10 Questions - Mr. Switch
Awwww yeh! We're coming live from Wordplay HQ with yet another 10 Questions and this time our trusty contestant is none other than the DMC World Champion Mr Switch! We're getting a little emotional at the dopeness of this guy! Let's do this!
What’s your name, chosen craft and where are you based?
My name is Anthony Culverwell aka Mr Switch, formerly DJ Switch. I am a 4 x World DMC DJ Champion. I am a DJ & turntablist from Birmingham, now based in south London. I specialise in scratching & do as many crazy things involving turntables as possible.
How would you describe your sound?
I’m open to many musical genres & I love challenges. I like getting creative within limitations. My sound is multi-genre party music - I tend to play at least 4 different music styles during my sets - with crazy scratching showcases that you can dance or nod your head too, and energetic. I barely make time for myself to have a drink while I’m playing - I’m too eager to play the next tune!
Who / what do you consider to be the biggest influence on your music?
There are several DJs who started out in the scratching world & have moved on to be massive producers in the electronic scene. DJ 2Tall did some wicked experimental scratching stuff, then rebranded himself Om Unit & creates dope footwork & electronic music. Similarly with DJ Itchy, now Hudson Mohawke. People who have stepped out of DJ battling & creating new material & new concepts are my biggest inspiration - DJ Yoda, Kid Koala.
What’s the proudest moment to date for you as an artist?
Being the first DJ in history to perform on the BBC Proms back in 2011 was pretty spectacular - taking scratching & putting it into the classical world has helped legitimise it a little bit. Not that it needed legitimising! Also I kind of helped open the doors for stuff like the Grime Prom & Pete Tong’s Ibiza Prom. I think they were quite nervous letting a DJ in for the first time, if that hadn’t gone well they might not have expanded their horizons as much as they have since
Do you have any advice for our readers who maybe trying to play the mad game of music?
Take every opportunity you can get, you never know where they will lead. Always be professional. Make connections whenever you can. Be different to everyone else.
Name 3 people you would love to work with and why?
Reeps One - an insanely talented beatboxer & genius multi-talented mind. We haven’t worked together yet despite being in the same circles and stuff.
Mendi Singh - a tabla player from Birmingham. We did a collab session years ago, and I’m dying to get a chance to jam with him again, and combine scratching with indian rhythms
DJ Shadow - just an insanely talented DJ & producer. Would be so dope to get to jam with him
What have you got planned for the not so distant future?
I’m working on a mixtape series provisionally titled “Livestyle/Wildstyle” which will cover lots of classic & strange musical styles, that I’ve done over the years, or that I want to explore, that people might not expect. Hip hop, funk, country & western, science fiction, indian, reggae, and several more I don’t want to spoil! Also it’s the 10th anniversary this year of my first world championship win, so I have several new DJ videos lined up ready to drop, including some new DJ equipment showcase stuff.
What’s the album you’ve played more than any other?
Probably cheating a bit as it’s a mixtape, but DJ Yoda’s How To Cut & Paste Vol 1 was a real eye-opener for me. That said you can DJ, play other people’s tracks & sound, and create your own style within that, taking with other people’s words. The idea of scratching with comedy flavour! I still go back to that mix.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? And where?
For my birthday, my wife took me to the Forum in Kentish Town to see DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist on 6 turntables, playing a set solely using records picked from Afrika Bambaataa’s personal collection. They finished with a scratch set using promo press copies of 'Planet Rock'. Hands down the best DJ show I’ve ever seen.
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Doctor Who. Tea. To-do lists
Any last words/shoutouts?
Shout to JFB, the Pioneer DJ crew & my wife - we got married two weeks ago! Big up my bredrin Jimi Needles! It’s scary how good a party DJ he is, I always look forward to spinning alongside him.