Bringing a taste of Lagos alté hip hop scene to London, BasementApproved selects multi-talented artist SV as your next Future Play.
A leading voice in the Lagos-via-London infusion which has carved an important space in the UK alternative hip hop scene, SV has quietly been mastering his craft and focussing on his art, producing a trilogy of work that speaks for itself. With Thank You SV, a ten-track EP underlining this era of his career, featuring the likes of Teezee and Seki, SV has bared his soul for the world.
To mark the release of Thank You SV, we sat down with SV to talk influences, the challenge of subverting a society’s expectation of you, and why he’d love someone to meet their soulmate at one of his shows.
Give us a brief introduction to yourself: where are you from and what do you do?
I’m SV, aka ‘V, aka the guy with the cap. I’m an artist born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. I moved to London around 8 years ago. I make music and I direct.
Tell us about your new project?
This project, Thank You SV is my third project, following I Love You SV and SV Saved my Life. It’s the final project of the trilogy. 10 songs, all different sonically, but still maintaining the central themes to my music because you never want to stray too far away from the brand. It’s the longest project so far and the one I’ve worked hardest on: blood, sweat, tears, bread etc. It essentially entails everything I’ve been through in the past two years and everything that’s made SV. From relationships; influences from Nigeria; influences from film and TV to triumphs; self doubt; ups and downs. You know what I mean.
How do you feel your background has influenced your music?
I feel like my background has had a huge impact on the creation of this project. My Nigerian roots, my passion for film, all the music I listened to when I was younger. Everything has just blended together beautifully to create this project.
Where does your name come from?
I actually can’t disclose the origins of my name. I think about 4 people know what SV means. Maybe later on in life though.
Who or what are some of your biggest sources of inspiration - not necessarily just from the music space?
I would say my biggest inspirations are Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Martin Scorcese, Hank Moody and Tony Soprano.
What are some of the biggest challenges you've personally faced in your journey so far?
I believe the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is growing up in Nigeria at a time where there weren’t a lot of people doing what I was trying to do. Back when nobody was supportive of your dreams; you’re either a doctor, lawyer, engineer or a failure. That was the greatest obstacle coming up for sure.
What are the challenges facing the scene?
In terms of the scene, I just feel like it’s more about who you know rather than your product. It gets toxic. Only way to manoeuvre that is by not giving a fuck about the scene. Keep creating to the best of your ability and everything will fall into place. Work smarter than the next man, not harder. No use spending 24 hours in the studio if you haven’t got a clue about how to market yourself.
I would say James Blake, Westside Gunn and Tame Impala. I’d also love to score a film for Wes Anderson.
What does the future look like for SV?
For me the future is getting better every single day. Doing something better today than I did yesterday. Making more people engage with the music and visuals, in real life. Building a community of people who are brought together by the stuff I create. I would love for someone to meet their soulmate at an SV show, that would be cool.
Future Plays is a weekly spotlight of fresh new artists curated for the community, by the community.
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