Sugarcane & Invasion Sound presents
Live and direct from the UK: YT
18.03.2017, P.M.K. Innsbruck
Ab: 21:00 Uhr, A
2 Floors, Drink Specials, Live Acts, Massive Vibes all Night
The Suffolk town of Ipswich is not where you would expect to find one of the major artists in UK reggae, but this is the reality of the man called Mark Hull aka YT.
Taking the head-on approach to dealing with his colour – hence the name, and having a background in reggae music and Jamaican culture since he was a little kid
Growing up on a diet of Saxon sound tapes and practising the lyrics of 80’s UK veteran deejays such as Tippa Irie, Papa Levi, Asher Senator and Smiley Culture, as well as Jamaican artists like Papa San and Yellowman it gave the young Mark an education in reggae lyrics and how to flow over a beat. Listening to all those veteran artists and sneaking into local dances and soundclashes, YT saw for himself how the reggae scene worked and appreciated the standard that you needed to have to take the microphone and not get booed off at a dance.
“That is really where I studied the lyrics and learnt how to tackle subjects and them times if you could chat lyrics from a Papa San or an Asher Senator song then that was real skills as they were some complicated lyrics! What they were talking about at that time really inspired me, the message of what they were saying – the whole life experience thing was deep and I had a lot to say on that level from my own life”
As a youth YT used to practise on the mic at a local sound man’s house, and so people in the area started to talk about this white kid who had some skills, then one night in 1987 the local Ipswich sound Ashanti was playing a London sound called Field Marshall and one of the Ashanti crew called him up to take the mic, and despite being totally nervous , YT performed in front of a crowd for the first time – did his lyrics and the place went “proper mad”. From that night, YT was part of the sound and served a proper apprenticeship – lifting speaker boxes at dances and chatting whenever the sound was playing out.
After a few early recordings , 1992 saw YT go into the studio for the first time with Dennis Rootical in Brixton and the session resulted in his first record called ‘Cris Biscuit Gal’ which came out on a white label. In 1993/94 he linked Patrick Donegan at Progressive Sounds in Battersea and this partnership produced two 7”s on the Shock Out label ‘Pedestal’ and ‘Identification’. All the while YT was travelling on the road performing at dances and all the carnivals around the UK and refining his talent. The next stop for some studio time was with Stingray, which is one of the big London labels and it worked out that the link from here would eventually take YT to Jamaican studios a couple of years later, as Stingray’s cousin is Bobby Digital, and they were linked to Freddy McGregor as well.
In 1999, the opportunity to visit Jamaica arose and YT went to check out how things worked out there and to see if he could make any progress through his Stingray links.
While he was at a studio on his first trip, a big artist and producer Goofy heard YT chatting and invited him to Main Street studio the next day – the result was a cut called ‘It nuh bruk’ which was a message to women who wanted plastic surgery – watch out in case it goes wrong! This tune did well in Jamaica and was played regularly on Irie FM, YT remembers that when he was at Shocking Vibes studio his song came on the radio and he was telling everyone in there “that’s my tune!” At a show called ‘Links on the Beach’ Goofy called him up to the stage as did ARP and so a Jamaican crowd got to experience the YT vibe, “I could hardly even get my lyrics out as I was getting bare forwards, and from that I could go to the next show and beg a few minutes in the early segment. To be honest I was locking nuff of them early segments, but because it’s early all the big name artist and producers haven’t arrived yet – I did a spot at Beenie Man’s birthday bash and the crowd called me back on stage five times but Beenie wasn’t even there yet!”
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