Since Maverick Sabre wowed the seated crowd of Later...with Jools Holland in April, eyebrows have been raised and heads have been bopped to his offerings of cocktail of motown, reggae, dub step and commercial r 'n' b. An irishman born in Hackney, Ryan Duggins travelled to Wales to talk about being on benefits, watching Alfred Hitchcock movies and how Drake has dumbed down his music for money.
Where do you take your influences from?
I would say my biggest influence I probably my dad. He brought me up on traditional Irish values, and teaching me about southern American blues, rock 'n' roll. He used to let me delve into hi record collection when I was about 8 or 9. His records varied from stuff like The Beatles to Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles. Then I got into Hip-Hop when I was about 12, when a friend of mine' brother played me a Tupak Shakur tape in Ireland, and I fell in love. So I then moved into Dizzee Rascal, So Solid Crew. Then I moved on to Reggae and Folk, Bob Dylan, Jonny Cash, Bob Marley obviously. As a perform, I am a just a big sponge of all that.
Were you big on Festivals before you started performing at them?
You know what, for me when I was younger, it was more a case of finding the money to go to a festival. I did go to Oxygen in Ireland, and another one that I went to. But in Ireland, we hardly have any options, but here, you have mad options. Loads of stuff going on. I went to The Big Chill last year, or the year before, and I loved it. But it's great, everyone comes and the music unifies people
And how about the student crowd out there? How do they differ from a regular audience?
Well when I was doing my dubstep PA stuff, I performed across loads of Universities and stuff for a couple of months. I love students, and most of the time, it's the student crowd that are the most lively.
How are you feeling about the current dominance of dubtep music in the charts? People are suggesting that the genre is being diluted
Well what did those people expect though? To be honest, it's not like what happened with Grime music, where when it went mainstream it really dumbed down.. With dubstep, even when it went mainstream, it till kept that rawness. I mean, you have Nero in the charts at the moment, and their big tracks. Chase & Status, killing it.
So just because there's a lot of this in the charts, you don't think it effects the genre.
If you think Katy B is diluting the genre like...Personally, I don't think she is at all. She's putting out some fantastic music, you know. Good club music, and I don't think in any way that that sort of thing is harmful to dubstep, or drum & bass, or any of that scene. But obviously sometimes you're gonna get the 'hardened heads' that will be specific on the amount of dub-step they want to see. There are critics in every genre. The minute it becomes mainstream, no matter if it's good or not. Take Dizzee. The minute he became big, people started to say 'you know what, forget Dizzee'. Why? He puts out great music, look at Bonkers. Massive tune. No matter if you think it' cheesy or not, it's a massive tune. But people take their own perspective on things, the die hard fans are going to be die hard fans for the rest of their lives. I have said that a few times, and said no to an artist when they blew up to maintream.
Drake. You know, I was a big fan of hi mix-tape playing days, where he could talk about how he's got money, and also talk about his personal issues in the same way. And now he' doing R 'n' B. One thing I don't ever wanna do is come down on people's artistic expression because that's them.
Do you not think that if an Artist knows that he would be better off financially by changing the act, then he/she should do that?
Erm, no. I don't agree with that. Obviously, a man has to put clothes on his back and put a roof over his head, and some people to need more bedrooms than others, and some people need better clothes than others and more food than others. But money will temptingly sway everyone at some point in their lives. It's the evilest thing on this earth. It' the downfall of our society, and sometimes it' gonna sway you, but you have to try and keep your positive traits true because it messes with you. And if someone is swayed, the fair play to them. I'm not gonna' judge a man on any decision they make. But for me, why would I waste my own energy on saying 'well he should have done this, and he should have done that.'..Fuck that, this is what I'm doing. People think that you have to do cheesy pop to make money. I mean, let' look at this from a purely money-based angle, which I don't like doing. You look at some of the most famous songs in the world, like 'No Woman No Cry', you pay that anywhere and the crowd will go mental. Inspiring songs and hits too. It's all about positive messages, and if you can make money through that, then good.
How do you enjoy yourself away from work?
I love movies. I am a big movie fan. You know, I grew up on music so that will always be one of my ways to enjoy myself. I recently bought a Vinyl player, so going to the old record shops and buying tunes from back in the day. Just inspiring man. But movies I love. I love any form of visual representation. I am a big fan of Alfrew Hitchcock, and I recently watched Rear Window the other day. Every movie that guy does gets a re-make because it' that good, you know. If I wasn't a musician, I would probably be working in that area
And how can you progress Maverick? What do the next 2 years look like in your mind?
You know, I don't want to put any limit on myself. So I can go anywhere. This time last year I was on the first act on the third stage at the Lovebox fetival, and I played to about 5 people. This time, at that festival I am just a couple of acts before Snoop Dogg on the main stage. And a year before that, I was on the dole, on benefits in Ireland. So if I can make that same progression again for the next 12 months I would be delighted
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