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MUSIC: DJ and producer Adam Prescott has a new album

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MUSIC: DJ and producer Adam Prescott has a new album

Published: 26 February, 2016
by ROISIN GADELRAB

 

I ONLY ever worked a day job to fund my music habits and pay rent,” Reggae Roast DJ and producer Adam Prescott tells us as he prepares to release his first ever album, Warrior, in April.

Luckily for Adam, who originates from Nottingham, where he first developed a love for reggae, he soon found a place for himself doing what he loves: DJing and working with Reggae Roast, a label and night, which originated in Camden some years ago.

“My wife got a job in London and I thought, I’ll give this a go. I’ve known (Reggae Roast co- founder) James (Harper) for a while and it was about time.”

As well as being an integral part of Reggae Roast events, these days Adam runs the brand’s social media and online shop, amongst other things. More recently, Reggae Roast has commissioned a purpose-built sound system, making its presence known through its established crew and visiting guests, many of whom feature on Warrior (out April 22).

“The only way to experience reggae and dub music is through a custom-built heavyweight soundsystem so you really feel the bass in the chest – it lifts the music from our perspective,” said Adam.

Over the years, Reggae Roast has run in various venues including The Big Chill House, The Lock Tavern and, more recently, The Forge. And while reggae may not dominate the charts, Adam believes there is a clear place for it in today’s music scene.

“It’s getting bigger and better,” he said. “We did an event at The Forge and people were queuing around the block. It got to the point where police were called because there were too many people, so we’re moving to Dingwalls.”

While the album was recorded in Camden, and influenced by many of Adam’s experiences living in the borough, he and his wife have had to move on.

He said: “I love Camden but it got to the point where I couldn’t afford it. It’s an expensive habit, especially with all the good record shops like Massive Records in Camden Lock and Out On The Floor (Inverness Street). I had to explain to the wife why I came back with all these records. We moved to Peckham but I can still feed the habit in Brixton.”

Over the years Adam has worked with a number of leading names in the field and has incorporated many of them into his album, which came together almost unintentionally. Brother Culture, Parly B, Charlie P, Donovan Kinjay, Karizma and Rod Taylor all make appearances.

He said: “It wasn’t a conscious thing at the time. I was getting together a collection of songs I’d made and it seemed there was a theme. Then I voiced (recorded) Brother Culture and the chorus is Warrior, so I thought, that’s good title for the record. I’ve released quite a few singles and EPs over the years and I thought, I want to try and do a record. 

“I love albums, it’s a whole 360 view of an artist. Not to sound too pompous, you listen to a record from start to finish and you get an idea of what the artist is about. It just seemed like the right time to do it. I just wanted to see if I could do it.”

He chose to release the record on the Reggae Roast label. 

“I’ve released on quite a few other labels as well but I felt if I was going to do it I should do it on label I put all my work into,” he said.

Adam is more than a producer in the traditional sense. 

“I write all the music, get the right singers on it, mix it all down, sometimes do mastering,” he said. 

“I’m playing keyboards, drums, engineering it all. From start to finish, I’ve done it. There’s a saxophonist called Pata B, he’s the only outside instrumentalist. I don’t write lyrics but I’m there when it’s being voiced, I give them a theme. It’s a 50-50 collaboration with everyone that’s on there.”

The album is guided by Adam’s take on the world. 

“I’m not political but I don’t like any injustices,” he said. “If you listened to the music I’ve put out over the years, I don’t condone violence. I try and get the MC to convey a message of peace, love and unity.”

In the meantime, Reggae Roast has found its place.

Adam added: “It’s doing pretty good. We’ve been pressing quite a few records and they all seem to be doing well, so it keeps the wolf from the door. The way we see it, we’re not going to make money just off releasing records, but one hand feeds the other, the records are adverts for a live show and vice versa.”

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