North London MC Styler has been doing a lot since he first emerged a few years back, now onto his 3rd commercial release, I caught up with him quickly to discuss future projects, G-Fam and more...
Right first things first, The Off 2 Work E.P is out NOW, what can we expect on there ?
You can expect me stepping out the box a bit, I definitely stuck to what people know me for (Grime) but you've got hip-hop and a lot of experimental sounds on there. Each tune brings you a different vibe, there's something for the ladies, mandem, your Uncle, Aunt (Laughs). I've got a big dance track on there produced by Rowntree which is sure to get the ravers on there feet entitled "Dancing Shoes" authentic Grime you can dance too; the track's cocky, witty and the use of words are crazy (Laughs).
Are these the sort of tracks you enjoy making then or are you a fan of something a bit more dark/intense ?
I'm a fan of both, if I like the beat I'm willing to work with it, there's a mixture on the EP 'Dancing Shoes' is more Skippy/bouncy, then 'Wanna Take Us Down' which is produced by Dexplicit, it's more dark side with the intense bass line.
Would you say the new EP is your best piece of work to date then ?
You can always better yourself but in my personal view I'd say yeah. I experimented a bit and even shocked myself (Laughs) I played my friends away from music the EP and the feedback's been real good, they've been listening to me for a while and they hear the levels have been risen, one of my boys is even gonna play one of my tracks at his wedding, his misses loves the tune ! (Laughs). So appealing to other crowds are good the feedback is much so different but I've got the mixture I love grime and always will.
Last year saw you release "Stuck Between 2 Worlds", how did that do ? What was the reception for that Cd like ?
Yeah it got real good feedback and it's selling well even 'till this day, In 2008 I kind of took a break, only released a promo as my father passed away, it kinda knocked me you know, but life goes on and I know he would want me to pursue my dreams and achieve my goals. (Stuck Between 2 Worlds) was how I was feeling at the time, I'm not a teen or a youngen, I live by myself I'm a man and bills have to get paid so working in music I felt kinda stuck that's how that concept came around. The reception was good and motivated me, you never know how much people support you, but with this release I got alot of people hollering, even bringing Stylers Got Style Vol.1 I'm glad my musics getting out there.
You mentioned on your Myspace blog that "you've grown as an artist" in what way do you think the listeners can hear this on the new release ?
Know ones heard me on rap or anything apart from grime, but on my EP I take it that step further jumping on different genres of music, it's still me of course, just coming with a different approach to the music, I want my music to relate to all ages, races etc.
Looking at the new release and the previous ones, it seems you prefer to use the more up and coming producers as opposed to some of the bigger ones, how comes ?
I don't care if you're well known or up and coming, if you respect your craft and you make good music we can work holla at me (Laughs), every one deserves a chance.
What's happening with G-Fam ? Are there plans for a group release soon ?
G-FAM is still here, currently Dimples is incarcerated and will be out march. Last Laugh Vol.3 will be out April / May times, it's half complete, Random Impulse is working on his demo, he's got 300 freestyles due to release free ! I'm Not gassing, really 300 and his joint promo with Dot Rotten. Sicx is releasing his 30 track promo/free download at the end of February, we're always in studio, we're having a lot of meetings just getting everything organised and yes we are releasing a G-FAM mixtape which will be out this year, a couple of tracks are finished and sounding crazy ! We got a hood video filmed just before Dimps went inside entitled "Fire Man" check it out on YouTube expect alot from us this year.
How did you guys all first get together, did you feel that the Dimples setback was going to hinder you ?
WE grew up with each and music was always the way from early, I mean when Dimps used to DJ (Laughs), Dimples was on heat when it started with Method, Ganja Family been round for years, I always used to write and spit bars when I was younger, me and Sicx used to practice a lot together, then Dimps formed Rattle Pack which consisted of Random Impulse, Supes, Justice, Method and DJ R.S.T. I used to go on with them and Dirty Firm an alliance of North and South MC's, then one day we were just like yeah this is the fam lets make this happen and it took off from there.
You're heavily involved in one of Grime's biggest Podcasts "Grimes Not Dead Its Live", what was the notion behind it and what's happening with it at the moment ?
It's crazy because G-FAM / Y3MEDIA started Grimes Not Dead and a lot of people don't know that. Yellow, myself and Sicx come with the idea messing 'bout with the HD cam, I rang who I know in the scene, jumped in my bate Fiesta and started filming (Laughs). There was alotNappa with me I done a lot of the filming alongside Y3 he showed me about editing, y3 is a master when it comes to editing, I've seen a lot of people using his ideas and mine (Laughs) it's all good though, I'm glad it made such an impact, a lot of work went into it and it's branched out, now you've got SBTV, GrimeDaily, Cameraman Sketch; It's all good just remember were it originated from. Anyone who thinks any different you're stupid (Laughs), y3 just got the new cam so we want to start filming as soon as possible, so Grime's not dead it's alive !!!
Filming must've been an enjoyable experience, what was your favourite moment and who can we expect to see in the new series ?
Definitely the Napa footage, everyone was vibesing and filming drunk was fun, I even filmed Skepta in the ladies toilets spraying bars (LAUGHS) can't even remember why we was in there ! I filmed Target, Flow Dan on Nisi Beach, Riko outside Club Abyss, Flirta D in Napa Square and J.Money from Gully Gang. I was around on the cam g believe (Laughs) it was a fun experience, having long talks with y3 on the angle were gonna come at because we still wanna stay original and bring something new since (grimes not dead) a lot of other people have come through, we started it so we have to come out the ordinary, I'll definitely update you.
You've worked with the likes of Frisco, Chipmunk, Black The Ripper and more, who else would you like to collaborate with in the future ?
I'd like to work with Dot Rotten he's younger than me but I relate to a lot of what he says there's a lot of the younger generation I can't really relate too basically. They're good for nothing, spitting with no meaning that's dead ! Me and Shizzle are gonna be working together very soon and I'd like to work with Skepta, J2k and more in the future I think they're good.
If you don't mind me saying, your work seems very North London orientated, how do you think North London compares to other areas in the Grime scene ? I get the feeling it's sometimes over-looked...
(Laughing) It's not biased or anything like that, my previous collabs are people I know and grew with in this musical journey so to speak, North london brought that content to the Grime scene I can put my hand on heart and say Heat FM sets were not full of one liners Frankie, North London definitely have their own swagger and a different approach to music. I can't name one person who sounds like another in North, not dissing but back in the day I was confused sometimes listening to De Ja like who's that ??????? Is it __ or is it __, it's changed a lot since then though people are more distinctive, if you're good I don't care where you're from we can work for real.
You've appeared on many a radio station, can we expect to hear you on the airwaves again soon ?
Definitely you're gonna hear me a lot, lining up a lot of shows gonna take it back to the essence and showcase I got a bag of new style and bars for them (Laughs) so it's only right.
Last but not least, what's next for Styler then ? You've had mixtapes..EP's..is an album on the cards ?
Of course, I'm working on it right now and I'm gonna drop a free download promo in a couple of months with some freestyles on some hot beats with some mad bars. Got 6 done already, got my first official video on screen soon, the singles on my EP 'Wanna Take Us Down' produced by Dexplicit this is gonna be one to look out for ! I've got the scripts and over-view of the video it's like a movie, the concept around it is crazy big up Trailpictures. Gonna get the Grimes Not Dead footage together and new footage and release a DVD so keep your eyes and ears open, don't sleep on me you'll get a rude awakening (Laughs).
Anything more you wish to say ? Who would you like to big up ?
Big up everyone supporting me and G-Fam, big up the DJ' supporting as well, the ones who talk about wanting the scene to expand playing other people not the usual, there's so much talent in our scene so share with the listeners ! Big up my darg Rinse - a big year for him, big up Avalanche, Dot Rotten, Dexplicit, Shizzle, Cel22, Black The Ripper, Cookie and everyone else putting in the work follow me on twitter (here) and subscribe to my official YouTube page (here) to stay updated and finally free Dimples; Last Laugh Vol.3 is epic check out his tune "Music Star" on YouTube oh yeah thanks to you to Frankie it was a pleasure fam (no homes)(Laughing).
BUY STYLER - Off To Work EP RIGHT NOW ! You can still grab a copy of Stuck Between 2 Worlds from UK Record Shop, do so here.