Interview

Frenzy

UK hip-hop is on the rise, with the likes of Drake and Kanye West looking to the British isles for inspiration. And one such South London-based artist helping to push the genre forward is Frenzy, who is fusing hip-hop with diverse sounds and is, along with the collective Dream Big that he is apart of, creating something that is wholly unique. We catch up with him to talk diversity, friends and fashion.

Why hip-hop over any other genre, why does it speak to you?

Hip-hop is an outspoken rebellious expression, in hip-hop artists have a freedom of speech which often gives an authentic feel of where the artists are coming from. I listen to all genres but my only real criticism for other genres is the fact that they normally soften the reality of life, and there aren’t really lessons to be learned for a person coming from a less privileged background.

You’re from East London, how important is the city to your music?

East London is integral to my character and personality, let alone my perspective on music. The contrast in the demographic alone allows me to see the world from my doorstep; in my borough alone I have friends from Africa, the Caribbean, Asia. Even very recently through making music I have been able to meet a producer called Papertoy who has recently relocated from Australia to Hackney in London! That’s four out of seven continents within one borough, the scope of contrast in terms of background is vast.

Because of the nature and history of grime, do you think that there is a danger that it going mainstream could harm its credibility?

Great question. There is always a risk of grime’s credibility being ruined and branded ‘pop music’ (popular music) but I believe it is for the artists who are at the forefront of the genre to keep the music and the content amongst the music as authentic as possible. Although I don’t make grime music the influence the genre has had on me doesn’t go unnoticed, and the emergence of the genre allows more forms of UK music to grow. Once I’m in a strong position of hip-hop music it will be my job to ensure we keep the essence of the music well intact, in regards to locations of videos, photoshoots, the fashion acquired, the production of the music and collaborations chosen.

You’re part of the collective I Dream Big - why is it so important for creatives to support and empower each other?

Collectives allow you to have access to a world of innovation, you’re able to see how other elite artists create, you get first hand mentoring from your peers which is what a lot of artist do not have genuine access to. A collective gives you a home to run back to when times are hard but does not give the same pressure as a music group or a band because ultimately we are still stand as a lone artist. Being part of a collective allows you to come up together and grow organically and also gives the resources, which a lot of artists struggle to find. For example my collective offers artists, videographers, graphic designers, DJ’s, and lifestyle brands. The best thing is my collective is built purely off of friendships, which adds value in the form of longevity.

How important is fashion to the hip-hop scene? Can it enhance a performer’s persona?

Fashion is pivotal, it speaks volumes about who you are and where you’re from, if you can create your own style and become a real influencer you can gain real fans and have these kids dressing just like you! The key is to dress how you feel comfortable and not to copy anyone.

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