North American hip-hop artist Random AKA Mega Ran is well known on the music scene thanks to his cutting edge retro-styled beats. Since the creation of his alter-ego Mega Ran, this former teacher has become one of the premier artists in hip-hop's nerdcore genre, released multiple albums, secured a licensing deal with Capcom and toured the world doing what he loves. Not bad for a guy who started out sampling video games for his own personal enjoyment.
The UK is included in his tours around the world, and we previously caught up with him for a chat when he was in old Blighty.
Ahead of his upcoming UK tour we asked a few more questions, asking about the year that has passed and whether he plans to go 'punting' in Cambridge, among other things.
What amazing things have happened in the world of Mega Ran since the last time we spoke?
So much! I got engaged, via an epic freestyle this January at MAGFest and then it's been a wild ride since! I signed with a record label, Brick Records, and then released the "Soul Veggies" album with Storyville, it landed at #188 on the Billboard top 200, I launched a Patreon campaign with K-Murdock, toured for about 3 months straight, took 2 months at home to finish up my new album, which hopefully will release in September, recorded some tracks for a few video game projects, and now I'm headed back to the UK. It's been slightly busy over here.
How would you describe your show to someone who is unacquainted with your work?
I describe it as "new retro." I take the old and make it new again, through stories, clever video game samples and interactive hip-hop shows. I try to make it a super fun time for people who are unfamiliar with any of my source material.
What kind of reaction do you get in the UK? Do Brits tend to react differently to aspects of your show compared to other places which you have toured?
I have had very similar reactions to my show in the UK as I have had in other parts of the world, even Japan. It took me a couple of trips to realize how much of my banter was so US-based, so I had to start doing some research to make sure I made some jokes that the UK crowds would enjoy. But I'd say the Brits love it, and I love them.
What's new in your UK tour this year?
We've added a new party member! Felix, The Bag of Tricks Cat who will be rocking with me this time. He's a youngster with a ton of enthusiasm and some really fun and honest music. I also will be bringing out my modded Famicom, which I've been practicing on, so I'll be making some music in a whole new way. Also, I'm planning to finalize the recording on my new project while in London, I think it'll be awesome to say I recorded in the UK. I'll be playing a bunch of new cuts, both video game and non-gaming related.
What venues and dates will you be playing in the UK?
- 10 June @ Surya, London
- 11 June @ Club PST, Birmingham
- 12 June @ YouBloom Festival, Dublin, Ireland
- 13 June @ Centre for Computing History, Cambridge
After that, the Emerald Knights Tour will resume in the US, before I return to the UK in September for a few more gigs.
Will you be doing any touristy things in the UK this year? Can we expect to see Mega Ran punting like Beckham in Cambridge?
YES! this time I'm determined to make time to do some touristy stuff. This is more of a "get stuff done" trip than a performing tour, so I left some days off to enjoy England. Punting is high on the list, as is visiting Stonehenge, and so much more. We're gonna be shooting some videos out there as well to make sure to document the experience as best as possible. I encourage any of our UK mates to tweet us some great ideas, we'll try them all! @megaran and @bagoftrickscat
We'd like to thank Mega Ran for his time. Will you be going to one of his UK gigs?