An interview with Brian Jamieson aka Damaged Goodz.
Rapping from the age of 14, Brian music career has seen him support acts ranging from Sugarhill Gang, Xzibit to Busta Rhymes. 2015 has seen him release his latest EP, “Thousand And Fifteen Axes Dodged”. We caught up with him prior to his appearance at Mad Hatters on April the 24th.
We saw you referred to as a “rap maverick”, a fair description?
Well I never gave myself the title, (read the feature here – Ed.) but if you look at the meaning of the word its quite accurate to me as an artist, I follow my heart with music and I don’t conform to even my own genre’s invisible rule book except maybe that I would never perform without a capable DJ by my side because to me a Hip Hop act without a DJ is like a Heavy Metal band without an electric guitar player.
With any of my releases I intentionally tried to do something off the wall and awkward and the listeners least favourite song is always a style a try to master for my next release because I think its lazy as an artist to stay in a comfort zone, I’d rather be in a “Danger Zone” like MAVERICK in TOP GUN haha
Following your time with The Paradox and Skeleton Verse, do you think you’re done with your time in bands, or is that still something you might return to?
Not at all,its a massive privilege to front a live band,especially a good one,my new band THE DANGER CHOKES make our live debut at this CHURCH STREET HIP HOP NIGHT, hopefully the people enjoy us,because its very mental, it’s like MONTY PYTHON meets THE ROOTS meets Wrestling, I cant wait to see peoples faces when we play!.
You looked as if you were having a ball on your recent TV slot, how did you feel it went?
I was very happy with it and proud of the people who helped me out (BIG DIV / NATALIE LYNCH / DAVID MACKINNON),I might have looked at ease but that couldnt have been further from the truth,i was very nervous,id never done live telly before,you can put me in front of a crowd of thousands and I’ll be OK but cameras and lights in a room with a few people was weird because you know a lot of people are watching at home and if you muck up you have to live with it for life, it’s really just the fact it was a new format for me as well, but I’m happy with how it came out and it introduced a hell of a lot of new people to my music.
The new EP features tracks that reflect on your childhood and upbringing, was it a conscious decision to select those tracks or did they just come together?
I went to primary and secondary school with CHARLIE MILLER (RANGERS and SCOTLAND) and reading his book “A Proper Charlie” really inspired me to write a few songs about my time I’m Castlemilk because in the book I know nearly everybody he speaks about from Castlemilk and a few of the stories I’m part of, but the overwhelming clincher for me was his pride of coming from Castlemilk which I never really spoke about myself on record because id always tried to speak on a wider view,but Castlemilk made me as a young man so why shouldn’t i share some of my stories?, the EP is titled “Two Thousand And Fifteen Axes Dodged” its really about the madness I escaped.
‘4 Kings’, as featured in your new EP features 4 MCs, what were the challenges in getting the other guys on board?
It was actually quite drama free as DEFY / MADHAT / DAVID MACWILLIAM are friends and were happy to be involved, I just loved the thought of 4 MCs from different tiers of Hip Hop in Scotland coming together on one track, the thing I love about the song is the 4 completely different styles on show, I switch daily on who’s verse I like the best so that’s a great thing cos I listen to the song as a fan!,and with Michelle Low’s amazing haunting vocals in the chorus its got a bit of everything,the guys who made the music on my whole EP are rediculous as well, big up Andy and Dom of the STONE GENERALS.
What ambitions do you have for you music now?
I have a new lease of life musically just now as I’ve made a lot of big decisions in making sure I look after myself first from now on, as selfish as it sounds it had to be done, and it has been justified as I’m sitting with a release ready to drop every 3 months since the beginning of the year (DEF CONCERTO / DAMAGED GOODZ / THE DANGER CHOKES).
As far as ambition goes I’ve always just thought if O work hard I’ll get what I deserve out of it, I’ll get out what I put in, so far this year has been very good, I just do what I do and see what happens!
I have lost track of the number of Church Street Hip Hop what would be your dream line-p for the night?
THE CHURCH STREET HIP HOP NIGHT is very important to me because I’m trying to push HIP HOP in my country as far as I can, the night is really just there to highlight the enormous talent in our country,but if there is a good touring act kicking about its good to get them on like TOO MANY T’s last year who were fantastic.
I guess acts I think would be in my grasp outside Scotland I would love to book would be TASK FORCE / JUICE ALEEM / RODNEY P / SKINNYMAN / ROOTS MANUVA / FOUR OWLS / PETRELLI BROTHERS etc. A massive shout out to Steve Robertson and Butterscotch who help me with all the nights as well!
A man with an ear to the ground, who do you think are the acts that we should be listening to ?
So many to mention in Scotland I’d be leaving peoples names out but the acts I hope to get in INVERNESS this year would be RESPEK B-A / KONCHIS & PHYSIKS / THE JAKEYBYTEZ / DAVID MACWILLIAM among many others,just depends who has material out as well but I want to give people who haven’t played the night a shot it it,as its a cracking night and the INVERNESS crowd are mental!
Church Street Hip Hop Live, featuring Spring Break, The Danger Chokes, Damaged Goodz & Butterscotch, is on the 24th of April at Mad Hatters, Inverness.