Thanks to the powers of social media – more specifically, Twitter – I came across the bass-driven and soulful sounds of Manchester four-piece, Red Sky Noise. After playing their newest track, ‘Only You (Darkness Inside)’ released on MUK Records, repeatedly on SoundCloud, I got talking to one of the band members, Marc, the MC. As a huge music lover, particularly within the Manchester scene, the enthusiasm and passion from these guys was clear to see, from the way they market themselves through to their powerful tracks combining elements of 90’s dance, classic soul, rap and bassy undertones.
With their upcoming set at Manchester Academy 3 this Saturday supporting MDNGHT, I wanted to help spread the word of these talented lot and to find out more about how RSN came about, their plans for the future and what it’s like being a part of the Manchester music scene right now. I managed to grab some time with Marc and grill him about being a part of one of the city’s most exciting and refreshing crossover acts, alongside fellow band members, Jordan (producer/drummer), Mica (vocalist/ songwriter) and Andy (guitar/bass).
So Marc, tell us first of all how Red Sky Noise came about – how did you guys meet and where did the name come from?
Myself, Jordan and Andy were part of a previous project called Citizen. Mica joined the band at the start of last year. Thinking of a name was hard work, we wanted to re-brand and come with something different and fresh. Names were either taken or someone didn’t like a suggestion. We decided to go for three words that were punchy and had one syllable each so we went for RED SKY NOISE!
Your music certainly incorporates sounds from various genres, including blues and soul, to jazzy bass and dance. What would you say are the groups’ main influences from your individual background?
My background is dance music. From early jungle, through to drum and bass and big dance acts like the Prodigy. Being the MC in the band I like my hip hop as well as early garage and grime. I’d say I bring an urban influence to the table. My music taste is varied but we all bring different influences and ideas to the table, that’s what I like about being in a band. Four brains working together rather than one.
Tell us more about your stance on Manchester’s music scene right now – how have you seen it develop growing up around the city and do you think it’s going in a positive direction?
I think the scene up here is strong. I’d say it has grown since the rise of electronic music. The nightlife is good and there is plenty to do. There’s lots of good acts coming through and Manchester is a great place for music. It always has been.
With established venues like the Warehouse Project and the recently opened Sankeys, what are your thoughts on Manchester as a destination for music?
I think if you’re into dance/electronic music there is plenty of opportunities to see your favourite acts with nights like WHP. And if you like your live music or any artist for that matter then Manchester is always a place you will find acts play when they are on tour as it’s one of the major cities behind London.
You were formerly called ‘Citizen’ and won Radio 1’s prestigious BBC Introducing competition in 2012. How was RSN progressed since then and what are your goals for the year ahead?
I think we have come a long way. I think the music is more mature, has more soul and has our own identity. I think the reason for this is finding a writing style that works, working around Mica’s vocals and having more quality control over what we want to put out.
Where would be your ideal place to play as a band? Any highlights so far in terms of venue or place in the world?
Would love to play at Glastonbury or a big festival abroad like Coachella. Ive enjoyed playing in London, it’s a great city and they’re meant to be a hard crowd to please but we’ve always managed to put on a great show and get good reactions when we played there as Citizen. A highlight was supporting Delilah at Islington Academy for HMV’s next big thing. I cant wait to play London with RSN!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists and producers who want to get into the music highly competitive music industry?
Be original, take risks and work hard. It’s all about being pro active, getting yourself out there and trying to make as many contacts as possible. Making the music is just a small part of it.
Quick fire round:
- Guilty pleasure track? ‘Street Life’ by Randy Crawford.
- Favourite tipple? Brandy and coke.
- What could you only eat for the rest of your life? Curry!
- Favourite brand or label? I love the Major Lazer lot when it comes to branding, think there branding, logos, artwork and content is amazing!
- If you were an animal, what would you be? A lion!
- Dead or alive, which famous person would you most like to meet? I would love to of met Michael Jackon – my hero!