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We talk to MC Magika to get the lowdown

The eighth edition of the Drum & Bass Awards is nearly upon us, and there's still time to vote in this year's poll. You can vote for your favourite drum & bass DJ, label, MV, track, promoter, radio show, album and so on and so forth by visiting the site here

The awards are again held in Birmingham, at The Institute on Saturday March 1st, and this year will be hosted by Midlands jungle institution DJ SS from Leicester.

The massive line-up includes Andy C, Friction, Calyx & Teebee, Hazard, Hype, Loadstar, Mampi Swift, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, LTJ Bukem, Grooverider, Bailey, Randall, Nicky B-Market, Uncle Dugz and many more. That's in a ddition to a whole megabus of MCs. Junglist posse in the place!

So who will win which awards? DJ Mag caught up with organiser MC Magika to get the lowdown on this year's awards...

Why are the Drum & Bass Awards still important for the scene?

“Firstly I feel that every genre/culture has awards to acknowledge those who work so hard and to acknowledge their achievements, so we should have an awards for this very reason. It also helps to showcase that the scene is growing, moving, evolving and still here. At times awards can be controversial, you cannot please everyone but overall it's a celebration of our scene and a promo vehicle to shout about this exciting genre — but a real good excuse to have a great party also.”

What do you like about doing them?

“We started the awards in 2007, there was no awards event at all at the time and had not been for some years. Another organisation did run them for a few years, and one year I was the actual host for their awards event. 2003 was their last awards and they never repeated the event again, and after nearly four years I felt it was time, so together with my team we embarked on the mission to start again from scratch and to develop the awards event.

“It was a big challenge, and very controversial at times. I often found that because I am a known face, with being a MC for 25 years, people could attack me as a person if they did not approve of things or certain results or line-up etc. But over the years thousands have attended from all over the British Isles and across the globe. We try to get as many artists every year that we have not had before, so everyone gets an opportunity to represent at the awards.

The obvious usual suspects are always here supporting the awards, which is great. It's really important to have their support but is also great to have other crossover artists who have repped the scene such as Annie Mac and Mistajam. In 2009 we had Plan B performing with Chase & Status live, which was awesome — even Pendulum have graced the event. We try to cover every corner of the scene as best as we can and to deliver a great show and value for money, and at the same time there's a responsibility to rep the scene in a credible way, so a lot of time and effort and mind-set goes into the awards.”

Is it a labour of love? Logistical nightmare, or are you so expert now that it all runs smoothly?

“Of course it's a labour of love but it's also a business as well now, we all have to live and put food on the table. The events cost a lot, artists fees are very expensive, so we have to make it work for all the right reasons with ref to the logistics. At times it feels like a military operation because we have staged some unique events and the layouts have not been straightforward at times, so in answer to the question — 'Yes, haha, but I love a challenge and it makes it different to say the least.

This year Rinse FM are recording the awards ceremony and some sets for broadcast. Don't forget to cast your vote to influence the final results. Voting closes on January 31st.

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