Image Romeo Shagba
Pop in to Thursdvys in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail on a regular weekday, and you’d probably notice a barista with a snapback seemingly a permanent fixture on his head and an efficacious smile on his face adroitly handling the milk and the beans. That’s just what he does till the sun goes down though. By night, Jimmy dons another mask to keep you refreshed and invigorated until dawn peeks out – not with caffeinated beverages, but with his music. Does Reddi Rocket ring a familiar bell?
While he had been doing music throughout his high school years (leaving a band right before they caught their break due to stylistic and personal differences), it took him some coffee and time to bring him back into the groove. “I started out of my comfort zone. I was jobless and the last place I worked at closed down for renovation so my best friend was a head chef in Artisan Roast and he offered me a spot as a kitchen helper. From there, I started learning about coffee.”
Strangely enough, it was being around his colleagues who dabbled in other forms of artistry besides coffee art that rejuvenated his passion for music; “I felt like I had to do something more, with all these talented people around me.” And it was in that quaint eatery that Reddi Rocket took his first steps towards the shadows of alternative electronic music. He’s one of the few producers in the scene today that we’ve seen to be completely self-assured when handling multiple genres of music – he gleans from his exposure to a variety of influences across a wide spectrum of sound to construct his very own sterling brand.
Unsurprisingly, his composure and versatility translate over to his performances behind the decks as well. We’ve seen him pull off thundering impromptu sets across dancefloors all over Kuala Lumpur’s nightlife – often stealing the spotlight from the supposed main acts of the night, to trained ears at least. He lives for the musical frisson after all. “It’s that feeling when you hit that one note and it affects the person’s emotions. It’s like having super powers,” he tells us.
And we won’t deny that his music is starting to affect us in more ways than just one. Sure, his craft may still be a little raw and unpolished at times, and often it channels too much of trending DJ-producers the likes of Cashmere Cat and the Future Classic brigade – but it’s definitely heading in the right direction; just listen to the JUICE exclusive ‘I Can’t, I Don’t Know Why‘. Working alongside stalwarts like VMPRMYTH at Akhyla definitely isn’t going to hamper him as well, with the collective boasting an incredible concentration of talent in different schools of the craft.
Sadly, we won’t be seeing Jimmy around our nightly hangs for a while as the gifted lad will be heading over to Los Angeles to focus on upping his production game. JUICE’s heavy expectations will still be resting on his shoulders once he comes back after his year at electronic music production & DJ school Dubspot LA, up to blow our minds yet again. We’re quite sure that upon his return he won’t have to steal the spotlight anymore, as all eyes will be transfixed on the formerly bald barista – Reddi Rocket.