A lot of guy’s Twitter biographies make them sound as if they’re more successful than Simon Cowell, but when it comes to The Square’s Streema‘s bio, it simply says “sick MC and I come from South”, and that’s no idle boast! I’ve written about a few members of The Square over the last week or so, but Streema, in my opinion, is easily the most improved MC in the crew, and he answered my questions on his progression, The Square, solo material, and he gives maybe the best answer yet as to why Lewisham produces so many sick grime artists.
GrimeDisciple (GD): Thanks for your time. First of all, how did you hook up with The Square?
Streema (S): Well, I was already aware of DeeJillz, I’d came across his videos on Facebook a while back, so I showed him some of my stuff and he liked it, but said there are a few things I needed to work on. I continued doing my ting and releasing videos etc, then, due to him, I got to know of Elf and Novelist and respected the work they were all doing. DeeJillz brought me along to set one day with Novelist and Elf at REPVDO, I met them man and Syder that day. From then on I started speaking to Novelist and we became cool. He told me that I should roll with them lot more, so from then we started doing cyphers and videos together.
Streema is already one EP deep, “Pure Fire”, which dropped just over a year ago. It was a solid enough debut, but Streema has improved so much in such a short while that, at times, I’ve wondered if he’s invented some kind of lyrical steroid. I ask him if he feels he’s improved, and if so, what does he put that down to? “Yeah, I agree still”, he says honestly. “I made and released ‘Pure Fire’ when I was 15. I was 15 when I first started doing this music ting proper, but boy, I would put that down to the fact that no ones starts off as the best, but it’s all about improving and doing your best so that you become better. That wasn’t the best EP, but at least as soon as I started, I had the drive to actually go through with doing a project. I was an eager younger”, he adds with a laugh.
That approach to improving and grafting is something that seems to be a reoccurring theme with all of The Square, and is yet another reason that the crew are so highly rated. As well as having already released an EP, Streema can often be found on radio, and despite his young age, he’s already clashed before. I ask him about that…
GD: You’ve already been involved in clashing. Is that something you’d like to do again? Is that an important thing in the scene to you?
S: Yeah, it definitely is still. I enjoy clashing, I think it’s good for MCs to clash and go head to head. It’s tense and entertaining, it’s also a good way to find out who’s the better MC and who’s really built for this ting.
GD: Do you have a preference for writing for tracks or for radio sets? How do you go about writing your lyrics?
S: When I’m writing a bar or bars for radio, I’ll probably listen to a mix, or a set with MCs, or even just a sick instrumental. When I’m about to write a track, I have different ways of approaching it. Sometimes I’ll remember something I did one time or used to do, or even things that have happened to me. Most of the time, I’ll think of something to write about or something will just come to me. So like, I might wake up one day and an idea to do with girls might come in to my head, or what’s going on around me at the moment, or even about where I live, anything really.
Streema admits that he isn’t working on a project at the moment, although he has a new video dropping in June or July. “I‘ve got quite a few tracks though”, he says. “I might put some of them together and release a promo or something like that later this year”.
GD: Is there anybody outside of The Square that you’d like to work with?
S: In terms of MCs, there’s no one who has made me think, yeah I proper wanna get something cracking with them. In terms of producers, I don’t mind as long you’re making sick/authentic sounding grime and not these fruity grime or trap beats. If it’s 140bpm, then we work on something. Don’t get me wrong, I like versatility, but making trap at a grime tempo or making fruity sounding grime isn’t versatile.
GD: What do you feel that you personally bring to The Square?
S: An old skool/greazy vibe in terms of my bars and actual MCing, and myself as a person.
GD: What do you do away from music? Are you in to any sports? If The Square had a 5-a-side football team, would you make it in?
S: I don’t do too much away from music, but 100% I’d make the team. I’m sick at football, athletics, and most other sports [he laughs].
Anyone that read my previous interviews with DeeJillz and Syder will know that there’s one question that keeps cropping up: what’s in the weed or in the water in Lewisham? Why are so many sick MCs from there? When I ask Streema, I get an answer that means that I can finally drop the question. “As you can tell most of the MCs from Lewisham spit grease, with aggression and talk about madness,” he says. “We’re not like this for no reason. I think Lewisham was named the most violent place to live in the country, we’re just products of where we come from. I can’t speak for everyone but that’s what I’d say”.
You can catch Streema and The Square on Thursday night when they’ll be on set for DJ Tiatsim‘s #HouseOfGrimeShow on IminRadio at 10pm.
Streema’s Twitter and Facebook links are dotted throughout the post.
Streema’s Soundcloud is updated with his stuff, and The Square radio sets, so that’s obviously worth a follow too.