Apart from that, you’ve also been taking more clubby oriented directions. Like this ‘Instinctual’ album that you’ve released with DJ Predator on Scottish label Glasgow Undergound…
“True. It was pumping House/Garage oriented with a drop of vocals. We wanted to provide the DJ’s with a good album they could play in the clubs…”
Or… on this ‘Live In The Mix’ comp released on Distance back in 1999. Making Ron Trent and yourself labelmates at the time…
“No comment. I just came to know Olivier (Velay) at Distance. Not Ron Trent!”
I was just thinking (once again) of ‘The Wanderer’ which had been released on Prescription…
“Prescription (Chez Damier and Ron Trent‘s label at the time) and myself had started a relation full of good intentions. Then it’s got harder. Like it or not, I don’t think this label was operated in the best possible way…”
Conflict of talents?
“Well, I’m more geared towards lyrics. I reach the crowd not only because of my music. But also because of my lyrics. And, on top of it, I do not think that those peeps (Ron & Chez) were born to do business.”
You were talking about pumping House/Garage regarding your Glasgow Underground album. Have you, like many artists from Jersey, being fed with Gospel?
“Naah, coz’ I’ve studied in a cosmopolitan environment. They were a lot of foreigners around. Germans, Nips, Mexicans. Students whose parents were living next to my house. Having me as a result in connection with many different cultures in the meantime…”
Have you been touched by this New Jersey Sound sort of wave at the beginning of the 90’s? I mean with people as Kerri Chandler, Adeva or Tony Humphries. Such as the memorable ‘In The Mix’ sounding like a tribute to the latter seems to demonstrate it…
“I just would say yes, spiritually talking at least. I have never forgotten this period because it has definitely contributed to change my life.”
Would you say that unity’s missing within this niche?
“Of course. Knowing that so many people are reduced to produce in bedrooms, this just shows how finances are missing. And how the competition is hard. Some people are tempted to be less cautious along with time as far as artistry is concerned. This in order to respond to the trends of the moment. Besides, I have to say that the opportunities are from far less numerous than in other genres.
Life is a struggle for many of us. And it’s even harder for those going from an opportunity to another like most of us are doing. It’s hard to talk and be in harmony with the others in such conditions. And even more when not in harmony with your own self…”
Playing, composing, producing, running a company and have your own records distributed. Not necessarily easy…
“I didn’t have any other choice. Simply because no one was interested in releasing my music when I started. Of Course, I would have liked to sign with a major company. But no one understood my music over there. And I guess they never will. I felt like a real frustration as a matter of fact. But there was no way for me to accept compromission, knowing what I wanted. I never got to the point where I would wonder how to deal with the aspects of life. I didn’t have other choice than doing the things on my own. Especially when noticing the reactions of the DJ’s…”
You were talking about the importance of the lyrics in your work. So what inspires you?
“Everything and sometimes nothing. But each time with the will to be proud when the crowd would get to listen to my work. I don’t have any prob to talk about this or that. This as long as the final result is the exact translation of what I feel. Besides, I’ll never talk about something I don’t believe in. Simply in the name of a hype or whatever…”
Would you tend to show that you’re against any form of discrimination… Should it social, political ou cultural?
“Yes. But I also have to be careful about what I’m expressing in regards to this power to communicate which has become mine along with time…”
You seem like very careful in regards to the choice of the terms you use. Not to mention these areas of silences which you surround yourself with. Expression of the abstract?
“Yes. I love what I’m doing, but I also realize that it’s a gift. So that I can’t say that I have everything in control. As many things are coming from the inspiration. And God knows where inspiration itself comes from…”
In other words, humility as a motto…
“I’m happy to see that I’ve been able to survive. Which is not the case in regards those Zanzibar nights with Tony (Humphries) and that New Jersey spirit we’ve been talking about earlier on.
It appeared to me that everything had to come to an end by the middle of the nineties. In Jersey as in New York. This period to me has been terrible. They dropped almost everything at the radio. Clubs were closing one after another in NYC to be replaced by Disney shops. Everything has changed with both the disappearance of the Underground spirit and the majors companies focusing on reputedly trending things…”
Romanworld (Azuli Records) – Romanthony
Instinctual (Glasgow Underground) – Romanthony & DJ Predator
R.Hide In Plain Site (Glasgow Underground) – Romanthony
Live In The Mix (Distance) – Romanthony
The Wanderer (Black Male Records) – Romanthony
Falling From Grace (Azuli Records) – Romanthony
In The Mix (A Tribute To Tony Humphries) (Azuli Records) – Romanthony
Bring U Up (Black Male Records) – Romanthony
Built For Love (PIAS Holland) – Kraak & Smaak feat. Romanthony