There has always been a steady flow of DJs, musicians and producers who have taken as their influence and experience the rich musical backdrop of reggae, soul, jazz, hip hop, funk and punk that has for the last 30 years been an integral part of West London. Sometimes you come across a producer that incorporates a complex web of influences that reflect as much about the environment it was made in as revealing the artist behind the music.
Major's productions are far from one particular genre of music, but his style comes with uniquely British concoctions that exude pure class. Producing music for others came about after what seemed like an unfortunate turn of events for Daren Carrington aka Major, when the label he was signed to as an artist closed down. The plug was pulled on Sony's sub label Disco Volante just as Major had completed his own debut album entitled “My Mood” and was just about to release it. However, in the build up to release, the album surfaced long enough to give us a glimpse into Major (as an artist) and received rave reviews. "An impressive debut", Music Week. "The sheer music diversity he explores definitely makes him one of 2000s more intriguing artists", Touch. "Major has the lyric-writing talent to match his studio skills", Sunday Times. "This one, helmed by the very talented studio technician called Major, who creates a backing track unlike any other", NME. "Major's compelling voice and production makes perfect sense of his raggadelic tag", Muzik. "It is nice to hear something a little different", The Voice.
From an early age, Major demonstrated his creative talents in different crafts. He studied and excelled in Art and Graphic Design, but it was his passion for music that was to ultimately drive his creative ambitions. Major was born and raised in West London and spent his formative years soaking up the vibrant musical history of the areas. Coming from a rich musical heritage his stepfather had a sound system and encouraged him to start DJ’ing when he was in his early teens.
Major says: "The first record I ever bought was Junior Murvins Police and Thieves but I was also listening to stuff like Adam Ant, Aswad and Police."
Some of his teenage years were kept busy touring with a variety of different sound systems like Observer, Heartbeat, Calvary, Lethal Weapon and One Love. He later started making regular appearances as an MC on the stage of the legendary and MOBO Award winning club night Rotation, and became an integral fixture of the Friday night party. As well as working the UK club scene with some of the finest DJs, such as Manny Norté (Radio 1Xtra), Dodge (MTV), Ras Kwame (Radio 1), Tony Touch, Howie B, Stereo MCs and Femi Fem. He also hosted parties for P.Diddy and Touch Magazine. His MC’ing work has also taken him around the world with the likes of Jazzie B and the Soul II Soul team touring Australia (the Good Vibrations Festival, alongside, Gang Starr, Moloko, Lee Scratch Perry, Rob da Bank, Bugz in the Attic and Mad Professor), he has also made appearances in Japan, Malaysia, Sweden, Paris, Italy, Istanbul and Poland, with regular dates in Belfast (Club Milk) he has now added his own regular club night and radio show in Prague.
Major's MC’ing has played a pivotal part in his development as a producer. He was constantly around DJs as well as music listeners and this helped in providing him with an insight into the music people enjoyed and responded to. A chance meeting with Howie B, who happened to be working in the same studio as Major, led to the pair collaborating as well as a friendship. Howie asked Major to lay down some vocals for Takamuro, a Japanese artist he was producing. When Howie was out of the country for a couple of months, he gave Major the keys to his studio. Having never been in a studio by himself before, Major spent a lot of time experimenting. Tricky heard what he was doing and loved it. Tricky hooked him up with punk singer Zoe and paid for the pair to go into the studio. Both sides took away experience and inspiration from those sessions, and it fuelled Major's hunger to work with undiscovered talent.
With his unique ability to capture the essence of an artist on record and realising that the studio is an environment more conducive to creative discovery than any club he had played or performed in, Major now focuses the majority of his time and energy in making music and discovering new and distinctive talent.
Major has recorded, produced, re-mixed or written with the following: Amy Winehouse,(Island Records), Beverly Knight (Parlophone Records), Amy Winehouse (19 Management), Ciara (BMG), Lamya (J Records), Howie B (Native Management), Nate Butler (Zomba), Adonis (Bad Boy Entertainment), Jolyn Skinner (Joe, Backstreet Boys), Kendra Ross (Talib Kweli), Tammy Lucas (A Tribe called Quest, Teddy Riley, Blackstreet), Carl MacIntosh (Loose Ends), Kim Mazelle, Rebekkah Ryan (Jive Records), Wookie (Soul II Soul), Sweetie Ire, Dodge (Soul Inside), Killa Kela (BMG), Elizabeth Troy, Kele Le Roc, Kwesi (Sony), Rodney P, Damage, Tricky , Suggs (Madness), Horis Andy (Massive Attack), Ari Gold, Mekon, 23 Skidoo (Virgin Records), Santessa (Disco Volante/Sony) Sweetie Ire, Elephant Man and Gappy Ranks and more.
His innovative style and the musical diversity he delves into definitely makes him one of the more interesting producers and he is undoubtedly well on his way to making and leaving a distinctive mark on the music scene.