It’s P-Time! 5 Minutes with Crazy P
After over two decades at the forefront of disco-house, Crazy P remain one of the funkiest and most influential collectives in UK dance music. We caught up with frontwoman and DJ Danielle Moore ahead her set at the snazzy new Bungalows & Bears this month.
Hi Dani! We can’t wait to have Crazy P back in Sheff. You’re playing at Bungalows & Bears, which has recently undergone a massive refurb, and their opening weekend featured The Reflex, Afriquoi and New York Brass Band. It’s a pretty diverse range of music to have already played the venue, do you look forward to playing in the less ‘clubby’ venues?
I do look forward to playing less clubby venues. It’s not something I do a lot but those sorts of venues are very much where I started playing music. In fact, my first gigs were a sort of Sunday gathering at a pizza bar in Manchester, which was very much ‘play whatever you think vibes’ – you know, within reason. Whilst I love dancing, I don’t always want to make people dance, more to just enjoy or engage in a feeling.
You guys seems to play up north a lot. Do you like the vibe in places like Sheffield?
I don’t think we play enough in Sheffield if I’m honest! I love the northern cities so we could never play there too much. The lads are based in Nottingham, as that’s where our studio is, so it’s a hop, skip and a jump for them. I’m from Manchester and I feel there’s a huge connection between the two cities: The Steel City and The Rainy City. That said, I’m certain Manchester weather isn’t quite as bad as people make out! I’m not sure if you ever came to Electric Chair in Manchester but that was set up by a couple of Sheffield lads, The Unabombers. I’d like to think it’ll be an enjoyable return for me and I’m already planning hooking up with some mates whilst I’m there.
You a killed it with the full band at the Love International Warehouse Project in Manchester back in December, and it sounds like you’ve had a busy year. How was for Crazy P and what were your highlights?
Thank you! We were actually pleasantly surprised by The Warehouse as we had an early gig and weren’t too expectant of a crowd, but it was great! 2017 has been a great year for us gig-wise and it’s always a real pleasure for us to represent at a varied number of venues. I’d really hate to pull out specific events, there were loads, but Love International Croatia, Gottwood and Bali at New Year were big for us. In Bali we featured on a live Boiler Room set which was both exciting and nerve-wrenching! It’s just wonderful to still travel worldwide, which has just reminded me that Beirut was another highlight. We are fed so much news that influences our thoughts about certain parts of the world and to see them first hand and gather your own experiences and opinions is invaluable.
You always seem to play so many festivals, you should start your own! I’d go!
I think people undervalue the energy, effort and commitment that goes into promoting. Organising a festival must be one of the most stressful jobs around. I think for now we will stick to the pressure of playing.
When you play live with the band or as Crazy P Soundsystem you play a lot of your own music and productions. What do you prioritise when DJing as Crazy P?
When we all play live we play our own music. We used to try and include a cover but we’ve gone off that idea. It was good for a time but it felt like we were cheating a little. It’s good to be able to play a varied set with your own catalogue. Sound system is different; it’s a mix of our own songs and DJing so it’s sometimes tailored to fit our music in, which also means the other music we integrate into it has to suit the vibe. It can be tricky sometimes as it’s a bit more manufactured. That’s why we want to express ourselves when we DJ, to play as much new varied music as possible and not necessarily our own. Sometimes it leads to people complaining and saying “play Crazy P!”, but that’s a bit boring for us. The funny thing is, if you just play your own stuff you then get accused of being up your own arses! You can’t please everyone, can you? We just try and find a balance.
Your most recent LP Walk Dance Talk Sing came in 2015. Any news of more music coming soon?
Yeah, we’ve released a couple of EPs since then; the lads are always busy with remixes and productions, and myself collaborating with various folk when I get time. We have been working on some new stuff which we were most fortunate to sow seeds for up in Gottwood earlier this year with the full band. We’re continuing to work on that, so watch this space!
You guys have been in the dance scene for over 20 years. Have you noticed any big changes in the crowds that you attract or the music that they want to hear?
We have been around for a while. The main change is mobile phones. You could have someone filming you all gig and it’s really not something I understand personally. Firstly, surely they get arm ache? Why would you do that to yourself? Secondly, it must be really bloody boring watching it all back. I think we have generally seen our crowd get younger – and I LOVE that! It’s like we have naturally seen an older following who have maybe stopped going out so much and somehow our music has made the transition to a younger audience. That continues to pleasantly surprise us.
Disco and funk seems to have had a really substantial revival of late, with tracks like Uptown Funk and 24k Magic being two of the biggest tracks in the last two years. Do you think it will last in the mainstream?
I hope music will forever evolve. It’s comparable to any art form or creative work. Trends will always occur but quality productions, fashions, film, music and VIBES will stand the test of time. Believe in what you do and its honesty will shine through. Follow any trend and it will come to an end at some point.
Crazy P play Bungalows and Bears on Friday 19th January. Support comes from Dan J (Huddle), Leroy (Nice Like Rice) and Mess Your Hair Up DJs. Entry is Free!
Words: Greg Brown