodan, my musical preferences have broadened as I’ve got older for sure. I’ve still got love for that mid-nineties boom bap though.
Tell us something people might not know about Mantmast?
I do a killer Brian Badonde impression
Shogun Audio London
10pm – 6am
South Lambeth Road
London SW8 1UQ
Calyx & Teebee
Fourward b2b Joe Ford
SP:MC, Linguistics, AD, Mantmast.
Advanced Tickets: £10 – £25 + bf
Early Birds SOLD OUT!