5 Minutes With… Crazy P

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Originally two DJ’s (Chris Todd and Jim Baron), Crazy P, now with the addition of bassist Tim Davies, percussionist Mav Kendricks, and vocalist Danielle Moore, is one of dance musics funkiest and highly regarded acts. Playing and producing “Dance music with voice, heart, and soul” for almost twenty years now, they’ve garnered a reputation as house and disco pioneers; consistently putting on some of the best live shows out there.

With their new album ‘Walk Talk Dance Sing‘ coming out in May and a huge summer of shows lined up, we thought now would be the perfect time to catch up with Crazy P and get a bit more of an insight. 

You’re very much a live band these days? When did this transition happen? Was it always the intention?

Well we have 3 different monikers; 3 of us dj, we have the sound system and then the full live band. We regularly mix it up to accommodate the various venues we play and its always been this way really. The live band is coming out for the release of our new album and for the festival season this year which fills us with joy! We love a good full team effort.

You’ve been described as having one of the best live dance music shows in the world. What is it that makes Crazy P’s shows so unique?

I have to be honest we always giggle at that statement. I mean its a bit Carlsberg isn’t it. Probably one of the best dance acts in the world … it’s a lovely tag to be given and we are very humbled by that. I think all we can say is that we absolutely love what we do and we have been on such a colourful journey together that we are still making music with people we have shared the most wonderful and weird experiences with. I would imagine it’s that solidarity that people identify with as we are generally over the moon to be still making music and having the opportunity to play some wicked festivals.

How important do you think it is to give an audience something to see as well as something to hear?

Well we have always been a live act that perform as individuals and I think its reflective of the fact we believe in the music we make. I love dancing. I’ve always sung in front of the mirror from a young age. I danced all night long whenever possible on many of Manchesters club floors and this has transferred to the stage. When people have paid money to come and see you I think you should supply them with the roundest and wholesome of audio and visual delights – whether thats raw performance energy or whether its through visual displays and so on. We’ve never really embraced visuals as a band and that is mainly because I do like to personally engage the crowd.

There’s almost twenty years of history behind you guys and not many bands can say that. Do you think the relationships within Crazy P influence the music you produce?

Absolutely. As I said before its the personal relationships we have established over that time that have shaped the music we have made and are still making. I think the emotion comes through in the musicality and the lyrics. I’m really proud of the fact we have lasted so long. It’s not the easiest of industries and when you work so close with people its difficult to accommodate personalities… luckily we are all perfect human beings!

What are you all listening to at the moment? Are there any artists you’re particularly into?

Tuccilo, Detroit Swindle, Prosummer, Lexx, Gazeebo, Inkwell – loads of old stuff… to be honest anything that gets me out of my chair. 

How would you say your sound has developed since the release of ‘Stop Space Return’ in 2008?

I imagine it’s become more personal and more honest and reflective of our emotions. It’s become more proaction based as the three of us (myself, Jim and Toddy) have spent a majority of time in the studio together. We released When We On which was born out of an emotional time – we had all been pulled very close together and for me, that was my favourite album… that is of course before we wrote the current album Walk Dance Talk Sing… we’ve never really set out with a particular story or theme in mind. We tend to evolve according to the music we are listening to or indeed the way we are feeling on any particular day.

Playing your own productions to a crowd must induce quite a different feeling to that when playing someone elses. How do the two compare?

Completely different I suppose. I mean playing your own music live is one of the most indulgent whilst exhilarating experiences. Playing music that people may or may not like and you’re to blame. All you set out to do is make people happy and feel an energy that bounces to and fro to create a mass love affair. Now of course theres an element of that when we DJ; I love playing new music out. It’s where the 3 of us started. Buying and playing music. I love the opportunity of showcasing other peoples music but it’s a very different experience.

Crazy P tracks get remixed a lot. If you could choose one artist to put their spin on one of your productions who would it be?

It’s a tough one this as theres so many to choose from. We’d love Prosumer, Henrik Swarchz, Gaeebo, Inkwell… you know what theres too many to even carry on with. There are so many bloody great producers who have made it and some bloody brilliant undiscovered people that haven’t. Also one persons idea of a great remix isn’t necessarily another’s… it’s very difficult, but the one person who has come up trumps for us is the unique and wonderful Maurice Fulton.

There’s certainly been a disco revival in electronic music over recent years. Do you think this has made it more difficult for artists like yourselves who have been known to steer towards that genre to produce tracks that sound unique and original?

I really don’t have a definite answer for you. I think we’ve been around a long time and that can be detrimental as you constantly need new life breathing into promotion and marketing and looks and so on. We have a wonderful young following but we’ve never been mainstream. We make music we like rather than panda to any genres – we are certainly not aware we do that anyway. We were all born into a disco decade and so they are essentially our roots. Yes I suppose it is more difficult when more people are doing a similar thing but with the guys being musicians and playing instruments help with achieving a more authentic sound… difficult though.

You’ve been heavily involved in electronic music for a long time. Imagine you’re looking out from over the DJ booth in 1998… what do you see? And now describe what you see in 2015…

Oh massive changes. I’d say in 1998 the dance floor was full of sweaty bodies dancing, not necessarily facing the dj and hounding them, like now. People were dressed to sweat and didn’t speak on the dance floor – that wasn’t etiquette. Nowadays theres more people taking photos, asking for specific music, recording your sets and far more glitter… not necessarily a bad thing but certainly a noticeable difference.

Your seventh album “Walk Talk Dance Sing” is out very soon. How does it compare to those that have come before it?

It’s more current. It’s better produced. It uses different sounds and I’ve used a vocal effects box on a lot of my vocals which I use live too. I tell you what, have a listen! I think for us its just been a natural progression musically.

Have you got anything exciting coming up that we should be looking out for?

All our performances over the summer – we are SERIOUSLY gearing up for all of our gigs!!!

What can we expect from you at Love Saves The Day?

Pure love, energy and a genuine love for Bristol. Lets hope the sun shines on us all.

Crazy P will be playing at Bristol’s Love Save The Day Festival which will be taking place at Eastville Park, 23-24 May. For tickets and more information, click here.