MEZZO

GETTING CREDIT

London-based rapper, producer and instrumentalist speaks on his latest single 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', creating his vibrant narratives within his debut EP and the importance of visuals to his music. 

What was the inspiration for your latest single ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’?


This song’s about how a good girl can make you feel as a man. Artist’s tend to talk about women and sex a lot in their music, especially in hip-hop and R&B. It’s a really common theme; with 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' I’ve tried to delve deeper into that topic, lyrically and sonically.


Sonically, what was the mood that you were going for and how was the process of creating the track?


I was going for a real laid back, vintage feel when making this track. I wanted the instrumental to match the mood of the lyrics in a way that would tie the whole piece together. In terms of creating the track, it was a really interesting process. At the time I made the song we were in the middle of lockdown; I had no way of getting to the studio and recording with my band. So I had to make do and play all the instrumental part’s in my little bedroom studio. Although the process was much longer, it allowed me to create each part of the song exactly how I heard it in my head. In a way this made the track a much more personal piece as everything your hearing is coming from me.


What was the overall theme of your debut project ‘Roses out the Concrete’?


'Roses out the Concrete' is a portrayal of the criminal aspect of life growing up in East London, as a young black man. With this short project I wanted to make something that truly represented all parts of a lifestyle that often get’s glorified. As someone who’s seen first hand and been involved in all the bull shit that comes with growing up in the end’s, the project served as an outlet for me to get some of those experiences out.

"This project cover’s an ugly topic, so I wanted to take that energy and put it into the music."

What was inspiring your sound for that project and what did you want your listeners to take away from the EP?


This project cover’s an ugly topic, so I wanted to take that energy and put it into the music. However, I also wanted to portray how out of that ugliness can come beauty and greatness (hence the title 'Roses out the Concrete'). To do this I took a lot of inspiration from different types of music; for example in the intro track ‘Rise Above’ I played some light guitar chords over some heavy trap drums, creating a contrast between light and dark. Or in the ‘Romance De Amor’ skit, (which is actually a classical guitar piece) I’ve created a scene of a trap house that’s about to get raided.


Who did the artwork for the project and how important are visuals to your music?


I created the artwork for the project, as I often do. Visuals are a really important aspect of my work which is why I’ve got to really trust anyone who’s working on them with me.

 

How have you been staying creative during lockdown?

Obviously, I’ve been making loads of new music, trying to work on my guitar and just hone my craft in general. But when I’m not doing music I skateboard to give my ears a break. Skating is really creative in a different way to music, you get to re imagine landscapes and use them in ways that no one else has thought of (before security come’s to kick you out!).

"I’m able to think of melodies in a unique way and bring live instrument’s into my music..."

How did your collaboration with Fouray on ‘Flawless Blue’ come about and what was the inspiration for the track and its distinctive production?


Fouray’s my guy man. We use to go secondary school together so we’ve kinda seen each other grow as artist’s form when we both started out. I made the beat and instantly knew I wanted him on it, which is crazy because I posted a preview of it on my snap before telling him and he messaged me like “bro, I need to get on that”. I sampled the piano from an old, jazz record which is why it sounds so grainy and old school, and the bass sound is curtesy of my boy Manny.


How do you feel being an instrumentalist aids your creativity when producing?


It definitely help’s a lot with making beat’s. I’m able to think of melodies in a unique way and bring live instrument’s into my music which not many people are doing in the UK scene at the moment.

 

 

"I’m really into heavy metal as well, as a guitarist I think that’s some of the most technical and energetic music you can play."

Who are some of your biggest influence’s when it comes to guitar?


My guitar hero is Jimi Hendrix without a doubt. The way he was able to express emotion through his playing was god like. I’m really into heavy metal as well, as a guitarist I think that’s some of the most technical and energetic music you can play so I love guys like Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield from Metallica. There’s too many to list here though.

Are you currently working towards a project or any upcoming singles?


I've got a lot of singles to drop all coming very soon. I’m also working on a couple of visuals which I’m really excited for so stay tuned.


Which artists first inspired you to get into music and which artists are inspiring you today?


Again, I’ve gotta thank Hendrix for getting me into music. I probably don’t have any bigger influence than him. some artists that inspire me today are SiR, Anderson .Paak, Smino, Saba and Isaiah Rashad. I’d love to work with all of them some day.


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

Ah that’s tough to keep it to just five.

 

Okay first I’d have to say Lord Apex; he’s probably my favourite UK artist at the moment.

 

Recently I’ve been banging out D’Angelo, especially his album Voodoo.

 

Noname is crazy, go listen to her album Telefone.

 

If you listen to mainly hip-hop and rap and you wanna get into something a bit different I recommend Joy Division, their album 'Unknown Pleasures' is an all time classic.

 

And Deftones; another band to listen to if you want something a little different.

 What’s coming up for the rest of 2020?

Bangers on bangers man. Ima be dropping hella new material ready for when we can play live again so be ready. Can’t wait for you guys to hear what’s next!

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