Campus Band: MC Wave & DJ Speno


Hip-hop duo MC Wave & DJ Speno proclaim their mutual love of death metal and classical music amongst other genres in the latest Campus Band Questionnaire

Who are your members and what do they play?

Wave: MC Wave and DJ Speno. It’s just the two of us. I do the vocals and he makes the music.

Where did you get the inspiration for your name?

Wave: My [real] name is Wave so there’s not much of a change, it’s just the MC. It’s what everybody calls me.
Speno: My name’s Spencer. All my friends have called me Speno since I was a young fella, even my Dad, so it was just DJ Speno.

What’s your favourite place to hang out in Dublin?

Speno: In the studio, working and making music. It’s cheap and you get to listen to the music that you like.
Wave: If we’re not in the studio, I go to a range of clubs including Cuba [and] Sin in Temple Bar, but there’s no one club that I only go to.

What would you play on the tour bus?

Speno: My inspiration is everything. As a producer, I listen to anything from classical music to every other sort of music like death metal and stuff like that. In terms of death metal bands, I like Obituary and Slayer. But that’s only when I’m with my metal friends that I’d be listening to that sort of stuff. I started off as a techno DJ – that was funky techno, but the music completely changed so I decided to go back to my roots, which was hip-hop.
Wave: When I’m relaxing I listen to soul music like Tracey Chapman and classical music. I also listen to underground hip-hop, the kind of stuff that you don’t hear anywhere but it’s really good – you listen to the concepts that the rappers are talking about and you can relate to what they’re saying. I also like Dolly Parton.

What’s the best thing about UCD?

Wave: It’s difficult to say when I come here and I leave around five, or maybe ten if I go to the library, but I’d say the people.

What’s the worst thing about UCD?

Wave: The way my course is structured. It’s amazing the amount of work that they want us to cover. I wake up in the morning and I’m like: ‘Do I really want to go to college?’ But it has to be done.

What acts would you chose to headline your dream festival?

Speno: For me it would be Gang Starr.
Wave: Maybe Cannabis.

How do you differ from Irish hip-hop acts?

Speno: We take samples from old classic soul songs, old classical music, funk music and then rearrange the structure of the song so that it sounds completely different. Stuff like Lil Wayne and Eminem has gone completely out of control as they’re only using computers to make music. They don’t use the old school methods of making beats. There’s not enough soul to it.
Wave: But if you want to dance, they’re fine. A few of our tracks are danceable, so we cater for different moods and different kinds of people.
Speno: For example, we remixed a song by Adele, ‘Hometown Glory’. I restructured that tune with a big heavy dace beat on it, so it’s fast but it’s also classical. In fact, it’s a track we made for this college – it’s a UCD track.
Wave: I was going to do it make it in my native language because I’m from Botswana, but it’s designed for the people, so it needed to be something that people could relate to. So I thought of UCD because I’m a UCD student. In the track I talk about UCD in general and the courses that I’ve done here. It’s something that you can listen to and relate to. We’re not just talking about sex, drugs and the usual topics.

In conversation with Paul Fennessy

For more information, please visit