Here is an interview I did with Heny G, one of the main players in West London's Anti Social Entertainment Crew who make Grime and Dubstep music. This was one of the most interesting interviews I have done so far and I wish I could have transcribed the whole tape but he talked at me for about an hour! All fascinating stuff though...This was originally intended for the Vice 2007 Student Guide but Heny never got me a photo in time. We are hollerin at him to set us a photo so we can run it in the main magazine.
Anti Social Entertainment
While Grime was busy putting out impossible amounts of mixtapes and calling people out on Rinse, Dubstep crept through the back door last year. While much of the media attention has made it seem like this all exploded in South London overnight like a some mushrooms in the dark it’s been building for over five years. Anti Social know this. Silkie, Harry Craze and Heny G have been at it in West London since day. Silkie remixed Gemma Fox back in 2002 as well as crafting the ‘04 killer ‘No Help No Handouts’ while Heny has been on pirates such as Lush since he was 10. It was at Henys’ own React FM that Jay 5ive , Quest and Razor Rector came into the picture and big tracks like ‘Strawberries’ began to get the gang noticed. Last year tunes like Quest’s ‘Hardfood’ and Silkie’s ‘Drugs’ were all over dances and radio with their uniquely musical take on Dubsteps halfstep wobble while Heny’s been DJing out at FWD and DMZ as well as holding down his own show on Rinse. We caught up with Heny in his Hammersmith studio.
Vice: A lot of the Anti Social stuff sounds really interesting and musical. Did you learn any musical instruments at school?
Heny G: Me personally, no. Silkie and Quest both went college and did music tech. That helps them with the production side you know? The musical side just comes natural, Quest’s dad used to DJ on Choice FM way back when and my dad was a singer and guitarist. Every Saturday my old man would wake up, have a full English and put on records: Barrington Levy, Teddy Pendergrass, lots of stuff, dub, reggae, soul. That is all with me now, I can play guitar, sing, do the piano. All that helps bring something to the sound. To be honest I wasn’t really at school after the age of 15.
Vice: What were you up to?
Heny: In and out of record shops all day, hunting down Dubs. That’s how I first met Skream and Benga: hollerin’ at Hatcha down Big Apple for plates. They couldn’t believe anyone outside South was building beats on Fruity Loops like they were but we were all at it. We been friends since, Skream plays Anti Social beats on his Rinse show, it all helps. Same with Mala, I met him when I was working in Uptown and no one else would stock his dubs. I’ve worked in all the Soho shops man: Uptown, Release The Pressure, Black Market. That’s my education right there.
Vice: You all come from a fairly Grime steeped background how come you are pushing the Dubstep sound?
Heny: To me it’s all one you know, look at how tunes like Request Line can cross over. On my Rinse show I’ll play a Grime beat or a Dubstep beat, same with Jay on his Rinse show. Anti Social is all about every side of the music. You can hear it in Quest and Silkie’s production, they are very specific as producers, they won’t just put out any old beat, it has to be up to standard, have that variety. Just bringing something different all the time, I’ve got my Gansta Boogie imprint, Silkie does stuff under Pharmacology and Quest runs under Conquest but it’s all part of the Anti Social family. We bringin it together and people are finally taking notice, I’m getting Myspace messages from people in the US and Japan askin about it tunes. It’s crazy. This year gonna be big for Anti Social, truss.