2010 is already set to be a prosperous year for UK music and what better way to start the New Year than with Genesis Elijah, the British Hip Hop Repertoire. It’s been a minute since the blessing of G.E music, but although our musical taste buds have been starved Genesis Elijah hasn’t neglected his premature iconic role. International tours, collaborations, charity campaigns, adverts, new clothing line…as well as banging out new projects in the lab, Genesis Elijah has officially marked his goals with the conclusion of world domination.
‘This Is His Hustle’.
Hey Gen, it’s been a while since we spoke to you @ UKHH.Com, how you doing?
I’m better than good sis. I’m great right now!
Last time we spoke you were promoting ‘The Industrial Revolution Mix CD’, which was a good 2 years ago. Where did you disappear to?!
Well it came out in 2006 and I spent a year selling it on road and another year spending all the money I made. I needed a break to be honest. I knew that if I wanted any chance of making it I would need to put 100% in and I just didn’t have it in me to go all out. I’d recorded so much music and to have producers long you out is really soul destroying. I needed time to just regroup and get the right people around me.
Taking that absence into consideration, you’re dominating the internet right now with the promotion of ‘I’m Doing It’ and previous track ‘Whatcha Say (Remix)’. Social sites, blogs, forums have your name everywhere! Where’s the enthusiastic-motivation come from?
I’m supposed to be at the top. At least that’s the way I see it. I came up around Sway and Estelle so I look at where they are and I figure they’re keeping my spot warm and all I gotta do is go get it. I truly believe that all I need is one good year with about 5 videos and 2 or 3 releases then I’ll be real close to where I wanna be. I’m real focused right now and I’ve surrounded myself with people that want success as much as I do. Another factor is that I’m really loving UK Hip-Hop and Grime now. There’s a lot of talent out there so they’re pushing me to step my game up.
Your iphone is yah baby right now!
It was until I got my laptop (I say mine but it actually belongs to my Mrs). I never had that much access to the net in 2008 so I wasn’t able to promote myself online or even contact people in the industry. Right now I’m online 24/7 so I’m real easy to get hold of right now.
Loving the ‘I’m Doing It’ tune and video, def sounds like projects are being wrapped up. And when I heard the ‘Watcha Say’ track it was like ‘GENESIS ELIJAH IS BACK BITCHES!’ Will the tracks be featured on full projects?
I’m gonna throw ‘I’m Doing It’ on the ‘This Is My Hustle’ mixtape but to honest I didn’t think it would get as big as it’s got. That was the 38th track I had recorded and I was pissed that I’d made all this music and no one had heard anything so I just wanted to throw something out real quick while people were looking in my direction. I’ve learnt that if you want something done you really have to do it yourself…or put a gun to someone’s head.
So what are the projects you’re working on right now?
Well the ‘Civil Unrest’ EP is mixed, mastered and the art work’s done so that should be out in Feb. The video for the single ‘Power’ should be out a little before that. The second EP ‘Before I Was Famous’ is getting mixed right now so will probably be out a little later. Both will be available from iTunes.
When are you hoping to set official release dates?
I’d like to have everything set in stone by Jan. It’s hard in this business to get anything concrete until last minute but as I’m learning I’m becoming a bit more professional.
What should your fans be expecting from the new projects?
They can expect good music. I won’t always do what you expect me to do but whatever I do you can know it will be of a high standard and it won’t be you’re average Hip-Hop/Grime.
You released the ‘Deh Pon Road’ album and ‘Industrial Revolution’ mix CD on hard copy, do you have a different tactic into marketing forthcoming projects more online/digitally?
We’re gonna hit both. I love the fact that I can reach people from the comfort of my living room but it’s good to have a few hard copies out there. It’s hard to believe that in this day and age there are still a lot of people that don’t have access to the net. There’s too much money to be made from street sales for me to not go after that market.
Is there a disadvantage to online marketing and sales?
Yeah but it’s the same in any field. Eventually people become immune to the email’s and posts that you put up. You really need to approach people on a more personal level and yes it takes longer but that’s the game. I love pushing my music online and I love the fact that the supporters (I don’t have fans) can get hold of me if they need to.
Having been in the game for a few years now and successfully released projects, what have you seen change in the industry and how will you be compromising these changes with your own projects?
Music sales are pretty much dead. You have to accept that as soon as it’s released on the net then someone’s gonna put up a free link to it. I don’t get mad cos it is what it is. I think the way that an artist is gonna make his or her money now is through the live shows and merchandise. I think it’s cool though cos if you think about it anyone can put out a tune or a free mixtape and get their video on AKA but if it isn’t good then no one’s gonna go see em or buy their merchandise and sooner or later they’ll get the message that this ain’t for them leaving the game for the real artist.
The UK market is rapidly growing and there seems to be more and more vacancies in the mainstream for more ‘urban’ artists, will you be compromising your own sound to accommodate this?
No. I just do what I feel like doing. I’d do pop if I thought it sounded good. Michael Jackson did pop, Stevie Wonder did pop & Jimmy Hendrix and The Beatles did pop. I would never do something because everyone else is doing it but I want my music to be pop. I want my music to be popular but I can’t do what they call pop, they gotta call pop what I do…If that makes sense.
What are your views on some of the current chart artists?
I look at it in two ways. First I love the fact that these young guys are out there getting money and feeding their families but musically most of the urban artists are putting out garbage. I won’t even download that shit illegally and would never go to any of their shows. But fuck it, they ain’t selling crack to kids so…wait they kind of are…Fuck it. That’s the fucked up world we live in.
You’re currently promoting the This Is My Hustle tour in aim to promote forthcoming projects, do you have any dates set?
We’ve got a few UK ones but we’re pretty much set for Australia & New Zealand for late 2010. The tour actually started to push a clothing company I started (This Is My Hustle Clothing) but then the music thing really started taking off so yeah I’m pushing the new music projects too.
Talking of tours, not a lot of people realise since your last release you’ve been touring internationally with electronic/house band Atomic Hooligan. Having to perform to a crowd with a ‘cross-genre’ musical tastes how have they reacted to your music?
Those crowds are on some different shit! They just come out to have a good time. There’s no attitude in the clubs and the vibe is just sick. It’s changed my outlook on the music I make because I realise that the message you put attracts certain people. Put out waste music and you’ll attract waste men.
What have you learnt about your music since touring?
I’ve learnt that it’s good to make music for your core audience but you need to do it in a way that people from all walks of life can relate to. Music is a universal language so you need to take advantage of that fact. I make music for people in the streets but even if you’d never been a part of that life you can see it and understand what it feels like to live that life.
Where have been the most memorable performances to date?
All the Spain gigs were epic and Glastonbury’s always a mad one. Any time there’s over 1000 people in the crowd it’s pretty much gonna be a special experience.
What’s you’re ultimate destination to be touring?
I’ve got two! Japan and Dubai! Should be doing a support show in Dubai soon but ain’t had any offers from Japan yet. To me the best part of this business is getting to travel around the world. A lot of the time we normally go from the Airport to the Hotel then to the show but this year I really wanna make sure I get to see the places I travel to.
You’ve been involved in campaigns as well over the last couple of years; KNICE, PUMA and BET UK launch…anything else up yah sleeve?!
Nah not yet. Early day’s though. Nike, Apple, holla at ya boy!!
What’s been your biggest obstacle to date and how are you planning to overcome it?
I’m my biggest obstacle and I think I’ve realised that positive thought is the answer to all my problems. I know I’ll always have haters and I’ve learnt to use them to fuel my fire. Negative comments really used to effect me but I’ve seen how bigger artist deal with it and I’ve learned to laugh at them. It’s like Katt Williams said “The hater IS the joke”. You’re supposed to find these fools amusing.
Music is the one of the only constant things in life. I need music to survive and I need to make music to keep me sane. Obviously at this level there’s a lot of hype and I understand that I’m in the entertainment business but when you strip all the bullshit away it’s just me and you having a conversation. I got a line in one of my songs where I say “I turn my music up to drown out my girl, hit the road turn my iPod up to drown out the world” and that’s what music allows you to do. It allows you to escape. I love all sorts of music from Rock to Classical but at this point in my life Hip-Hop allows me to express myself in the way I feel I need to. Music’s the truth. The person singing it maybe lying but in the song it’s the truth.
Give us 6 bars as to why we should be listening to Genesis Elijah music!!
6? Nah it’s gotta be 8! I’ve never written a rap for a interview before but here goes..
How can you not be, listening to the only thing hot these
bars are like lava you’d need an army to stop me.
I spot these spotty teenagers leave em all knocked kneed
I’m on street yes I’m still dealing but now I shot these.
CD’s, see these bars are my therapy keep you’re blood money
cos a beat is all I’ll ever need.
I put my soul into the music and intern the music sets it free
you’ll remember that feeling even if you don’t remember me.
Damn. That’s quite good. Might have to put it on a track!
What’s set for 2010?
I’m just going in. I’m gonna do everything in my power to make sure that I’m at forefront of the scene. I’m not wasting any opportunities and I’m not wasting anytime. If you’re about your business then holla at me.
Of course you Nina can’t big you up enough. Shout to Tom Sweetman, Shout to Kyza at One Time Records, Shout to my girl and my kids and Shout to all my of my supporters! Nuff love! Please make sure you check for This Is My Hustle Clothing and holla at me on all the links below!
Thanks for your time and we wish you the very best for the New Year!
Genesis Elijah & Beezwax 5 track ‘Civil Unrest’ EP is out 1st Feb, check the blogspot link for more