It's been a while since we spoke. so we caught up with the Midlands artist to talk about his debut EP, the Deprogrammed Productions crew, performing, the net and lots more.
First up, tell the people what's your name and where you're from?
OK then. My name is Jalporte. I hail from the midlands. To be geographically correct, I hail from Derby. GPS man.
What's your nearest hiphop community saying and what artists can you recomment we hunt out?
Ah man. Derby has a storm brewing at the moment. We have some major names that are really pushing hard right now. Top of the list of names from Derby are BabyJ, Alex Blood, Rukus and the whole Ant records family. DJ BFG, DJ Angelo. Of course there is also some kid by the name of Jalporte, but we shall see what becomes of him in good time.
If we're passing through the midlands, what's the hiphop nights we should keep an eye out for?
It's a little scattered at the moment for venues and nights. Always keep an eye out for Off The Hook. If I am not mistaken, it's in the process of a revamp. You also got Ill Behavour, and Homegrown. After that, the major place for Hiphop is the 5 Lamps. Catch it when you can, but these nights mentioned are long standing ones and are well respected. If you're passing through the midlands, ring me and I'll buy you a pint man.
Do you find being all the way up there, it's hard to get your name and music in circulation with the core UK hiphop crowd?
The follow on for this is normally to ask if it's hard not being in London. If you're an artist and you are honestly interested in pushing your music you will do so. It doesn't matter where you live. Getting your music into circulation is based on nothing more then the will of the man and not the city he/she lives in. There are acts as far north as Manchester who have been hugely successful. I'm closer to you guys down there so I really don't have an excuse.
Can you recall the first time you experienced hiphop music and culture and some of the first records that got you hooked?
I had 'Doggy Style' on tape and that was my first dabble into Hiphop. I got hold of a copy of 'Liquid Swords' and that just rewrote my world. I went out and got a paper round for £5 a week, then every third week I was in HMV looking for CD's. The bulk of my Hiphop education was taught to me by Wu-Tang, Jeru, Redman and much later Can-I-bus. Now I got a DJ size collection of material.
How long have you been rapping and what are the releases you've been involved with so far?
Been rapping seriously since I was 17. Did a rough demo CD called "Dubstates" about 4 years ago. After that most of my appearances have been on tracks on other releases. "Purified Perceptions" in the "Spare A Little Change" EP is an example. I always had five or six tracks floating about but never managed to solidify anything. Until now that is. 'Aquarius' is here and she is the precursor to the Libran moon.
What's the status of the whole Deprogrammed Productions crew now? Has everyone moved on to different things?
We are all off doing our own thing now. We still meet and speak to each other regular, because we are mates before anything. Each of us now has our own individual projects in motion. Alex you know about, but watch for Jonezy and Fierce also. Had a great time as Deprogrammed and it was a beautiful learning curve. Wouldn't change it for nowt.
What can heads expect from your debut EP 'Farewell Aquarius' and what's the title all about?
I can't actually tell you what the title is about because it's individual to everyone. Of course I know the real meaning, but what you want it to be it will be. Much the same as the music. Being my first solo venture, I really wanted it to show my adaptability. The range of tracks are so different. None is the same as the one before. Neither are the beats. I wanted it to be a sold introduction to Jalpote and the whole Jalporte project. I hope that people see it the same. Obviously what becomes of
it is down to you good people. Go check it out and mould my music into whatever you want it to be.
What producers and artists have you worked with on this, and who'd you like to collab' with down the line?
Alex Blood has dropped a verse on the EP, as well as produced four of the tracks. The other two are done by my boy Dave Rodgers. He will also be the genius that you see with me when I'm live. We connect proper on a creative vibe and he makes beats from the most obscure samples. It really is awesome. Coming soon 'Limited Edition' which is a mixtape Dave and myself have put together. Also on the EP, had to get Deprogrammed on it, so there is a crew track. All the people I want to work with are
really out of my reach to be honest.
In dreamland I want to work with Linkin Park. I do have a list of people I would like to rhyme with but it's all about respect. Until I feel I have earned the respect to rhyme with them, I won't approach them with a proposition. Of course if you think I am worthy of the opportunity then let me know. Rest assured, it's a big line of UK acts that I want to rhyme with.
Do you have many live dates planned to promote the release, and what goes down at a typical performance of yours?
I am in the process of getting together a little mini tour. The live show will be drilled and drilled until its right. I can't stand it when acts get up with all half arsed mess. I won't have it. The set will be a mixture of all sorts really but it will have presence. I'm weaving it with Dave's DJ skills to make the whole thing one flowing piece. Sort of like a live mixtape if you like. At the end of the night I want people to remember my name before they remember anyone else's.
How's your freestyle standard and are you involved in other elements of the culture like graffiti or breaking?
Don't want to say too much about my freestyle skills because people automatically link freestyle skills with battle skills. I can't draw worth a dam so I don't graff and I don't have the balance for breakin. Outside of rhyming I do a lot of photography. Everything I do in the Jalporte projects is within the confines of the hiphop culture so I live it all day, every day.
You have Massive Attack in your Myspace friends. What other non hiphop music are you interested in and inspired by?
Massive Attack have been hugely inspirational to me in terms of artwork, as have Pink Floyd. If you are into your artwork then you need to go check "The Doves" also. As mentioned Linkin Park. Most controversially and this winds people up, I still think Oasis are the best band to come out of this country in the last 15 years. My non hip hip collection is as big as my hip hop collection. I got all sorts there, but to give you a rough idea outside of hip hop, my top 5 must haves.
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon
Oasis – Morning Glory
Anything by The Prodigy
The Verve – Urban Hymns
Oh, and Cathy Davey 'cause she's all pretty.
Are you attracted to the many new takes on traditional hiphop like grime and do you think you'll have a go at creating some of it yourself?
Grime is a little to hardcore for me. It wouldn't really fit my rhyming character and I would sound like an arse trying. I would like to get back to rhyming over to some more old skool stuff like 'Me Myself and I' kind of beats. Within what I know are my absolute limits, I'll try most things once.
Your website includes your own online journal. It seems pretty certain that the internet will be the core of the music industry within a few years right?
It already is. Take a look at the Arctic Monkeys and how they played the net to get number one. The internet is like any other tool, and if used right you can be way ahead of the competition without really leaving your home. Everyone is on here, and it's so simple. For example. whoever you are reading my interview, you now know I have an EP called 'Farewell Aquarius', out now. Thank you for reading.
How do you rate the current standard of the UK scene and what releases are you most excited about right now?
Good good. Some of us are finally learning to pool resources to get what we all need. I generally don't look out for releases to be honest. I buy as much UK material as I possibly can regardless of the name. Obviously I am keeping an ear out for anything that comes out of the HQ in Derby. But the rule generally is simple. If it's good I'll buy it and if it's not, I won't. So impress me.
Have you got any shout out's you'd like to make to end this with?
Your good self Mr. Wright for the space right here. Anyone who in small or large ways has helped me get this far. You people know who you are and I don't need to speak your names. Anyone who is thinking of getting my EP and anyone who has got it. Want more details? Check out the links below. 'Farewell Aquarius' is out now. Hit the website and get it sent straight to your door for the price of a stamp.