Tag: rap

New Music Friday: Anonymous

Uncompromising Northampton rapper Anonymous has started the year with a bang, releasing four singles already. The serial collaborator is looking like a major talent for 2019, so New Boots spent…

Uncompromising Northampton rapper Anonymous has started the year with a bang, releasing four singles already. The serial collaborator is looking like a major talent for 2019, so New Boots spent some time getting to know him.

How did you start this project?
I started my music journey when I was around the age of 12, so eight years ago back in school. It started of as a joke at first, until I had a few of my friends and family members telling me to take it more seriously. At the start I never had much confidence in myself and I wanted to make sure nobody knew who I was, that was how I came up with ‘Anonymous’. From there it stuck and has remained the same.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences? 
I’ve tried many different types of genres so my sound can often vary. I’d say I stay firm and get my point across very well within my music. For example the track I recently released in memory of my Dad – ‘R.I.P’ – I had a story to tell and I feel like I told my story very well – and can’t wait to finish part 2!
My main influences are 100% Eminem, Ghetts and Tupac. I love their realness and how effortless they make it look.

What was the reaction like to your early work, did it spur you on?
During my early days of music I never really got much support, I had close friends and family members sharing my music on to their Facebook pages. However I wasn’t getting any feedback, but that only made me want it that bit more! If I am being 100% honest it was L30 Robinson who made me want to take my music more serious after I seen him doing his thing in and outside of school. After he told me to just follow my dreams and do what I wanted to with my career.

Who have you been collaborating with? What draws you to working with them?
I have been collaborating with artist both inside and outside of Northampton. I have tracks released with the very talented likes of Impact, Troopz, Rdot, L30 Robinson, M0ch0, Jaiidee, and King D, but I have plenty more work coming with other majorly talented artists. I can’t wait for my supporters to hear and see the things I have lined up.

Tell us about these new songs from the last month.
My first single of the year entitled ‘Believe Me’ came about after I decided I wanted to make a track to showcase my lyrical abilities and the way my brain works and some of the crazy ideas I have. For example in ‘Believe Me’ there are certain parts where I’ve thrown in vocals from well known tracks just to add that extra bit of spice. My second single of 2019 ‘Hoes’ came up rather randomly after Impact was chilling at my house and having problems with females. We went outside for a cigarette and I came up with the idea of writing a song about ‘hoes’. I went through YouTube searching for beats and as I soon as I heard the instrumental we used the hook just popped in to my head without even thinking. We knew many people could relate to the feeling of heartbreak and generally the feeling of being used, so after making the track we believed it had quite a lot of potential and decided to release it.

You’ve been performing at the Lay It Down night in Northampton, hows that going? Do you perform elsewhere?
As of yet I haven’t really performed at many places as I’m still focusing on finding who I really want to be as an artist. Since first performing at Lay It Down I have came a very long way and can easily say they’ve helped to further my career and I have gained a lot of confidence through being part of the team. However I will be more than happy to take any shows/opportunities that may come my way.

What has been your favourite Anonymous moment of the past year?
Definitely hitting 1000 views on mine and Impacts track ‘The Roads’. We had so much fun making that track and surprisingly it only took us the space of an hour to get it written and recorded with the help of producer and engineer Theo Chanetsa aka Xmorosi.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
A Boogie’s Hoodie SZN. I love the diversity he brings to the table and every track on the album is a pure vibe!

What is your burning desire for to do for the rest of the year? What plans do you have?
I would like to further my career and reach out to channels such as Link Up TV and GRM Daily. To be honest my sole focus of 2019 is to show people more of me, more of who Liam Berry is. I want to tell my story and be heard. I will also have an EP dropping some time this year but have not yet confirmed a date.

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New Music Friday: XOV

Northampton rapper XOV has been sharing his tunes online throughout 2018 and he has kicked off 2019 with a real piece of work in ‘Ledgur’, his latest collaboration with L30…

Northampton rapper XOV has been sharing his tunes online throughout 2018 and he has kicked off 2019 with a real piece of work in ‘Ledgur’, his latest collaboration with L30 Robinson. New Boots wanted to learn more.

How did you start making music? Where’s the name come from?
When I was younger I used to write down little raps to do at our local community centre, but never took it very seriously to begin with because the rhymes were all over the place and I just didn’t feel like I could ever be successful at the craft. But when I started uni I used to write down raps when I was having bad days and spoke openly about depression, anxiety and other mental illness that I have witnessed or gone through. I worked very closely with Leo Robinson in promoting his music and decided I had enough confidence to show him this rap (which went on to be called ‘Paradise Is Scary’). He really enjoyed it and it dropped last July and since then I started doing rap.
The name XOV was just something silly I used to rhyme everything with and kinda kept the name. It may seem corny but I had a very lucid dream about being on stage and people chanting it and I always wanted that dream to become a reality, so I thought why not call myself the name.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
My main influences are emo rappers such as Lil Peep, XXXTentacion, Trippie Redd, but I also grew up listening to the greats like Wu Tang Clan, Grandmaster Flash and even bands such as Nirvana and AC/DC I’ve always been brought up around such a broad range of music.

What was the reaction like to ‘Paradise Is Scary’ and ‘Switch Up’?
‘Paradise Is Scary’ is my first track I ever released and I was really surprised with the reception, it gained 1.5k views and although I’m proud of the song I do believe the sound has changed and I’ve become so much more confident over the months of its release. ‘Switch Up’ hasn’t been released properly yet but it’s a powerful story of not having confidence to speak to a girl and Leo plays the voice of reason. Funny thing about that song is we had a very similar talk a few years ago, so it’s technically based on a true story.

Tell us about this new release, ‘Ledgur’, a collaboration with L30 Robinson.
‘Ledgur’ is a song about pushing yourself away from everyone around you due to a lifestyle that is very sheltered. It’s one of my favourite songs of mine as it has some lyrics that are very personal. The back to back with me and Leo has to be my favourite, as it really showcases both of our abilities and shows people we are a solid team.

What are your live shows like? You’ve been doing some spots with Leo, haven’t you?
I have been doing shows since July alongside Leo. They are amazing, I love performing live. The reception I’ve received has been overwhelming considering I’m still really new to performing and rap music, but people always say how they can’t believe I’m still new and that’s the best feeling.

How important has Leo been to developing your sounds and skills?
Leo has been a huge help, he is always helping me try develop my own individual sound. I’ve known Leo for many years and worked alongside him promoting his music, and even helped towards a record label named Wordworkers a few years ago. So we have a rapport already; we have very similar ideas for how we want our music to sound. He is a hardworking artist and mentor.

Do you feel part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite people/venues to play with?
I feel like Northampton’s music scene is very diverse with some amazing talented people. I have found artists that are very similar to the type of sound I’m going towards: people like Poetic Horror, Kiao, L30, Mio Flux and Patchy The Rockstar are just a few that I really cannot wait to work alongside. I often perform at the Lab on Thursdays with the Lay It Down lot, it has to be my favourite time to perform as the feedback is amazing and there are so many different acts who vary in sound – from rappers, poets and other acts – it’s really good!

What has been your favourite moment of the past year?
It has to be performing at Twinfest in July at the Pomfret Arms and the Lamplighter. The atmosphere was amazing and the other acts who performed were awesome. The festival is great for artists like me to develop into stronger artists.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was Lil Peep – Come Over When Your Sober Part 2. This man’s music means so much to me as he was so open about things other people shy away from, that’s including drug take and mental health and suicide and uses melodic rap to get the messages across. It’s my favourite album of last year.

What is your burning desire to do in 2019? What plans do you have?
I want to release my EP ‘Dystopia Is Heaven’ and really focus on becoming a confident performer as well as maybe even appearing on radio with one of my songs. I plan to release as much music as I physically can to show people the different styles of rap I have from flows to delivery.

 

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New Music Friday: Har-Q

Northampton rapper Har-Q has been building a strong name for himself with his many releases, and 2018 was a big moment with two albums released. New single ‘Big Money’ is…

Northampton rapper Har-Q has been building a strong name for himself with his many releases, and 2018 was a big moment with two albums released. New single ‘Big Money’ is equally worthy of attention, and New Boots asked a few pertinents to the man himself.

How, when, and why did you become Har-Q?
Well initially I went through some corny names, here’s a couple for e.g – Genesis, T.money, and w.a.s.p. “I was 16 you have to forgive me.” But while I was working at a call centre “big up space designs”, where I mainly wrote rhymes and occasionally answered the phone, one time a guy can’t remember his first name but it came up on the call screen called something “harq” and I complimented his name as I wrote his surname down and alas something I could work with that wasn’t lame. The meaning came not long after that, it was “HAR-Q when I leave the stage it will be a hard cue to beat.” Over the years as I grew in knowledge and the name evolved, it became H.A.R-Q which means the H = herald: messenger, A = ark: the message, R = returns/renaissance and Q = quadrivium, which alienates the hell out of people. I watch them squirm when I tell them this as its a bit geeky and probably out of the scope of their interest, but basically it’s saying that it’s a return to the original principle of university when the scholars focused on the four arts “arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy” and I came to spot the familiarity of that in the early hip-hop culture: breakdancing, graffiti, DJ, emcee and these are the pillars of education and advancements in life as the quadrivium / liberal arts gave birth to the renaissance out of the dark ages.

How would you describe your sound?
I go through a range of sounds if you listen to my back catalogue. But don’t: the production isn’t that great, good content but poor recording, so my goal over the years probably became to have a clear audible sound that mimics that of people on the radio.

In terms of content I would describe it as lyrical; often finding myself jumping on the spoken word because people by default don’t like to think too much while listening to music. It always has a storytelling theme because I binge watch and read a lot. I almost give a synopsis on the subject in song form or fully immerse my self into the character and do it first person, trying to embody the tale. I aim for entertainment value.

Composition wise I love heavy melodic music and multiple thumping bass.

Who are your influences?
Hip hop: all the elements when combined 
Cap-com: love games 
Crunchy-roll: worship anime 
Robert Greene: for his accounts of history and what to take from it
Stan Lee for his characters 
Big dreamers: anyone with goals ambitions and direction because without the direction they are just dream
Myself: as I sit back and watch myself battle their life and surprise myself with my willpower, creativity, and resilience to the point I think most of the time I’m just a spectator in my own life.
books: because its facts / imagination/ history etc
Nas, for his mastery over the language 
Anderson Paak, for his creative style

What was the reaction to the two albums you released in 2018?
Trapped Hop was the first album that was released in twelve years. The first album was done by the record label Big Tuff Ent. So I didn’t really know what to expect with this one with no promotion, no shows, no marketing, no money.

I saw while doing research that you can get your songs streamed on sites like Spotify, iTunes, Amazon etc and thought: sweet, if I get it on their boom that’s my label and manager right there I’m going to get millions of plays while I sit back and get paid, and boy was I wrong. For the first five months it bombed. I had wasted half the year and had nothing to show for it. I was stumped so I got to promoting it: sharing it, making flyers and going to open mics then it slowly started to pick up in the late half of the year. I have seen a subsequent rise in the second quarter of the year, especially ‘Neo Yokio’ [from Trapped Hop]. 

The Creed has through looking at my analytics, geeking out, it holds most of the top spots, but it’s because I never wasted time when I released it. I was a bit more prepared or knew at least a bit more what to do and consistency is defiantly the key. Ad not just online: you have to hit the streets, if you stop sharing and stop looking for new people your progress slows down. I’m still in my infant stage really, even though I have never stopped working my craft artistically for what feels like a lifetime already. But in a nutshell it has been as successful as it could be in my eyes. Trying to watch my own achievements and not put it in comparison to people further in their career, that’s the quickest way to giving up. And hopefully I have started enough of a buzz for the up and coming material.

Tell us about your new single, ‘Big Money’.
‘Big Money’ is about the grind that we all go through, we always bump into people we know on the street, in a store etc who we haven’t seen in a minute and the hook kind of embodies a call an response theme of the generic questions people often ask. I’ve had a lot of changes in the latter half of this year: I’ve changed jobs after seven years, currently separated from my partner of 12 years, finally back in the studio diligently after eight years, so the grind has been immense. Thinking, learning and working towards where I want to be in the next five-ten years, so right now I’m just like ‘yyyyyooooo let me tell you about it’, but in the way an artist does. It’s a very relatable tune I feel, and felt it had a very human element to it as I’m always rapping about fantasy and stories.

What are your live shows like?
I’ve only this year got back to performing constantly working with the “Lay It Down” team [Northampton] and “Soapbox” spoken word [Milton Keynes] “ Breakmission” hip-hop collective [Birmingham]. So I’ve had some good shows, some shows where the liquor problem got the better of me, shows where my insecurities won. But I love to bring the energy whenever possible, but as I’m developing I want to integrate and bring more to the performance because I focus so much on the lyrical content I feel it can zap my focus on the stage. Forgetting my lyrics is probably the thing I fear the most in the whole world, as well as the socializing aspects afterward. I can be quite socially awkward sometimes, lol, but back to the point when I drop tracks like ‘Gang Gang’ and ‘Akuma’, it can get lit.

Do you feel part of the wider scene in Northampton and like-minded people, any shoutouts?
I think to be a part of the community you have to throw yourself into it. With that said the scene could also do with a shot of adrenaline to bring it to life. Yes I’m trying to immerse myself into it more, and be more involved. Lay it Down has been a massive part of this, and I’ve been out to Rugby doing some shows with Benny & The Jango Massive. I think if we work together, not necessarily as a team but toward a common cause, and combine our strength I think we got a great opportunity here for music lovers of the north.

What has been your favourite moment in 2018?
It has to be, hands down, going to Comic-Con Birmingham and rocking the Har-Q get-up mask and all then hearing someone call my name in the distance thinking it was my boy. By boy I mean friend, not son, as the rest of the sentence would sound like neglect lol. As I tend to wander off I looked round to see a guy with his son and he was like Har-Q, right ? I was taken aback, but was like “HELL YER” and he went to his son [who didn’t seem the faintest bit interested] “Its har-q”. But we stopped, spoke for a minute took a photo and ‘GASSED’ is an understatement.

What was the last album that you brought or streamed?
Well I haven’t brought an album in yonks, but I do listen to Spotify release radar and discovery every Monday where they drop something new that relates to something I’ve been listening to all week just to see what’s good. But I will say new artist wise I like Denzel Curry: love his raspy gravely voice, his content and delivery is furious. Reminds me of that raw era of hip-hop.

What is your burning desire of the future, what plans do you have?
My main desire is to create a comic book to anime, its always been one of my major goals. Other than that to keep working my craft and actually get in the studio with some session musicians and producers and create some classics on an unplugged vibe, and just to get bigger and better, more elaborate.  

Big Money is out now. Image courtesy of AudioStage

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slowthai picked as one of YouTube Music’s ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2019

slowthai has been picked by YouTube Music as one of its ’10 top acts for 2019′. The Northampton-born rapper has been included on the streaming service’s ‘Ones To Watch’ artist…

slowthai has been picked by YouTube Music as one of its ’10 top acts for 2019′.

The Northampton-born rapper has been included on the streaming service’s ‘Ones To Watch’ artist spotlight.

Other acts on the list include Mahalia, Octavian, Grace Carter, Kojey Radical, Sam Fender, L Devine, Dermot Kennedy, Samm Henshaw and Jade Bird.

This list has been compiled by YouTube Music based on a variety of factors, including YouTube views, engagement from global music fans and YouTube Music analytics.

slowthai said: “It’s a blessing to be shortlisted by YouTube Music for Ones to Watch in 2019. Love to YouTube and everyone else supporting me.”

The list is dominated by a mix of individual singer-songwriters and is notable for not featuring any groups, comprising ten solo artists – reflective by trends, views and insights on YouTube.

Over the course of the past year, slowthai has released a steady string of singles including ‘North Nights’ / ‘The Bottom’, ‘Ladies’, ‘Drug Dealer’ and ‘Rainbow’ – mixing rap, grime and garage influences.

In October, slowthai announced the Brexit Bandit tour which will see him play across the UK and Europe in March and April next year.

While there’s no Northamptonshire gig, the closest the tour comes is Birmingham’s O2 Institute on Wednesday, March 27th.

For more details, visit https://slowthai.com and https://www.youtube.com/user/slowthai

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New Slowthai tour announced

Northampton rapper Slowthai‘s exponential rise continues with the announcement of his biggest headline shows to date next March. The ‘Brexit Bandit’ tour begins in mainland Europe, then heads to: March…

Northampton rapper Slowthai‘s exponential rise continues with the announcement of his biggest headline shows to date next March.

The ‘Brexit Bandit’ tour begins in mainland Europe, then heads to:
March 26th: Glasgow SWG3
March 27th: Birmingham 02 Institute
March 28th: Manchester 02 Ritz
March 29th: Bristol SWX
March 31st: Brighton Concorde 2
April 1st: London York Hall

Dice pre-sale is open now here, and general sale happens from tomorrow [Friday October 26th] at 10am.

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New Music Friday: Mio Flux

Mio Flux (aka Jacob Bartoli) is a Northampton electronic producer, who is working alongside Patchy, The Rockstar on many of his collaborations. ‘SNL’ is the latest single to drop, and…

Mio Flux (aka Jacob Bartoli) is a Northampton electronic producer, who is working alongside Patchy, The Rockstar on many of his collaborations. ‘SNL’ is the latest single to drop, and it’s such a great tune [and Northampton love-in] that New Boots had to have a few moments with him.

How/why did you start the Mio Flux project?
I started the Mio Flux project when I was about 17. Before then I was a frontman for indie bands and indie solo projects. My laptop and software changed everything for me musically, I started to appreciate the electronic side of music and ended up totally indulged and obsessed with it. The reasoning behind Mio Flux was to be able to collaborate with as many artists as possible from all genres and mix my two musical loves together. I always wanted to do something different and original.

How would you describe your sound?
Atmospheric. I like to add multiple layers and create my own sounds that are unexpected. I think the intro for ‘Catch My Hook’ describes my sound the best; catchy melodies with bells and airy synths as an under layer. Hopefully interesting for the listener.

Who are your main influences in music? It seems to be everything from Diplo to David Bowie…
I have a wide range. I am very influenced by producers like Murda Beatz, Mike Will Made it, Diplo, Pharrel, Mark Ronson and George Martin. They are all game changing producers in their own right. However one of my strongest influences is definitely Scritti Politti from the 70/80’s. In my eyes they have a perfect combination of outstanding songwriting, production, catchy guitar/synth/bass riffs, and memorable choruses.

What was it about Patchy that attracted you to working with him?
We met working at Toys’R’Us, and he was my manager. He first did a verse on a track I was cooking up with Marcus and George from Sarpa Salpa, and from then we just clicked and began working on ‘Balmain’, and others. Our collaboration has been going on for well over a year now, and I feel we get stronger and better with every track. His hooks are unreal; every single one of them is as catchy as the last.

What was the reaction like to [previous single] ‘Sabo’?
Fantastic, every show without fail people know the chorus [it’s not too complex], so it seems to be a really uplifting song in our set that injects energy into the crowd. It’s a song I always compare our new tracks too, to see if they have the same energy on stage.

Tell us about this new release, ‘SNL’.
The single started by Patchy and I wanting to sample guitars and really demonstrate there’s more to rap than just the beats and repetitive melodies. So we went through a few bands we know in Northampton and ‘She Never Lies’ by Sarpa Salpa stood out. SNL consists of Sarpa’s guitar recordings over the top of a trap beat. Even Marcus’ vocals make an appearance at the end of the streaming versions of the song. We wanted to really break through new ground and collaborate with an interesting mix of genres. The video is also directed by ourselves, and edited by our regular collaborator in the States, Lil Adlib. The video carries on our theme of retro gaming. There are even scenes of me and Patchy fighting in Street Fighter 2.

What are your live shows like?
Energetic and fast paced. We like to keep a continuous flow of music so Patchy and I will talk in intros or filtered outs. This ensures the crowd are kept on their toes. It’s made for every music lover.

What has been your favourite Mio Flux moment of 2018?
Without a doubt it was mine and Patchy’s headline show at the Garibaldi. The atmosphere was unreal, everyone chanting our lyrics, I won’t forget that night for a long time. The line up was so strong too; Leo Robinson, Charlie Borthwick and Kiao opening the show and Ginger Snaps providing the after party. I can’t thank everyone enough for that night, a night I really wasn’t expecting.

What was the last thing you bought/streamed?
Anderson .Paak ‘Tints’ [featuring Kendrick Lemar]. The single has got me really excited for his new album to drop. He’s definitely someone I would love to work with.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Patchy and I are building up enough quality music to be able to release a joint mixtape, and hopefully go on tour with it. I want to keep our momentum flowing with singles and videos beforehand. Also I have nearly finished a collaboration with The Barratts: if you love ‘The Garrison’, I hope you love the remix too.

SNL is out now on the usual digital platforms

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Live Review: Slowthai

SLOWTHAI The Black Prince, Northampton Friday October 5th N-Town-raised rapper/grime artist on the rise, Slowthai (born Tyron Frampton), is destined for greatness as is evident at his show at The…

SLOWTHAI
The Black Prince, Northampton
Friday October 5th

N-Town-raised rapper/grime artist on the rise, Slowthai (born Tyron Frampton), is destined for greatness as is evident at his show at The Black Prince tonight. Announced months ago the gig is shrouded in secrecy, the venue only announced the day before, and sold out long before that. The Black Prince is the perfect venue for this gig.

The dark, hot, sticky-floored venue is ideal for the heavy, piercing and percussive performance, akin to early Dizzee Rascal (an easy comparison, but true), spat with equal parts venom and love to a crowd that resembles more ’80s punk than anything else.

He climbs the speakers, loses some clothes, throws some drinks, crowd surfs, moshes, heckles, and spreads love to his family. Slowthai’s encouragement to the people at the front to stare at the people just “standing there” at the back is some Jedi mind trick that makes your correspondent (just standing there, at the back) feel both annoyed at being called out, and, opposingly, want to be in with the crew at the front.

The music production is heavy and tight, minimal hip-hop/trap flavoured, but well layered and with just enough melody to emphasise the vocals without drowning them. That’s good because you need to hear these lyrics, they are powerful.

Anyone that gets a crowd chanting ‘NN’ is good. We are all products of our environment, and NN is mine, Slowthai’s, and yours. I didn’t know too much of Slowthai before attending this gig, but now I’m a fan.

NN.

Josh Astrop

 

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New Music Friday: Weirdoe

Grime artist Weirdoe has been busy in 2018, putting out singles and EPs like nobody’s business. ‘Shepherd’ is the latest one. New Boots caught up with him for a chat….

Grime artist Weirdoe has been busy in 2018, putting out singles and EPs like nobody’s business. ‘Shepherd’ is the latest one. New Boots caught up with him for a chat.

How did Weirdoe come into existence?
My names Aaron Weir, the name Weirdoe came along from childhood and I eventually just embraced the name and ran with it. It just stuck from there really.

How would you describe your sound?
I’d say unique, obviously weird and lastly real. I don’t stunt in my lyrics, I talk about my life and experiences.

Who are your main influences/heroes?
Would have to be Eminem for lyricism, but there also guys like Lil’ Wayne, Frank Ocean, Ghetto, Wiley. Russ, he influences me in the way I release my music, the guy never stops! The way Russ moves as well has made me realise that all I need to do is trust my instinct.

You’ve been quite prolific recently. What has been the reaction to the recent ‘Wasted Talent’ EP?
The reaction has been good, as expected, from the people who have followed me since the early days. I think a lot of people want to hear Weirdoe doing grime, but a lot of people have embraced the new sound and trust that I’m only going to deliver my best. I feel with the right exposure I’d get a much better response.

Tell us everything about ‘Shepherd’.
The track was made spontaneously, very in the moment. It was at the end of a studio session and Harlz was playing around with the chords and I just started humming the melody. Once the chorus was created I pretty much grasped the concept of what the song was going to be about. The song is really about people being followers, following trends, fashion etc, and I’m just giving my thoughts on it all really!

You collaborate often. How do you find yourself hooking up with, say, Harlz or Westy?
Both are different. Westy I’ve never collaborated with in person, so it was just a case of me recording over the beat. But a lot of the newer stuff with Harlz is made together in the studio which I find much better for being creative, it also means you build up certain relationships that are stronger then just over emails or social media.

Any plans for live appearances? Do you reckon what you do translates to performing in venues?
100 percent. Live shows are definitely on the cards, but right now it’s just more about recording and releasing new music so when I do put on a show people will leave satisfied. Trust me though, the shows will be epic so keep an eye out for dates.

What has been your favourite Weirdoe moment to date?
For me, it was my grime clash on ‘Don’t Flop’. I met a lot of people through that and did a lot of networking! There’s been quite a few though, such as when my first single and EP was available on iTunes, and my JDZ videos on YouTube [see one below] getting the response they did.

Who are you listening to currently?
Right now I’m listening to Brockhampton, but recently I’ve been going back to a lot of old school grime such as Roll Deep ‘Sidewinder’ sets. Except for the ones mentioned I try not listen to the same artists to much, I like to take away certain ideas from tracks but overall I want my music to very much sound like me.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
My burning desire is always to impress myself, to an extent where I no longer need to succeed, more just the case that I have succeeded. You won’t be able to top that. But the music and videos are going to keep coming, I want everyone to know who Weirdoe is.

 

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New Music Friday: Patchy, The Rockstar

Rapper Patchy, The Rockstar dropped his latest single ‘Shtick’ and New Boots was impressed enough to want to discover the back story of, and future for, the prolific artiste. How did…

Rapper Patchy, The Rockstar dropped his latest single ‘Shtick’ and New Boots was impressed enough to want to discover the back story of, and future for, the prolific artiste.

How did Patchy, The Rockstar come into existence?
I have been making music since I was 11, and up until the start of last year I was terrified of peoples opinions. I was scared of not impressing the people close to me like my friends and family, so I only shared my early music online under loads of different nicknames and then for the past few years had only been producing beats. I finally built up the courage to talk to people about my love for making music last year, and I began releasing original music as Patchy, The Rockstar.

How would you describe your sound?
A blend of modern hip-hop and emotional rock music. But I have versatility and a range of styles to display how I’m feeling when I create music.

Who are your main influences/heroes?
I can thank my Dad and his jazz-funk records for my earliest influences; Roy Ayers and The Crusaders come to mind. My Dad bought me my first CD when I was 7 which was Shaggy’s Hot Shot album. Then I began buying albums with my pocket money from there: Nas, Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, Linkin Park, Paparoach and more. My favourite artist right now is Tyler, The Creator.

You’ve been quite prolific over the past few years. What has been the reaction to the previous Soundcloud uploads?
I started as a music producer and built up quite a lot of attention by entering beat competitions, where you would download the acapella to an original track and make your own beat. I never won but gained so much attention for it.

Tell us everything about ‘Shtick’.
‘Shtick’ came about so spontaneously. It’s produced by Ethancx, a guy I’ve worked with quite a bit over the past year and as soon as I heard the beat I jumped on it straight away. It took me about an hour or so after I heard it to write to it, record it, mix it and master it. That’s my favourite way to make music when it’s spontaneous like that, I always enjoy the end product more.

You collaborate often. How do you find yourself hooking up with, say, Mio Flux?
It is quite mad when I think about how we met. I was actually his manager at Toys R’ Us. Sadly Toys R’ Us is no longer with us. I guess everything happens for a reason. I can’t remember how the dialogue went but we found out that we were both making music, he was producing and I was finally confident enough to tell people I rapped and sang a bit. So we hooked up on a song called ‘Balmain’ and people seemed to love it and everything developed from there.

What are your live shows with Mio Flux like?
Insane. A must-watch. We promise energy, fun and a good time regardless of what type of music your into.

Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We recently hooked up with Sarpa Salpa and have had the pleasure of working with them on something very special, which I’m really excited to share soon. I’m really enjoying watching their rise to success at the moment.

What has been your favourite Patchy moment to date?
When Mio Flux and I had our debut live show at The Garibaldi Hotel in Northampton, it was an instant classic. We never imagined it would turn out how it did, but having a packed out venue jumping around like crazy and shouting our song lyrics back at us for the first time was a moment I’ll never forget.

Who are you listening to currently?
Right now I’ve got Pi’erre Bourne ‘Marie Curie’, Tyler, The Creator ‘See You Again’ and J-Hus ‘Dark Vader’ on repeat.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Big plans! I have nothing but the highest expectations for myself and plenty of drive to get myself to the top. Mio Flux included. We really want to succeed. So our debut project and a tour is next up!

‘Shtick’ is out now on all the usual downloading/streaming platforms

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Record review: P-Hex ‘Quantum Funkanics’

P-HEX QUANTUM FUNKANICS [King Genius Records] Fuck me, these lot like a good swear, don’t they? Northampton’s baggy-funk conglomerate first emerged from in a basement in the early 1990s, but…

P-HEX
QUANTUM FUNKANICS [King Genius Records]

Fuck me, these lot like a good swear, don’t they?

Northampton’s baggy-funk conglomerate first emerged from in a basement in the early 1990s, but have never until this point saw fit to release an album – instead knocking up demos as they went along. The band, formed by Steve Gordon and Paul Chant under their previous monikor Hex, have always been that less common thing, a purely live band. But once it became clear that Chant was terminally ill, it was felt by all that a full album would be a great tribute to the bassist.

The musical stylings on Quantum Funkanics are a mix of classic ’70s funk, late ’80s dance culture/hip-hop, lashings of ’90s baggy, and a little bit of the Big Beat too. Black Grape is probably the most relevant band comparison to make, but there’s also traces of Talking Heads, Parliament, Big Audio Dynamite, and Pop Will Eat Itself present too.

A lot of the fun, the heart and soul of this album comes from the duel vocal attack of Lindsay Spence [the verses, the raps] and Katie Paton [the choruses/refrains]. Between them they provide a succession of one-liners that either make you think a little deeper, or just elicit a belly laugh. Not knowing which comes next is surely a significant part of the appeal. Twenty plays in and new phrases rear up that previously were missed. Indeed everywhere there’s diamonds to fill your new boots with. Stories of wasters and scoundrels doing their thing could be deemed ‘cartoon-esque’ – but this is Northampton, so most of it is probably true anyway.

And if the words of your scribe weren’t enough to have you heading to purchase, be aware that Alan Moore loves them and wrote the liner notes. And if his nibs is onboard the mothership then you should be too, pronto.

Phil Istine

Quantum Funkanics is out now here

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