How did you first get into music?
At school I was seeing loads of people go into some room, and I was like “what’s all the hype about, why are people just gassed going into a room?” So I walked in there and there were two guys that were good friends and they were producing and had people excited about their music. Not in a rude way, but I listened to it, and I was like, “this is not hard. I can go harder than this, why is everyone gassed over this?” I was like, “let me just ask one question, what programme are you using?” I found out what programme they were using, and I just went away, downloaded it, and started making beats. Then it was just a wrap from there. I overtook them in terms of ability, and just went from there. I ended up getting attached to Unit 10 Studios, which is where Giggs came from.
The fact that you produce your own music suggests that working as an autonomous artist is important to you. I was wondering how you balance being completely independent, and taking inspiration from and collaborating with other artists?
Yeah, it's a challenging one. When I've been collaborating with artists I treat it like I’m a producer. So I’ll come with the foundation and the basis, like when I collaborated with Big Chess, I made the beat, I sang the hook, I wrote my verse, and I sent it to him. It was done, all it needed was his blessing of a verse on it. Same way I did with Yung Saber, the exact same process: I made the full track, and then I just left the verse free for him. I was like, “yo, do you wanna jump on this?” He was like “yeah, it’s hard I’ll jump on it”. So that's how I balanced it. It’s just like, let me go to them with something that's already going to make them feel like they're joining something that sounds good, and that’s already ready to go.
You’ve worked as a producer with some really talented rappers - is there anyone who’s had a strong impact on you?
I’d definitely say Giggs. Giggs is the most hard
working and talented person I’ve met. His mentality, and
ability to look in the future, like “I'm going to do this
on this song because I feel like it's going to impact
in this way” or “it's going to make people understand
this”. Just seeing him go in the studio and write on
the spot as well. Just watching him taught me a lot,
people don't see how hard he works. He works
extremely hard, he’ll be up at all sorts of hours making
the music with everyone in the studio, go to a show. Then in the
day he's doing x, y, z for his music, his artist side of
things, whether that's press runs or whatever. And
then in the evening, again, he's back in the studio.
He’s a machine. I’ve seen Artists make a lot of sacrifices with their personal life. Personally, I’ve had to make sacrifices including relationships and my time - the things that keep me or anyone sane. I know it will be worth it in the end though.
I think the lyrics in the track “To The Bag” are really interesting, how it's all about staying focused on your success and goals, despite all the people and forces against you. Were those lyrics coming from personal experience?
Yeah, always, always. To be perfectly honest with
you, for me to do music it feels like I'm always
fighting against a grain of some sort. I guess most
musicians have the same experience, whether
that's just real life getting at you, or that’s people
and circumstances. It's just about fighting through it, trying to not think about it too much and staying
positive. I guess that's what that song is about. It
doesn't matter what you try and throw at me, I'm
going to get to the bag, I'm going to do what
I’m destined to.