It’s 2019, we’re about five years post Grime resurgence. UK music is now in a place where we don’t need to make Grime music to be heard. We’re comfortable and confident in the sounds that are being made and the music scene is steering into a place of creative freedom. Many of the artists at the forefront of the scene are now labelled ‘genreless’. The days of having to conform to a sound or stereotype are over, and it seems the ones that aren’t, are thriving.
‘Pop’ music is no longer just Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran. ‘Pop’ music is now ‘urban’ and ‘underground’. The songs that your mum is listening to on the radio while she is driving are the exact same as the ones being played at parties and venues across the UK. The number of artists coming out of the UK is increasing daily. The next big thing could be your brother, your school friend of 10 years, your neighbour, or that girl who used to sing quietly in your music lessons.
Over the last 6 months I’ve watched and listened very carefully, to the community, and my gut, to work with five artists that I believe refuse to comply with the norms of today.
When a new artist is ’emerging’ every week, it’s hard to keep up. I know how you feel. After dropping the first instalment of the ‘Introducing’ series – I very quickly realised that supporting up and coming artists is a part of the industry that is neglected. Everyone wants to work with the artist that is going to be a success tomorrow. You forget that they are the ones with the larger marketing budget behind them today.
As an artist, it can be a cold world. Some of the more well known photographers will only shoot you if you have over ‘x’ amount of followers on Instagram. That top tier stylist you want to work with, is only interested if your music video is getting over a million views. Magazines and blogs will only post your work if another publication has covered you first. It was this irritation, one that is shared by a lot of artists and creatives I have spoken with, that left us no choice but to bring this series to life.
The first group of artists I worked with on this ‘Introducing’ series are due to have an exciting year ahead of them. No industry plants, these are five independent, burgeoning talents. Ego-less, hungry, real and on their way to the top. Make sure you catch up with all of their interviews to hear their story.
All the artists we have featured in this ‘Introducing’ series, and will feature in the future, are artists that we fuck with. This isn’t a news page, we don’t do press. We do things we believe in, with purpose.
Kasien & Kelvin Krash
These two have been on the scene a minute, young veterans. At this point they’ve entered a race of their own, with an unmatchable sound in the ‘rap’ scene. Don’t label it ‘rap’ though. Go and check out their new EP, “K2” and you’ll understand why I can’t put a name on their sound. It just bangs with no explanation. With otherworldly production from Kelvin Krash, Kasien’s tales are all focused around progression. “Won’t stop ’til I’m 6FT Under”, “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”, “They could never catch up” – a few lines from the tape that demonstrate his hunger for more. With Kelvin Krash already a celebrated producer in the UK, picking up credits on ASAP Rocky’s ‘Testing’, last year – these two are a humble, hungry duo ready to take the rest of 2019 by storm.
Blaze has got so much character, aside from the talent. Blaze has an older head on his shoulders and that translates in his music. Having been on the scene with his collective House Of Pharaohs for a minute, things are taking off both for the South London group and Blaze independently. After a succession of strong releases and coming straight off the back of dropping a joint House Of Pharaohs mixtape with Nyge (best known for producing ‘Lock Arff’ (Section Boyz) and Pasta (AJ Tracey)) – Blaze is definitely ready to get back to exploring his own personal sound and style. Naturally a Trap rapper, with a hard-hitting flow, Blaze can effortlessly ride any beat. That said, don’t be surprised if you hear him lacing some of his future tracks with a more melodic tone.
A producer, turned sound setter, setting his own markings and playing on his own pitch. BenjiFlow’s musical purpose is to make people want to dance again. If that’s not how his music makes you feel, then you’re in the wrong dance. Having produced for the likes of Wretch 32 and Avelino on his journey, he later took to the booth, feeling that he had more to offer than the beats alone. When he dropped ‘Deep End’, produced by himself and Ragz Originale, it was something the UK hadn’t heard before, but was so needed. Following up with self -produced ‘Can’t Lose’, another summer bubbler, it looks like Benji is going to have carnival in a headlock.
Definitely one of the most active new artists on the scene right now. Always recording, always performing. Rushy, from West London collective Straight3, started out recording his breakout hit ‘Trippidy Trap’ in 2017. After mastering his craft and building a strong team around himself, he got to releasing his first music video at the beginning of this year. Rushy is all about his people – it’s the support, inspiration and vibe he harnesses from his friends that are reflected in visuals and his shows. ‘Trippidy Trap’ was quickly followed up with ‘Hi, Bye!’, a track that let everybody know he’s not a one hit wonder and cemented his own style. Having supported Nafe Smallz and M Huncho in the first half of 2019, as well as performing at an array of events across London and many University Cities, his fan base grows with every person who experiences his energy live. A true testament to the theory of building your fan base by connecting with them.
A thank you to Vicky Grout, Olivia Jank, Jake Millers, Dani KM, DFR, Ceeramsden, Daisy Deane, Libby Carradice, Morgan Hall and my brother Pyro for taking the time to be a part of this and seeing the vision. Thank you to the artist managers – Kayode, G lo, Niyi, Kokie & Bobby for being a pleasure to work with. And lastly, thank you to the artists for running with my excited ideas and supporting the movement.