London's genre-bending and all-encompassing artist chats about his latest project 'BTO!', creating his incredible visual 'ọlọtẹ' and how important narratives are to challenging himself musically. 

What was the inspiration for your recent single ‘4LeafClover’ and how did it work as an introduction to the forthcoming EP?

'4LC' was inspired by a lot of indie music I was listening to at the time, paired with a lot of the trap music I was also listening to. I wanted to group the two genres and formulate something instrumentally that I felt hadn't existed yet, content wise it was a lot of afro-pessimism & illustration of my environment. 

How did the creative process of this upcoming project differ from your debut?


The process was different as it was more of me trying to pinpoint the root causes of my angers and frustrations and attempting to illustrate them as opposed to just illustrating how I felt. There was a lot more intricate soul searching.

What were the main narratives you wanted to explore on ‘Dynasty Program’?

'Dynasty' was a lot of self-expression. I feel like 'BTO!' is more self-exploration. There were so many things I was exploring in dynasty such as love, mental health, race etc and how that all tied together. 

"Narratives make writing more difficult for me as well ... It’s easy to write for the sake of writing."

Can you explain a little further about the full title and exactly what the inspiration behind that was?

I love sci-fi films, I always want my projects to feel like that, you know? The title was setting the scene. 

How important is it for you to remain a storyteller in your music in order to create a narrative for escapism?

Extremely important. I think the stories told to me growing up whether through word of mouth, TV, music, etc assisted heavily in shaping my perspective and I feel like it’s something that will always be important not only to me. Narratives make writing more difficult for me as well. It’s easy to write for the sake of writing, but writing to tie things in together allows me to gain a lot more.

How has your sound evolved with this forthcoming EP and what are the main narratives that you wanted to explore on the project?

The sounds are a lot more tight. I feel like with dynasty I was very free with the sounds that I would blend with hip hop. But this time I kind of wanted it to be indie and trap specifically!

"Sonically, the mood is everything, what feeling am I trying to convey is always in my head!"

How was the process of working on the short film alongside Fidel?


Fidel & I tend to keep our process secretive as possible, but I do love working with him so much, definitely one of my favourite parts of making period. 


Who do you work with on your music videos and what has been your favourite to create, so far?

I work with Fidel & also Tieler on this visual, who are both amazingly talented . My favourite part of this shoot specifically where were the guy gets stuffed into the boot of the car, I thought that was pretty cool and it was funny to shoot.

"I want my writing to sound like dialogue ... punchlines are cool but illustration of narratives & setting scenes are way more appealing to me."

When did you first get into producing?

I started producing in 2018. It’s weird to think it still hasn't been two entire years yet. But yeah, I got tired of looking on youtube for 10 hours for beats…

How does being a producer as well as a writer enable you more freedom when creating music?

There are a lot if things as a producer that you have to strip back on to allow the artist space to rap on. I say fuck all of that and make beats that are purposefully kinda hard to go - one, its more challenging for me as a writer but it brings me more satisfaction pulling it off.

What would be your top three tips for producers starting out?

1) don't listen to anyone's tips
2) don't listen to any rap music after you’ve learnt all the conventions
3) the conventions suck


Just go and do it basically.

Sonically, do you focus on creating a certain type of genre or more so on creating an atmosphere/mood within your production?

Sonically, the mood is everything, what feeling am I trying to convey is always in my head!

Lyrically, who/what are your main influences?

Lyrically, I would say films scripts are very dramatic. I want my writing to sound like dialogue. I think people like MF doom do that sooo well, punchlines are cool but illustration of narratives & setting scenes are way more appealing to me.

Who did you work with for your ‘Dynasty Program’ artwork and what were the inspirations?

Art work was done by Eric and it was inspired by a lot of 70s sci-fi artwork! Eric is amazing. I used to want to be a graphic designer but Eric was one of the people that made me quit because he was too good haha! I couldn’t imagine being in the same industry as that guy man.

Which artists inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?

I think initially artists like Kanye & Bon Iver got me into music but famous artists inspire me less and less nowadays. It's more so the artists in my proximity that inspire me recently. For example Eric who does my cover art and my other friends who paint and do graphic design.

If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would they be?

5 artists, MF DOOM, JPEGMAFIA, Kate Bush, Phoenix & Teni

What’s coming up for the rest of 2020?

2020 we’ve had 'BTO!' and the short film dropping… but this is all a warm up for 2021!

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