Getting To Know… Bon Voyage

Getting To Know... Bon Voyage

f: How did you first get into making music?

Arveene: I started properly making music with Misk, we did a bootleg of Rage Against The Machine ‘Killing In The Name Of’. Things kickstarted from there, we did loads of remix work, released a bunch of music, it was the end of that project that started Bon Voyage on its Journey. Misk is still one of the greatest and will always be part of BV even if not on tour. 

Shamon: My uncle was a Raptivist and a Hip House artist in the 90’s. There were no other family members interested in making “rap” as they were all raised gospel singers in the churches, so he showed me the ropes early on. He opened the doors for me and landed my first professional studio recording experiences, at Chick Corea’s Mad Hatter studios in Los Angeles.

f: What was the first dance record you bought?

Arveene: The Prodigy ‘Charly’ was the first proper dance record I can remember buying. I was still in school and would head into Abbey Discs (the Mall) in Dublin to check out the mix tapes and grab flyers for all the gigs I was too young to go to. I bought the 12” vinyl off Billy Murray & Jamie Acton, aka two legends in the Irish music scene who ran the shop. I still have it and it’s still fire.

Shamon: The first dance record I bought was Jungle Brothers ‘I’ll House You’. My mom took me to a record shop in Shibuya and let me pick any record and I chose the Jungle Brothers based on the cover of the albums afrocentricity.

f: How would you describe your sound?

Bon Voyage: We fuse Rap with classic Acid house, with a sprinkle of funk, a touch of Disco and a tidal wave of good times. Our sound is about connecting as many people as possible while having the maximum amount of fun allowed, with out breaking bones.

f: Who were your musical influences and did they have an impact on your sound today?

Arveene: Public Enemy, Liam Howlett, The Prodigy, Fast Eddie, Altern-8, Billy Scurry, Glen Brady, Nightmares on Wax, Ashley Beedle, Erol Alkan, Jon Carter, Andy Weatherall and loads more… They all add certain elements to the sound that I strive for. You can hear something from all of them in every piece of music I producer, remix or have involvement in. They form the back bone of my sound most of the time.

Shamon: Boogie Monsters, De La Soul, New Kingdom, X-clan, Fast Eddie, Chill E.B., Rhyme Syndicate, Divine Stylist, Major Force and The Prodigy. My sound is a culmination of all of these things I’d say. Hard to soft, light to dark.

f: How did you both meet and how did Bon Voyage come about?

Bon Voyage: One of the first times we met, was at a warehouse party on the top of a building in the meat packing district in NYC. DJ Hell was doing a party and we bumped into each other briefly. We have several mutual close friends around the world who were constantly trying to connect us. We first first started properly chatting on messenger, that’s how we made our first track, sending links back and forth with bits of audio, raps, music ‘til we created ‘Booshie’. Also our brother Glen Brady is the one who properly made the link.

f: Who does what in the band and how do you work together?

Bon Voyage: It’s that classic combo, Shamon is the rapper and I’m (Arveene) the DJ, We both bring different skill sets to the table, we both work on the Look and feel of the band, Shamon writes lyrics and we mull over them ‘til were both happy, and we both work on the sound, but I do a lot more of the production stuff. It’s a very collaborative affair. We’re a genuine team and a family. Shamon is definitely the creative director of any fashion manoeuvres, he’s got a unique future looking eye.

f: What was your first release?

Bon Voyage: ‘Booshie’ was the first record we dropped which came out on PIAS. Go check the video it was filmed in Camden London, the flat featured belongs to our neighbour, Claudine, who we dearly loved and has now passed, She features in the video waving a rolling pin, she’s our mom in the spirit world now.

f: What has been your most successful release?

Bon Voyage: ‘Booshie’ was and still is, our biggest track. But it didn’t get a US release, we have to try re release it there for the Tik Tok crew.

f: You’ve just unleashed the brilliant remix package of your ‘High Power’ single on F*CLR, what can we expect to hear?

Bon Voyage: This is a record for the club the remixes take the BV funk ship forward to a driving space. And we all know Space is the place. There is also another hot remix from Andrew Sant that’s just come out too, check out the video.

f: As a live / DJ combo act, what has been your most memorable gig so far?

Arveene: Body & Soul Festival (Ireland). The last time we played in 2018 was epic, everything just fell in to place perfectly, the vibe was electric as always. the crowd were on point and the whole thing just went off. We signed our track ‘High Power’ to Jo Wallace (F*CLR) at that set as she was watching the show. 

Shamon: The last time we played Ministry of Sound was rad, Love to them. Also Connolly’s in West Cork is a blast, we also did this one show on a roof top sky scraper in Malta for the homie Fitzy with a few hundred tattoo covered wild ravers. Gym Jam for Ainle had people hanging from the ceilings, that secret house party at It Takes A Village, where I fell through a giant TV screen ‘cause the house was so packed (Sorry guys)… There’s been loads!

f: And where are you most looking forward to playing this summer?

Arveene: Body & Soul festival again, first time in a while, plus were doing a 7-date tour and some after shows for the Prodigy which will be ace. Also Jaguar Shoes on June 24th is gonna be wicked for all our London people. Also, we have super bespoke visuals care of the amazing Sean Brendog, can’t wait to bust those out!

Shamon: I have to agree with Arveene, I’m most excited for our return to Body & Soul as it’s been a few years break from the stage there, and also our dates with the Prodigy. Also wishing for some surprise US dates in the summer’s future. Belfast will be an exciting one as well as we’ve amassed a fan base there, but have yet to play a gig there until now.

f: Hip House seems to be making quite a comeback, what are your thoughts on this?

Bon Voyage: Yeah, its having a moment, we’ve been hooked from the get go. Big love to Honey Dijon, Channel Tres, LSDXOXO, Beyonce, OG Maryln Mon Rollup and all the people pushing the sound. We would say that it’s always been there in the shadows, but now the production has stepped up and there’s a slew of people going in. Its time. Let’s roll..

f: Who are your 3 favourite current producers?

Bon Voyage: OG MarylnMonRollup, Honey Dijon and Channel Tres are all killing it.

f: Have you any tips for dance music live acts just starting out?

Bon Voyage: Try to carve out your own sound, take inspiration from all around you, but try not to copy, It’s better to stand out from the crowd than to get lost in it. Never get lost in the sauce, No Sleep, No Doughnuts and practice your high kicks… we certainly will be showcasing the highest kicks this summer.

f: What else are you working on at the moment that you can tell us about?

Bon Voyage: There’s a lot of Bon Voyage music on the way, singles, remixes, music videos, live shows, merch, collaborations… It’s on again. We’re both doing a load of music projects outside of BV, I’m (Arveene) producing and remixing loads of bands and acts including Saint Sister, Talos, Nixer, Kneecap, Hamsandwich and more,  and Shamon is playing gigs with his Psychedelic punk band, Zamboni Zound Zyztem, and collaborating on projects with the likes of Imani (The Pharcyde), Salva, Rowa and Spoek Mathambo. The BV mother ship has taken fight once again, coming through a psychedelic portal near you very soon!

Bon Voyage ‘High Power’ (The 2023 Rework) is out now on F*CLR.

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