Interview- Doktor

Doktor has been a long time stable of the UK music scene, having seen success in grime, drum and bass; and now dancehall.

2018 has seen Doktor reconnecting with his roots and turning back to dancehall, releasing some incredible singles so far with ‘Down For Me’ which features Spice, ‘Freak Inna You’ and ‘Man On Fire’. His most recent release coming yesterday with ‘Ra Ra’ featuring Trillary Banks and Corleone.

Today, we had the pleasure of talking with Doktor about his career so far, his influences and his opinions on current topics in dancehall.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Doktor- “My biggest inspiration is Vybz Kartel, like me, Kartel is a lyricist. I don’t know if  you know my background, but I started doing doing grime. Back in the day with Eskimo Dance and Sidewinder. I grew up going bar for bar. Vybz Kartel is lyrical magician, he is a top five lyricist in all of music”.

What are your first memories of reggae and dancehall?

Doktor- “My first memory, when I was growing up in Jamaica, my dad would always play Beres Hammond and Sanchez. Mainly, Beres Hammond. As for dancehall, I remember it really kicking in, in the early 1990s, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, that’s what really got me into dancehall, when the two of them were clashing and they had their big clash at Sting”.

Which reggae or dancehall song means the most to you, personally? 

Doktor- “Garnett Silk-“Mama Africa”. Garnett Silk is my favourite favourite reggae artist, I grew up listening to him. He was speaking about his mother and going back to Africa. He died so early and had so much to give to music”.

What is the inspiration behind the name Doktor?

Doktor- “From when I was in school, I was always ahead of time. Especially when it came to girls. They used to say “doctor go operate”. It just stuck from then”.

What are some of the highlights of your career?  

Doktor- “Had a few, when I was doing grime going around MCing and doing pirate radio shows. Going to different cities and helping to bring the the scene up.

In drum and bass, I am rhythmic artist so I really enjoyed drum and bass. When I did the track with Sigma ‘Rudeboy’ and went on tour with him and performed in front of 15,000 people that was crazy.

Now, in dancehall,  watching dancehall grow and watching myself grow as a new artist. People don’t remember my background, for these people I am a new artist. For me doing the track with Spice was a personal highlight

I’ve been in music for so many years and had so many highlights, so many different things that I can remember, I remember always wanting to do a song with Flaux Pavilion and then getting the call to make the song. So many memories”

Which one of your songs means the most to you?

Doktor- “Girl You Gotta Man”  means the most to me. I recorded it on my nineteenth birthday. After that everything changed, I remember travelling after that song.  I remember the day like it was yesterday. I remember changing the direction of grime. When I came out with a track like that people were like I don’t have to go out and straight MC”.

As your background is as a grime and drum and bass MC, what is the best bar you’ve ever spat? 

Doktor-“There’s too many, I am lyricist

“Ya better ask Ant, that boi got dec/decked”

“In 48 hours, he’s still be two dayz/too dazed”

How did the collaboration with Spice come about?  

Doktor- “I did the track and I needed a feature and was thinking who can I get a feature on, who is biggest artist in dancehall right now. So I hollered at Spice and she liked it and jumped on the track. She was living in Atlanta. So I flew her out to Jamaica to shoot the video. We caught up in Jamaica, and from then we’ve been cool”

Have you worked with any other big artists from Jamaica? 

Doktor- “I haven’t worked with any other big artists. I’ve recently spoken with Chi Ching Ching and Govana about doing a track and they love the idea.  Chi Ching Ching would be doing the intro and Govana doing the verse. I am going to calculate it  and make sure it is the right move when I decide to release it ”

Who would you most want to collaborate with?

Doktor- “Vybz Kartel, he inspires, he me makes me feel like I need to push myself. He’s in prison and still making hits, he makes me feel like I need to push harder. If he wasn’t in prison he’d be controlling the whole scene. I need to work harder, them man locked up and he’s still making hits”

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Doktor- “I see myself touring the hell out of this world. There has been a big gap for the last five years in the international scene, there has been big one dancehall artist, Sean Paul. Last year Sean Paul came back to number one, creating songs  with Jess Glyne and Clean Bandit. There is such a big market for dancehall, when he came back they went straight back for Sean Paul. I’m trying to fill in the gap and carry the flag from Sean Paul,  I want to be an international artist, I want platinum plaques and to be travelling the world non stop”.

Who is in your current dancehall top 5?

Doktor-

  1. Vybz Kartel
  2. Popcaan
  3. Alkaline
  4. Spice
  5. Rygin King, Aidonia or Govana

Who is in your all-time dancehall top 5?

Doktor-

  1. Vybz Kartel
  2. Super Cat
  3. Buju Banton
  4. Beenie Man
  5. Bounty Killer

Which UK artist would sound the best on a dancehall riddim?  

Doktor- “Giggs would sound bad on a dancehall track”

What are you currently working on?

Doktor- ” My EP is ready, I don’t want release it just yet. I want to build my profile more. Socially I need to get back out there, when my profile is at the right level. I’ve got lots of music ready”

It was a privilege to speak to Doktor about his career, his influences and his aspirations. Doktor is someone that is constantly looking to move music forward whether that be in his work in grime, drum and bass or dancehall, he is constantly trying to evolve the sound of music and bring genres to a wider audience. Doktor does this all from a strong Jamaican background which is intertwined with his love for reggae and dancehall. Reggae and dancehall needs people like Doktor to keep trying to move these genres forward and bring this incredible sound to a wider audience. 

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