After attending a Young Culture gig, we were invited to the studio to meet the men behind the brand. Stevie and Richie started the Young culture collective whilst in college and their fan base has been booming eversince. Both local boys, their following is mainly based in Moseley and Birmingham.
How would you describe Young culture?A reggae sound system, young culture is like a brand. We started out DJing, but then we started to put together our own nights, doing all our PR and finding different artists to play with us. Our most recent venture is The Young Culture collective, it’s a working title but basically we wanted to play our own live music so are in the mists of setting up a band.
When were you first exposed to this type of music? When I started going to jamjah when I was like 15, I mean, my parents played this type of music to me when I was younger but I didn’t really connect with it back then.
So what is Jamjah?It’s the longest standing reggae linkup in Birmingham, we used to go every Monday back when we shouldn’t have even been allowed to go out. This is when we knew we wanted to do a similar thing but with our own unique twist. Its local nights like this that inspire young people like us and we hope that we can do the same for people that come to our nights.
Who inspires you? And why?Bongo Damo and Robidon, these are the resident DJ’s at Jamjah and have helped and supported us in getting our career off the ground. South Birmingham is like a family, artists support each other, we all book each other for gigs and help each other out. I would also add mungos hifi, I think he is very influential in the reggae scene.
How did you make those first steps towards becoming a DJ?We used to collect records individually but when we became Young Culture we decided to combine our collections and started sourcing more unusual vinyl’s so we ended up with a large and more unusual collection that we still add to all the time. Back then we didn’t even have our own decks so we practiced on my brothers and one day his friend, a promoted for the Hare and Hounds pub in Kings Heath, heard us and gave us the opportunity to play. After this we got loads of opportunities, one of the weirdest ones was probably when we played at an art exhibition. People were just walking around looking at art whilst we were jamming in the corner, it gave a really young and fun feel to the gallery.
How did you know this was what you wanted to do?There’s nothing better than going out and being able to the control music that people are listening too, seeing people enjoy themselves and feeling the vibes is sick.
Do you remember your first gig? How did it feel?Bulls head with Nickerbockerglory to about 2 people, there was like no one there but I guess that helped with the nerves.
What’s your most memorable night that you either played or attended?Playing at shambala festival, we played on the Thursday which was the day that everyone was arriving so we were only music. There were so many people full of energy and buzzing for the festival, it was like we were the warmup act for the whole weekend. After our 3 hour set, Lion Art came on stage to give us a shout out and there were bare people just shouting and going mad and it was sick. The best one we attended, now that’s a hard one. I would have to say ACDC at Wemberley stadium in London. People don’t expect us to like artists like ACDC but it has to go down as one of the most memorable nights of our lives.
So do you not just listen to reggae then?Oh definitely not, we listen to everything. Classical in the morning, I love chilling out to a bit of Jazz or Blues, Hiphop and Funk also. It really depends what were in the mood to listen too, I would say the only types we don’t really like are House and modern day pop music.
What is the one track that never gets old for you?Probably the first dubplate we got from Whitey, young culture saved my life. When people think of Young Culture, this is the track that tends to come to mind.
How do you prepare for a set?We don’t always prepare, but when we do multiple sets in a day we like to plan in a bit to make sure we don’t play the same songs.
Do you play to the audience? Or are your sets all prepared in advance?Depends what type of gig it is and what the crowd is. We like to keep the positive vibes so if people aren’t feeling what we’re playing we adapt. At the end of the day, they’ve come to have a good night we’re there to make sure that happens.
Have you played anywhere other than Birmingham? How does that compare to the Moseley crowd?Bristol, Liverpool, Sidney. It’s always nice to play to new people who don’t really know what your about, Moseley is our hometown crowd so we will always be connected to them. Being in a new place where everyone’s got good energy is great though, you can pretty much play what you want and people will feel the vibes.
What can we expect to see from you in the coming months? Have you got any big plans for this summer? We are looking to bring big artists to Birmingham, we would really love to share the stage with Mungos hifi. We will probably play Shambala festival again but are going to see if we can set up our own stage with our own lineup.
What are your aspirations for the future? We want to make our own tunes, not just dubplates. Playing live is one thing but playing your own tunes and people singing back your lyrics is definitely next on our list. We want to make our own impact on the scene with our individuality.
Do you think you’ll stay in Birmingham? I’d like to say no because it would be nice to live in a different place but I’ll probably end up staying here. Birmingham’s not as bad as everyone thinks, if we can get the opportunities we need here then why leave?
How would you describe Moseley to those who have never been there? It’s like a proper community, you can’t go anywhere without bumping into people. You don’t feel like you’re in a big city, like there’s its own subculture. There are loads of pubs and good venues to play that are in walking distance of each other and loads of variety within the people and the places.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, you’ve been great, is there anything else you would like to add?
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