Interview: DJ Ironik Talks About His Return To Music

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Marking his notable return to music this year with his second studio album, Truth Be Told North London native, DJ Ironik celebrated his release in style with a performance at Barnet’s, The Bull Theatre with support from Ashton Mills and Ayo Beatz.  In an auditorium filled with fans, friends, and family, Ironik expresses gratitude to the room packed with people who genuinely support him “At my last album launch all I saw were industry heads and paparazzi, I’m happy that I get to perform this in front of familiar faces”

Before Ironik got on stage to perform the tracks from his comeback album, including the hit single  Tuff featuring Snoop Dogg, Link Up TV was able to sit down with and ask him a few questions about his decade in the music scene, and his return.

Are you actually a DJ? 

*laughs* Yeah, that’s my first passion and love. I started out as a DJ when I was 13, that was the first thing that I did and the way that I fell in love with music. My uncle owns a promotion company called Twice As Nice, and it’s a garage promotion company and that also got me into music, then DJ’ing and then I got into production.

..and where did the name ‘Ironik’ come from?

That one was random, I’ve had this name since I was about 14. You know where you’re in school and all your friends have these mad names? I remember I had a friend called Breaker because he could break dance, and a friend called Runner because he could run fast, but I didn’t have one because I was only good at music, so I just looked through the dictionary and I saw ironic and changed the ‘c’ to a ‘k’.

So, what prompted your return to music?

I don’t know, I just felt like it was right. I don’t know if it’s a return because I’ve been working hard the last 3/4 years, but just getting peoples attention again I think you just have to grind to do that. As I had a couple years off, people stopped paying attention, so I’ve just been working hard towards putting out this album; earlier this year I put out a song called Mercy, that was actually on Link Up TV with Clue and Ayo Beatz, and that actually done really well so I thought let me make this album.

In those 3/4 years that you took off, what were you up too?

From 2010-2012 I had something happen in my life where i was like I just have to chill for a bit and live life like a normal person, and this was off the back of everything being crazy like ‘Stay With Me’ and all the chart success, so I just had to live my life how I wanted to live it. I moved out of London for a couple of years, but I was still doing shows here and there but just out of the loop, then I came back to London and I got back into the swing of things and done shows here and there just to keep the lights on, then slowly but gradually I started getting back into music. Watching all the new artists come out the last few years really helped me get that motivation back again, and Stormzy and J Hus are killing it, and watching them made me realise that I need to get on it and get back to what I’m meant to do.

With all the change that has happened in the UK music scene since you’ve been away, and the focus on it now, what do you think of the changes the scene has encountered?

I think it’s sick! There are so much more opportunities now, and I think it’s sick that Link Up TV and GRM Daily are the people that are pushing everything, they’re pushing everyone through and I think that’s amazing, as before I was on Myspace or Channel U and that was all we had, but now there’s so many avenues and so many artists coming through and I think its sick. Also, now we have Instagram and Snapchat and Twitter, so there are so much more ways to get your music out there, and I think it works in my favour as before we had to do much more work to be heard and get a song out there, or it was word of mouth, but now it’s on Insta so it’s so much easier.

Do you feel as if there’s a pressure to reconnect to your old fans again, whilst gaining new ones?

Narh, my old fans are old themselves now *laughs*but there’s not a pressure because I’m grown up now as well, and before  I was young; actually I’m still young, I’m in my 20’s still, but I just make music that my age group will listen to, so hopefully my fans are my age group and would listen to this album, so there’s not really any pressure, and like I said watching everyone like Kojo Funds and all these artists, I’ve studied them as well the same way I studied grime and garage music back then, I’m not going to come out with an album that will sound like the music from 5 years ago as it’s not going to work now.

At this point in my life i don’t feel like theres any pressure on me, I’ve done more than anything ive ever dreamed of doing in music so now I’m just trying to have fun.

What can we expect of DJ Ironik in the future now?

You can expect much more bangers, I have loads on this album and much more videos. I’m trying to do much more videos this year and just more music and shows. I really want to get into A&R’ing next, thats my main thing. I love finding new talent and listening to new artists, like when i hear a new artist theres nothing better than that, so that will be next avenue after production/DJ/artist, then I can just retire, hopefully. I need to find myself a Justin Beiber.

Stream DJ Ironik’s second studio album Truth Be Told below.