Archive for ‘MTV Wrap Up’

October 15, 2014

UKF Celebrate Their Fifth Anniversary [MTV Feature]

As UKF celebrate 5 years in the game, we look back at their rise to success and talk to the artists involved…

UKF are set to have a huge birthday bash tonight (Friday Oct 10), celebrating five years since the birth of the brand, and what an amazing five years it has been! The Wrap Up talk to some of the artists performing on the night to see what UKF means to them and the EDM scene in general.

TC and Brookes Brothers discuss their thoughts on electronic music culture, with TC telling me: “It’s really different in every country in the world. In the UK, the crowd seems really educated, even the underground stuff. It’s like for some reason people in the UK really know the tracks. A lot of other places have that too, but the UK seems to just have that on lock, especially in D&B.”

The Brookes Brothers comment on its changes. “It’s changed beyond recognition from when we were growing up but its as strong as it ever has been. There’s so much going on it’s ridiculous!”

With the charts set on fire with artists such as Chase & Status, WilkinsonDuke DumontDisclosure and more, Brookes Brothers praise these artists: “Disclosure sparked a lot of the interest in ‘deep house’ in the UK when they first started getting attention two or so years ago – they pretty much spawned a whole new scene”.

TC explains the growth of EDM: “There’s so much content. There’s also loads of access to software now that there’s so much exciting talent coming through. It’s a really exciting and creative time. Sometimes in the past I feel the scene has got a little bit stagnant, but right now there’s a freedom to be creative… it’s wicked.”

Brookes Brothers agree with TC, also discussing what they think the main factors are behind the growth. “The digital generation who grew up with the sounds of computer bleeps and video games are more open to electronic music than previous generations. The bigger radio stations and labels have been pushing it harder and harder over the last five years or so which has had that snowball effect and the perception of it in the mainstream has changed massively.”

This growth helps the genres of EDM such D&B, Dubstep and House, but 10 years ago you wouldn’t have seen it so often in the charts. But with pop tracks taking influence from the genres, it’s presence in mainstream music has been solidified.

Brookes Brothers agree. “Things come and go but House music has had its place in the charts and clubs for years in one form or the other – its the most accessible form of dance music and such a great template for pop records as well. Its good to see it back in the charts. People have a naturally huge appetite for that four to the floor beat at 120bpm.”

It’s evident through this discussion with TC and the Brookes Brothers that there has been an uplifting change in the electronic music world over the past five years and how much it has expanded. Not a day goes by on Facebook anymore when I don’t see a video of a people shuffling, which I would never have seen a few years ago.

UKF have definitely played a major part in this and TC says its to do with “Luke who runs the channel – he’s really into his music and I respect that.”

They have hit a such a wide fanbase through what they do, catering to many people through their events, channel, downloads and more, with Brookes Brothers saying “It definitely helped the music reach a new audience and grow globally, also it brought in a new younger audience who can’t get into clubs just yet.”

A big congratulations to the team and as UKF stated themselves, “Bring on the next five years!”


Published on MTV The Wrap Up on Friday 10th October –  http://www.mtv.co.uk/the-wrap-up/blog/ukf-celebrate-their-fifth-anniversary#spdPwGVCY4dq1Hiy.99

September 17, 2014

Youngs Teflon (@YoungsTeflon) Live At Barfly Camden [Review]

Youngs Teflon held his first headline show on Monday (September 1) at Barfly in Camden where he performed tracks from his recently released mixtape ‘The Renaissance’ with a live band. The Wrap Up’s Shireen Fenner headed down there to watch Tefs and all of his special guests for this live night featuring some of the best UK rap had to offer.

Teflon hit the stage accompanied by just Docta Cosmic on the decks, with his special guests joining him afterwards. Released in March, ‘The Renaissance’ went to No.1 in the iTunes hip-hop chart and No.22 in the overall national album charts, proving the strength of homegrown music in the UK.

Tefs performed the ‘My Pattern Intro’ from the mixtape and a track called ‘Never Failed School’ produced by Carns Hill which was a kind of middle finger to his school and teachers who thought he would fail; we discovered that ultimately he had done very well and received 2 A*’s for his English GCSEs. ‘Survivor’s Story’ and ‘Django’ got really good crowd reaction and it seemed everyone in the crowd were true supporters, knowing every lyric of every song. One thing was clear, Youngs Teflon was not disappointing any of his fans tonight.

One of the highlights for a lot of people was seeing Blade Brown and Corleone join Youngs Teflon for their collaborative track ‘Trap God’ which got everyone buzzing and Donae’o getting up on stage for their recent track ‘Oi Mate’ which set the internet alight – most people knew these two tracks word for word. Bonkaz, Stormzy and Swift also performed their cover of Krept & Konan’s ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ with the crowd getting more and more energetic with Stormzy also performing his HeavyTrackerz – produced song ‘Not That Deep’.

I loved how Docta Cosmic started mixing grime beats such as Rebound X’s ‘Rhythm N Gash’ into some of the tracks with Youngs Teflon and a lot of his guests, including Section Boyz on the stage in the middle of the show and them all spitting together, and then completely switching it over to grime. This was one of the most creative shows musically I’ve been to in a while and I hope to see more shows like this in the future.


* Published on 3rd Sep 2014 on www.mtv.co.uk/the-wrap-up

August 12, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: Global Gathering 2014 [Review]

Global Gathering returned to the pretty, historical town of Stratford-upon-Avon to bring us the best in electronic music in two days of partying. The festival has been going for 13 years now, and each year festival goers can listen to 12 hours per day of music, this is definitely for the hardcore ravers.

Main stage acts included the legendary Andy C who literally played tune after tune on his hour long set on the Saturday, keeping the drum & bass ravers exceptionally happy. Jaguar Skills brought his mixing skill to the table blending hip-hop, funk, dub, drum & bass and everything in between. Major Look warmed up the sitting down crowd nicely with his early 1pm set getting everyone up. Annie Mac also smashed the main set in pure dance style that only she can do. Netsky was a firm favourite of mine on the Friday and Chase & Status who headlined on Friday completely smashed it with their light effects and music.

Apart from the main stage the UKF tent, Hospitality and 1Xtra tent was where I spent most of my time. Wilkinson played to a rammed UKF tent with an exceptional set playing well-known tracks such as ‘Afterglow’ and ‘Too Close’. Friction also played a standout set as always but unfortunately no special guests were present. I also caught a bit of Matrix & Futurebound and Digital Soundboy’s Shy FX who played a pure class set of jungle and drum & bass.

Hospitality set up on the Saturday too and I ventured over various times to watch and listen to the sounds of High ContrastSigma and Camo & Krooked. Sigma played their single which has taken over the airways ‘Nobody To Love’ getting the crowd singing along to every word, and showcased some other great tunes. Welsh drum & bass producer and DJ High Contrast played a fantastic set to a highly lively and energetic crowd for an hour.

I also managed to catch a bit of Toddla T and Mungos Hifi over at Ram Jam. Overall the festival was one of my favourites of the year so far, full of energy and a great crowd, and managed to keep me up on my feet dancing for pretty much the whole time. See you there next year!

July 9, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

 

We’ve been hearing a lot from the Disturbing LDN and Parlophone rapper G Frsh as of late, as he gets us ready for his forthcoming EP ‘Alfie’; slated for an August release. He gave fans a present in the form of a free download for new track ‘The Hardest Part’ which of course sees G hitting us with some hard bars, and Sonny Reeves (also signed to Disturbing LDN) providing him with the vocals over a laid back beat.

Fresh from his ‘Lost Soul’ mixtape release, North London’s Coops keeps the work rate levels high and drops another visual from the tape ‘Rap Masterclass’ which seems to be set in Amsterdam. Produced by Talos, this is another banger with an old school hip hop vibe from a very talented and rising lyricist that a lot of people are calling one to watch. Coops matches laid back flows and beats to deliver us something special.

Now if you haven’t heard of Potter Payper, honestly I don’t know where you have been. Fresh from his incarceration, he is back to tear the streets apart as he shows why he is one is one of the most respected MC’s as he takes to Charlie Sloth’s studio to give him a Fire In The Booth. His wordplay and flow is exceptional, and this is the standard other rappers need to be looking too. From Drake’s‘0-100’ to Robin Shulz remix of ‘Waves’ instrumentals, he keeps the levels high.

Blue Borough’s (Lewisham) Dru Blu takes a totally British phrase ‘Let’s Avit’ which is commonly used at football matches or by people to mean ‘let’s have a good time’ in excitement as the name for his new track. Great to see UK artists capturing their British roots and essence, and Dru entertains too with the visuals for the track. Nice work!

Big congratulations are also in order for Krept & Konan who flew out to LA for the BET Awards 2014and bagged the award for Best International Act: UK. They beat Dizzee Rascal, Ghetts, Tinie Tempah, Rita Ora and Laura Mvula.

June 13, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News] @Coopsofficial @Stormzy1 @LittleSimz @YoungMadB

 

Last week was all about the ‘one to watch’ rapper Coops who has turned a lot of heads with his new mixtape release ‘Lost Soul’ with rave reviews and a lot of positive talk about the North London artist. Coops along with producer Talos have built a sound reminiscent to the golden 90’s era of hip hop. His style is well balanced and hard hitting, neither too road nor too conscious. With an at times almost conversational flow and easy to relate to content, once paired with the classic hip hop feel of Talos’ productions the overall effect is very satisfying.

He also dropped a new video to one of the tracks ‘So Cold’ featuring Benny Banks and Sophie Faith on the vocals. Make sure you download ‘Lost Soul’ for free now!

Little Simz is also another artist here that has blown up in the past months and everyone is raving about. She is on fire right now, recently opening for Schoolboy Q in London along with various other shows and accolades. After releasing the audio to ‘Bars Simzon’, she treated us to the Simpsons themed video last week. Her skippy flow, coupled with passion and raw energy makes you admire her and want to hear more. Look out for her E.D.G.E EP coming June 16th.

The most consistent rapper in the game right now again released another cover freestyle…can you guess who I’m talking about. That’s right after dropping his net video two weeks back, Stormzy took to his hometown of Croydon to shoot the video covering Drake‘s 0-100 inviting anyone who wanted to, to go down. He has definitely caught the attention of a lot of people, and his fan base is evidently growing weekly. I think it’s time for a full length project now from him…

Young Mad B released a 5 track EP ‘The Practice’ a series of tracks all done recorded acoustically. Back in November last year a video was released of ‘Big Homie’ done as an acoustic version, and it’s great to see Young Mad B taking this route and showing some diversity. I personally love hearing rappers recording tracks with instruments and live bands.

May 13, 2014

MTV The Wrap UK: UK Rap Rundown [News]


Last spring saw Coops release his debut mixtape ‘What Do You See’ and become Choice FM’s (now Capital Xtra) ‘breakthrough act 2013’, allowing him to open for Nas. This year he is set to release his ‘Lost Soul’ mixtape on June 2 and recently dropped its second single ‘Blessings’ which was co-signed by Vibe Magazine. He brings an old school feel to this hip-hop track that sounds like it could come straight out of New York as he showcases his immense lyrical ability, referencing J Cole  and Kendrick. The video shows the ‘gritty’ surroundings of his hometown in North London where he is from, giving the realities of his world.

East London lyricist Pepstar brings a hint of reggae to new track ‘OHYH’ as he brings it in with Sizzla’s ‘Solid As A Rock’ with the lyrics, ‘You can’t keep a good man down’ – this relating to the rest of the track with the theme of life challenges and how we respond to them. The harsh beat matches the stark black and white electric video rather well. Pepstar will be releasing his new EP on May 22 which is called ‘Dark Days Bright Nights’ which this track is set to be on. He is due to perform at the Houses of Parliament soon too… exciting times ahead for him.

Stormzy is an artist I’ve had my eye on, and last week he dropped his ‘Wicked Skeng Man’ freestyle which gained him fans in Skepta, Krept, JME and more. He has shown how diverse he can be with laid back tracks such as ‘All That Matterz’ and this one showing how his lyrical ability is first class.

Yellows is part of the Alwayz Recording crew, home to Chip, Paigey Cakey, G Money, Dotstar and more. His name has been a firm fixture in the underground scene for a little while and his work rate is strong, having already released two mixtapes, an EP and an online series. His latest release ‘Together’ features a verse from Shalo (also part of AR) and the title embodies the message of the track, about team work and supporting each other. This track really allows Yellows to show us his different flows as he starts off with a nice laid back one with the beat kicking in then switching it up showcasing his variety and skill.

 

April 29, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

I’m back after a short hiatus and the bank holiday weekend to bring you guys what’s been going on in the world of UK rap every week. I’m going to kick things off with talking about G Frsh’s new video ‘Falling High’. Now you have probably heard the song as it was heard on Radio 1 tastemaker shows such as Zane Lowe and Mistajam. Shot in black and white in an East London undertakers bodes well with the whole feel and lyrics of the track, while helping us understand G Frsh and his journey. The track features his fellow Disturbing London label mateSonny Reeves, who provides the hook.

These boys are really something special when it comes to music, and they are called the Rascals. Made up of four lads Kay Willz, Big Shizz, Tempz and Merkz, all in their teens and who gained their first successes at the ages of 12 and 13. They recently released their ‘Class 90’ album, which was an absolute smash and featured some of the best UK talent such as Big NarstieSqueeksDru BluDouble S and more. They return after not long with a brand-new single called ‘So High’ which was given it’s first spin by Zane Lowe and is due for release on June 15.

Brixton’s Peak is one hardworking man, and the grind doesn’t stop when it comes to releasing EP’s, mixtapes, and videos. As well as his consistency, his tracks are quality too, which means he is a super-talented dude! This new track is the first I believe to be heard from his forthcoming tape ‘Brixton State Of Mind’, giving us a glimpse of what to expect. Google Peak ‘Say About Me’ to listen to this new one.

Original Triple Darkness founding member Melanin 9 is due to re-release his 2007 mixtape ‘High Fidelity’ strictly on vinyl on his own ‘Red Snow’ label. He will also add the instrumentals to the tracks, with new artwork and a bonus cut ‘Colours’ produced by Loopholes. As well as adding the bonus track he also shot a video to ‘Colours’, adding some new freshness to the whole project.

Clothing brand Supply & Demand launched a competition a few months back where they asked the public to vote for a song for five British artists which they would then go on to shoot a music video for. They decided on ‘See Me Now’ for Benny Banks featuring Ryan Keen. The video was released last week and for me really showed Banks development as an artist and lyricist; his real life raps seemed more knowledgeable and the sound matured.

Until next time…

 

April 8, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

I went to check out Big Narstie’s BDL Tour at the Purple Turtle in Camden last Monday which saw Grime’s finest grace the stage including Big H who was clearly hyped and confident about his clash on LOTM6 with P Money, Big Shizz, Sox, Jammer, Meridian Dan, JME, Footsie, Chronik and Flirta D who got the most reloads of the night.

Let’s talk releases now and I’m going to begin it with my track of the week that I can’t get enough of. This is a brand new one from 23 year old North Londoner Coops titled ‘Chillin’ and has an old skool, boom bap vibe to it, that’s soulful and laid back, with Coops delivering an effortless, chilled flow to match the tracks title and beat. This one will be on his forthcoming mixtape ‘Lost Soul’ and we should expect more videos to be dropping from that.

Youngs Teflon went into No.1 on the iTunes hip hop chart with his latest project ‘The Renaissance’ mixape. Last week saw him keeping the project alive by releasing a video taken from their ‘My Pattern Intro’, the second visual to be released from it, produced by Carns Hill who laid down a hard beat for Tefs to showcase his lyrical style.

South London’s Pak-Man takes it trappy for his new one produced by Cee Figz which is an absolute banger and that could easily be heard in any club. He is joined by Goldie 1 who provides a catchy hook. The tune all in all is a decent one and has got a lot of hits on the video, and hopefully will do well for Pak-Man in the lead up to his new release ‘Legendary’ out soon.

Last but not least Stormzy released a new visual last night which I was really looking forward to, and we know he smashes any cover he does, this one was no different as he coveredBeyonce’s ‘Flawless’ this time around before a new video release on Thursday. Watch it and take in his bars and remember we said to watch out for him, as I predict big things ahead. He also has an EP out soon.

 

March 25, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

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SN1’s Kyze was released from prison 4 weeks ago after being away for 5 years, he was one of the biggest prospects in the UK rap game, and many thought he was going to be something special. We welcome him back and hope to hear some great new music from him soon, he’s already released some bars which you can check out here…

Disturbing London’s G Frsh premiered a new track last week with his fellow DL artist, singer Sonny Reeves previously known as Dot JR who provides a smooth hook. ‘Falling High’ will be on G Frsh’s forthcoming ‘Alfie’ EP, make sure you check it out.

Stormzy set the Internet ablaze last week as he went to Link Up TV for his Behind Barz after 3 years. This year is set to be a big year for him, I can see him being one of the next to blow, he has it all delivery, flow, content and versatility, plus co-signs from Krept and Youngs Teflon.

Maxsta dropped the video to his first single ‘Got Gassed’ taken from his highly anticipated ‘The Maxtape 1.5’. The lively grime tune see’s Maxsta’s return after parting ways with Sony and stepping into his own lane, creating music from a more adult viewpoint. ‘The Maxtape 1.5’ will see collaborations with Ard Adz, Sho Shallow, Big Shizz, Dot Rotten, Ny and more.

Frenchy Le Boss is (as you probably guess by the name) a French rapper who has lived most of his life in the UK, which gives him a uniqueness. Last week his ‘C’est La Vie’ mixtape was released, 16-track and strong features from some of the UK’s hardest including Young Spray, DVS, Colours, Sneakbo and Squeeks.

I think the video/track of the week has to go to Skepta and JME for ‘That’s Not Me’ for their creativity when it came to shooting the video, giving it a nostalgic and raw feel including cuts of Skepta talking about his forthcoming album ‘Konichiwa’.

March 19, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

There has been an influx of good videos and tracks out over the past week that are of a high standard of quality, which is great to see.

Ghetts’ name was everywhere last week after his ‘Rebel With A Cause’ album dropped and he made his official chart debut. The east London MC has been causing a stir with his campaign, with a pop up free gig in Barbican and his headline show at the 02 in London on Friday. Congratulations to Ghetts on this achievement; it’s been brilliant to see an independent artist who doesn’t have to compromise his music.

Political Peak’s EP ‘Life’s Peak’ was released on iTunes on March 4, which featured seven strong tracks from the Brixton bred rapper. ‘Walk Alone’ was the newest visual to be seen from it since it was released, where Peak asks you to take in the story before he begins the track, talking us some real life situations.

As we know Giggs is one of the most rated rappers in the UK who made a name for himself with his unique style of rap and raw, authentic lyrics. His album ‘When Will It Stop’ was released last year, and last week saw the release of his track ‘Tick Tock’ taken from there produced by Bayoz Muzik.

Colours Miyagi is regarded as one of the pioneers in the UK rap scene, releasing tracks that will stay classics for many. The Peckham rappers previously released mixtape ‘Where’s My Money Reloaded’ which was released last summer was well received. He keeps thing flowing with a new track ‘Through My Lens’, a street banger showcasing his effortless flow and storytelling ability.

Youngs Teflon is another one that is up there with the best of them and he is due to release his 20-track project at the end of the month titled ‘Renaissance’. He gives us a taster of what to expect from the forthcoming tape by releasing a video taken from there called ‘Throwback’.