Yo man, how’s things going? how are you handling the lockdown?
I’m good, thanks for asking. These are definitely times of uncertainty and typically there’s more questions than answers. With that said I’ve been knuckling down making sure everything was ready for the relaunch of Receptor Records. We’ve got Combined Mentalz, Tom Ryan and a solo project from King Latts all good to go later this year. I’ve also been working closely with Ghost and Barebeats to get the next two follow up solo projects fully blue printed.
Your new album Boombaplical drops 15th May, tell us a bit behind the title Boompablical?
Since young I’ve been in engrossed with the culture of hip hop. It definitely helped raise me growing up in London but just as importantly, it’s saved me more times than I can count. Honestly in dark times it’s been a healing power that I can’t replace. One half of my family come from a Irish Catholic background and the other half a Turkish Muslim background but neither religion quite took to me like it did to my elders. I religiously live through love peace and happiness. This project is a testament to that.
Tell us a bit more about the album artwork?
Thankfully I’m lucky enough to have quite a few talented designers in the camp. We had a couple of ideas flying around but undeniably that one stood out. It represents a left wing mind state refusing to be blinded by the bullsh**t.
Your album has been described as Neo-Boom Bap, what does that mean to you?
My sound definitely is driven by a traditional neck breaking kick and snare. However with Modern loops and chops, I look for even wider melodies to suit the raw styles we pay homage to.
Who would you cite as your main influences both inside and outside of hip hop?
Fundamentally I’m a music lover and have been since a child. I draw inspiration from so many genres across the world and have been crate diggin for many years. Away from Hip hop I’ve always kept artists like portishead, prodigy, massive attack, oasis on repeat. I grew up also around a lot of Jamaician culture and there’s numerous artist I listen to across the reggae scene. In regards to the hip hop culture directly, what I will say is that I’m huge fan first and get inspired nearly everyday by discovering new artists. My first two tapes were BDP live and Amerikkkas most wanted and I think you can definitely hear both those records influence in my music even now.
You’ve got some heavyweight producers on the album, tell us about who produced it and what process of making the album?
Appreciate the acknowledgment and yeah I definitely wanted to work with some of the dope producers and good friends I’ve had around me for years. I met Barebeats whilst I was living in east London back in 2002. He set the tone of the project with the intro and we both knew there was only one direction diamond cutta would take. Illternal beats aka markie4eyez aka IBC Grand master, is an elder I’ve looked up to since school. He produced Mr S-y-n and has been tailoring beats for me for years. King Kashmere is a man who needs no introduction however, we both go back to the mid 90’s where we started to really craft our skills on the mic and the boards. Faulty clicks is a producer from London and although not directly linked with Receptor, his work with other artists speaks for it self….Certified monster with it! Ghost goes back with receptor since it’s creation and is an absolute legend in his own right. I made up the rest of the project with production straight from my MPC.
You mentioned Kashmere, and the album is dropping on Receptor records, What was the main catalyst behind the rebirth of the label?
It was a label established back in 2003 by a man named Tom Browne with the sole purpose to try and put on the talent he had around him daily. The music industry was very different back then and it never stopped his drive to want to put his people on. Sadly he took his own life struggling with the pressures of what life had to throw at him but he left a legacy we won’t ever forget. Nearly 6 years later, Kashmere and myself spoke about using his vision + energy again and honour him through the best way we know how. Music.
What advice would you give people to stay sane for the remainder of the lock down?
Ultimately stay safe and always think of others. I’ve been encouraging a lot of people around me to find a creative spark where possible and use these unique times to create some truly unique art.