First up, tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Ryan with a silent B. I am from sunny Ipswich Town. I support Liverpool. And I shout words that rhyme at people from a higher level of ground.
The new project ‘Die Shabby’ is out now, how did it come together?
It was a journey. A long, blurred journey which involved 2 hospital trips in two different cities. But it was really fun to create. I actually made the project 2-3 times, because it came out not quite how we wanted it but we got there. I am really happy with i now for sure.
Tell us about the title, and the concept behind the project.
Well basically I was in a real bad state at the time, which involved a lot of substance & alcohol abuse, also just making really bad decisions in life in general. So it was a project that involved me finding a lot out about weakness & addiction, and killing that personality off. So although it seems like a dark project, it actually has a really positive message.
The majority of Die Shabby is produced by Verb T, but you’ve got a few different producers on there, how do you go about beat selection, and selecting producers to work with on a project
I just wanted it to fit the story. So selecting the beats was actually an easy process, because I had the vibe in my head and I just rolled with it. Then I had the expertise of Swerve T with moulding it all together, which made it all so much easier. The beats from Forrest Moon on the project just picked themselves cos he was one of my closest friends so I am with him on a daily pretty much and we make loads of cool shit, those just happened to be 2 of them.
Whats the furthest thing from Hip Hop you take influence from?
Most of my musical influences didn’t actually come from Hip-Hop. My parents listened to a lot of punk, soul & corny smooth R&B which actually fucking banged. Heads like Maxwell, Vandross, Badu etc. But my first inspirations from rap music were Doom, Nas, Andre 3000 those really creative wordplay kind of dudes.
Your writing is quite abstract, yet reflective, it’s a weird balance but it works really well, is that something you’re aware of while you’re writing, or does it just sort of come out like that?
My writing process is actually so weird, other people I have worked with who have seen me write get annoyed because I tend to write my verse or whatever without a beat. I will play the beat a few times so I get the feel, then go off and write the ideas down and then gel it all together with the tempo. That way I won’t over play the beat and I don’t lose any love for it, if you get me. If I explained some of the metaphorical wizardry I jot down. you would realise what I’m saying is actually just everyday shit. I just try find an interesting way to explain it without it sounding like a nursery rhyme.
What’s next for you?
Next for me is my debut album. Which is going to be like my baby, I’m excited to start working on it. And just as many shows as my body will allow me to participate in, I love playing live. It’s good exercise.
Give us a tip for 2018
Stay away from prescription drugs.
Shout out my Ma. Shout out the entire team, lost £England and everyone at In The Balance Records. We are coming.
Die Shabby is out now on In The Balance Records, and available to buy from Bandcamp – below, and stream on all the usual platforms