Kesäkuussa Helsinkiin saapuva koomikko ja rap-artisti Doc Brown tunnetaan Suomessa parhaiten hänen Ricky Gervaisin kanssa tekemästään Equality Street -musiikkivideosta. Haastattelimme nousukiidossa olevaa monitaituria - haastattelu on tehty englanniksi.
Doc Brown, you started your creative career as a battle rapper. How did you become comedian?
Mainly by chance. A friend who went into writing comedy asked me to help out with the dialogue in a script for the BBC, I ended up becoming a joke writer for BBC Radio Comedy, but because I was already a performer from my music days, that kind of naturally led into stand up.
What else do you do than comedy and rap music?
I write children’s picture books. My first is released worldwide in March 2016. I also write for the screen and am currently developing a three part crime thriller for television. I’m a dramatic actor too and have notched up a few credits now such as Law&Order and Hunted. I’m currently shooting a new thriller about the Occult for ITV called Midwinter of the Spirit.
Your birth name is Ben Bailey Smith. How did you end up with artist name Doc Brown?
It was a nickname from school, I kept it when I started rapping as a teenager and it has stuck with me ever since - for 20 years in fact. I’m pretty sick of it now but it is what it is!
What do you expect from your show in Finland and Finnish people?
I heard that you guys were very polite and smell really good. Nah, I really don’t know much about Finland except what I’ve been told which is that it is often very dark and very cold and yet the people are very open and honest and friendly. If I saw that little of the sun I’d be constantly angry, so that is an impressive factor, even if it’s based on stereotype. I’ve been to Norway, Sweden and Denmark so many times but never Finland so I’m very excited but also intrigued to see if you guys have anything in common with those neighbouring countries.
Based on YouTube-videos of your performances you seem to have a strong underlying theme of equality in your work. Where does this stem from and why is it so close to your heart?
I’m half black half white. When I was born that was still an issue for a lot of people. My very existence is a metaphor for equality, so it’s something that’s in my blood. Black, White, Asian, Men, Women, Children, Disabled, Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender, Religious, Secular - every single person on earth suffers from some form of prejudice yet everyone wants and needs the same things: food, shelter, love, hope and happiness. That means that all we are really separated by is our own crazy ideas about what a human being should or shouldn’t be like. That has always felt dumb to me, so I fight prejudice not out of charity or some bleeding heart syndrome, I fight it because it’s in my nature. It’s not work to me, it’s just how I feel everyday.
What do you want to leave behind in the world?
I love the idea that a song or a sketch, a joke, a book or a movie I wrote is still making people smile when I’m not around. There’s a litter selfish self-aggrandisement in that, sure, but mainly it’s a sense of pride and achievement. Something to inspire my kids to believe in their own creative ideas.
Doc Brownin Suomen-keikan ovat mahdollistaneet parikin Suomessa toimivaa englantilaistaustaista yritystä. Keikan järjestävän Emblan Matti Simpson, miksi halusit tuoda Doc Brownin Suomeen?
Olen Englannista kotoisin ja halusin tuoda pienen palan kulttuuriani Suomeen. Täällä on paljon englanninkielisiä maahanmuuttajia ja myös brittikulttuurista kiinnostuneita suomalaisia. Embla perustettiin juuri sen vuoksi, että tarjotaan kansainvälistä viihdettä ja toivottavasti samalla tuodaan ihmisiä eri kulttuuritaustoista yhteen pitämään hauskaa.
Miten levy-yhtiönä paremmin tunnettu "L.A. Shone!!" liittyy Doc Brownin keikkaan?
L.A. Shone!! järjestää myös fanipainotteisia tapahtumia, myös tulevan Doc Brownin keikan yhteydessä. L.A. Shone!! on Stephen Burgessin rakentama yritys, jonka verkostot ulottuvat Isoon-Britanniaan ja Yhdysvaltoihin. 30.5. L.A. Shone!! on mukana järjestämässä Metallica-klubin Suomen fanijaoston 10-vuotisjuhlat, jossa kuullaan kotimaisista metallimuusikoista koostuva superyhtye!
X Eero Tiainen
Kirjoitettaessa soi Mikael Kosmos: Juhlat