One of the first acts to be nominated for MTV’s Brand New 2013, Rascals, 4 childhood friends from Bow, look set to crack the UK hip hop scene next year, following in the footsteps of the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Wiley. We catch up with the boys to see how they’re handling the hype and ask for a cheeky weekend mixtape in the process.
EXPLAIN THE SONG CHOICES ON THIS MIX, WHY ARE THEY SIGNIFICANT?
Kay Willz: They’re just a handful of songs on our playlist that we’re all vibsing to at the moment. If you haven’t listened to them before, check them out, there’s a lot of talent on there.
TELL US HOW THE BAND CAME TOGETHER?
Tempz: We’ve just been friends from day one, we grew up in the same area, Bow East London. Bow’s a very musical place. It’s got the likes Wiley, Tinchy Stryder, Dizzee Rascal who have done so much for the music scene and it felt like second nature to get into music. We’ve been doing this for nine years now, and we feel we’re different!
WHAT DOES EACH MEMBER BRING TO THE GROUP?
Shizz: We all have different taste in music and think differently, but our ideas come together as one. Kay’s a singer so he’s the only one hitting notes. I’m producing at the moment and, individually and lyrically, you can see the different styles of all three rappers.
WHO DO YOU THINK IS YOUR BIGGEST COMPETITION IN THE UK CHARTS RIGHT NOW?
Merkz: I don’t really see anyone as “competition”. Everyone’s doing their thing and I respect that. Coming from a scene you grow with loads of artist who are hungry and competitive so it’s nothing new.
YOU’RE NOMINATED FOR THE MTV BRAND NEW FOR 2013 AWARD, AND ARE BEING CALLED THE NEXT BIG THING, HOW DO YOU PLAN TO LIVE UP TO THE HYPE?
Kay Willz: We performed at Brand New last night and it went down sick! We’re just excited, man! We’ve been putting the work in for years and 2012 was the year we pressed the go button. We’re trying to hit the floor running.
YOU AND K.KOKE WERE THE FIRST ACTS ANNOUNCED FOR BRAND NEW, WHY DO YOU THINK THE UK GRIME SCENE IS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT NOW?
Shizz: Grime is a fresh sound for everyone’s ears, it constantly brings something different.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR LYRICS?
Tempz: Just day-to-day things we see around us, experiences we’ve been through and things others have been through. You have to write about what you know.
DO YOU PLAN ON TAKING GRIME IN A NEW DIRECTION?
Kay Willz: We don’t want to be put in the Grime category because we’re not Grime artists, our musical influences come from several different backgrounds and we feel the music will reflect that.
Watch the video for new single ‘Fire Blaze’ here.