Posted on March 7, 2011




Steve Cobby is an electronic musician, producer and DJ. In 1990, he founded the group Fila Brazillia with David McSherry, after his previous group Ashley & Jackson fell apart under pressure from their label to produce more pop music.

They flourished under the support of Pork Recordings, a label founded by their friend Dave Pork specifically to release Fila Brazillia’s material. Their mix of funk, acid jazz, hip-hop and dub music has gained a significant following among DJs. The group’s success enabled Pork Recordings to rise to become a leading name in Britain’s trip-hop scene. 

Fila Brazillia has released the albums Old Codes, New Chaos (1994), Maim That Tune (1995), Mess (1996), Black Market Gardening (1996), Luck Be a Weirdo Tonight (1997), Power Clown (1998), A Touch of Cloth (1999), Jump Leads (2002), The Life and Times of Phoebus Brumal (2004) and Dicks (2004), along with the remix albums Brazilification (2000) and Another Fine Mess (2004).

In 1999, Steve and David started their own label, Twentythree Records, with Sim Lister. The label represents Fila Brazillia, along with J*S*T*A*R*S, Mandrillus Sphynx, The Heights of Abraham and North East Sound System along with work by Steve’s alter-egos JJ Fuchs and The Solid Doctor. In 2006, Steve and Sim founded Steel Tiger Records. His most recent project on that label has been the group The Cutler.


Q.  How did you get into music?
A.  My Dad promised to buy me a guitar if I stopped twagging [bunking off] school when I was 13.

Q.  Who or what inspires your work?
A.  Life in its infinite glory.

Q.  You’ve worked both as a musician and behind the scenes running labels. How has this dual role affected the way you work?
A.  It’s allowed me to be original in my work. Compromise is all too commonplace in this industry.

Q.  You’ve released work under a number of different names. Does this allow you more freedom in your work?
A.  Each name is a different collaboration. I don’t put much solo stuff out at all these days. So it’s only right that each project has it’s own identity.

Q.  You’ve collaborated on a number of projects. How does working with someone on a project compare with working alone?
A.  I much prefer working with someone. The studio can be a lonely place when your on your own. Plus bouncing ideas off a partner is very beneficial to the creative process..

Q.  What advice would you give to those hoping to follow in your footsteps?
A.  Use your instincts, be honest with yourself and do it for love, not money.

Q.  Which piece of work are you most proud of and why?
A.  I can’t pick any one piece out for special attention. I’m proud of virtually everything I’ve done.  I don’t have a favourite son, they each have their own special ways; songs are the same.

Q.  Which project has proven the most difficult and why?
A.  I was invited to Los Angeles in 2001 to write with a musician over there. The studio was in Beverly Hills and was situated in a converted pool house in Julie Andrews old gaff. Very very plush. But it was like a golden prison. The artist I was working with had an appalling coke habit as well as being on countless other medications. He was also a workaholic. 16 hour days were the norm. After two weeks of egg-shelling around him and suffering his juvenile mood swings we produced one song which he never used. Believe it or not, he got clean three years ago and I agreed to go to New Orleans for another session. He was even nuttier than before and ended up throwing me out of his house. I was on the next flight home.

Q.  What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
A.  I’d like to carry on as I am. A very happy house husband who does a bit of music now and then.

Q.  How do you hope Pelime can help with this?
A.  Hopefully it will introduce anyone unfamiliar with my work to the smorgasbord of aural delights on offer.

Posted in: regular