It is truly amazing that Hip Hop has hit every continent and folks are producing good music. The Irishman Danny Diggs: producer, beatmaker, and maestro of sound has taken some time out of his busy schedule working for a brief insight into his world. I hope you all enjoy.
DJ Grain: Being from Ireland, what was the first Hip Hop music you heard?
Danny Diggs: It was an NWA - Straight Outta Compton casstete tape that I got as a present, back when NWA were no longer a group and cassettes were the last thing a young teenager wanted. It took me a long time before I found out there were actually Irish Hip Hop acts, but the first time I heard the Irish stuff, it blew my mind.
DJ Grain: When did you start making beats?
Danny Diggs: I started messing about rapping, then quickly moved onto making beats at about age 14 or 15.
DJ Grain: What artists have you worked with?
Danny Diggs: A bunch of different artists. I did my first album work on Canadian rapper Mello Black's debut album "At the Speed of Motion", I did 3 tracks on that. I just did a track ('Reflections') on the Killah Priest & Cheif Kamachi - Beatiful Minds LP.
Right now I'm working with an ATL based emcee named Jermiside on what will be my first album, I'm really looking forward to people hearing this. I think its going to be a solid record. On this side of the ocean, I'm doing a lot of work with rapper/singer/producer Maverick Sabre, he probably DJ's too. I'm doing a few tracks for his first official mixtape coming in the new year, and I've done random tracks with Shad K, Akrobatik, Nucentz, DJ Mayhem and others.
DJ Grain: What was the first song your produced?
Danny Diggs: Ah I don't know, probably some shite i was rapping over myself, but the first song that people are actually going to hear, I would be the Mello Black stuff.
DJ Grain: Thus far in your career, who has been your favorite artist to work with?
Danny Diggs: Bit early for this kind of talk. So far its a toss up between Jermiside and Maverick Sabre, I think both of them are great, both have crazy focus!
DJ Grain: What instruments or equipment do you use to make beats?
Danny Diggs: My set up is PC based. I run Ableton and Acid Pro (I've tried 'em all and these are the ones that suit me) controlled by a bunch of MIDI controllers (Korg pad Kontrol, Novation Le keyboard, Mackie controller), Krk monitors,bass guitar, some old Gemini turntables and lots of records.
DJ Grain: What project(s) are you currently working on?
Danny Diggs: Jermside/Danny Diggs album, and the Maverick Sabre Mixtape. I think I'm gonna put out a little MySpace EP type download with various rappers over my beats.
DJ Grain: Could you describe the Hip Hop scene in Ireland?
Danny Diggs: I would say it's good. Living on the West Coast, I'm a ways away from the Irish Hip Hop "scene" that centers around Dublin, but we have got some really good acts like Rob Kelly, Maverick Sabre, MJEX, Nucentz and Rawsoul, Scary Eire, Flithy Rich, DJ Flip, Scooby...there's too many to name. We have talent out the ying yang, hit MySpace, do a search and see we are about to invade.
DJ Grain: Who are some of your favorite producers?
Danny Diggs: Pete Rock is the man, Primo, J-Dilla, Black Milk, Ohmega watts, RJD2, and 9th Wonder just to name a few that I really like.
DJ Grain: Do you have any words of wisdom for young producers?
Danny Diggs: Ha, I'm too young to give words of wisdom, but for anybody starting out, do your own thing - don't go onto a fucking website forum and listen to a bunch of talentless cunts talk about how to make good Hip Hop. If you enjoy what you're making then it's good Hip Hop. Such and such software or a particular piece of gear isn't going to make you better, make do with what you have and learn.