It’s possible that, in a few years time, we might be looking back at 2014 as the year that the vocal side of Grime got a much needed shot in the arm. I mean, let’s be honest, for the last 4-5 years there hasn’t really been a buzz around many MCs, but the re-emergence of K9, and consistent work from youngsters like The Square could be taken as pointers to a turn in the right direction. But all of this will count for nothing if there aren’t more skilled and active lyricists following behind, which is where we come to Blaydes. Having just turned 16 years old, south London MC Blaydes is definitely one to keep an eye on over the next few years – which is why I asked him about growing up on Grime, his forthcoming releases, his views on the vocal scene at the moment, and what the chances are that he’d end up on Trap beats…
GrimeDisciple (GD): Tell me about yourself. How’d you get into Grime?
Blaydes (B): I’m 16 as of September, and I’m from around the Lewisham area – holdtight The Square [he laughs]. I got into Grime really just through growing up in that sort of area, I was always around Grime whether I was at school, at home, or out and about. I think I started writing rhymes back when I was about 10, that was back in ’08 times. At that time I was caught up in the American side of rap, so really I was just a little kid gassed off of Lil Wayne and 50 Cent. As I grew up though, I began to surround myself with Grime, and since then I’ve been influenced by the likes of Skepta, President T, and a lot of younger artists like Mez.
GD: How do you describe your style, and what kind of beats do you feel you’re best suited to?
B: Really, I’ve got quite a versatile style, though I like to keep my flow the same. I really just bend myself around the beat so that the beat suits me. Nowadays, in the Grime scene, a lot of producers are coming forward with more “Techno” based beats, but personally I feel I don’t suit them. I like the more aggressive dutty beats with skippy kicks.
GD: You’ve obviously grown up around Grime, but what do you think of the vocal side of things at the moment?
B: Well there’s a lot to say about that nowadays. There’s a lot of MCs I rate for their lyricism, and there’s a lot I don’t. Some choose to keep it real and some choose to not keep it real. Personally I don’t have much of a say when it comes to that, I just let people do what they want, they can choose whether to show their true colours or try and fit in with the social norms in their lyrics.
GD: You recently featured on the first #ShellingSessions, how did that come about and will there be more of those?
B: That came about due to the fact that this year I couldn’t feature on a radio set due to personal obstacles I needed to and still need to get past. If I couldn’t make it to the radio, I was determined to bring the radio to me, which is exactly what I did and I saw some very good results from that. Hopefully there will be more 2015, it just all depends on how I feel about it, and whether or not other artists find interest and want to take part in it.
GD: So, what can people expect from you in terms of releases? Is anything on the horizon?
B: A lot! I have said it constantly, 2015 is going to be a mad year. The work rate for 2014 has been high and it will be even higher next year. I will be dropping and featuring on a few tracks before the end of the year. There will also be a track dropping on New Year’s Eve. Another big project dropping for DeadstockGrime in February, and then my EP will be dropping hopefully early 2015. So yes, there is a lot on the horizon.
GD: You’ve started to collaborate with a few people, what can you tell me about that, and who, in an ideal world, would you most like to work with?
B: There will be various collaborations with the likes of Dee Cee, Snowy, Mic TY, Dubz D, Marsta Menzz, Chemz, and so many more. I would like to work with a lot more though, ranging from MCs like Novelist, Mez, Hitman, DeeJillz, and a few others, the list is ongoing.
GD: Do you plan to touch radio in 2015?
B: It all depends, I’ve been invited to quite a few so there is a very high chance you will see me on a set soon!
GD: Name 3 MCs that have inspired you.
B: Ahh, the list is so long, but as of right now it’s: Novelist, Mic Ty, and Dubz D. This isn’t just because their music is nang, but also because they’re personalities and the personal inspiration they’ve given me has pushed me further and kept me motivated. So shout out to them dons there.
GD: Can you make a promise that, if things go well for you in future, you won’t jump strictly on trap tunes, or ghost from the scene?
B: Let me keep it real with you, I hate trap [he laughs]. I hate all sorts of US Hip-Hop and rap and I have never been very supportive of it since I jumped off that wave back in 2010 days. So there isn’t even a 0.2% chance of that. In terms of ghosting, there isn’t a chance of that either. That is obviously if things go well and I don’t face any jeopardizing obstacles.