Darkjoint interview with musicdish.com
11 April 2002
Sometimes the words 'Hip-Hop' and 'London' don't seem to get used much in the same sentence, but London, England is home to a new producer on the block and he's young, gifted and black… he's The Dark Disciple.
Born in Croydon, England twenty-something years ago at Mayday Hospital, Ransford Roy-Macaulay II is better known to his friends as Roy or The Dark Disciple. He got his alias back in 1994 and recalls it was "while working on a project with a group called X Rooted Tribe, I did a beat for them and they really liked it. So the lead rapper, Mark 'Shifty' Samuels went mad… and started free styling. When he finished he said 'dark beats by the dark disciple'." The name stuck and another alias was also born at the same time, Darkjoint.
Roy grew up in Croydon until the age of 5 and then his parents moved back to Sierra Leone in West Africa. He attended a private primary school and started doing beat box stuff around 1983/1984. He states, "It was during these times I started thinking of rapping since I could not sing." Did I mention he raps as well? No, well he does and when his Mom moved back to London with him in his early teens, they lived in Kennington, South London. It was at this time that Roy met Leo 'LMG' Gilbert who was a DJ from Oval, South London. They linked up and formed a crew around 1990. Five years ago Roy moved into his own place in Canning Town.
Roy decided to get into the music business when he heard 'Paid In Full' by Eric B and Rakim. He had thought "I could really do this" and then he heard LL Cool J's 'Mama Said Knock You Out' album and that cemented his decision to get into the business as a rapper. Not long after that his friend Leo 'LMG' Gilbert bought him the EP 'All Souled Out' by Pete Rock and CL Smooth and he asked Leo to help him make beats. The production side of things got underway and Roy has "never looked back." He has a lot of inspiration from people such as Teddy Riley, DJ Premier, Dr Dre and more, but these initial incidents are what made him start down the road into music.
Getting his break into the business was not officially what Roy would call a 'break', he says "mad things had happen(ed) to me in the 10 year period I had spent doing this… In '95 my mate Tunde hook(ed) me up with a friend of his who was a singer. His name was Emeka and we just clicked." Together they formed a label with other friends and started work on Emeka's debut album. They released his debut single in 1996 through GHC Entertainment called 'Wish I Had A Minute' featuring a young rapper Roy was developing called Malarchi aka The Dreadstar. The single was a hit on the underground scene and got them noticed as producers.
He has since worked with Malarchi, who is currently blowing up on the UK Hip-Hop scene, on his 1st album entitled 'Forgotten World'. The Dark Disciple also produced half of Emeka's album 'Physical Pain' whilst his friend, Mohammed, produced the other half and there are a few more albums under his belt. Roy has worked on a number of singles that he has produced, remixed and released on various record labels including Malarchi's 'No Question', 'U4Days' and 'UK Ground Zero' on Gemtoy Records, D-Lyte-1's 'King of Atlantis' on 2000 Mo Entertainment and D-Lyte-1 featuring Malarchi 'Millennium Dome' on 2000 Kemistry Records. He is working on a number of other projects at present and has worked with other producers including David McCloud on Malarchi's new single and Ohdize.
As you might have noticed, the name Malarchi has appeared a number of times during this interview and the reason behind that is Roy has known the young rapper for the past 8 years, since Malarchi was just 15. Roy's brother, Cyril, had organised a talent contest in Canning Town and the winner would get a track done by Roy at his studio. Malarchi won, featured on the 1st single Roy released, Emeka's 'Wish I Had A Minute' and they have worked together ever since. It helps that Malarchi lives just across the road from Roy as well.
As a producer Roy will "work with anyone who feels what I do" and so far has worked a lot with Gemtoy Records and a long list of artists including Femi X, Shogun, MC D and Chrysttenet to name a few. He has a home studio that makes life easier for him and saves him time and money as he can work on a beat for a week if he wants and have no studio fees to pay!
As for his own musical talent as a rapper, Roy writes all his own lyrics, but says "I haven't written a rhyme for a very long time since I have just concentrated on producing other people." His ideas for lyrics come from "anything and everything" and he is working on his debut album at the moment. He is not currently signed to a record label, but works under his own, Darkjoint.
Roy has performed at a lot of clubs all over England and appeared on a number of TV shows alongside Malarchi. He was on Mel B's show 'Pure Naughty' on BBC2, 'Soul Music' on Carlton with Apache Indian and notably the BBC Radio 1 stage at this year's Notting Hill Carnival with Tim Westwood. The carnival was where they got their best response and he says "I was shocked when 2000 people were screaming the chorus to 'No Question'… It was such a buzz." He'd love to go to Europe, Africa and America on tour though.
After 10 years in the business, Roy has his views on the music industry as a whole and says "I don't really like the segregation within the UK Hip-Hop industry… We need to come together and run tings properly… We need support from everyone like the DJ's, fans, media, press and the general public… One man can't change this, we need everyone to make it happen."
Whilst doing his thing in the music industry, Roy has studied and now works full-time as a Systems Analyst in the City (of London). He does music in the evenings and weekends. If he has any spare time he spends it "with whoever (I) am with at the time or make more beats."
For the future, Roy is working on finishing his album that he hopes will be out early next year. He is also working on a remix for Malarchi's next single 'Da Shock' that will feature other MC's. In the meantime people can check out the Darkjoint remix of Chrysttenet's 'Gentle Distance' and D-Lyte-1's new single featuring Malarchi, 'Millennium Dome'.
On a final note, Roy wanted to thank "everyone who has supported me and the UK Hip-Hop industry over the years" and advises "don't let any player-hater put you off what you are doing. Just go by what you feel." We're definitely feeling where Roy is coming from and be warned that The Dark Disciple is going to keep those Darkjoints coming. Watch out for them…
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