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Interview: Curtis Lynch Reveals Future Projects

Interview: Curtis Lynch Reveals Future Projects

Interview: Curtis Lynch Reveals Future Projects

By on - Photos by Andrew Thompson - Comment

"Riddims help the label to grow, and have helped me a lot. Now, I have kind of grown up. All big producers have been album producers"


UK producer Curtis Lynch has established himself as one of Britain’s most successful reggae producers collaborating with top names such as Etana, Busy Signal, Macka B and Maxi Priest. This year he’s stepping things up, and for United Reggae he reveals details about his upcoming projects. Presented together with the interview are exclusive photos and a mix made especially for United Reggae.

Curtis Lynch

Necessary Mayhem was launched in London by Curtis Lynch six years ago. The label has since then expanded and today encompasses subsidiaries Necessary Mayhem Classic, Necessary Bass and Maroon.

When Curtis Lynch started the label he was far from a novice in the industry, and had previously enjoyed success working with artists such as Gorillaz and Alicia Keys.

I reach Curtis Lynch on the phone from London where he works and lives. It’s busy times and he says that he will be tucked away in the studio making music for the coming weeks.

“There are so many things to do, so much fun,” says Curtis Lynch, and reveals that more albums are in the pipeline.

Doing the artist justice

Up to now Necessary Mayhem has put out two albums – Digital Acoustics in 2010 and Love Directories in 2011. Several EP’s from the likes of Chantelle Ernandez, Franz Job and Mr. Williamz have also been released.

“I want to grow with the artist and do bigger projects. Just making riddims can get boring sometimes,” he says, and continues:

Curtis Lynch“An album is better for the public and you do an artist justice by doing an album. It’s also a better body of work and people like a better body work,” he reasons.

Curtis says that he has never wanted to be known only as a riddim producer and that it’s a matter of growing as a person.

But making an album means more money involved and a bigger risk for the label and the producer. Curtis, however, seems confident.

“It may cost more to make an album, but it’s more rewarding. There is also live work, spin-offs and more,” he argues, and continues:

“Riddims help the label to grow, and have helped me a lot. Now, I have kind of grown up. All big producers have been album producers,” he explains, and lists producers such as King Jammy, Penthouse [Donovan Germain], Fattis [the late Phillip Burrell] and Gussie Clarke.”

More projects means more structure

Curtis is curious and during the interview he asks me several questions about his output and my opinion on artists. One of the artists we’re discussing is the severely under recorded Jahmali, with whom Curtis is thinking of making an album.

Jahmali dropped two albums in the late 90’s – El Shaddai and Treasure Box – and has by Jamaican standards been rather quiet since.

“I love working with him. He makes my job easier as a producer and working with him is an honor. There’s something very special about him,” says Curtis.

The project that lies closest in time is however Future Cuts – an album that includes new mixes of Necessary Mayhem classics along with a preview of tracks from forthcoming 2012 riddim releases.

Necessary Mayhem - Future Cuts“Basically, we’ve so many projects at the same time, so I thought that it would be good that you can hear what I’m hearing,” explains Curtis, and continues:

“It’s one tune from each project. Some tunes are riddim releases and some are part of a bigger plan.”

According to Curtis Necessary Mayhem needs to work more structured and more focused because of the many projects in the pipeline. Some of the upcoming projects include work from Mr. Williamz and Million Stylez.

“We’ve more physical projects. This year we’ll have an album with Chantelle Ernandez, a dub album and many interesting tunes,” reveals Curtis, and continues:

“There’s also the Necessary Mayhem trilogy series with three riddims on one album. Five or four tracks from each riddim, like Pirates, Joker Smoker and Dancehall Style. I also got a few things with Franz Job – Franz Job meets Macka B. A few tracks each and then some dubs.”

Approval from his father

Another project is remixing Gregory Isaacs material where Curtis strives to enhance the songs. And this project is very special to him.

“I knew you’re going to ask me about that,” laughs Curtis, and continues:

“It’s going forward, and has a very good vibe. Like Report, when I’m playing that out, I get a massive response,” he explains, and continues:

“It’s a very special project, and I want to make it as perfect as possible.”

Onboard the Gregory Isaacs project is veteran producer Augustus “Gussie” Clarke, who is something of a mentor to Curtis.

“Gussie approves, adds, changes. He’s marvelous and 99,99999999 percent of the time he’s correct about everything. I need him onboard.”

It will probably be out by the end of the year, or the second half. But before it drops, someone very close to Curtis has to approve it.

“It won’t get released until my dad approves it,” he laughs.


Reproduction without permission of United Reggae and Andrew Thompson is prohibited.

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