Yo man, thanks for taking the time to talk with us, safe to say any of our readers will have come across your work, but for anyone that doesn’t know, tell us about Sektion Red?
Thanks for the intro, Sektion Red has been filming hip hop all over Europe and occasionally in the US since 2012 and distributing our content through the platform. After some years grinding we’re now growing pretty fast internationally in terms of numbers and reputation, I think having passion for the projects we release and quality control is the key. A year ago we launched the clothing range, and now we’ve just dropped our first album.
Looks like it’s been a busy couple of years, what was the driving force behind the creation of The Red Album and how long has it been in the making?
Over the years I’ve been travelling shooting music videos all over Europe, I started to see parallels and connect dots between artists who may not know each other, with not much crossover fan bases, but who would make dope music together. I felt like I was in the best position to link it all together, so I did. For the audience to discover new international artists that they may not come across otherwise and for the artists to receive a deserved wider interest, bookings and sales. Some of the national independent scenes are only so big, but when you add them all up from various European countries it becomes a much more interesting market for all of us.
The album features mc’s from 15 different countries and has 7 different producers, as the executive producer how did you go about the tracklisting and creating a full length album while maintaining a consistent sound that gels together as a project?
I put it together based on what I like, the MC’s, themes, videos, artwork, everything. That’s the way Sektion Red has grown, no second guessing the audience, putting out what I believe in and letting people who have the same taste gravitate towards it. So those who have been enjoying Sektion Red for a while will love this album. To give it all the same finish Danny Habitus and I sat in his studio, Dusty Sounds Studios, and he mixed and mastered the whole project.
Each track on the album has a video that will be dropping over the next couple of months, shot all over Europe, what’s the craziest shit that happened on a video shoot or on your travels in general?
Ahhh at some point I need to write a book about all these stories from about 10 years shooting music videos. I’m not sure which has been the craziest, but I am sure I shouldn’t mention a lot of them in print! When I was shooting the latest single from the album ‘Street Fighter’ with the Estonian rapper Utoopia, we met in Riga (Latvia) to shoot his verse, we wanted some scenes of the police looking for him, so decided to instigate a game of hide and seek, we found the nearest police station and loudly snuck into the car park, Utoopia crouched behind the ‘Policija’ vans and shuffled around, badly hiding behind trees so he was still visible, me all the while filming, we did this for about 5 minutes until some officers took the bait and came outside to investigate, so now I’m filming them and he’s still hiding, they came over and asked what I was doing in Latvian, ‘filming’ I replied very innocently, playing the dumb tourist card, they left and a few minutes later came back with a few more officers and seemed more serious, now we were getting some great footage. I realised we had footage on the camera from a previous scene which showed Utoopia with an AK47, completely legally, but decided we had what we needed and unsure of the laws in Latvia didn’t want to risk them taking the camera and looking through what was on there so hopped in the car and left.
You’ve been travelling around Europe doing your thing for a while now, how do you find UK Hip Hop is received across the continent?
In most European countries there’s a lot of respect and acknowledgement of UK hip hop. Not all, but I think a lot of UK artists don’t realise how lucky they are to be rapping in such a universal language. To be understood by a majority of hip hop fans is a big advantage. A lot of the MC’s are massive in their own countries amongst native speakers but have less exposure and opportunity to grow outside of their borders, so to amend this one of the important aspects of the album is to have the videos, so you can see the environments and people, to help better showcase the vibe and feel of their music.
But, the audience that has grown with Sektion Red appreciate the feel of the music, if you can feel it it’s deeper than just following the words, look through the comments of any of our international videos, you’ll likely see something along the lines of ‘respect from Croatia’, or ‘Biggup from Greece, I don’t understand a word but it’s dope’. So your mother tongue language is a factor, but the uniqueness, integrity and skills are the most important. The audience is smart, they can tell who’s being real and who isn’t.
Lastly, any shoutouts?
Yeah there’s more than a few: Eve, Ria, Corpy Connie, Bexter, Nick, Crumble, Ismini, Max, Emm, Coco, Jem, Mariana, JKB, Habitus, Greeny, Talia.
The Red Album is out now on limited edition red vinyl, CD and digitally
Photo credit: Eve Whitehouse