The tale of the award winning, creative, vibrant, outlandish, loud and proud lyricist MC Skatty is an inspirational one. From the first bedroom lyric to his most recent big room epic, Skatty’s journey has been like a soaring Phoenix from the beginning and is still going strong, especially with the addition of his industry respected ‘Best Breakthrough MC’ trophy at the Hardcore Heaven Awards.
Hailing from Birmingham and moving to the Isle Of Wight at just 12 years old, Skatty’s first successful effort at falling in love with dance music came in the early 90’s when he was introduced to Josh Wink’s ‘Higher State Of Consciousness’. This inevitably tied with his later introduction to rave culture by way of a Helter Skelter Anthology ’97 cassette pack and having already followed electronic music for some time, the turn to rave was instant. Literally from the moment the ‘Play’ button was pressed, Skatty’s hardcore addiction had begun and it would stay that way to the present day. It’s an addiction that would lead on to Skatty’s regular contact with his cousin Hardcore K3V who would be the supply source for an untold number of tape pack loans that had sold him on a artistic choice that would define him as a lyricist in later years.
This of course, was accompanied by an equal share of raving beginning at an event Skatty would never forget – Future Dance 8 at the infamous Bagley’s in London, an experience that coupled with a healthy collection of tape packs and a notepad and pen kicked off his obsession with the lyrical side of rave, becoming more focussed on the way an MC connects the crowd to the DJ and the DJ to the crowd. Closely studying a group of artists who were to him at the time heroes (he can now call most of them friends), Skatty took care to admire the skill involved in the game, watching artists such as Marley, Smiley, Whizzkid, Storm, Ethos, Charlie B, Casper, Livelee, Wotsee, Sharkey, Odyssey and the late, brilliant Junior.
With belief, hard work, a lot of writing and a lot more practise, followed a series of poetic double timed lyrics that would forge the path Skatty presently preserves with great showmanship. His first set would take place at Hybrid held at Smallbrook Stadium on the Isle Of Wight. Skatty then got asked to star at Abyss at Ryde Seafronts’ Marine Pub right by where he lived; he would be asked to return every other week from there. The name Skatty wasn’t always prevalent though, he was originally the MC Headcase, that was of course until it became evident that MC’ing was becoming every part the successful gig he’d dreamed and hoped it would and now appreciating that in order to be taken seriously he’d have to have something that had more edge. After weeks and weeks of thinking it out and writing lists to size up possible name changes, a fateful Coach trip returning to the island from a rave would give him all the inspiration the wayward MC would need.
Many memorable parties ensued, including the widely loved Yaverland & Blackgang beach parties on the island for event brands such as Abyss, Hardcore Incineration, Seriously Innerstate, Serious Hardcore, Chemical Telepathy, Hardcore Sanctuary, TNT, DEXFM and Hardcore Unity. MC’ing front and center at raves had become very much a reality for Skatty and the name had stuck too, although it hadn’t stopped his thirst for continuing his legacy as an MC on the mainland.
Next on the agenda was crossing the water and setting his sights on the bigger, UK wide revered event brands and parties and aside from getting your foot in the door by asking promoters to give you a ten minute slot for free, nothing quite sells you hard like a mastered recording of your skills amply working with an equally talented DJ on a CD. Skatty recorded his first official demo CD with Ricky Redhead, it would be the start of a unique relationship that saw the blend of Ricky’s finely tuned track selection and mixing skill and ability lock nicely with Skatty’s now skilfully honed flair for spouting rhymes becoming in great demand. The calls would come from promoters for regular bookings and the ravers pushing the promoters to book the duo because they simply couldn’t wait out the gap until the next CD. What had traditionally started as a recording session to find more work from promoters, had turned into a phenomenon that had the ravers demanding second, third and more instalments of the CD from the productive pair.
Not only would they be welcomed with open arms by the guys behind the Hidden Disco tent at Bestival, but that would give Skatty the desired big stage boost he needed to hit mainland UK hardcore, starting with one of the South Coast’s biggest underground events, Contact. MC’ing for Matt every month, Skatty had through this had the opportunity to share a stage with fellow artists such as MC Storm, MC Whizzkid, Casper, Wotsee and more, as well as DJ’s such as Hixxy, Darren Styles, Evil Activities, DJ Sy, Dougal, Kev Energy, Mark EG and Alex Kidd. It would also, with the addition of persistence and the MC equivalent of a lot of cold calling open further doors for smaller events all around the South Coast.
Skatty’s fondly remembered win at the 2007 Hardcore Heaven Weekender in Southport secured him a further set with the Slammin Vinyl owned and operated sold out Weekender series the following year and helped him break the main stage MC’ing for Mark EG at Bournemouth’s illustrious Opera House (now known as O2 Academy, Bournemouth).
Building an incredible CV that many MC’s would donate the proverbial limb to claim for their own. In no particular order of greatness, Skatty then realised a dream by becoming a resident for ALL Hardcore Heaven events at the O2 Academy, Bournemouth, a resident for South Coast super brand Fusion, a resident for the aforementioned Contact and a healthy amount of regular return visits as a guest MC to Slammin Vinyl’s Hardcore Heaven Weekender, HTID, Raverbaby, Hardcore Evolution, Ravers Are:, Natural Born Ravers, We Are Hardcore, Uproar, The Secret Society and many more. The list also includes international events such as Uproar’s Dutch Sea adventure Uproar Goes To The Dam and a regular slot on the Spanish Coast in Lloret De Mar at HTID In The Sun which saw Skatty take several dates during the week long Sun, Sea, Sand and hardcore marathon for not just one season, but for several consecutive years.
By popular demand and not wanting to let down a now flourishing fan base, MC Skatty’s demo CD’s continued, this time working closely with talented upfront breakthrough DJ Davies and recording a series of new mixes entitled Hardcore Fix. Once again they became the thing of UK hardcore lore and the free download and CD giveaway compilation went through several successful instalments, with many of the digital download figures coming now not just from Skatty’s native UK, but also from around the World.
The dream doesn’t end there though. A hat trick of exhilaration and excitement would follow on from an already boast-worthy set of accolades. In late 2011 Skatty won the very much sought after prize of ‘Best Breakthrough MC’ at Slammin Vinyl’s globally recognised Hardcore Heaven Awards, which are the hardcore industry equivalent of an Oscar, quickly followed by another career definer that for many years didn’t seem possible – Skatty would start 2012 by performing live on BBC Radio 1 with fellow ‘Best Breakthrough’ winner (as a DJ), MOB. Throwing down an epic 30 minute guest mix, the two broke new boundaries for the UK’s thriving hardcore scene by taking their new and imitable style to the internationally renowned station as part of a program powered by the scene’s national radio ambassador, Kutski.
It would also mark history for not only the show but BBC Radio 1 itself as previous programmes on the station had never played host to a live set from a hardcore MC before on a specialist show that nets listeners in the millions.
For the MC Skatty, so much has happened already over such an exciting, exploration and interesting period and with him now a firm part of Marc Smith’s legendary Notorious Vinyl family and continuing his work with Whizzkid’s Broken Records UK brand, truly reaching his targets, achieving his dreams and evolving as an artist, as a lyricist and as a main stage MC.
However, it is by no means anywhere near over, it looks like it’s going to be another incredible year for this microphone wielding, double drop rhyme King as he prepares for a follow up instalment to the successful mix tape series ‘South Coast Stylee’ with Jonny G, Davies, Mytee & Mayhem and the next episode of his much loved and highly regarded event series ‘INSOMNIA’ of which he is the promoter and show director and is planning to run at least four times a year.
Before it was about breaking boundaries, now it’s about breaking records, please welcome your host – MC Skatty.