Archive for ‘Reviews’

June 25, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @tempa @IzzieGibbs @BigFris @jfreshofficial @Iamuiamu

Tempa – Gimme Respect 

Birmingham emcee rapper Tempa has just dropped the brand new visuals for ‘Gimme Respect.’ Flowing over a Swifta Beater production, Tempa drops some catching bars about demanding respect in the industry. Tempa said ““It all fell into place, Swifta sent me over some beats and once I heard the beat respect was made, it was a natural move, the beat warranted respect”.

Frisco – It’s Changed

Frisco spits some real, truthful bars on his new dark riddim ‘It’s Changed.’ The veteran Boy Better Know lyricist spits about the music game, fake people, going in harder, other MC’s and more. The seasoned emcee goes in with his razor sharp flow over a simple beat, with the video concentrating on Frisco and his words.

Izzie Gibbs – Outta Da Hood

Izzie Gibbs along with releasing his brand new impressive ‘Yin Yang’ EP also dropped the video to ‘Outta Da Hood.’ It’s an insightful and impressive track from the Northampton based artist who displays his emotions in this though provoking new record. Izzie digs deep and speaks from the heart, displaying how he is beyond his years in his lyricism.

J-Fresh x Tubby Boy – Refills On Deck

Producer & DJ J Fresh returns with ‘Refills On Deck’ with Tubby Boy who provides the perfect lyrics with his quick time flow over J Fresh’s nostalgic grime riddim. Premiered on Link Up Trax this is the first track to be heard from his forthcoming ‘Banana’ EP. 

IAMU – Falling Stars ft. Bluey Robinson

Producer duo IAMU premiered their brand new visual for ‘Falling Stars’ on Red Bull which features the vocals of British singer/songwriter Bluey Robinson. IAMU is the brainchild of two producer/songwriters who wish to remain anonymous for this new, mysterious and philosophical project. Over the coming months they will release a string of singles and build to the release of their EP. Their first release is free-spirited and emotionally fuelled. 

 

June 4, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @Not3sofficial @Santandave1 @KillaPmc @lastjapan @ARTANLDN @Callmecadet

Not3s – Aladdin 

Not3s follows up his smash record ‘Addison Lee’ with this new one which sees him state that he’s ‘fly like Aladdin.’ He takes us round a destination abroad, full of sun, sea and yachts. Not3s has big things ahead of him and this track full of summer vibes is going to be spread like a wave.

Killa P, Last Japan – DEAD EM

Lyrical badman Killa P and producer Last Japan seem to make the perfect team with their latest track ‘Dead Em,’ that has a nostalgic grime feel taking us back to the early days, with Last Japans metallic synth production and Killa P’s fast pace, raw flow.

Dave – 100M’s

Dave is a versatile artist providing us with deep, thought provoking rap lyrics, but can also put his hand to grime proving this last year with ‘Thiago Silva’ with AJ Tracey. He is now back on his grime flex with 100M’s which sees him working in a local shop, to doing road with his friends. He spits about his hopes such as Grammys and having a plan in the game.

Artan – My Brudda

Artan hits us with a brand new visual ‘My Brudda’ taken from his recently released debut EP ‘Breaking Stereotypes’ which he dropped for free last week on Mixtape Madness – http://www.mixtapemadness.com/mixtape/artan/breaking-stereotypes-ep. ‘My Brudda’ mixes soulful lyrics and melodies with a slice of Hip Hop to give it a refreshing and unique sound.

Cadet ft. Konan – Instagram Girls

This is the one fans of Cadet have been waiting for…and it’s officially here! The video for ‘Instagram Girls’ has dropped featuring Konan on the hook. The lyricist speaks the bitter truth about social media with elegance hinted with playfulness. The underrated legend won’t stop here though as he is leading up to drop his EP ‘The Commitment 2,’ so stay tuned for more to come. 

June 4, 2017

We Are FSTVL kick-started rave season with help from Giggs, Dizzee Rascal and more

We Are FSTVL kick-started rave season with help from Giggs, Dizzee Rascal and more

We Are FSTVL kicked off the UK festival season in style.

It was a big one for the festival, which is now in its fifth year, as they opened the gates on Friday. They also added a campsite which encompassed thirty thousand ravers heading to the site in Upminster, Essex.

The site itself had changed from previous years and it definitely felt larger with more people in attendance and nine main stages on the site. They added a Terminal 1 stage right in the middle that towered over everything else, complete with 1200 lights and 10 lasers and fantastic production on stage that played host on the Saturday to MK, Craig David, Kurupt FM and more.

The sound system this year was spectacularly better than any other year I had been to – and I’ve been to them all. You couldn’t pick up sounds from other tents, and there was much better clarity. At the UKF tent (which was my favourite tent on the Saturday), the bass and music could be heard from all around it.

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The intimate Relentless Stage which was often heard blasting out Drake, had a feel good presence about it as revellers enjoyed the music in the sunshine and raved outside on the grass whilst looking up at the DJs who seemed to also be having a good time.

Kurupt FM played an entertaining hour set at Terminal 1 to a packed out stage. They were full of energy and predictably worked the crowd and played some garage classics.

Craig David’s TS5 set was a favourite on the Saturday with him DJ’ing and singing to an absolutely rammed stage. He mixed garage classics at first such as DJ Luck and MC Neat ‘With A Little Bit Of Luck’ and then headed over to a hip-hop side, playing Dr Dre and Eve’s ‘Whose That Girl’ then moving on to new tracks including J Hus’ ‘Did You See’. He mashed up the production singing his own lyrics over them before bringing some nostalgia with tracks from his first album too, which had everyone singing along.

Section Boyz killed their performance at the UKF stage, bouncing onto the stage with their DJ playing a mash-up of their tracks, the crew worked the audience like pros. They came to the front of the stage interacting with the audience performing tracks such as, ‘Trapping Ain’t Dead,’ and ‘Lock Arf.’

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Preditah was also at the UKF tent and had the crowd bubbling with a nice weighty set with some grime at first, and then moving slightly into the house direction. He played some classics such as Lethal Bizzle’s ‘Pow’ and Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’.

It was another successful year for the festival who cater for a wide varied music taste spanning from UK rap artists such as Mist and Giggs to house such as Carl Cox and MK; drum & bass tents hosted by UKF and Hospitality and grime acts such as Bugzy Malone and Wiley.

We Are FSTVL started the season in style.

May 22, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @ARTANLDN @BigFris @casisdead @skrapzisback @OppsNextDoor

Artan – Opposite Interests

Artan is one of the freshest artists that has created a different dimension to his music, switching up between singing and rapping. It’s an exciting time for him as this is the first release off of his forthcoming debut E.P ‘Breaking Stereotypes’ on 24th May. It’s one for the summer too!

Frisco – Get Greazy

Boy Better Know’s Frisco drops a brand new very cold video for ‘Get Greazy’ where he spits over two different beats, the first one has an oriental theme to the production filmed with a dark background. After 2 minutes it changes to a white background with a more darker, bouncier beat.

CASISDEAD – The Grid

This is an artist who knows how to bring his lyrics to life with his visuals, and here it does it again with ‘The Grid.’ CASISDEAD spits gritty lyrics that match what is going on in the video.

Skrapz – Enemies

Ice City Boyz representative Skrapz heads out to Barcelona for the visuals to ‘Enemies.’ He speaks his mind about events in his life from his ambition, to being the coldest, and how you shouldn’t be fucking with him or his his energy.

Tizzy Gang – Shekel

Tizzy Gang drop the latest installement ‘Shekel’ from their forthcoming album ‘Opps Next Door’ out June 16th. Tizzy Gang members Merky Ace and Cadell are joined by Vic Santoro for this aggressive grime banger, laying down sick bars over a haunting beat.

May 14, 2017

The Sounds of UK Rap

Skrapz – ‘Enemies’

Fresh from Anthony Joshua playing Skrapz’s ‘They Ain’t Ready’ as he headed into the ring to go on to beat Wladimir Klitschko, the Ice City Boys representative brings us a brand new track called ‘Enemies’. Rapping in his trademark flow, Skrapz’s lyrics reveal that he doesn’t “fuck with anybody that prevents progress.” He raps cold, real-life lyrics over a dark, trap production showing his ambition and drive, hence why he has a large fanbase and is thought of by many as one of the best in UK Rap.

Yungen – ‘Fools Gold’

Yungen brings us a laid-back, summery tune in ‘Fools Gold,’ where he discusses gold digging girls, how he’s not really just into looks, and how there has to be more to his woman than just a pretty face: “Snapchat she always sending me the whole filter, she got man coming home to no dinner. I’m like baby girl a wifey ain’t all about looks, so you best start learning to cook. I don’t want a pretty face with no brains get your head in your books.” He’s telling girls to dream bigger, be independent and do it for yourself. The visuals show Yungen and his girl in Central and South London in his car along with views of the London Wheel in the background.

 

Abra Cadabra ft. Sneakbo – ‘My Hood’

Abra Cadabra is joined by Sneakbo for ‘My Hood’. The dark track is joined by an equally sinister video that matches the mood and theme of the track. The video opens with an actor being asked to open a briefcase, where he pulls out two photos and is asked to get rid of the people in them. The men in the photos are Abra Cadabra and Sneakbo, and he clearly doesn’t get very far as we see him in the next shot bloodied and bruised. It shows off Sneakbo’s hard flow and strong lyrics stating his lifestyle, “I came a long way from a push bike, blacked out hoody I’m a hood guy, gas gang I was like Suge Knight, now I live it up every month book flights.” Abra brings his trademark delivery along with some hard lyrics, “When it comes to the beef then we dun talking.”

Dutch – ‘Speeding’

Hackney rapper Dutch brings us the inspirational and deeply emotional ‘Speeding’. Dutch brings his fans into his world and his struggles he has faced such as being able to give his family money in this introspective offering where he also talks about how Skepta’s ‘That’s Not Me’ made him realise that blowing your money on certain things wouldn’t help, so he went back to the drawing board. You can hear Dutch’s passion shine strongly in his delivery and lyrics over the melodic production from Michelin Shin.

Fekky – Billi

Fekky hits us with his brand new and brilliant video for ‘Billi’ after his return to Charlie Sloths’ infamous Fire In The Booth where he hit new heights with his lyricism and style. The new track is a taster of what to expect from his new album El Classico and shows Fekky with lots of swagger in a fur coat in the TV Toxic-directed visuals. The track is directed at his opponents and haters: “hating n****s everywhere they wanna lick man down.”

“Talking beef, f*****g punk look at you now.” Fekky goes in with straight, savage lyrics like the D Double E bar, “Head gets mangled and dangled,” and no nonsense delivery that should really show anyone going up against him, it isn’t worth it. Fekky delivers us with another straight up banger, and we can’t wait to hear more from his forthcoming album.

May 7, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @SafoneMadone @CapoLee100 @Dapzonthemap @Jhus @realmostack @StashPeso

Safone x Capo Lee – Gyal From Brum

This is a Birmingham to London link up from two of Grime’s heavy hitters Safone and Capo Lee for ‘Gyal From Brum,’ a flip on Safone’s now Grime classic track ‘She Wants A Man From Brum.’ Both emcee’s take turns, trading bars about swagging and wanting a gyal from Brum! This tune is going to bang at raves and festivals this Summer for sure as it’s a high energy bassline driven track, with Capo Lee and Safone throwing down some slick dance moves too.

Dapz On The Map – Mini Valet

West Bromwich/Birmingham artist Dapz On The Map brings us a strong new track ‘Mini Valet’ talking about his rise in the industry, following his own path, and how now he performs in the 02 with fans queuing to get in. It’s a motivational, inspirational track and shows how by putting in the work you can achieve what you set out to.

J Hus – Common Sense

‘Common Sense’ is the third track release from J Hus’ forthcoming album of the same name which will be released on 12th May, and sees previous bangers such as ‘Friendly’ and ‘Did You See’ on the album as well as a host of new material with features from Mist, Mostack and more. ‘Common Sense’ has a jazzy, live band natural feel to the track, and sees J Hus reflecting on things happening around him.

Mostack – Ussy Ussy

Mostack drops a vibrant new track ‘Ussy Ussy’ the first offering from his forthcoming new mixtape ‘High Street Kid’ out on the 2nd June. It’s another straight up banger, and the visuals show the North London artist out in LA with the Hollywood sign in the background and also shots in the UK too as he talks about his girl.

Stash Peso – Glow

Stonebridge rapper Stash Peso drops ‘Glow’ in the lead up to his forthcoming EP ‘Shine’. It’s a song written from a personal place about embracing your glow, and not listening to others. It shows off Stash’s unorthodox style, wordplay and impressive lyrical flow captivating his listeners as he sings and raps over the production.

May 3, 2017

Ego Is The Enemy: Clash Meets Donae’O

“When I was young I had to prove I could stand by myself, that I’m the best at what I do and all that crap,” admits Donae’O, taking a break from a studio session to talk to Clash. “As I’ve got older I’ve realised that trying to be the best is nonsense, because you can be the best but if no one else sees it, it doesn’t matter.”

The North West Londoner is already a legend of the UK underground; from the days of Garage crew Bubbling to his freshly-inked deal with Island Records, his work as a producer, song-writer and vocalist has made an unforgettable mark on the scene.

While working on his long-awaited fourth album, the follow up to 2009’s ‘Party Hard’, Donae’O has simultaneously been self-improving; endeavouring to put the song first, rather than attempting to outshine others. “I had to get over my ego to accept that I’m not the star in the scenario,” he says. “For instance, I’m not the star of [‘Lock Doh’], Giggs is. My job was to make him the star. It made me understand getting rid of that ego, giving more eventually that will come back to me.”

He experienced this good karma while working with WSTRN on the follow up single to their massive breakthrough ‘In2’. “Trying to be the best might not be the best for the song,” he implores. “I [was working on] a song called ‘Come Down’ for WSTRN. I made the beat and Louie wrote the chorus, but the song wasn’t finished. I couldn’t work out what it needed, so we got [other producers in to add to it]. Throughout the whole process my percentage [of royalties] were going lower and lower, but I had to get rid of greed and ego so that the song could be the best it could be.”

In the end his ego-less approach would pay off. The song would climb Radio 1’s playlist and prove more financially rewarding than it might have had Donae’O been selfish: “I’ve learned not to be so self-destructive,” he laughs. “Everyone has limitations.”

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Over the past couple of years Donae’O has been travelling back and forth to the US, examining how contemporary rap music is created in its homeland. The experience has opened his eyes to bigger aspirations, and has interestingly drawn his attention to the importance of his clothing choices. “I started seeing that even underground artists can make millions,” he explains. “I saw that image was part of the artistry. Wearing clothes was just as artistic as writing a song. It had never been portrayed to me like that before.”

He began to embrace streetwear, naming US brands Supreme and Stüssy, as well as homegrown staples Trapstar and Benjart amongst his favourites. “I like clothes and style that have a story behind them,” he says. “Benjart’s from North West and he’s doing well and I identify with that. Trapstar, they’re guys from West London. I love Supreme’s culture, the exclusivity… if you’re into it you’re into it, it’s not for everyone, it’s more about the culture than the clothing. I associate with the story, which I didn’t know before.”

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Me wearing black is the physical representation of me changing…

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In a similar way, the story behind a track brings context that helps reach listeners on a deeper level. To Donae’O, his single ‘Black’ – which features Grime heavyweights Jme and Dizzee Rascal – represents him coming to terms with letting go. “Me wearing black is the physical representation of me changing,” he clarifies. “It’s made me a better person.”

The track initially began life two years ago, around the time that Donae’O was shooting a video for his track ‘Mami No Like’ with director and Jme-collaborator Matt Walker. “Jme was going mad about the record, so I reached out to him and said thank you for screaming about it – because it helped it a lot,” he remembers. The pair soon began discussing ideas for collaboration, and Donae’O would send Jme an early version of ‘Black’. “I was chilling in Nandos when I got the verse,” Donae’O laughs. “I was like: what the fuck am I going to do with this, I’ve got a Jme verse!”

He’d also been in touch with Dizzee Rascal about a potential collaboration, and decided to send ‘Black’ over to him on the off chance that he might be able to bring a dream collaboration together. “Dizzee sent me his verse back in about four days!” recalls Donae’O, still with a hint of disbelief. “I was like: fuck what am I going to do with that!? I put it away for a bit and the rest is history.”

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Train yourself to solve problems and you will always be successful.

Putting in more work last year than any of the other fifteen that he’s been in the music industry has paid off. In 2016 he had three tracks in circulation on the Radio 1 playlist – ‘Come Down’, ’Lock Doh’ and ‘Black’ – as well as underground hits ‘My Circle’ and ‘Polo’.

This prompted the the decision to let go of his previous control-freak approach, allowing others to handle business while he puts his all into the music. “I don’t need to be the businessman anymore, no-one’s gonna fuck me over and if they do I can walk away,” he explains. “I thought, let me put the business side away because I’m good at it, but I’m great at making music. I’m going to put my energy into just making a banging tune.”

Donae’o’s freshly inked deal with Island Records gives him the balance of creative freedom and business support that he needs to move forward. “They want me to make the music I want to make,” he says. “They’ve given me a label to release my own music. I understand the underground. If you ask me to market a record in that world I can do that, but I’ve never really gone mainstream before.”

“I feel like ‘Black’ has crossed over into another world, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that. Island understand me and understand how to get it to that point.”

As he puts the final touches on his new album, Donae’o reflects on his journey so far, admitting that the position he’s found himself in, was never one that he envisioned. “You can plan as much as you want and I think planning is excellent, but your never going to land where you think you will,” he says, sagely, as our conversation draws to a close.

“The key in life is that nothing stays the same, the only thing you can do is trust that you’re intelligent: everyone is smart, they just have different things they are smart at. Train yourself to solve problems and you will always be successful.”

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*Published on Clash Magazine 20/03/2017 http://www.clashmusic.com/features/ego-is-the-enemy-clash-meets-donaeo

April 26, 2017

The Sounds Of UK Rap

Hardy Caprio ft. Not3s – Together

Hardy Caprio and Not3s have joined forces for ‘Together’, with Not3s bringing a heavy, catchy hook. The track, produced by N2theA, allows Hardy to flow effortlessly over the rap beat talking about money and street life. The video – shot in an estate – shows how it hasn’t exactly gone to plan, as they had to shoot without Not3s. The guys made it lighthearted with a script running through it that definitely makes you chuckle and includes some fun dance moves too! The track is taken from Hardy Caprio’s recently released The Hollywood EP which you can buy now on iTunes.

Don Strapzy – Mustard

Lewisham rapper Don Strapzy returns to our screens with ‘Mustard’ – a track full of bars on bars. Intro’ing the track stating, “I never did it for the fame G, I can’t complain now I get loving from the ladies, but I never done it for that,” the OG rapper then goes on to talk about everything from rappers to trappers to the hood, South London, trust, women and much much more. He shows off his powerful, natural flow with strong delivery coupled with braggadocious lyrics, “It’s donny from the manor I’m the dogs bollocks.”

Pep ft. Big Sneakz – One Time

Pep takes the cinematic visuals for ‘One Time’ to the stunning location of the Dominican Republic. The stunning backdrop seamlessly flatters Pep’s individual flow alongside Big Sneakz’s catchy hook. Opening up with a meeting taking place between Pep and an associate then leads into the track that talks through Pep’s situations with women. Self-produced by Pep himself, he brings a summer vibe to the steelpan instrumental.

Dims x Tremz – Bang For My Bros

It’s a Northern link up next in ‘Bang For My Bro’s with two equally hard rappers: Dims from Manchester and Tremz from Liverpool. The video fits the ominous mood of the track, with men clad in balaclavas and masks setting the scene. The trap beat allows the two to apply their inimitable melodic style rap which Dims uses on the hook as well as in his verse and Tremz uses in his verse too. Dims has a strong, aggressive delivery, where he talks about street life. Tremz comes in second rapping, “Way back I been a rowdy yout, cause I never knew the other way, so don’t ask me what the f**k I do.” This is Northern talent at its finest.

Potter Payper x Luey Locs – Last 32

Potter Payper is one of the best UK rappers; his wordplay, lyrics and flow are just impeccable. At the moment he’s gearing up to release a brand new project titled ‘Real Back In Style’ which we are hugely looking forward to. His new banger ‘Last 32’ with Luey Locs shows the two barring about their lifestyles, which include chasing paper, expensive tastes in watches and cars, smoking and more which the video portrays perfectly showing off some flashy cars, nice creps, women and icey watches. Watch out for more from Potter Payper in the forthcoming months.

April 22, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @izzieGibbs @donaeo @oppsnextdoor @LethalBizzle @ReekoSqueeze @YellowsUk

Izzie Gibbs ft. Donae’O – Chillin

Dice Recording artist Izzie Gibbs gives us another straight-fire riddim ‘Chillin’ produced by Maniac which features Donae’o on the hook. The track and visuals show how they like to Netflix and Chill with Izzie’s flow fast and manic and his lyrics a bit naughty. Izzie told SBTV, “Maniac blessed me with the fire riddim I knew it was SICK but when I sent it to Donae’O and he sent the chorus back in like 20 mins, that fully gassed me and I banged it out straight away.”

Tizzy Gang – Old School Roadman Jacket

Tizzy Gang’s Tre Mission and Merky Ace release the first visual off of their forthcoming mixtape, ‘Opps Next Door’. The record represents the transatlantic spread of grime with Tre Mission also being hailed as the first international grime emcee. Both emcees lay down greezy lyrics over a sinister beat that is sure to get a wheel up in every grime rave.

Lethal Bizzle ft. Skepta – I Win

 Although there has been a delay with Lethal Bizzle’s album ‘Lennox Rd,’ Bizzle is hitting us with an EP, ‘You’ll Never Make A Million From Grime,’ a title aimed at the haters. He gives us the first visual from the EP that features another grime king, Skepta who also produced the track along with adding a verse and hook. The two heavyweights of course have made a winning track and the video comes complete with some sick cars and bikes.

Reeko Squeeze ft. Donae’o – Beginning

A cold, cold tune track from Reeko Squeeze which features Donae’o who comes in first on the track with the hook which is a rather inspiring one talking about how he’s in it to win it! Reeko then comes in with some his inspirational bars and also mischievous lyrics about women. The visuals show both of them at night with views of London in the background.

Yellows – Cure Remix

North London rapper Yellows takes Fish Go Deep ‘The Cure & The Cause’ track remixing it for his track ‘Cure Remix.’ He talks about road life, stacking money and the video shows him and his girl arguing and her being at home trying to get hold of him and him locking calls off. This is a hard track with a very good remix of a house track that Yellows has absolutely killed. Props.

April 11, 2017

A Conversation With Devlin

A Conversation with Devlin

Devlin is one of the UK’s best lyricists in grime, and not just according to us but also Wiley – the Godfather of Grime – and many other emcees. His new album The Devil In and new Fire In The Booth showcase why he is up there with the best, and once you listen, you can’t deny his lyrical prowess.

Shireen Fenner snagged some of Devlin’s time to speak about the old-school days of grime, staying grounded, taking time away from music and his new album…

Devlin, tell us first of all about what life musically was like for you growing up?

Grime music was always big in Dagenham, but before that I liked the sound of Garage. It was the OT Crew that were the boys I fell in with in the end, they had a big show on Rinse which was a massive platform, and they used to work with Roll Deep and do shows with them. So when I met them I started getting a little audience listening every week and things started building from there.

Where does your music influence stem from? You’ve mentioned So Solid and Roll Deep and Sharky Major – what was it about them that made you want to start writing?

I thought they were good and they captured me. Their lyrics were more complex than the garage stuff I had heard. They were thought out, they were talking about stuff that was going on and that I was seeing as I was growing up. I just wanted to have a go at it myself, and I loved it, stuck at it, and then it started coming through.

I liked the tempo of Garage, but when I heard Grime, the sounds of the beats and the lyrics, I could relate to it a bit more. I liked that dirtier sound.

Back then it was a very pirate mentality and the goals for Grime MC’s was to get on pirate radio…now Grime has gone mainstream, MC’s can think a lot bigger. What’s the difference between your goals back then and now?

Your right, when I landed on Rinse I thought I’d struck gold, I’d listened to people growing up and tape tapes and tape set for years so it was a blessing that I’d made it there. From that where the listeners were growing, we started doing raves, all the older people had been doing raves, but I started doing a few and noticing the fan base growing.

Nowadays it’s been pushed through into the mainstream and there is a lot more opportunity now, back in the day we only had pirate radio. The internet is massive now, you can utilize that to get your videos across and social media is also a massive thing which we never had which helps people network.

As weird as it sounds I never had a massive major plan or goal in my head, I just loved doing what I was doing. I just wanted to be the best that I could be at what I was doing because I enjoyed it, I loved it and that took me on a journey I suppose that I never saw myself doing. I never pictured it like that. My goals are still to just keep making sure my music’s good and people are happy and my fans.

Wiley has dubbed you the ‘greatest Grime MC’ and a lot of other artists also rate you highly – what do you think it is about you that sets you apart and made Wiley give you this title?

I’m blessed that people think that and I take that as a massive compliment, but I can say whatever I’ve done I don’t expect everyone to love it or hate it. I always put my heart and soul into it and I’m my own worst critic when it comes to my lyrics. Maybe that’s something to do with it, I’m very critical about what I do. Passion and wanting to be the best, but if I fall short I fall short, but I’ll come up somewhere half decent.

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Working with The Movement crew must have trained you and them lyrically to be the best you can be, was there a lot of competition?

Yea definitely, that firm was all about lyrics. We all had love for each other and a mutual respect. It definitely helped push my lyrics. I always wanted to be the best, everyone was hungry, on the day you had to come fucking good. It was good times back in the day.

From ‘Bud Sweat & Beers’ your debut album to your recent album ‘The Devil In’ talk us through the evolution as Devlin as an artist and as a person…

It all seems like a whirlwind to me. I’ve spent my life writing music and it all seems to have gone so fast. It’s hard to remember half of it. I’ve just grown naturally as I’m getting older. I grew up I suppose in front of everyone’s eyes; I was only very young when I started, so naturally I’ve grown as a human being. I’m just normal, I’m just me, there’s not too much science behind it. I just love music, I try to do my best, and I’m lucky enough that people have gone and brought my albums for some reason, I’m not too sure why.

‘The Devil In’ shows all different sides to you as a person and is a more mature, unapologetic Devlin – can you tell the readers what different sides to you there are and why it’s important to reflect these in the album?

I think there is a little snippet of every side of my personality on there. There’s happy, there’s sad, there’s twisted, there’s angry, there’s loving, there’s caring. That’s what I tried to do with the album. Whenever you’re making songs your trying to capture an emotion and trying to relate to people.

I’d say it’s a mixture of me and my own thoughts and what I feel and other things I’ve seen I put myself in different people’s shoes mentally. I try and be creative.

What are your favourite tracks on the album and why?

‘Blow Your Mind’ I’ve always liked the music on this track, the oldy, feel, it’s got pace in it still, and I like the music and the beats, it’s uptempo.

You seem like a very grounded, down-to earth person still, not really stricken by the fame element, how do you stay like this, it must be hard?

 Sometimes it’s overwhelming, but without those people I’d have nothing really so it doesn’t bother me, I take a picture with anyone. On the flipside it could be worse, I wouldn’t have job if it wasn’t for these people, but yeah sometimes it gets overwhelming. I stay grounded, I don’t care for much, I love my family I love my friends, I love making music and I’m lucky enough to do it. I don’t let nothing else bother me.

It’s been 4 years since your last album release and you took a year out of music – why the decision to take a break?

I’ve just made music since I was so young, I was stressed, and I was trying hard to write. My second album didn’t go as well as my first one, that probably pissed me off a little bit. I suppose I’ve got my own life, I’ve got my own stuff going on in my own life I needed to sort out. I came back with a fresh head. I had to go and be a young man for a couple of years. When you’ve made music from a young age with a camera always in your face, I just needed to go and be a young man and get that out my system and come back with a fresher head and a bit more grown up.

Explain what is The Devil In Devlin is?

There’s every different side to me on the album and that’s what makes me; love, joy, hate, it’s almost like conflicted emotions. That’s the man behind the music.