adidas NMD S1 ‘Ice Mint’ with Dego

London’s underground music scene has hosted some of the best DJs around over the years. When taking a trip into the past there was one artist that stood out to us, one of which many of us at Footpatrol would’ve come across at some point, even if we hadn’t known it. 

Cousin Cockroach, Pavel Kostiuk, DKD, Plutonia, Nu ERa, Da One Away, Mr Goodgood; just some of the aliases and groups that Dego has produced under. So if you find yourself digging through some of your old vinyl and see any of the above, well now you know who’s the man behind the mask! 

For adidas’s upcoming NMD-S1 launch we looked to delve more into the past to hear Degos story and how he found himself where he is today. 

Footpatrol: Dego, before we get into everything, how are you?

Dego: I am fine inside my head but physically in pain due to a weekend of basketball & 11 a side football.

FP: For people who don’t know who you are or are unfamiliar with your work , could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Dego: I own 2000BLACK records whilst producing all things influenced by reggae, jazz, soul, boogie, hip hop, house & detroit techno.

I have been credited with being a pioneer or influencer of a few different unique london based music (genres to some!!!).

FP: At what age did you realise that you had a passion for music? 

Dego: Around the age of five or six is when i remember listening to music on my Dad’s stereo using headphones and feeling like i had been transported into another world. The headphones created a totally submerged experience and when you’re hearing the crazy outer space sounds of Lee Scratch,Tubby’s and Scientist with heavy B-lines you almost feel like it’s magic before you.

FP: Your music style  has close affiliations to London, could you explain to us the inspiration behind your artistry and what impact it has had on the underground music scene?

Dego: My influence is the passion and drive to better my music. Clubs likeTrends Night Spot, Ambassadors, Gossips, All Nations & Plastic People moulded me into knowing what I can do to people and what ‘RAVING’ really can be. These places never had a one style of music policy so when I make my own I try to use all that i love for the duration of my song playing.

FP: How have you seen the London underground music scene grow since your first mixes you ever put together?

Dego: I have seen London’s underground scene from blues parties to nightclub establishments to illegal warehouse parties to massive festivals.In all that time it has grown shrunk grown again became niche or at periods been a trashy commercial entity masquerading as the underground. London always finds its cutting edge somewhere and regardless of the establishment forcing some closures or money men polluting its ethics, many of us stay true to our love of the arts and with that we can survive anything.

FP: Tell me a little bit about your record label 2000 black ? How did that come about?

Dego: 2000BLACK started in 1998 and was born out of a refusal to be pigeon holed and named after the Roy Ayers song 

FP: If there are any, artists or  producers have influenced your art form?

Dego: Many like the Mizell Brothers ,UR , Dilla, Pleasure, ATCQ, Desi G & Barry White, George Clinton and so many more.

FP: You  are one part of the music duo 4hero that you formed with Marc Mac as Dollis Hill residents, tell me a little more about this and what role Dollis Hill has played in shaping your art form.  

Dego: 4hero was born out of the uk hip hop scene and the summer of love era. Drum & Bass was the main template where we attached sci-fi, soul, dub & cautionary tales. Dollis Hill was just a place our studio was located in.

FP: Your music style is described as ‘naturally morphing into something else when you’ve got it figured out.’  From Drum ‘n Bass to broken beat style, what would you say is the most distinctive thing about your music style?

Dego: All its roots are in black music and has no care whatsoever for current trends. We have our own sound that we expand on and push the limits to further fusion discoveries. 

FP: What advice would you give to our viewers that want to start out in music and or build their own record label?

Dego: Own as much of your output as possible. Release music you love and are passionate about,keep in mind that art is often just a snapshot of particular time and place. You don’t have to be too precious about it but always strive to do better with every release. The industry is already full of middle men, sharks and charlatans pretending to care about music. So please do try to navigate accordingly and have fun.

FP: To finish off we would like to thank you so much for the interview. Is there anything you would like to share with the Footpatrol friends and family? That could be anything from getting people excited about something, a message of positivity, whatever you like.

Dego: Thank you for having me on footpatrol & check out 2000BLACK at bandcamp.

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