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James Watts who is more commonly known to people as MC Wotsee has continued for seven years solid to break records and create a massive reputation for himself, but where did it all start and how did he get to where he is today, how did the boy from Lliswerry in Newport become a name known all across the world in the Hardcore music scene and what is in the future.
It basically all started on a cold night in November 1998 when on a Friday night after getting some Carling at the “local Spar” James made his way over his mate Andrew Barnfield’s house ready to go for a few beers in Quid’s Inn Newport before going to the Ritzy nightclub. As his mate was not ready he watched Andrew’s younger brother Stephen (DJ Barno) mixing on his new decks as he had just returned home from living in Swindon. To cut a long story short, James had a blast for a joke on Stephen’s Packard Bell PC Microphone wired through a music system but got one taste of mc’ing and absolutely loved it.
James then bought his own Microphone a few weeks later and for just under a year on and off when James and Stephen had time they would make a mix tape. James seemed to start picking up the skill of mc’ing at an alarming rate and soon was introduced to a top notch DJ from Caerleon called DJ Dodgee. These two made a demo together and managed to get a booking at a competition which was later cancelled but managed to secure their first ever booking in Hereford in the summer of 2000.
Dodgee and Wotsee made a name in 2000 which shocked a lot of people, the Welsh duo were really making a name and on New Years Eve when partying as ravers at Compulsion in Manchester they were asked to hand in a demo to DJ Demand for evaluation in regard to a booking at one of his events. This Demo managed to get them a set at Storm which was an under 18’s and then that performance got them a set at Compulsion in April. This unfortunately was where the duo went their own ways due to a number of reasons to work on separate projects but even now they still do work together whenever possible.
James started in Club promotion for a while during 2001 putting on a number of events in Newport and made his debut at Helter Skelter Energy 2001 shortly followed by a booking at Slammin Vinyl in September 2001. This is where James started noticing a big change in his career as people were really taking notice of a complete brand new mc who was willing to take chances and be so different from every mc in the scene and because of this people’s attitudes towards him drastically changed but in all fairness James never really realised how big this change was till the following year when virtually everything went wrong.
The year 2002 was a huge downside for James as firstly he made his first attempt at promoting in Cardiff which he still says to this day he got totally wrong. From the blow of losing a lot of money and running up his university debts to an all time high James soon then lost his way and momentum and started trying to live it up in Newport’s nightlife being the small time club promoter who could speak on the microphone in local clubs to get some cheap respect but this was not to be the lowest of the lows in MC Wotsee’s career as week by week it got worse and worse until James almost gave it all up which would have been a disaster.
Overnight James came across a lot of unfounded bad rumours about him going around and at one stage his career effectively looked as if it was over with promoters every week taking him off their line-up’s. Enough was enough so James pulled the plug on local performances and promotion and went away on his own for six months in his bedroom with his pad and pen and created a new style of mc’ing. In late 2002 James was offered a shock set at Raindance and this is where MC Wotsee’s new direction started to show.
The year 2003 started pretty brightly by James being given bookings at Hardcore Heaven and Slammin Vinyl but the politics were still there for James to see so after what he classed as a bad performance in February he then went away and planned coming back to Milton Keynes in April totally focussed on the job he knew he had to do and still states that nobody could have ever thought what would happen at that Slammin Vinyl event.
The Brisk set at Slammin Vinyl in April 2003 is the set that virtually every MC Wotsee fan and James himself claims made his name. This night came the debut of “Satellite City” which James says showed the whole scene his roots and who he was and within five minutes of that set the whole crowd was going off to the lyrics and style of MC Wotsee they had never seen before.
James states “I remember walking off stage and everyone saying they could not believe the attitude they just seen from me but if I am honest it’s because I was so pissed off with over a year of politics for no reason that I had something major to prove” and this was soon reflected in his bookings rising through the roof and coming third in the UK Hardcore Heaven MC Awards as well as signing to Next Generation Records. 2003 ended a lot better than it started but everything was still not cut and dry as James still had a lot of things in his mind that he had to do to progress.
In 2004 James had done much more in his career as he started looking into music production and his two debut tracks with VAGABOND on Next Generation Records done exceptionally well with Huggermugger going on Bonkers 12 and getting a number of plays on Radio 1. James then also expanded what he was doing with hosting hard dance arenas and performing at Weston Wheels which is Europe’s biggest modified car show.
In October 2004 James won the UK Breakthrough MC Award at Slammin Vinyl soon to be followed by New Years Eve which the busiest night ever in James’s career as he was booked to play at three major dance events by starting at Slammin Vinyl and ending at Vibealite with Helter Skelter in the middle and this was a very tiring but enjoyable night. James launched quite a few new idea’s on this night which he hoped to be successful for the new year in his sets.
In early 2005 James started as well as he ended the previous year with his first few sets being identified by people as even more different but then James was injured pretty severely in a car accident on the roads coming back from HTID in January. This night the car he was travelling in flew off the road at 90 mph and James still states waking up paralysed and in a daze was the most frightening thing ever.
After two months solid with doctors getting slowly on the road to recovery James made his anticipated return at the March HTID in Air Birmingham two days after coming out of a solid body cast. A lot of people were expecting to see something a lot different from what they got that night and once again James showed that he is not a quitter and always fights for what he believes in.
James states “Wednesday morning I was allowed out of the cast and I rung Hixxy straight away to say I was doing HTID, I could not do the three sets they wanted me to but I done two in immense agony and showed the scene that MC Wotsee was back.” The next few months seen James continue to aid his recovery doing the job that he loves most, even though he was not at 100% in his own mind and a lot of people were saying they were totally seeing a new MC Wotsee, someone who gave 110% every time like it was his last ever booking.
Through April James picked up the momentum until he cemented in his eye’s what his return was all about and that was the Uproar and HTID, double header weekend in May. However after the kick off set at Raverbaby with Scott Brown and MC Whizzkid in July once again James seemed to see his career become static and his bookings once again drop for a few months after the Innovation in the Sun party in Lloret de mar which was the first ever international booking MC Wotsee had done.
Into 2006 James went back to promoting to boost his bookings and public awareness in both Wales and around the UK as he helped friends with Hardcore Paradise and set up Atomic in Newport with DJ Suicide but from the summer of 2006 James started really stepping up his recovery from the accident and this was noticed by thousands of people week in week out as it was not just a mc ability no more but a stage personality which had always lacked for so many years.
In late 2006 James also formed an Internet radio show with DJ Denzo which you can access on www.kraftyradio.com every Thursday night between the hours of 9pm and 10pm. This show plays the best in current UK Hardcore and also keeps people up to date with where they can catch MC Wotsee live over the next few weeks and months. The Show is doing pretty well and is currently the most listened to Internet radio show.
Looking to the future and 2007 James states “I have visions and dreams of what I want to do from venue’s in Wales and standards I want to set when I get on that stage to do what I do best. I promise every fan of MC Wotsee in 2007 I will give everything I have got to entertain people week in week out”.
Updated on: 16.12.2010