Each week Fresh On The Net invites an artist or band to answer a short series of questions in Prick & Ding: the two and a half minute interview. It's convenient and quick - like enjoying a tasty microwave meal!


BJ Smith (or Benjamin James Smith) is a Balearic Folk artist based in London.
He came to my attention through the fine record label he is on – Nu Northern Soul and in turn through our own Freshnet Listening Post.

I like BJ’s style and the warm melodic fusing of the dance & acoustic flavours in his songs.His style? – An alternative Gruff Rhys/Badly Drawn Boy cross pollination on a beach watching the sun go down? That only brushes the surface.The music certainly has a blissed out feel but there is a warm variety of songs to tempt the listener – come and give it a try good people.

bj smith

BJ has paid his dues through many years on the live circuit,an array of musical collaborations & all sorts of interesting sidelines(short film composition to name but one).

I thought I did a lot of collaborative musical hook up’s but BJ takes it to another level-this guy puts the C in Collaboration.Maybe its time for him to have his solo moment in the sun?

A multi instrumentalist type with a creative skill and flare for all forms of art yet no formal training in music(I stand next to you there BJ so respect your output-a well trained ear and a deftness of touch is very much on show).

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He is currently co-writing a debut White Elephant LP with Hot Toddy and Ron Basejam (Crazy P);adding instrumentation to Huw Costin’s Torn Sail debut LP; co-writing an epic triple pack BISON LP with Holger Czukay (Can).

As one half of Balearic coupling Smith & Mudd he has been responsible for some of the most wildly acclaimed blissed out music of the past decade, lush downtempo gems released on vinyl enthusiast imprint Claremont 56-Really lovely sounds,do check them out too

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Upcoming Live Dates

05/07/2013 – Solo spot @ Mostly Jazz Festival, Moseley Park

07/07/2013 – TBC Solo spot @ The Garden Festival, Croatia

Here’s BJ Smith and Prick and Ding 49.

1. What are you up to at the moment?
Climbing. It’s my form of yoga. I am sketching out my solo album and one track in particular is causing me headaches. Just can’t seem to settle on the right melody!

2. Favourite childhood memory? 

Realising I had discovered the optimum undetectable late night stealth route over creaky floor boards past my folks bedroom.

3. Hero?
So many to speak of but safe to say one from each era: Django Reinhardt, Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz, Carlos Jobim, Jack Kerouac, Chet Baker, Nick Drake, Terry Callier, JJ Cale …… and so on.

4. Villain?
There is always one. Currently its Luis Suarez. My challenge is to find pity for the villain. Not to excuse them for their actions but to find a way to move on from the anger.

5. What/who makes you laugh?
And & Dec. They are the brothers I never had. Love ’em.

6. Describe what you do?
I am a creative type who uses music andsong writing as a preferred medium, but often paints, draws and ponders.

7. Who’s hair would you like to have for just one day?
I will take the beard off Bonnie Prince Billy please.

8. Best musical experience to date?
Playing at the Reverb Projects gig in the Birches, Retford. The audience were the most respectful I have ever played in front of. They actually listened!

9. What artist inspires you?
There are so many past and present, and from time to time one will appear or reappear in my consciousness and grab my attention for a few months. Long stay bankable inspiration comes from Steve Reich, Jackson Pollock, Grateful Dead and CNSY. More recently my mate Calum MacDiarmid who has an amazing eye for image.

10. What does Fresh On The Net mean to you?
A spring board for connections between like minded people. It’s good to feel a part of something when you beaver away on your own.

Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom's legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music - having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...

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