Thought you had MJ Cole pegged?
Nope. The chart-topping garage legend and former Mobo winner remerged as a force in UK music this year with hard-bodied, house tempo riddims that owed more to dubstep and Funky than they did the 2step he’s best known for. Next month, he’ll release ‘From the Drop’ on his own Prolific label, a collaboration with grime icon Wiley. We caught up with MJ to find out how ‘From the Drop’ came about, and to see what else he has on the horizon.
You’re about to release a collaboration with Wiley – something many would say is pretty overdue. Is it something you wanted to make happen for a while?
“Absolutely. I’ve always been a fan of Wiley’s flow. He’s a poet and a modern day rock star. We’d never met until a few months back so I was hyped to get to work with him so quickly.”
Is it going to be a one-off, or are there plans for more MJ and Wiley tracks?
“From the Drop should be appearing on Wiley’s next album. There’s another beat he’s vocalled too. It’s still in the works. I’d like to continue to make music with him.”
Obviously when grime emerged, there were plenty of garage fans and producers who weren’t into it. Where did you stand on it, and has your stance changed over time?
“I guess I wasn’t an immediate fan at the time, although I’ve actually discovered some of the better bits many years later. UK music is rich and fast moving and the Grime scene was and is yet another unique musical stepping stone and influence in the journey towards the sounds we hear today.”
Away from ‘From the Drop’, what have you got going on right now? You’ve been on a bit of a hot streak of late, is there an album in the pipeline?
“It’s funny – I always thought another album was a natural progression for me but I’ve really got into releasing smaller collections of tracks recently such as the Riddim EP. Music is so fast moving it feels right to release three or four pieces of music at once and then move on to the next project. It suits me. Not to say that I don’t want to make another album – I’m just having a good time releasing things quickly and progressing fast.”
What about Prolific? What does it have lined up as a label?
“So we have ‘From the Drop’ lined up as you know. After that I have a four track EP of deep, textural instrumental material which I’d like to get out around the end of the year. There’s also a piano EP in the making. There’s some hints over at my Soundcloud page…”