December 2011

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Page 35 of 55

36 HIP HOP / RNB VIDEO INTERVIEW WWW.GUESTLIST.NET SKEPTA "It's priceless to be able to do something like that for my parents. It's emotional man." GUESTLIST.NET Issue 34 / December 2011 The London-based MC, producer and King of the city talks to us about everything from his crazy year to doing good and what he's still to achieve... Oshi How's your year been? I've released my album Doin' It Again, done two sold out tours, got a single coming that's gonna drop on New Year's Day 2012. So it's been a good year man, can't complain. Is it right that your dad was a DJ? Yeah man. I grew up in a household full of music, you know, late night parties the last person usually would leave the party at eight in the morning or that kinda time. I've just always had music around me from when I was young. My dad plays quite a big part in my music hence all the reggae style I have in my productions when I make beats. So when you bought him a car, that must have been a big moment? Yeah it felt good, man. They're from Nigeria and they came over here to get a better life for themselves. I never had everything I wanted when I was younger, it was a hard upbringing. They were struggling with four children, trying to do the best for them. It's priceless to be able to do something like that for them. It's emotional man. They're from Nigeria, you just went back there didn't you? Yeah I went out there last week, I flew my mum, dad and brother out. Before the show I met all my family. There was a lot of tears and all that, everyone being emotional. They love me out there. Can you see yourself going from a bad boy influence to being someone who's gonna go out there and save the world? I've got a plan to try and give back to the youths but I don't wanna say too much because I don't want anyone else to steal my idea. So did you have any influence from UK hip hop? Or were you completely influenced by the Shabbas and the Skibadees when you were growing up? Yeah, my dad was heavy into reggae man, so it started from there. Then he bought me my first album and I'll never forget it, it was at Edmonton Green shopping centre, he bought me Snoop Dogg the album Doggy Style. He bought it for me on tape - it was a tape! I was listening to it and I was like 'Oh my God, this guy's lyrics are just so raw', you get me and I could feel myself thinking this is a young guy like going for it. I got into it, around about the same time I got into drum and bass, or jungle should I say, I used to love it. You were out there performing with Diddy, you've made some serious milestones in grime, you've done some big things. But what's it gonna be that makes you go 'yeah, I've really smashed the mainstream?' For mainstream, I just don't think there's an end because artists can have a number one and then they're just gone. I think it's about longevity. I always have big milestones in my career, to make a grime track with Diddy was a massive thing for me, because I was mad into Biggie Smalls back in the day and for a man that used to roll side by side with him, to me that was just priceless, you get me? Secondly: touring. 'Cause I come from a place where you go to a club, do three songs, maybe take a couple pictures and then everyone carries on drinking. To go from that to... My name is Skepta, buy a ticket and wait in a queue to see me, hold the ticket in advance for a month or so. That's like 'wow' for me. 'Cause really, grime artists aren't supposed to be that. Third: for my mum and dad to come over here from Nigeria, have children, and we do music and then I take them back to their hometown and I perform for them: their family and everyone showing me mad love and they're crying, treating me like a king. Those are the three milestones for my career. I'm good now, you get me! I feel like I'm a successful man. What about greatest hits? You can't do a greatest hits album, you started with the greatest hits! You know what, I was saying to myself the other day I can't believe I called my first album Greatest Hits. You once said "No one can spit like me apart from JME, Big H, P Money and Tempz." Who can't spit like you? When I was saying that, I meant like the aggression. I would add Getz in there as well. You know, on the mic, that UK style. It's not just something you can try and fake. Like you can hear a few Americans try and do it now, like they're trying to sound English. I think it's a natural thing, you have to have been there from the beginning of grime to know what that's like. So it's only you and your peeps that have got that flavour. Have you got a track on there that tops your favourite 'So Alive'? Yeah, yeah, of course. Progression and being consistent, man, that's key. I don't ever wanna make a song that's not as good as my last one. So this one's gonna be big! Twitter's been a powerful influence for you, right? I think it's a gift and a curse, man, because it's the power of your thoughts at your hands, sometimes I look back and I think 'I can think that but I probably shouldn't really say it'. But because it's in my phone I'm just like bam, bam, bam. But on the flip side I've met great artists through there. It allows me to be in touch with my fans and keep them in the loop with what I'm doing. One thing you wanna do before you die? Have a child. Sometimes I see my friends with their children and there's something in their eyes when they look at their child that I feel like I'm missing in my life. Also, you know what... The Guestlist Network is looking sick man. I wish everyone that's behind this all the best because we need stuff like this out there! Watch the full interview online at 'Hold On' is out 1st January 2012. Watch out for the filmed interview @ @Skepta

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