Preview \\ King Hippo presents Fresh Roasted London ft LeFtO, DJ Gilla and Ken Okuda

This Sunday, something very special happens in London. Chicago broadcaster King Hippo brings his live beat-making event Fresh Roasted to Europe for the first time, featuring seven beat-makers and DJs from around the world, with a truly International line-up.

Fresh Roasted is the brainchild of Lumpen Radio host Alejandro Ayala AKA King Hippo, where beat-makers create on the spot, before dropping their work in front of a live audience. Whilst the artists normally use records, this Sunday is a special edition; King Hippo will be teaming the concept with his live RAWS series—meaning that beat-makers will be crafting from live Jazz recordings.

King Hippo has curated a ridiculous line-up, not likely to be recreated again. The Chicagoan has gathered fellow selectors DJ Gilla (London) and Ken Okuda (Berlin), who will play live sets at Total Refreshment Centre.
Meanwhile, gig-goers—for a wildly modest £5—can witness LeFtO (Brussels), Quiet Dawn (Paris), Ben LaMar Gay (Chicago) and Darkhouse Family (Cardiff) creating beats during the sets using Jazz recordings. They’ll later reveal them to the audience.

Fresh Roasted London runs midday – 6PM this Sunday. Tickets are available on the door only, at a humble fiver.

Get to know more about King Hippo and RAWS in our Jazz Beats and Flow special recorded exclusively for EZH. We took some time out with the broadcaster, promoter and DJ to dig into the origins of RAWS.

fresh roasted flyer ezh

\\ Can you tell us what RAWS is, and how it all began?

RAWS was an intimate party that occurred in a small club in Tokyo called AMP Cafe. The concept was simple and very cool; a jazz band played live and got recorded, the music was given to beat-makers who had an hour to make a beat live on the spot. Naturally the product was very raw, hence the name. The party was started by Ogiyy who ended up working with Pigeondust.

\\ You said in your Jazz Beats and Flow special for EZH that this is a Japanese concept. Tell us about how you discovered it and if/how it’s been adapted from its original form?

I used to live in Japan and hung out with the fam at Jazzy Sport. Those cats carried vinyl being put out by Japanese talent. Listening to those, I learned about the potent hip-hop scene in Tokyo and made sure to keep my eyes and ears on them. That, of course, led me to RAWS.
We stayed pretty true to how they did things in Tokyo with the exception of the number of band recordings on the releases. They always had one track on their releases, we shared an hours worth.

\\ You’ve had some incredible artists and beat-makers involved. What do you think draws some of them to the concept?

Well, it’s the sampling spirit; how many people have sampled jazz records throughout hip-hop’s history? This was like sampling an incredible record no one had ever heard before. It’s a very unique idea; definitely tickles the minds of the most creative and boldest out there.

\\ What’s been your favourite RAWS moment?

Music unites; my favourite memories of RAWS are seeing people come together to share and feel creative energy. It was great to see artists who had admiration for one and other meet for the first time and work together on the same day. It was wonderful to watch the musicians’ faces light up when they recognised their music in one of the beats made on the spot.

It’s really satisfying when the whole room unites to cheer for an incredible beat, it’s a wave of joy that washes over everyone. How can we cultivate that more? For me, it’s all about meeting new people and celebrating creativity. RAWS definitely is a platform for that.