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Interview with So Solid Crew

30 January 2015 | Laura Stevens

London Calling spoke to Megaman from So Solid Crew ahead of their UKG GOLD gig at Indigo at the 02 next month with Heartless Crew and Pay As U Go.

Home grown London talent, So Solid Crew, shot to fame with the addictive hit 21 Seconds in 2001. Since then members of the 20 strong group have been involved in reality shows, carving out respected acting careers and falling foul of the law. They are known for paving the way for other cross-over garage acts, but their name has also become synonymous with a violent scene after a fatal stabbing at one of their events.

London Calling: Who out of the So Solid Crew will perform next month?

MM: That’s the part I really want to keep a secret.

LC: You’re being very coy, why the mystery?

MM: Well it’s not directly a mystery for the real fans that know. And they know what this whole event is about and know exactly who they’re coming to see. But for the fans – the new fans, yeah maybe it will be a mystery.

LC: If there is this big difference between the new and old fans, who do you want at your gig?

MM: We welcome everybody. I want all the So Solid fans to be there first. So yes all So Solid fans – buy buy buy!

LC: Come on – any clues on performers?

MM: You’ll have to wait and see exactly what happens and how we’ll put together a great show! We do go into rehearsals before so I should have an inkling, or you might even have a peek preview online somewhere.

LC: So what can you tell the fans about the show?

MM: It’s going to be a great show – you’re going to get the hits, you’re going to get some great performances. And everyone will have that energy that we bought to the club scene which made us so popular – bringing UK garage to the forefront.

LC: How have your fans developed as they and the group have got older?

MM: I was surprised at our previous tour dates at the Indigo – we had such a young crowd at the front, and at the back we saw the ravers! Today it’s not just about the music, it’s more about the lifestyle of the individuals.

LC: So Solid Crew have been dogged throughout their careers with the violence associated with the group, including what has happened to their fans. What was your worst fan experience?

MM: Well worst fan story was at the beginning of our career that was over 16 years ago. When you’re getting popular do you still turn up at the local event? A place that holds underground raves? Or do turn up to more venue and concert type events where you know it’s a lot of more secure.

That was one of my upsetting times, I can’t say my worst. It upsets me still.

LC: What was your best fan experience?

MM: End of 2013 when we all went on tour and sold out two dates at the Indigo. And there wasn’t an ounce of trouble for us. And everybody had a good time, and that was the first time we’ve been able to tour – from that date [16 years ago] until now.

LC: How has So Solid’s Crew image changed over the past 16 years?

MM: A lot of people look at those young artists' days and say these guys are just rotten and bad, they don’t care and they’re reckless. As you see time goes on and you see their stories as individuals. You see it was out of fear, it was out of insecurity – it was out of not knowing. And it’s an experience that most young people go through, whether you’re in the business or not, and fortunately for us who came through the other side we’re still here.

LC: How has So Solid Crew altered as a brand?

MM: When you look at So Solid as a brand we were a small independent business, and inexperienced when we were teenagers. We set it up as a limited company and tried to go through that way. And that’s how we got signed! So we’ve been experimenting with how to manage. So at this stage we’re more of a brand than a crew.

LC: You are known for being a gateway act for other UK garage acts – do you agree?

MM: We came here to show you guys, to open the door so that everyone can do both. People can achieve more, break new records and become businessmen. As a whole you’ll say yeah we motivate people, we inspire people – whether it’s business, music or just personality.

LC: Why the name Megaman?

MM: I was good at a lot of things at school. It was the first computer game on Nintendo which had this guy who could do everything and he was called Megaman, and someone at school said I should call myself Megaman. I’m sure the name sat with me well through everything I’ve presented – a mega-push or a mega-achievement. So I live by that and just try and push through in the most positive way.

LC: And finally, do you still drive an Audi TT?

MM:
No.

So Solid Crew will play at the UKG Gold at Indigo at the O2 on Feb 21 with Heartless Crew and Pay As You Go. Tickets can be bought here.

Ed. Assistant: This gig has now been postponed to 16 May at the same venue.
 

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