Bricks, named cos he’s ‘got red hair init’, is a top deejay from the cult favourite LEVELZ. Tomorrow he’s headlining PostBox: Second Delivery, our warm-up event for our night raising for Mustard Tree homelessness charity, so we thought it was prime time to have a chat with the mixer himself.
Having always been a ‘hip hop guy’, he started DJing and got his first set-up when he was just fourteen years old, ‘I was mixing with all sorts of different tape decks and record players from young!’ The artist now spends his downtime cooking, eating, smoking and watching documentaries. Perhaps this kind of relatable lifestyle bears the reason that LEVELZ has become such an integral part of Manchester. Of his group’s popularity, Bricks explained, ‘Essentially we embody the spirit of those who came before us in a long tradition of working class determination, trying to create something from nothing and celebrating what it is to be Mancunion, I think that resonates with many people regardless of taste in music, clothes cultures etc… we’re for the people!’
Bricks comes from near London, but he holds a long term connection to the city of Manchester since his parents are Mancs and he’s been up here for about 13 years. ‘As a child I used to visit regularly to see my family so my connection to the city was from an outside looking in perspective but since moving here and really soaking it all up I feel I now have a personal stake in it.’ He elaborated on this in order to comment on the artistic community in Manchester: ‘There are many communities that cross-pollinate and breeds an air of inclusiveness, especially around creatives! Everyone knows each other and it’s always inspiring’.
LEVELZ, who hang out ‘all the time’ were not a spontaneous creation: ‘We all knew each other and had all worked together before it was all under one umbrella. It had been talked about between all of us for years but it was Rich Reason who banded us together’
Although the LEVELZ fan base has become huge, Bricks seemed fairly lax about the whole thing: ‘We’ve never been stush with anyone so there’s a level of mutual respect, I don’t think intrusive behaviour is something we see much, unless it’s us intruding!!’ The group is therefore accessible not in their music, but also in their inclusive demeanour.
The same can be said of their attitude to music. Bricks claims that he plays ‘Anything good, as long as it’s good’. When I asked about what wasn’t good, he cited only one example: ‘Pink, top bird, god fucking awful songs’.
With a great number of charity events under their belt, the most recent one that LEVELZ hosted was for the Trussell Trust foodbank which we reviewed around Christmas. Bricks told me that people paid on the door with food items, rather than money, which struck me as a particularly good idea. The Trussell Trust runs over 400 foodbanks, providing support and food and support to those in need across the UK, where thirteen million people live below the poverty line. Bricks is playing at our own fundraising event, PostBox: Second Delivery. He gave a little lowdown on what you can expect to hear: ‘Bit of this bit of that might chuck a couple exclusives from my LEVELZ brothers in there some soulful D n B ‘n’ that – trust me it’s all fire!’
With all that fire in the box, here we are earning to put on an even bigger night in aid of Mustard Tree charity. Since this is a homelessness charity, I asked whether Bricks had any comments to give on the issue. He responded, ‘It breaks my heart daily, even if you’re broke it costs nothing to stop, have a chat, hear some stories’. He had some honest advice to give, ‘Not everyone is on the blag it’s fucked up, doing anything is better than nothing. Spend a fiver on a couple pairs of magic gloves keep ‘em in your pocket because someone will definitely need ‘em.’ He wasn’t preachy about it, though, just honest: ‘It’s these kinds of gestures that remind people that we’re all in this together, there’s no excuse for ignoring another human and I’m just as guilty as you’.
In terms of other social and political issues, Bricks feels strongly about supporting the youth. He exclaimed, ‘Open the youth clubs again, put more funding into kids projects stop stifling the kids for fucks sake!!!’ Once again displaying a good-hearted nature, Bricks let me in on his ethos for life: ‘If I can kill you with kindness how is that a weakness?’
Finally, the DJ had some important things to say about the power and potential of his craft: ‘Music arguably has the largest reach of any artform, raising awareness of issues is something music can do, it’s up to artists to really research these issues and align themselves with charities whose ideas and passion make real change whether globally or locally, I think music can heal in many more ways than one.’
PostBox: Second Delivery is coming through your letterbox on Thursday the 8th of Feb from 10pm. We’re unwrapping the talent of a range of DJs, and hopefully offering you quite a unique night of visuals and jazzy drum and bass.
Bricks is on from 1 til 2 and will be preceded by DJ Online Banking (12-1), Funraising resident Celine DiJon (11-12) and Bowden B2B Corduroy (10-11).
And don’t forget the sure highlight of the night! We’re hosting a raffle so you could be winning some absolutely first class art.
Entry to the Box is £3 OTD. Indigo has a limited capacity so make sure to get down there nice n early for a stamp on your hand!! Can’t wait to see you there.
Find out more about the great work that Mustard Tree charity does at http://www.mustardtree.org.uk.