Terry Leonard got his DJ name Hatcha from a reference in the Steve Segal movie Marked For Death. Like the adventurous film character, Leonard loves fast cars and fiery dubstep beats. He indulges these passions by driving around London in his gunmetal gray MTech 330-I BMW and DJing clubs around the world.
Leonard reckons he was the first dubstep DJ, dating back to 1999-2000, when the music was emerging as a new heavier U.K. garage offshoot. He helped DJ Artwork run South London’s Big Apple record store, a hangout spot for Benga, Skream, Youngsta, and other foundation dubstep producers and DJs.
He began DJing local clubs and hosted shows for four years on London pirate radio station Upfront FM before joining Rinse FM in 2002. He was the influential station’s first dubstep DJ, joined soon thereafter by Kode 9, Youngsta, and N-Type.
In 2005 he was offered a weekly spot at prominent legal radio company, KISS-100, where he (and co-host MC Crazy D) can be found weekly Tuesdays-Wednesdays from 1-2 a.m. Along the way, he has released his own tracks and mixed Volume 1 and Volume 4 (with Youngsta) of Tempa’s Dubstep All-Stars compilation series.
He’s been DJing in the U.S. for four years and cites L.A., New York, and San Francisco as his favorite cities. He also rates Chicago, Denver and Seattle as up-and-coming dubstep hotspots. “The scene is growing, and it’s growing nicely,” he says. “The people know the tunes, they love the music, and they’re just into it.”
Although DJing clubs and radio stations is his main priority (“I’m on the road non-stop!”) Leonard just co-produced the Brothers Grimm triple-pack vinyl LP with producer Kromestar, which drops this fall on the U.K.’s Eight:FX Recordings. As we sat in a cozy San Francisco flat, Leonard rolled his evening meditation out and gave XLR8R the low-down on his favorite things to do on the road.
DJ Hatcha’s Top 5 Things To Do On Tour in The U.S.
I like collaborating with local artists, working on tunes, hearing all new tunes the Americans are doing. Everyone in the U.S. seems to be hungry for [dubstep] at the moment and they’re coming through strong: San Fran, New York, L.A., everywhere. I like some bits by producers like Juju, DZ [Canada], Subframe, and Jus Wan. Those guys are coming up fast.
Eating Mexican Food
I love Mexican food on the West Coast, and especially the burritos in San Francisco–can’t beat ‘em! I like a burrito with steak, chicken, lots of cheese, rice, beans, and a bit of salsa. I don’t really like all that mad guacamole stuff, no sour cream or cilantro. That’s the Hatcha burrito! I’ll have it with a strawberry agua fresca.
I like sampling all the different kinds of weed from state-to-state. Not too much though, ‘cause I always got loads of things to do. I love the Ogre [strain]. I always have it when I come to San Fran. New York Diesel is nice too. Yeah, there’s a few nice bits.
When I go shopping I’m looking for trainers and I’ve got a bit of a watch fetish [he says, displaying a sparkly gold and platinum model]. I like looking at the tracksuits; I’ll grab the odd pair of jeans here and there. Anything I buy, like trainers–it has to be matching! I’ll buy Adidas for my Adidas outfits and Nike’s for my Nike outfits. I don’t like all of the mental, colorful stuff; I go for the plain and simple designs. I’ll also buy some shoes for my little boy.
I like to go out and look at the scenery in all the places I visit. I wouldn’t want to regret [that I hadn’t seen things] when I get older. I’ll say to the promoter, ‘C’mon boys, let’s go’. Let’s get a couple of beers and get out there.