It’s time to give the DJ some shine! New Zealand’s number one, DJ Sir-Vere has been cutting it up on the ones and twos for over 15 years, keeping the Kiwis on lock with only the freshest bangers. Touring Australasia with his newest instalment of the Major Flavours series, we took a few minutes of Sir-Vere’s time to talk about something we all have in common, being a freak for the sneaks. A massive Jordan nut, Sir-Vere gives us the 411 on his passion for the Jumpman, who he will rep ‘til he’s six feet deep!'
How has the sneaker scene been popping off of late up in NZ?
It’s like the global situation where we had a mass rise in popularity for kicks in general over the last few years and now it seems to be calming down a bit and we are seeing who the real fans are. Having said that, kicks are selling at all time high levels which is good and bad. Me personally, I’m good with it, I’m not a sneaker snob.
NZ has a whole host of stores keeping heads laced. Any particular ones you keep on lock?
I get most of my kicks from Foot Locker because I know a lot of their staff and they are all cool people, like Min, Dave and Ritchie. Having personable, knowledgeable staff means a lot to me. The other hot joints are Loaded on High Street from my man Phat 1, and the Qubic store in Newmarket is a next level space – the layout in that joint is as good as any I have seen internationally and Frank is the man. I also dig Identity in Dunedin.
Having peeped your MySpace pics, you seem to be a massive Jordan collector. What is it about the Jordan that makes it the focal point of your collection?
Yeah, I only cop Jordans, that’s it. In my collection I only have two pairs of Air Force 1s, one pair of Nike cross trainers for the gym, and the rest is Jordans. I’m a huge fan of the man as a player and an icon; it’s been that way for 20 odd years. I was lucky enough to see Mike play during the 72-win season and have been to his restaurant a few times too. It’s all about the legend.
Are there any Jordans in the series that you are fiending to cop?
Yeah there are a few I really want. I want weird things too. I really wanna track down some Caroline Xs that are in good condition (mine are beaters), some nubuck XIIs in my size and some Carolina blue IXs. The list goes on and on.
How do you feel about the ‘Bring Back Packs’ that Jordan are dropping at the moment? Do you think they are flogging a dead horse or is it a good way of educating young up and coming heads about the Jordan legacy?
I’m good with it. I know there is a saturation point where there is too much product in the market and I think it is running real close to that right now, but when I copped the Carmine VIs I wasn’t thinking that there was any flogging going on, I was just happy to get them!
You performed at the Nikeology party with Scribe this year. How did you guys become involved in that, and just how closely do you associate with the brand?
I’ve been working closely with Nike and Jordan brand in New Zealand for about 4 years. It may sound contrived, but I really care about the brand and anything I can do to help with the credibility of launching the shoes and just educating cats in general - I’m good with it. The people at Nike are mad cool and I’ll continue working with them for the years to come. I’ll always wear the kicks anyway, of that there is no question. Bury me in some Xs and I’m good.
Any talks of a collaboration dropping with you anytime soon? There doesn’t seem to be the same push for collaborations with sneaker brands and artists as there is in the States. Why do you think that is?
Nah there is no talk of that and it’s not something I’ve sought out. I think in some ways, the New Zealand market is quite small and I’m not sure the minimum runs could be sustained for here anyway, maybe Aussie would be better. In any case, it’s a great idea!
Are all the other brands off limits to you or do you only rock Nike? If so, why?
I only wear Jordans. No Air Max, no Air Force 1s, just Jordans…that’s just me!
Let’s talk about Major Flavours! This is the third in the series to drop in Australia. How do you think the urban scene is faring in NZ/AUS compared to the US? Is it like the sneaker market, where the US are spoilt for choice and it makes us guys on the other side of the world have to try that bit harder?
Yeah the US is spoilt for choice, but I feel like we are starting to find our own identity too. For so long we have been seen as monkeys mimicking the US, when the reality is that Hip Hop is a US born culture, of that there is no doubt, anything we say or do is always going to have nods to the corner of Sedgwick and Cedar, but now we are starting to see some genuinely unique localised music. On the second CD of the new Major Flavours there are quality tracks from New Zealand’s R.E.S. and Melbourne’s Illy, both are what I consider true examples of people from Australasia making unique southern hemisphere music.
How do you foresee what is going to be hot and keep the compilations fresh and not out of date, considering how songs become so old so quickly these days?
It’s the nature of the world now that all things, including music, have become disposable. For that reason I’ve tried to include some classic tracks and some local music. Having said that, the mix I made gives it an edge too, breathing life into songs you may have heard multiple times.
How long have you been working with Scribe?
I’ve been working with Scribe for years now. We met through my man Ali in Christchurch and Scribe would tour around the country with us. We’ve done countless gigs and been all over the place. Recently we haven’t really been working together, we’ve just been hanging out more as our touring schedules have had us in the same place on multiple occasions. Bottom line is, Malo is an awesome dude and an incredible talent. He makes all Aotearoa Hip Hop heads proud.
One of the best perks of being in the industry is definitely the dope parties you get to spin and chill at. What are some of the highlights? I gotta say the MTV Mile High Party looked insane!
Yeah there have been some crazy parties for sure. In New Zealand I’ve done two Boost Mobile tours that are 16 gigs in 18 days and were pretty mind blowing. The single best gig I can think of would be the Urban Music Awards after-party at Favela in Sydney in 2007. Earlier that night I won the award for Best New Zealand Club DJ and I was in full party mode. I had my MC MZRE there and Young Sid too, plus Scribe came thru and MC’d for the first hour of my set. It was an incredible night.
You have your Australian tour banging at the moment, what else do you have planned for the rest of 2008?
I’m looking to relaunch the New Zealand line of Major Flavours. I’ve done 11 albums in NZ and want to restart it basically because I think it has a place and also because the label has expressed interest again which is half the battle. With that will come a national tour and promo so I’m looking forward to the challenge.
For more info and tour dates hit up www.back2basics.co.nz