Ollie ‘Skream’ Jones is on a major roll. The 24 year old Croydon DJ, producer and original dubstepper. A lot has happened since the 16 year old Skream left school with no GCSEs and a top-flight training in white labels and nightclubs. ‘‘When I first saw music being made on a PlayStation, that was it. There was never going to be anything else. I know people who got 5 A-Cs but now they look like they’re dying of boredom.” He started working at Big Apple Records in Croydon, a place that holds the same place in street-up dance music as Rough Trade does in punk. Arthur ‘Artwork’ Smith and Danny Harrison, 2-Step remixers du jour circa 1998, had a studio upstairs and when Skream and Benga weren’t downstairs in the shop, they were watching and learning from their local masters at work.
He has always made tunes at an incredible rate: he has two albums (Skream! in 2006 and Outside The Box), two compilations and 81 tunes released since 2003 and many hundreds more he’s played during DJ sets. There are 872 finished songs on the hard drive he’s been using since 2007 (and about the same on the hard drive he used between 2001 and 2007) and at least 20,000 song files in his current studio which is still in his old bedroom at his parents house, which is useful for both continuity and tea and toast on tap.
Life’s busy for Oliver Jones. He’s back DJing after taking some time out, switching up his DJ sets to include 4/4, techno, garage and grime – in fact there’s a brilliant track with Newham Generals ‘I Can’t Wait’ that missed the album tracklist by a whisker – and, most weeks, hosting his Rinse FM show–now alongside Benga–where listeners get to hear new tunes and Skream and Benga’s inimitable banter.