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Damn Dirty Ape – Biography.
Damn Dirty Ape (DDA) are a four piece D&B / Dubstep infused electronic live act and production collective from the UK’s capital of cool, Brighton and made up of four subsonic primates - Amy Hargreaves (lead vocals /songwriter), Luke Hyat (lead vocals/ songwriter /guitar), Richard Belgrave (bass guitar/producer/engineer) and Lee McNeill (lead producer /programmer/keyboards). Each of the crew has travelled here through space and time on their own musical journey, all with a story to tell. Something has led them here to this moment, who or what we do not know but their combined skill and unique attributes have been fused together to make one all powerful primeval force of nature. Maybe they were always destined to find each other, no one will ever know but one thing is for certain, they are here, they are now and they are primed and ready to destroy your dancefloor with their block rockin’ beats, razor sharp hooks and devastating monster sized basslines!
Music obsessive Lee started out young, beginning his sonic journey into dance music DJ'ing Speed Garage to small crowds at his local nightclub. This of course sparked an interest and taste for producing his own music, but it would be some years before his fledgling ideas influenced by the likes of Artful Dodger and Tina Moore would develop into the driving sound of Hard Dance! It was apparent early on after several releases under his Drunken Monkey alias that he had a talent for writing and seemed to have found a genre that suited his electric personality. But, it was when he discovered the sub frequencies of Bass Music that he really did find his niche and the seed of Damn Dirty Ape had been well and truly set.
Residing on the South Coast, acoustic electro singer / songwriter Luke Hyat has been delivering his own brand of soul tinted dirty electro acoustic filth for some years, with performances with numerous bands across London and South East. Previously collaborations with dance outfits Mother and The Product have elevated Luke to the obvious position of leading front man resulting in numerous live performances at larger club venues across the South, but it as with the others, his own brand of unique lyrical edge has found well and truly found a home within the Damn Dirty Ape project.
Richard is a former founder member of Hysterix, a top 40 dance act throughout the late 90’s and originally signed to the influential De Construction records (also home to such acts Black Box, Guru Josh, N Joi, K Klass, Sasha, Republica, Bassheads and M People) by Graeme Park and Mike Pickering. Richard’s bass playing skills are internationally recognised as he was one few players utilising a ‘wammy bar’ on a bass guitar back in the 90’s, unheard of at the time. Richard now brings an unparalleled, vast and unique experience to the DDA project and resides as somewhat of the alpha male in the group.
Singer / songwriter Amy is lead singer of DDA and grew up surrounded by professional musicians, so no real surprise that her path led her into music. Classically trained as an actress, music and performance have always been a passion from an early age and has led a string of castings in musicals. Although she enjoyed her forays into this style of performance she always felt her husky, soulful tones didn’t sit so comfortably in this world and felt she needed more room to expand on her undoubted talent as a powerhouse lead singer. This soon become possible after forming her own blues, soul, funk and reggae band and of course, she has now gone on to become the vocal figurehead of the DDA experience.