▼ with MC TEN6
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▼ with MC TEN6

Dreams can come true, but only if you let them come to you first – even if it means you have to let go and perhaps take a totally different route. Or in this case; be willing to travel to the other side of the globe. The story of MC TEN6 is a great example of this timeless principle.

Interview by: Michael Janiec

After visiting California, ‘Martijn Huijskes’ (MC TEN6) was very impressed by the laid back mentality of the locals. Someone told him Australia has a similar atmosphere. Thus, without much hesitation, Martijn booked a one-way ticket to the (is)land of kangaroos, deserts and crocodiles. His plans once he arrived? Staying at a hostel for a short time, and just improvising from there on. Letting go of his MC’ing aspirations during this backpacking trip, seemed as a part of the deal. Now, more than ten months later, Martijn is hosting for Noisia and The Upbeats during the upcoming weekend.

Hey Martijn, what are you up to currently?
Just enjoying life. I’m traveling a lot. I worked in Darwin for a couple of months and now I’m on my way southward to Sydney for a gig on the 26th of September. Just six more weeks left in Australia, before I go back to Holland.

I’ve noticed you worked at a reptile zoo. Do tell us more about the work in Darwin.
I worked four months at ‘Crocosaurus Cove’. It’s a park with turtles, crocodiles and snakes. I was assigned to the crocodiles mostly. It’s fucking awesome; like the best job in the world.

Why is that?
Because I’m really passionate about crocodiles – ever since I was a little kid. I got this opportunity and I couldn’t let it slip, so I stayed there a while. For the time being I learned to keep safe distance from huge five meters long crocodiles. It’s just not something you normally do daily, but I did it. Quitting this job was hard, but I wanted to see more of Australia.

Can you explain what your tasks were while working there?
Before the daily opening, I did preparations like double-checking safety. For example preparing the show where people would swim with crocodiles. Also I prepared food for the croc. They eat dead chickens, we’ve had to chop these chicks up – quite nasty, but after a while you get used to it.
Once the park opened, I would brief the visitors about safety regulations and such. During the show, I sometimes would get on the mic and host it too. Later during the day, the crocodiles would be fed before the audience and the crock did a trick like jumping up, so they could get the meat.

Did any incidents happen during your employment?
Not really. Everyone who works there, gets trained steadily and slowly – you just don’t end up in a cage with a big crocodile once you start.  The biggest incident was actually that a colleague of mine got bitten in his toe by a turtle (laughs).
You do have to pay attention all the time, just unknowingly walking around with a big hangover might be lethal. Sometimes I had to catch a crocodile with my bare hands. Not a very big one, but it was quite exciting – if you didn’t grab it correctly, it would start to jaw-snap at you, basically just a few inches from your face or hands.

Initially you weren’t planning to actually start MC’ing there. What’s the story?
I did my last gigs in the Netherlands while hosting for acts like June Miller and NCT – I thought it would be a good way to bid MC’ing farewell for the time being. Before I left, I was able to find a DnB online community in Sydney, since I still wanted to visit shows while I was there. When I arrived in Sydney, I met Marc Freeman (Ncrypt) and we became good friends. He took me to Bondi Beach, where he was doing a radio show, together with Scatterbrain. I met the rest of the crew, and they became my homies.
I started to hang out with them, and I played some of the stuff I did at home – they really liked it. About a week later, Marc proposed I should host one of his gigs, so I jumped more often on the mic during his sets. Marc does about one or two shows each week, through him I met more people, promotors and organizations. From then on I started to get a lot more gigs in Sydney.

How does the Australian scene differ from the one in Holland?
It’s a lot smaller and personal compared to Holland. Everybody is a DJ in NL. In Sydney this is not the case. Everyone knows each other here; it’s a lot more genuine, without posers. It’s really about the music and the people are less prone to hypes. There’s a really strong support in the local scene of Sydney.

How’s Drum and Bass doing in Australia currently?
Well, 2015 has been a very good year so far. Especially Sydney is growing.

Why is that?
There are a lot more new people involved. Also,  guys who started some years ago are doing releases now on bigger labels. For example: Royalston, from Sydney is doing really well. He’s been involved in the local scene for about a decade, and has played a big role in putting Sydney on the breakbeat-map.

Is there a difference in the way you go about MC’ing while playing there?
I always hosted in English since I started, so that stayed the same. I do notice that I’m calmer on the mic these days. Back in Holland I was known for going in really strong from time to time. Not like going full mental, but still choosing the spots to really spit. Since I’m in Australia, I’ve gotten a lot more laid back. They are not expecting  MC Skibadee here, so they were a bit skeptical initially. I basically just focused on hosting and they thought it was dope.
It’s like playing back at home in Lelystad, you know many of the people in the crowd. Perhaps I’m privileged as a Dutchman and an international act – but at the end of the day I can say that I’m part of this scene and crew. I would like to think I changed the way they look at MC’s in Sydney, because mostly they are used to the UK approach. When I basically come to just host, they can see there are other approaches to this craft.

How do prepare for a gig?
I just grab my backpack and mic and go. Drinking a few beers before going on stage is part of it, not too much of course. Just enough to get that ‘Dutch courage’ flowing.

What your most memorable gig so far while hosting in Australia?
That’s the one where I hosted for Audio and Teddy Killerz at the Gladstone Hotel for Breakneck Entertainment. A big shout out to these guys – they got these artists to Sydney. They have also booked Noisia and The Upbeats, and are giving me the chance to host for Ivy LabForeign Concept and Phace soon.
Another memorable gig was with Ncrypt at a Regrowth Festival. I went back to back on the mic with Dub FX. This has been one of the highlights in my whole life, I listen to this guy since around 2009.
Also the Blackout night in Sydney, where I hosted for artists like Trei and Neonlight. There are many memorable shows, but these three have really been the highlights so far.
Also, MC’ing at bi-monthly DWN DNB nights is something worth to mention.

Next week you are hosting for Noisia and The Upbeats. How does it feel?
It’s the biggest achievement in my career so far. When I was 15 years old I got into DnB, mainly because of Noisia and Black Sun Empire, so when I started MC’ing, I thought: ‘How would it be to host for these artists?’ Now I’m hosting for Noisia and The Upbeats in Sydney, it’s fucking unreal.

And you name is on top of the flyer, next to these people.
It feels unreal, like I’m dreaming.

I can imagine that once you get back to Holland, you really want to continue with what you are doing.
To be honest. I’ve gotten way better gigs here so far in Australia. I had a couple of really good residencies in Holland, but they faded, because the parties stopped.
Australia and Sydney have become my new home, but I will have to leave it all behind soon. In Holland there are guys like MC Swift, Loudly, MVE and Dart. They run the show and they are doing a really good job. Even new guys have a tough time, so I’m really wondering how to go about this once I get back. Hopefully the word will be spread about this Australian adventure of mine.


 

xoxo Michael Janiec.