Verb T & Pitch 92 – Good Evening

Hip Hop article, U.K HipHop Artist

In a Parisian record store, Verb T and Pitch 92 rummage through crates of records while on their French Tour for their album Good Evening. It is between these four walls that their musical union is apparent. An activity that highlights their creative collaboration allowing smooth cooperation due to their similar musical ideals.

With Pitch’s smooth beats, Verb T approaches confidently by forging a diverse range of rigorous bars, creating a lyrically skilled album. It was while Verb T was touring with the Four Owls and Pitch the Mouse Outfit that the two met, creating an instinctive alliance of minds and music tastes. From then, this musical encounter would create a relationship binding the pair and preparing them for their album Good Evening, a long and steady piece to come together after three years. While both at opposite ends of the UK, with Pitch from Manchester and Verb T from London, there was a constant sending back and forth of material, while communication was key. With beats influencing Verb T’s lyrics, their parallel styles fuse together creating tracks of a high-end reflection. Each piece can be seen to highlight their cooperativeness yet their solitary artistic labor.

A smooth long-term project where inspiration derived from their precision to the craft. When asked how Verb T’s songwriting has developed through the years, his answer was simple ‘The theory of 10 000 hours’, comparing to his talent of emceeing. He added, ‘by pushing yourself to get better you are always going to learn new things, as I have never got to a point where I feel I am happy and I cant improve’. Yet his confidence is more eye-catching than ever, with his new material shining with skill.

The album carve’s its way to success in the UK scene with some influential talent featured. From the likes of Jehst, Ocean Wisdom, Confucius MC, DRS to name a few, the choice of emcees added to the album derived from both their unique associations’ in the scene. Pitch 92, predominantly known for his involvement in the Mouse Outfit, and Verb T a pioneer in modern emceeing, both involved different musical associations to show their names on the album.

While beatmaker and wordsmith have been busy wrapping up the album, they have already been crafting away at their next one. When asked how they are marking themselves from Good Evening, they exclaimed that they were paying attention to the final sound. The two are making textured music for sound systems during their live sets, which can only sound far too promising. With this talented debut from both musicians, their next album is already impatiently awaited.

Photo04_1

 

Photo15_12

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Summer Reminiscing with Maxwell Owin

U.K HipHop Artist

While summer draws to a close and winter takes over. We take a look back to the invigorating essence of summer. A big part of that for the versatile artist Maxwell Owin is Brainchild Festival : a get-together amongst his contemporaries and friends at a festival that they have been representing since the dawn of it’s days.

Photo31_27A.jpg

At this weekend fuelled of artistic endeavours, Maxwell Owin is a common name to be heard, and it is here that he reminisced through his music career. After playing his third set of the weekend, this DJ came and sat on one of the hand-made benches crafted from wooden pallets while he caught his breathe from his DJing performance for SE Dub Collective. This musician has quickly become a backbone in South London’s music scene by creating his own unique sounds within the electronic music genre. A musician who cunningly inserts his stylistic creations collaborating with many contemporary names in the music scene, has a capacity to adapt with different musicians in an astounding manner.

His broad musical knowledge, technical and theoretical can be heard through his production abilities. This extensive musical awareness, developed through growing up, while he managed to grasp an interest within most music genres hands-on while collaborating with a diverse amount of artists. From a young age Maxwell Owin was exposed to a variety of different musical tastes which would then continue to develop through his connections. Growing up in Oxford he was exposed through family, friends and his own curiosity to a lot of classical music, old jazz ,as well rock. This would create the foundation of his interest in music that he would push throughout his education and would be pursued in his music GCSE’s.

He would first put his own mind to creation while using DAW producing software, prominent and profound moment where suddenly the ideas in his head oozed into an effortless flow. This passion would be the beginning of a long progression in his journey of becoming a DJ. Whilst a teenager his music taste evolved during the birth of Dubstep which aroused new musical excitement which would prime his own taste with his adoration of Jazz and rock, to more chilled out electronic vibes.

It was then that he retreated to London where his music ability would flourish while he was immersed in a rich diverse group of individuals who all had the same intentions: pushing the music scene in a new, unique direction. This young and fresh musician would meet the likes of Ragofoot and Jackal Wyfried who would introduce this producer into their talented social sphere and also involve in many creative musical projects. Ragofoot and Jackal Wyfried participated in the first sessions where Steez first began in a Pub South of the river. Here, Maxwell Owin would tie-in by doing sets and meeting many artists. Steez, a South-London collective composed of bands, DJ’s, poets, merging all their creative abilities in this night would encompass many of the musical inspirations that would drive Maxwell Owin in the music scene. This blend of musical tastes would seep through into this musician’s own talent creating his exclusive genre. Steez would be the beginning of many collaborations but also friendships. It would be the origin of his alliance with MC Pinty. Looking back, Maxwell Owin recalls this debut of his music career with a ‘weird nostalgia’. Maxwell Owin’s musical journey has varied, from playing in warehouses with 2-step garage under MC Pinty’s jumpy bars which would proceed to meeting up with different artists encompassing many different genres and sets. These alliances would allow him to tackle his devotion of all his diverse musical tastes. From working with his colleague Izzy Bizu he worked on more chilled-out vibes, to then being part of SE Dub Collective where Dub was able to take a new arousing form of movement conceiving a new name for the genre in London.

Photo35_32A

 

Maxwell Owins role in Steez became more and more prominent as he supported this new musical platform, constantly stimulating new musical talent. While he played in Rotterdam aside Steez at the beginning of his career as well as supporting Brainchild festival from the start, his position as a multi-talented artist ingrained itself as his alliance with Steez solidified. This love for supporting artists not only comes from making music but also his investment in different mediums such as radio shows or his immersion in South London’s music scene by devoting a lot of time working with Yam Records, a record shop in Peckham exposing independant labels.
Since being overtly exposed to South-London’s current artistic scene, his hunger to grasp many different musical atmospheres derives from his inspiration to ‘challenge people’. He explains that by mastering different genres and altering them to create a new taste of music and putting it out to the public, it allows a certain drive in his musical creations. This musical passion can be observed in his performances. While doing his sets he enters a personal trance where each transition into a new track becomes an esthetic game for mind and ear. This derives from his experience of ‘DJing to empty rooms and not looking at the audience’. This attention to creating unique senses by mixing specific tracks comes from his foremost musical inspirations. Burial, being his most favored producer who allowed him to gain his interest in London on a musical and personal level added with his involvement with Steez encouraging him to fuse Jazz into his productions can illustrate his tracks once listened to. His music blends electronic and acoustic on different levels which Owin said rooted from ‘working with love and respect to other people’s craft’. This once again presents Maxwell Owin as a DJ whose work is established through different relationships. He is constantly working with individuals ‘I see them at gigs, house’s I’m always thrust into company especially in Steez’. This cohesive core and friendships that is created through the musical medium allows a certain openness which is identified through his work due to the nature of improvement and improvisation. By ramming different genres in his work he is not one for pigeon-holeing his music, instead he works through ‘phases’. From mixing Jazz, to garage, to his recent collaboration with Jamie Isaac where his work can be seen as futuristic. This multi-talented artist’s work can be densified into his new EP that was out the 8th of September. Here you may see an array of genres and artists that he has compressed into a musical project that describes his London journey.

Photo12_9A

 

© Molly Sisson aka vulgairefinesse

A.F.R.O

U.S Hip Hop Artist

This 19 year old who has recently hit the Hip Hop scene by storm. With his incredible high speed vocals blended with his extended diverse vocabulary he has come as a surprise in the music scene. Viewed as the mystic offspring of a musical era that has come to an end, he made a special appearance with this US old school Hip Hop at Hifi. This young soul takes us back to an older generation of Hip Hop that is hard to come by nowadays. With his old school drift it is impossible to not guess his influences and idols in music. While being discovered at a rap contest by RA the Rugged Man and within so little time hitting the media  with his mature knowledge of how to spit bars, a musical gem has been discovered. He was soon mentored by RA the Rugged Man and flown to New York to meet some of the most renowned figures from Hip Hop’s golden era such as DJ Premier and Kool G Rap. Since then he has been elevating the quality of Hip Hop’s status and demonstrating to the younger generation as much to the older, that there is still a place for this style of music that has had such a big impact on the world we live in today.

img330

When asked the differences between US and UK hip hop and its reception, A.F.R.O described Europe to be a whole more energetic force. With a lot more movement and upheaval from fans at his gigs compared to the mostly head-bopping from the US this could clearly be seen from Hifi’s gathering. While A.F.R.O performed with Marco Polo, the crowd revelled in this sous-genre of Hip Hop that is practically unknown from the current fresh, young crowds. With his husky, deep voice that vibrates the whole room as he raps with exhilarating and researched vocabulary this rapper who is described as an ‘old soul’ leaves the crowd on edge. While he spits on mellow beats then breaks into lunatic freestyles this new head is reviving the old scene with genuine down-to-earth intentions. When asked what he wanted future Hip Hop to look like his ideal was to ‘just keep touring, keep meeting his fans and keep making music’. This shows the real ambition of his making music as a remedy. While indicating the impact of Hip Hop throughout his life starting with the guidance of his parents initiating him to the likes of NAS and Biggie at the age of 6/7 he was being submerged with this old school material that would have an effect on his musical persona. What stuck to this young individual was the roots of Hip Hop, the soul infused boom bap beats that he would soon interpret and modify to his own unique taste. A.F.R.O has been able to carve a career for himself while working with his favourite ‘O.G’S’, which as he said he is able to incorporate their influence in his music while working with on a personal level. With his plans for the future a new musical TV show for VH1 as well as  he is currently working on his next album featuring the likes of Pete Rock etc, his presence in the music scene is not to be dismissed.

img314

img329

Pop Brixtons multiple sensation fundraiser with Loose Lips

Hip Hop article

Once again Brixton has found itself in social controversy, surrounded by issues that seem to swarm the area such as music, gentrification and race. The 13th August  Loose Lips, Resonate and Philantropy Collective worked together to form an event at Pop Brixton, a new ‘trendy’ venue where you can grab some food and booze from a wide variety of choice.

I spoke to the co-founder of Loose Lips who had chosen to set up an enjoyable and friendly day event fuelled by artistic souls exposing their paintings, clothes, poetry and live performances. In an area where Brixtons influence to the UK’s music industry is blatant from dub to jungle to Hip Hop, Pop Brixton seemed like the supreme venue to hold an event to receive a booming crowd while preserving good vibes. The team worked together to contribute to Artists in Action. This humanitarian association provides awareness whilst enjoying an artistic experience allowing more people to get involved and come closer to certain crises around the world. The co-founder of Loose Lips, Frederick made clear the importance of supporting one of these many causes, this being the Calais refugee camp. With our eyes shut to the world outside us yet immigration problems being such a current affair it seemed important to create a clear view on this problem being ‘so close to home’ on our border into the UK. With a mixture of diverse talents, artists, backgrounds, some even coming from overseas such as Greece, one intention was clearly seen: bringing humanity together while tackling a serious issue.

Being a lively and colourful event with a successful popularity with over 2800 people through the door, it was thriving. The team had been told, however, to avoid bass type music as Pop Brixtons policy. In the heart of Brixton were music with a fast BPM can be seen as a heritage this new policy can be seen as debatable by some. Around 7/8 in the evening whilst food and drink had been flowing one of the DJ’s whose roots were based in Brixton decided to pay tribute to the area while adding extra atmosphere by playing a Jungle track. With drastic action from the staff the situation escalated quickly after a second DJ repeated to play a D&B track as a statement showing that music should define love and unity. Having the opposite effect the event got shut down due to ‘aggression’. All those involved in the event, distressed by the trouble caused and misunderstanding, found themselves on the doorstep. This left all in a certain awe with some of the team trying to collect extra funds on the streets to complete their goal in helping the Calais Refugee Camp. This quickly got cut short by security from the venue attempting to stop this act of goodwill.

Loose Lips, being involved in many events around the UK, has had a large experience in creating events. Frederick explained his disappointment had ran a lot deeper than just misfortune of his event being shut down. Being not only a charity event which had ran smoothly with all artists showing a considerable compassion, the problems raised ran a lot deeper. In Brixton where the famous arches and markets are being shut down and replaced with trendy tourist traps we found this idea of gentrification getting in the way of the meaning of an event. A Brixton born and bred DJ showing the crowd a peek of his own background and being thrown out on his own doorstep is just a keyhole perspective of the problems involving social class, music and gentrification in our society.                                                            After being in contact with Pop Brixton they have given 5% of the bar take to the charity but this had already initially been agreed. Crucially though, no compensation has been given for the shutdown of the event and the time that was lost where the organisers were not allowed to collect money for the charity leaving yet again a sour note from this rich profitable venue. Even with this brash, unexpected and sad attempt to disharmonise  a great amount of work the day still came to be a success through expanding the knowledge of the public, creating an inspirational showcase.
https://www.facebook.com/looselips123

https://www.facebook.com/resonatelondon

https://www.facebook.com/Philanthropycollective