Kings of the Rollers are one of the most in-demand drum and bass acts right now, with their unique style taking the scene by storm. The trio, made up of Bladerunner, Serum and Voltage, have acquired numerous supporters throughout the entire spectrum and earlier this year received a huge boost in the form of an official contract with Hospital Records.
Since that landmark moment, the super group have continued to grow, becoming a standout crowd pleaser for one of the biggest and most reputable DnB labels in the world. Attracting tens of thousands watching them play in the afternoon and hosting their own boat party at the DnB label’s first-ever overseas festival - Hospitality on the Beach - are just some of the highlights from a whirlwind summer.
Later this month another huge Kings of the Rollers show is to be expected when they team up with Shadow Demon Coalition at Hospitality on the Park, set in London on Saturday 22 September. To reflect on what has been a crazy past few months and find out more about their special Kings of the Shadows performance we sat down with Voltage.
The first topic we touched on was the relationship with Hospital Records and how the group have gone about their work,
“We’ve kind of been allowed to do what we want but they’re not stupid and they know we’re going to be at our best if we’re allowed full creative control,” he said,
“We have brought through a fresh sound to the scene. It’s an old style but we’ve put a fresh twist on it. We’ve made that deep, subby and rolling bass sound the front of drum n bass again.”
A big reason why the group have been given a lot of creative license is the respect they have earned as individual artists over the years - RAM, Metalheadz and Shogun are just some of the major imprints which the trio have enjoyed releases on in the past.
When Hospital signed them they were fully aware of how prolific each artist had been and how much more they all had to give when working together. The variety of releases from each individual has been a huge factor behind why Kings of the Rollers have enjoyed such a positive reaction from crowds far and wide as well as fellow artists, according to Voltage,
“Between all of us we have hit every major label as solo artists,” he added,
“We haven’t got the boundaries that are up in drum n bass especially with somewhere like Hospital where people will put them into a certain category without even listening to the music.
“With us people really know what they’re going to get.”
Looking back it is hard to single out one event which has defined the year to date so far for Kings of the Rollers.
There have been numerous shows like Rampage and Boomtown which have all been incredible successes in their own right. Ask any one of the trio about the latter of the aforementioned festivals and you are bound to see a jubilant smile etched across their faces such was the reaction from the crowd at the Hampshire-based event.
Following their turbocharged set at last year’s edition which was enjoyed by bumper crowds it remained to be seen whether even more people would flock to see them this time out. Those doubts were soon quashed when an incredible 22,000 turned out by 5PM for their Bang Hai Towers performance last month. Voltage admitted it felt quite surreal at the time to see that many people so early on,
“To have 10,000 people sat outside the stage before we’d even played a tune was mental,” he continued,
“That was amazing to see the amount of support we got with these like 17-25 year old ravers.”
Another reason why Voltage believes they are proving such a hit with DnB crowds and Hospitality events in general is that they offer something “angrier” and people instantly know how the night will progress when they arrive on stage,
“They used to have Hazard at a lot of events who would go and play really hard sets,” he added. “That’s where we sit at Hospital”,
“People know when it gets to our set they’re going to get this energy.”
One show which will almost certainly guarantee some of the darkest sounds will be their Hospitality in the Park performance when they join up with Shadow Demon Coalition to form Kings of the Shadows.
Voltage is particularly familiar with their work, having been the DJ for the group which also consists of MCs Bassman and Trigga. As soon as the question was posed he was so eager to share how the two acts will complement each other,
“The likes of Bass and Trigga really work over the selection we play.”
One of the main things highlighted was how someone like Bassman still garners major appeal from younger audiences, despite starting out three decades ago. Bringing him and Trigga on board will certainly enrich the experience, according to Voltage,
“People like Bassman and the connection he has with young ravers at the minute is actually madness. You also have Trigga who is a really big hype MC.”
“Ravers are just going mad about the Kings of the Rollers and SDC combination. It probably will be one of the highlight sets of the day.”
An MC who is a more regular feature alongside Kings of the Rollers is Inja. The ‘Blow Them Away’ artist has worked as a frontman for the trio ever since they officially joined forces.
His charisma and ability to connect with any type of crowd make him a valuable asset and Kings of the Rollers’ shows would not be as electric if he wasn’t behind the mic.
Voltage explained how he has a great understanding with each of them which really helps to complete the performance and also picked out his stage presence as another star quality.
“Inja just knows us all inside out,” he added. “Everything is so glued together, he is our frontman and that’s just what people want to hear.
“He can make a massive stage seem really small which is not easy to do. It was a huge stage at Rampage for example and he just made it look tiny.
“He never seems lost out there which is good.”
There is still time to catch this mighty collaboration set at this year’s Hospitality In The Park, hitting London’s Finsbury Park on Saturday 22nd September.
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