Roni Size started on the path of musical production when he was thrown out of school at age 16, but music had always been a part of his life. Roni was born and grew up at 'the top of the hill' a.k.a. St Andrew's, Bristol. From the bottom of this hill came the sounds of the 70's blues parties and sound-systems - the beat infected Roni's bones. So, after being expelled he walked straight into Sefton Park basement project, which allowed youngsters to try their hand on the decks, the mixing desk, drum machines and samplers. Here he learned the basics and his brother's comprehensive collection of Studio One records gave him material to work with. After setting up a home studio and buying a sampler, a musical master of production was in the making.
Meeting up with Krust in the early 90s brought two musically compatible minds together, they faced the same dilemma of having no outlet for their music they put their energies into their own label. With the help of Chris Lewis Roni set up WTP (Where's The Party At?) record label as part of Circus Warp. From that Full Cycle and Dope Dragon were established in 1993. Bryan Gee was an early admirer, holding on to their tapes whilst at work at RCA recordings. When in 1994 he set up V Recordings, Krust had V001 with 'Deceivers EP' and Roni and Die had V002 with their debut release, 'Agility'. "We looked at V as the strong brother label, with Full Cycle the sister following in its footsteps... Over the years the two gelled, people associated V and Full Cycle together. Through putting a lot of music out on these two labels we then got noticed by another label, a major - Talkin' Loud."
Roni Size and Full Cycle were one of the first to bring the jazzy elements into the dark jungle of the early 90s. "We were using more melodies, more jazz orientated loops - sounds that in London only people like Bukem, or maybe Fabio or Peshay were using. But they were still using fat Amens where we were just using toned down breaks." 'It's a Jazz Thing' in 1994 sparked the interest of fellow experimental types James Lavelle and the Mo' Wax posse. Roni Size was picked up by Talkin' Loud and the compilation album Music Box (a fifty/fifty collaboration with Die) was released in 1996. Their varying personal influences helped create the unique Full Cycle sound.
"Suv was more dub, Die was more jazz, I was more ragga or bashment and Krust was definitely more hip-hop but we all had elements of soul and break beat in us, we all had graffiti stains on our hands, we all rode BMXs or skateboards. We all came from the same school - the school of the 80s and 90s. We've always tried to incorporate all those elements into our music. If we could put the sounds from spray can, the sounds from skateboards scraping along the road and of people falling off BMXs, in one record we would." The following year the crew, now officially called 'Reprazent', took the world by storm with their New Forms LP. Winning the Mercury Music Prize boosted their international status and the world awoke to the sound of Roni Size and Full Cycle. The singles from the album all featured the unmistakable vocals of Onalee whose call for the music in 'Brown Paper Bag' is a signal all ravers still respond to. 'Heroes' and 'Watching Windows' are also classics. The album went platinum and, surprised by their new massive fan Roni and the boys and returned to the studio. 'It's Jazzy' came out on V Recordings later that same year.
-1998 was a year of Dope Dragon tracks. These dance floor smashers were given an outlet through Dope Dragon but after this year it took a back seat to Full Cycle. "The Dragon's gonna return… trust me," promises Roni.
In 1999 with Die, Roni produced the Breakbeat Era album featuring vocals from Lennie Laws and in July the following year his Through The Eyes compilation showcased tracks from newcomers D-Product and Surge. Later that year came the long awaited second project from Reprazent. In the Mode delivered a variety of tracks, some featuring vocals from Dynamite, Onalee and some from collaborations with hip-hop legends Method Man and Zac de la Rocha and beat-box master Rahzel.
In 2001, Roni returned to the studio and started working with Tali who had recently arrived from New Zealand. In this time he also produced Touching Down - released in October 2002. This, his first truly solo album, is 16 brand new dance floor smashers mixed into one hour's set and includes the massive singles Playtime and Sound Advice.
-In 2003 Roni put together a live show reminding the world of his Full Cycle's presence in the live arena. It featured some of his new tunes from forthcoming Return To V and remixes of old classics like 'Brown Paper Bag' and 'Underneath the Moon'.
And the future is just as prolific, now having been in the game over ten years Roni is a veteran. His latest release Return to V on V Recordings which features guests such as Beverley Knight, Rahzel, Jocelyn Brown, Rodney P, Vikter Duplaix and Navigator shows his production skills never fail to vary and adapt.
Roni Size resurrected Reprazent in 2008 with the release of a deluxe edition of his Mercury Music Prize winning album 'New Forms' on Universal. Reforming the band, complete with original members Dynamite MC, Onallee and highly acclaimed bass player Si John alongside Yuval Gabay (Soul Coughing), D Product, Jay Wilcox and Pete Josef, Roni Size and Reprazent toured some of the biggest festivals in Europe including Bestival, Glastonbury, Lovebox, Exit and Rock Herk. As a result, they were amongst the nominations for best dance act from the UK Festival Awards.
2009 is shaping up to be another busy year for Roni with the release of a new Reprazent album, a new Roni Size album, a Reprazent tour of Australia, North America, the UK and Europe as well as committing to his usual packed schedule of DJ shows.
The year begins with a one-off Reprazent show at Komedia in Bath on 4th Feb courtesy of Essencia before the band tours Australia as part of the Good Vibrations Festival. In addition to the live shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Gold Coast, Roni Size & Dynamite MC will also play four DJ shows. Following on from Australia, Reprazent will be back in North America for the first time in seven years as one of the headliners at this year's Ultra Music Festival in Miami on Friday March 27th. Please keep checking back for more information on upcoming gigs.