Label: Cool Kids Music
Genre: House (somewhere between Garage and R&B)
Members: Toyin Mustapha and Rob Drake
Sounds Like: Frank B, George Fitzgerald, TCTS
Links: Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter
Toyin Mustapha and Rob Drake became pals at Manchester Uni over a love for 90s RnB, Hip-Hop and Garage, and it’s been a happy musical marriage ever since. They were the first to win Parklife’s DJ Competition, and even before graduating they’d set up their own label Cool Kid Music, releasing some top stuff from themselves, Werkha and previous Stamp Mix guests TCTS and danglo. In anticipation of their new single they’ve put together a little mix for us, not going down the new music route but picking out some of their favourite Garage tracks from back in the day. Don’t sit back and enjoy this, it’s way too frenetic for that.
Jaded is the new one from T&R and is out on 22nd April. Listen below and keep an eye out on their Facebook for info about where to buy it. Also catch them at Gottwood Festival this summer, where they’ll be in very good company.
I’ve read that your name comes from putting together your individual nicknames, so we won’t get you to repeat that answer again. But what other names were on the cards before you went for Toyboy & Robin?
Some absolute shockers. It was Toyboy & Rob Drake (my real name) for ages but it really didn’t work. There was a joke one from a friend of ours who said Toy Robot but I am so so happy we swerved it.
You’ve got a pretty hectic live schedule so must spend a lot of time together. Is there anything that gets on your nerves about the other when you’re on the road?
R: I’d say because we’d lived together for two years we were used to each other’s bad habits that we’re pretty well equipped to know how to deal with one another now!
T: Yeah like Rob kinda leaves me to it when I throw my toys out the pram and I pretty much just switch off when he starts talking about the latest girl he’s going after! Which is pretty much all the time haha.
We bumped into you at the Hotflush Boiler Room, which was one of the best sessions we’ve heard. Not counting that one, what are your favourite BR sets and why?
R: To be honest, I’m not a huge Boiler Room fanatic! I’ve only seen a few but I watched Toro Y Moi’s the other day and that was fun!
T: I really enjoyed T William’s set at the RBMA boiler room the other month.
If you could pick one old-gamer from the Garage heydays to collaborate with, who would it be?
R: Tough question. It could be Sunship, Club Asylum or Wideboys. They all did some great things!
T: MJ Cole, his tracks are timeless.
What were you favourite 3 tracks from last year?
There are so many more but those are just the ones in my head!
What are your favourite 3 artists at the moment outside the Cool Kid roster?
R: Joy Orbison, George Fitzgerald and Bondax
T: Toro Y Moi, Maribou State and Jonas Rathsman
You’ll be the third artists from Cool Kid Music to guest for our series, so we’re getting to know the label quite well. Is there a particular ethos you run it with, and what do you look out for when you’re scouting for new recruits?
It’s just about finding good, interesting, distinctive music really. I think we like to look a bit deeper than just one release, but so far everyone keeps getting snapped up by management, agents and bigger labels so it’s proving a tough time – a nice problem to have though.
Rob, I hear you were an aspiring MC when you were younger. Were there any bars you remember from back in the day that you’re particularly ashamed of?
R: Man I wish I could but sadly I don’t think there are any. Really happy I found myself behind the decks rather than in front of them though.
T: I’ve been trying to get Rob to freestyle for ages now but he keeps bottling it. I reckon if we get him smashed enough he’ll do it soon though.
And Toyboy, not to leave you out, apparently you’re a bit of a Mila Kunis fan. This interview with her has been doing the rounds recently and the guy nearly gets lucky. If you had one opportunity to ask the same, how would you pitch it to sweep her off her feet?
Mila Kunis is the one. I did see the interview but think he came on a little strong. I would’ve played it a similar way but not asked her out first time. I would’ve left her wanting more, which obviously would have been the case, not. Haha.
Tell us a bit about the mix you put together for us? What was the thinking behind it and are there any tracks we should know more about?
The mix contains no new songs…just loads of old Garage tracks we loved and still do. Some people may know them all, for others there’s a bit of education in the mix for you all. I think all the tracks have their own identity really, they’re what helped Garage get to what it was. There’s also a bit of a homage to DJ EZ in there.
What are your thoughts on the Garage scene at the moment? Do you think this fusion with House is doing favours for the genre or would Artful Dodger and So Solid be recoiling at how it’s been diluted?
T: I don’t think the sound at the moment is identical to how it was before which for me is a good thing. Definitely think the hybrid between the two genres is doing favours for the genre cos it seems like most producers are expressing themselves more and trying new things.
R: I was a huge Garage fan when I was younger – I don’t think it will ever get back to its former glory. But I don’t really want it to. It’s a bit like going back to your ex…tempting, but it’s never a good move. Garage had its time and why it was good for all the good things, it was bad for well…all the bad things. It’s really nice that it’s influencing so many years on though.
Any future plans we should know about?
Next up we have WAYF in Bournemouth with a crazy lineup. Then Everywhere Festival curated by the Dollop gang in Nottingham which is EVEN crazier! Oh and we’re also going to Ibiza a fair few times this Summer so that should be a lotta fun.
The B-15 Project (Feat. Shola Ama & Ms. Dynamite) – Feels So Good (DJ EZ’s More To The Floor Mix)
Artful Dodger Vs. The Dreem Team – It Ain’t Enough (Full Vocal Mix)
Amira – My Desire (Dreem Teem Remix)
United Grooves Collective – Glad You Came 2 Me (Wideboys Phuturistic Phunk Mix)
Abi – Bring Me Joy (Furious Vocal Edit)
Frances James & DJ Face – Girls Play Too (Club Asylum Vocal Mix)
Sirus – Grouch
F.U.N. – It’s The Way
Shola Ama – This I Promise You
TJ Cases (Feat. Kat Blu) – I Like To Cut/I Like To Play
MJ Cole – Crazy Love
Ed Case – Something In Your Eyes (K-Warren Remix)
Agent X – Decoy (EZ Special Mix)
Shola Ama – Imagine (Club Asylum Remix)
Once Waz Nice – Messin’ Around (Wideboys Mix)
M:Dubs (Feat. Lady Saw) – Bump ‘N’ Grind (Sunship Remix)
MJ Cole – Sincere