Urban Vault caught up with Greek-born/London-based DJ/producer Johnie Bee to ask him some questions about his forthcoming project RASCO – ROYAL FLUSH, & more…
DJ/producer Johnie Bee brings Rasco back for 2021 on an EP titled ‘Royal Flush’, fully produced by the famous boom-bap producers, Grim Reaperz. The project features original guest appearances from Blaq Poet, Chief Kamachi, Recognize Ali, Mykill Miers, and many more…
What is your name?
I go by the name of Johnie Bee.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Greece but live in London, UK for the last 6.5 years.
What’s your role in the Hip Hop biz?
Radio DJ since 2004, appeared as a guest on Hot 97 in Boston back in 2013, appeared on the Hip Hop Weekly magazine as a Top 5 DJ of the Month (March 2006) and an interview/article with MC Breed posted on Hip Hop Weekly in November 2008 after his death. While DJing I was working with the biggest Hip Hop promoter in Greece (Noiz Productions) to help with the live concerts and was djing in clubs/bars all over Greece at the same time.
You are going to release an EP with Rasco on February 01st entitled ‘Royal Flush’ tell me more about this project?
A project that I started working on back in 2013 when I was still djing in Greece. Started getting the beats by Grim Reaperz and the features after being in touch with Rasco. This project has finished a long time ago but after I visited Rasco in Oakland back in 2017 we agreed to proceed with the release of the project. A few ‘last minute’ changes were done and as soon as we got the mixing and mastering done, we decided to start the vinyl/cd/cassette press.
Who produced the EP and will there further features besides Rasco?
The whole project was produced by Grim Reaperz and there are a lot of features in this project like Blaq Poet (Screwball), Chief Kamachi (Ex-AOTP), Recognize Ali, Mykill Miers, Warren Britt, and in a track that I tried to gather emcees from different countries I got Mikros Kleftis from Greece (one of the best lyricists in the country), Brahi from France, Smith, and Smart from Germany and Prime from Chicago.
Who else have you collaborated with so far in your Career?
There is an unreleased project that is almost completed with a lot of features from different eras and with different style. A lot of collaborations with artists like Kurtis Blow, Daz Dillinger, Keith Murray, Termanology, Esoteric, Reks, Chino XL, Rakaa (Dilated Peoples), Akil (Jurassic 5), Lil Dap (Group Home), JR Writer (Dipset), 40Cal (Dipset), Main Flow and a few more. All these are unreleased tracks and only two of them have been previously broadcasted/released. One of the was premiered while being a guest in Hot 97 and it was the track with Saigon, Otis Clap, J Hood and Phil Da Agony (Strong Arm Steady) whereas the second one was officially released on a project with Underdogz (Otis Clap and Warren Britt) featuring Craig G (Juice Crew) and Matt Blaque.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
An artist that I would like to collaborate with in the future would be DJ Premier and I wouldn’t put any ‘Famous’ artist on that track but I would give the chance to the NY rapper named Otis Clapp because I really believe in him and I think he still haven’t got his big chance to prove he is far better than a lot of rappers out there and could easily shine.
What inspires you when you make your music?
This is a passion that I do for so many years and knowing that I could achieve almost whatever I set as a target motivates me to target higher and higher. Besides, we all know sky is the limit.
How have you ended up in the music industry?
It was back in 2004 where I was asked to be in charge of the IT Systems of a new radio station that was playing urban music 24/7 back in Greece. It was the first radio station to do so in the country and after a few months, seeing that my passion for Hip Hop was the same big as the passion for computers, I was offered to do a radio show and cover someone’s absence. It was that time that they decided I could end up having my own daily radio show and that’s how I got it.
What do you think of the music industry in 2021?
Unfortunately, people follow the mainstream music and real Hip Hop is not considered as mainstream anymore. The new type of sound has taken over and most of the people, even some old school rappers have turned their style to the new sound. Not necessary bad, but still there are a few people in favor of the 90s sound. You can always find this kind of projects getting released inbour days but is rarer.
What’s your favorite track at the moment?
I would say it’s the ‘Royal Flush’ track from my project with Rasco but if I had to pick a track outside my project I would pick ‘Sedona’ from Otis Clapp’s latest project named ’40’s on the church steps’.
What do you do when your not making music?
I have my daily job as an IT Manager in a shipping company and in general, I am fully involved with technology and IT.
Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
Myspace… LOL. I am just kidding. I would say that Facebook is still the most powerful platform for the music industry but I do use Instagram a lot too.
In a few words sum up your thoughts about Urban Vault and what we’re trying to do?
I really like what Urban Vault is trying to do and personally, I would think it’s one of a kind for having sections for UK music news and international music news along with the U.S. ones that most of the people are interested about. What I also like is the fact that ‘Unknown Artists’ get their chance through UV UK and get the boost for a ‘Thirsty’ crowd to discover.
Thank you for your time and may you carry on making dope, fresh music…
Limited quantities of the ‘Royal Flush’ EP will be available on physical formats (250 Vinyl Pieces, 50 CD Pieces, and 70 Cassette Pieces) & can be pre-ordered via their bandcamp.
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Author: UV Admin