Our final interview in our Notting Hill Carnival series comes with the legendary Rampage Sound, who over the years have developed themselves into a cornerstone of Notting Hill Carnival, being one of the main attractions at carnival every single year. In this interview we speak to Rampage Sound’s Maurice prior to carnival to discuss the history of the sound system and the impact that it has gone on to have at Carnival.
Maurice can you give us a quick insight into the foundation of Rampage Sound?
Maurice: “Rampage Sound was founded around 1992 – 1993 by Mike Anthony and Richard Pasco, Ricky and Mikey. It started as house parties and then progressed in to clubs.
Rampage ended up at carnival, after Mikey had woken up one day and heard a sound on the road he lived on, it was Soul II Soul. They hadn’t done a particularly good job with the sound so Mikey approached the committee to have a sound on the road”
So since those early days what have been some the changes that Rampage have had to make at carnival?
Maurice: “We have been the biggest sound for 15- 20 years, health and safety has been a big change we work closely with the committee, the council and the police. We have had to make big changes in our staging, we have upped the game, we use the same crowd control barriers as festivals”
Prior to carnival what are some of the processes that you have to go through throughout the year to make sure Rampage is ready for the weekend?
Maurice: “We go through a few different processes, we have an event manager, we have to consult with the residents that live on the road, the carnival committee and make sure our point of view is heard. We have to look for sponsorship for the next year and hit up different agencies to make sure all the arrangements are in place”
What are some of the biggest moments that you can remember from Rampage throughout the years?
Maurice: “We’ve been an integral part of carnival throughout the years. I remember Ms Dynamite at Rampage performing “Boo”, I brought Lloyd (the R’n’B artist) down to Rampage, as soon as he got off the stage girls were chasing him down the street. Newham Generals performing last year. Wiley walking from the back of the crowd to the front to perform. Sean Paul performing his hits at Rampage when he was first exploding on the scene”
What do you most look forward to about carnival every year?
Maurice: “Just look forward to playing music in the sun or the rain”
Rampage is well known for bringing some of the biggest artists to carnival, how do you go about planning the artists that are coming down to perform at Rampage each year?
Maurice: “It’s a bit of planning and a bit of being coming on the day. Like Wiley just rolled up. Jamaican artists tend to just go to carnival without specific plans of where to perform. So we’ve had artists like Agent Sasco, Sean Paul, Stylo G, Spragga Benz, Protoje comes down most years, but doesn’t tend to perform, Kevin Lyttle, Big Zeeks, Alicai Harley”
For you personally what is the importance of carnival?
Maurice: “For me it’s embracing London culture, it’s shaped who I have become. First you love the music and the food and then you want to get involved in promoting the culture”
Finally, which songs from this year do you think are going to be big at Rampage?
Maurice: “Koffee- ‘Toast’ and ‘Rapture’
Busy Signal- ‘Stay So’
Stylo G- ‘Touch Down’