MC OLIVER TWIST
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
Always keeping grounded, respecting the art and giving thanks to the creators
Tell me a little bit about your background. Where are you from and how did you get started in music?
I was born in Portsmouth UK in 1973 . My first real introduction to music was as part of the school Choir in Malawi in 1981. I started writing rhymes around 1982 but was more routed in poetry. Friends brought mixtapes and VHS tapes to school and I quickly gravitated towards breaking, popping and locking afterwatching Breakdance the movie and Wild Style. We always doodled and sketched ‘Hip-Hop’ and ‘Breakdance’ in our school books, trying out different styles, I didn’t have a natural affinity for art and design but always appreciated and loved to watch my friends scribble and paint. When our family moved back to UK in 1985 I started to really plug in to the early British artists, like Gunshot, Blade, Mello, Katch22, Son of Noise, Silver Bullet and so many more… all highly influential. When our family moved to Peterborough in 1990 I started writing rhymes with Anthony Lewis aka The Rhyme Minister and recorded with Stuart Noble a scratch DJ who was playing clubs in our area. Intelligent Madness formed in 1993. Crackajack Commando, Redeye and myself. An early inspiration came from an emcee called Poet Assassin, who was originally
from The States. He had real confidence and an incredible flow. He introduced us to so much
dope music. We started as three emcees with no production or direction. We used to rap through
headphones over known instrumentals on this tape player with a pop out turntable. We called
it the ‘freestyle mechanism’. Disorda, who had heard of us introduced us to Contagious
Productions (Chris Warner and Lee Hawkes). DJ Wrecka was a friend of theirs and became a
flat mate of mine and crew DJ. We started with a batch of beats and got working. Our first
release was a 4 track EP on tape in 1994 entitled ‘Mind Over Matter’. We then released the ‘No
Room EP’ in 1996 on 12 inch.
What pointers do you have for new artists?
Firstly, if nobody knows your ability don't expect people to recognise your skill set until you recognise it yourself, so its important to remember practice doesn’t make perfection, it
brings improvement. First master your craft. Reflect your experience and put heart and
personality into your art. Don’t try to write the perfect track. Enjoy the process in your time,
don’t set impossible time restraints and put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Take regular
breaks, if you hit a creative block come back to it after a walk, or cooking, or a good sleep. Do
your networking, promo and work your page with interaction. Remember you are endearing
yourself to a growing fan base. Have a day where you completely disconnect. Find mindful
activities to bring calm. Always move quickly towards a solution instead of basking in the
problem. Basking in the problem only leads to stress! Enjoy the process and collaborate with artists from all over the world. One of the things people forget is that Hip-Hop music is
worldwide cultural exchange and business, so why box ourselves into one demographic. There
are so many radio shows that want new artists and new artists want radio play. So reach out
and connect, then submit your best work. Have a concept that has a longer vision than just
the creation of music. Think of making a video to support your music. It doesn’t take a lot of
money, so save and make provisions where possible. Invest in yourself and stick to a plan.
Always keep grounded.
What have people said about your lyrical
style that sets you apart from another MC?
Comments about the timbre of my voice and adaptable style have been very encouraging.
People seem to appreciate the versatility, lyricism and story telling abilities. Im not sure
how that sets me apart from other emcees. I just try to be myself and differentiate my music as
much as I can, add a little personality and hopefully that’s enough to carry the music.
If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be?
New York for obvious reasons, being the birthplace of Hip-Hop. I'd like to re visit Germany and Hong Kong. France, Canada, Japan and anywhere in the world where people enjoy live music! Im open to all possibilities!
Who have you checked out recently?
Really feeling Tuff Thompson from the UK. Prone has unreleased bangers. Lyfe the Oracle,
Craig G and Specifik, Blade Gordon is real nice. Underground Theory from Nevada are an
amazing crew. Jibberish, Gee Bag, Mysdiggi, Sam Kratz, King Kashmere, King Latts and
Baron Syn-Back are making seriously dope music.
As an independent artist, what are some of the challenges you have faced?
Thankfully I was saved in faith after two near death experiences, a long term illness, a
breakdown and being homeless through lockdown, so all praises to God above everything.
I always wanted to be able to record at home and be self sufficient. So, I finally invested and converted the airing cupboard into a vocal booth. Project managing the Album was a challenge, working with a number of producers, emcees and DJ’s in 6 different countries with 6 time zones. All with their own projects, so it was a real lesson in patience and being mindful of artists priorities and commitments. Self financing this album and professional videography has been another challenge, living under means on a tight budget with low income has allowed it to come together slowly. Working with long standing professionals has been a big learning curve. Staying dedicated to learning and always being a student of life, creativity and music business. There is always so much more to learn.
How would you describe your music to those who have never heard it before?
I make conscious hip hop. Typically boom bap orientated ranging from 90bpms to up tempo
funk at 110bpms. I think there is some older tracks on you tube but the new stuff is more
Who are your musical influences?
My Dads collection was a big influence although I didn’t realise it at the time, he was
playing a lot of Rock and Blues, Cream, Thin Lizzy, Eric Clapton and groups of that era,
whereas my mum was playing stuff like Boney M and The Beatles. So, when hip hop emerged
and blended sounds together it was something I gravitated towards very quickly. The funk
drums being looped by the early pioneers Like Grandmaster Flash. My early collection was
Kool Moe Dee, Steady B, Ice T. Then Rakim came and changed the face of hip hip with flow
and lyricism. That had a huge impact on how I thought about rhyme schemes and delivery of
lyrics. Public Enemy had a huge musical and cultural impact. Organized Konfusion had the
most winnability than any, it was honestly a master class for me. The lyrical dexterity and
concepts were on a level no one had seen or heard. Too many solid tracks and albums too
have one favourite. Music that took us on a journey! Still current, still incredibly dope, they
relentlessly elevate, educate and inspire me, both as a group and as solo artists. Busta
Rhymes has always been a big inspiration and influence from Leaders of the New School then
transitioning to a solo artist.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for public opinion (either positive or negative)
when you’re preparing for a new song release?
I try to take it all in my stride. Everyone has a valid opinion and I respect that. I have trusted
musicians and engineers to go to for positive critique and pointers.
What advice would you give to new artist entering this ever changing industry?
Close your circle of friends to only include people who bring encouragement and positivity
to your journey. Master your craft. Set yourself a long term and short term goal. Don’t put
pressure on yourself, exercise patience. Use social media as a platform for networking. Try
to collaborate with likeminded artists and try not to be disappointed if things don’t work out,
theres always a solution. If possible try to craft visuals to support your best work. Don’t forget
to reach out to magazines for articles and reviews. But have a solid product to start with.
Put together a press pack with a biography and high resolution promotional pictures. Learn
from positive role models!
What do you have out presently?
'Malawi' and 'Tales from the Darkside' – both available on MC Oliver Twist Bandcamp page.
‘Enter The Cypher’ feature on the King Slayer EP from Alikazam and Franky Roar. Available
from www.undergroundunited.de ‘This is not a test’ is a track on the ‘Tripple3 Effect’ Album from DJ Specifik on B-Line Recordings due out in July 2022
Tell me about your album and what was your inspiration behind it?
‘The Bomberman’ album has been two and a half years in the making through some of the
most difficult life events. Overcoming these hurdles gave me the inspiration to make this
album. So it has been a real challenge to maintain a creative focus. Its thanks to DJ Prone
and JoJo Mavrakis for the support and encouragement through tough times that I got
back in the saddle. I reached out to Prince Po just as lockdown happened and we started
working together. Then I really stared to believe in myself, as I looked at the project from a
listeners point of view I decided to balance it between solo’s, guest features and posse cuts.
Showcasing scratch DJ’s was an element I felt had to be represented, and we have achieved
that. There are two supporting videos and the third is in the making. I’m currently looking for
a label to take on this project.
Who have you collaborated with during your career?
Renee Soul, Lyfe the Oracle, DJ Prone, JoJo Mavrakis, Prince Po, Chris Warner, Chrome, DJ Random, Franky Roar, DJ Specifik, Whirlwind D, DJ Miracle, DJ Chud, DJ Deeman, Chat One, Jeye Severe,
Redeye, Xidus Pain, DJ Loop Skywalker, The Argonaughts, Mad Kow, Wordsmiff Flip, Govi
and Aspect 852, Kit Glover, DJ Pandamonium, Dizzy Dustin, Djar One, Junior Disprol, Mistah
Bohze, DJ Krash Slaughta, DJ Jabbathakut, Dirty Joe, Rico from the Elder Wastemen,
If you could collaborate with any artist or group who would it be?
Organized Konfusion, Craig G, Mysdiggi, Jibberish, Cosm, Spye, Donald D, Reks and Redvenom. Im open to ideas and collaborations.
Do you do features?
Yeah… I have time to create and I’m committed to working within a reasonable time frame.
What has been your most enjoyable moment in music?
Woah, so many memorable moments from the 90’s. Playing live with Intelligent Madness was
always great fun, alongside great crews like Def Tex, Undivided Attention, Parlour Talk,
supporting Killa Instinct, King Prawn, MSI Asylum. We had a moment when we thought ‘we’d
arrived’ with a booking at Lincoln Peace Festival. We were thinking ‘Woodstock’ but it
turned out to be more like a tea party in a town park. It was very surreal, but hilarious! We still
put on a solid performance. The European ‘Battle of the Year’ B-Boy Championships in Germany were incredible! So many examples of the elements all in one place. Freestyle cyphers broke out in the streets of Hanover, I remember Dave The Ruff dropping a beat tape and it just went off. The
energy was electric. Always recall the crowd reaction at the Splash Club, London in ’97, the place just went crazy. We had never felt that kind of response before. The Throwdown events in Peterborough where I hosted had so many great artists perform. We put on a private event called ‘Up Close and Personal’ with Donald D. That was a real highlight. A true honour to hit the same stage as a legend, after he narrated his way through the history of the B-Boys and Rhyme Syndicate days, that was an experience ill never forget. A golden moment.
What do you do when not making music and what hobbies/interests do you have?
I’m a voluntary support worker with Christians Against Poverty, providing Life Skills for all
ages in the community. Im a fan of film and comedy. I like ten pin bowling, pool and snooker. Cooking and reading.
Who do you want to shout out?
Big thanks to Gina and Andrew 'Prone' Sedman at GNA Universal for your continued support and prayer and giving me this opportunity to share. All my friends at St Georges Church. Intelligent
Madness and Disorda. My sister JoJo Mavrakiss for her friendship, support and kindness, Prince
Po for his kindness, inspiration and learning through the ‘Just Building’ sessions. Thanks to my Dad, brothers Matt (Aspect852) and Jason for their love and believing in me. Big shout to
Tony Wilshaw and Jason Bilby. Andy C, Specifik and Whirlwind D. Wordsmiff Flip, Madkow, Trophi, Stacka Lyrics, Chris Warner, Tom Mills, Darren Jiggins, Baron Syn-Back, Jabbathakut, Dope Chef, Mr Bohze, Alikazam, Junior Disprol, Krash Slaughta, Chris Kaye, Atilia Gig, all the Steel Devils, Deejay Random, DJ Miricle, DJ Chud, DJ Oneofakind and Jazz T. DJ Loop Skywalker, Jamie Jewel, Shan Dookna, Sensie, Jason Horne and Dirty Joe for their kindness and support.
Just for fun - *The Indie Post pointless question of the month*
How many frozen pineapple chunks would it take to sink the QE2?
Keep piling the pineapple chunks and count them one by one, until the ship starts to sink. Then we have the answer. Good luck! LOL
Artist page: Facebook – MC Oliver Twist
Facebook – paul oliver twist hunt
Bandcamp : MC Oliver Twist