Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beyonce's Coming...

Question is, will she be joined by Michelle and Kelly?

(Answer is: probably, yes)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time For: Luke Hyams

You need to make shows that speak to a limited niche audience who will champion that show and cherish it as their own. 

We catch up with the man who directed Dubplate Drama, Luke Hyams.

Luke, who also worked on the internet hit, Kate Modern, has created Bitchcraft, an internet series commissioned by YouTube. Starring Fay Ripley from Cold Feet and Javone Prince from Phone Shop, the series is about the daughter of a witch with very, very wicked ways.

We had a chat with Luke to find out a little more.

You wrote Bitchcraft with your sister? Where did the idea come from? Bro, is your mum a witch doe!?
The idea came about from experiences friend's my age had gone through having to move back in with their parents as adults themselves, due to the difficulty of rising rents and lack of decent available places to live in London. When kids move out, parents often go through empty nest syndrome and compensate with other things. In our show we set aside the mundane realities of hoarding, cat collecting and promiscuity in favour of good old-fashioned Witchcraft. So that’s the premise of the show, but it quite quickly moves on to our central character Gemma realising that she may have magic tendencies herself and the resulting inner conflict she faces as she tries to decide whether she should use the dark arts to get ahead.  Oh and bye the way my mum is lovely and in no way witchy…. Though she does like cats… hmmm.

The challenge there-in is how we interpret and invert witchcraft conventions for a 2013 audience

Vampires and werewolves have been very popular. Is it the time of the witch right now?
Its funny because I spent most of the last two years trying to convince channel executives that Angels were the new Vampires. When making a show on YouTube that is designed to be consumed in snack-size chunks of less than three minutes, the last thing you need is a complicated mythology for people to try to get their head around while dipping into a video from your series. The vast majority of the potential audience of our show already know what a witch is and what to expect, so it makes it a lot easier for us to get into action without painful exposition. The challenge there-in is how we interpret and invert witchcraft conventions for a 2013 audience… people will have to click the link and subscribe to see that.  

How did you get YouTube's attention to commission a series? Presumably this is another telling sign of the future of TV as we knew it?
At the end of 2011, YouTube went into original content in a big way commissioning over a hundred  channels from exisiting YouTube stars like BlackBox T, and mainstream entertainment entities like Warner Music, WWE and Madonna, to name but a few. The idea was to create focused destinations on YouTube where users who were into a specific entertainment brand or artist could go to enjoy new material. YouTube brought the initiative over to the UK last year and I was part of a team at production company Channel Flip who successfully pitched for a channel named The Multiverse which specialises on UK originated scripted sci-fi / fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Bitchcraft is one of the first shows to be premiered on the channel and is based around a group of characters I’d been toying with since 2002.

As for the future, I can definitely see people like me getting more and more funding from entities like Google, Amazon and Netflix as opposed to the traditional routes of the UK broadcasters or brand sponsorship.. And that’s a positive thing in my opinion. The more avenues the better!

I can definitely see people like me getting more and more funding from entities like Google as opposed to the traditional routes of UK broadcasters...And that’s a positive thing in my opinion.

How does filming a series for the internet differ to more traditional TV?
In my experience, I have found that when you create a show for online you must NEVER try to make something that aims to appeal to a very broad audience as it will most likely get lost in the ether. You need to make shows that speak to a limited niche audience who will champion that show and cherish it as their own. So with that in mind, to have a global web show phenomenon that everyone is into might be quite difficult to achieve, (unless it’s the adventures of a sneezing panda who dances like a horse). The Internet and the viewing experience you get from it is far more individualised than anything we’ve ever known before in entertainment terms. It's more like going to a library and exploring than the narrow experience you get when you sit in front of a pre-programmed set of TV channels.

What was the toughest aspect of making the series?
Making this show on a very low budget was very, very hard indeed. There are just so many instances along the way where compromises have to be made, but I am a lot more accustomed to that than a lot of directors. I had to pull a lot of favours and cash in a lot of good will but luckily we had an incredibly supportive team behind us who really believed in the show and brought a lot of much needed energy to the project. They really did a great job and I was proud of how hard everyone worked.

Bitchcraft can be found online here. If you subscribe to the channel they will send you the new episodes when they drop every Thursday afternoon.

For more info, check the Facebook page

Red Bull: Hashtags

The first in a series of documentaries from Red Bull about digital music and what the internet sounds like, the first episolde looks at so-called #Alt-R&B. Featuring contributions from the amazing Miguel, the guy that was one half of the Weeknd but now isn't (he's called How To Dress Well), BadBadNotGood and Rochelle Jordan, this is an interesting and nicely filmed little number.

Check back next week for future episode that will cover Cloud Rap and UK Bass. In your face!

Syron: Here

She's been about for a minute - most notably featuring on Rudimental's Spoons with MNEK - and now South London's Syron is ready to release her own single.

Here will be available from 15 March via the supremely cool Black Butter Recordings.

Sway & Kano: Still Sway & Kano

Utilising one of the best beats ever created (Still D.R.E.) the North and East London legends link up on a track to reassert their OG status.

Lyrically, this is really quite a lot.

Love Kano's opening flow a LOT.

Not sure what the brilliantly named Tigger The Author does on here, but whatever. This is a massive tune and we'd like to buy it right now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

G-Shock: Initial Blue Limited Edition

To celebrate the big 3-0, G-Shock aren't going to Leicester Square to get drunk in a mediocre nightclub before finishing the night with a snog on the dancefloor and a kebab.

Oh no.

They are of course doing what G-Shock do and that is designing brilliant watches. Though it's yet to be fully unleashed upon the world, this very, very limited edition number, Initial Blue, is about to be launched. Available only from the G-Shock stores in London (Covent Garden and Dray Walk), you'll have to get up very early in the morning to cop one of these.

If you want to see more of the watch, 'Like' the Facebook page and another preview will be forthcoming.

Nike: Flyknit HTM Chukka 2013

There's some technical explanation to go alongside these trainers (the Flyknit concept re-interpreted as a chukka boot etc), but that doesn't mean a lot to us.

What you might want to know is that this a collab between streetwear guru Hiroshi Fujiwara and Nike's Tinker Hatfield and Matk Parker. Design, technology, environmentally friendly (two-thirds less manufacturing waste than your average sneak), get yours from 1948 in Shoreditch.

DJ Yoda Ft. Sway: Pizza

We don't know about you, but we could really goa slice of margarita right now.

Taken from Yoda's album, Chop Suey available to buy here.

Pusha T: Wrath Of Caine

One half of the Clipse just dropped this long-awaited mixtape.

Wrath of Caine features Rick Ross, Wale, French Montana and beats by The Neptunes and Jake One. The release is a prelude to his forthcoming G.O.O.D music album, My Name Is My Name, due later this year.

Pusha had a chat about the tape with Ms Info.

Cop your copy right here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Nike Air Force 1 Duckboot

These trainers are really hot, no?

Nike offers up another Duckboot that combines the b-ball sneaker with duckboot touches.

Love the colourway; might just want to make sure all that snow and rain has gone before we step out in these beauties.

Available only from select stockists, or hit up the US based Rock City.

Lonely Island Ft. Kendrick: YOLO

The lolsome Lonely boys return to offer a comedy take on the much-overuse phrase YOLO. Featuring Adam Levine on vox, Kendrick Lamar delivers a performance that makes us want to see him on screen a whole lot more. "Renting is for sucka's right now..."

(If we had to tell you what that means, then, well, you need to leave that rock you live under)

Beyonce By B-Side

If you were thinking of buying yourself a Beyonce-like sweat, well, it's too late.

The DC singer took to the 'nets in response to 'Lip-Synching-Gate' with a B-Side by Wale Adeyemi sweat 'Can I Live'. Not only a great jumper, but an apt statement and of course a nod to her hubby's track of the same name from his debut album, Reasonable Doubt

Bee fans have flooded Wale's site, with the sweatshirt now sold out.

However, there's loads of other amazing things on the site so go check it out and get yourself something amazing, not worn by Beyonce.

JME & Shorty: Moesh

Finally clearing up exactly what 'moesh' does and doesn't mean.

"It's hard to explain, but basically it's the opposite of pain... Quick beans and toast, that's moesh'.

This below, that's moesh.

Glad that's that cleared up then!

Wiley Ft. Chip & Ms. D: Reload

We're big fans of this Wiley track. Fingers cross for a No.1, or at least a Top 5.

Wiley's new album, The Ascent, is also nearly upon us, featuring guests including Lil Shizz from Rascals, Wiley's BBK family and Lethal B. Wow, seems like a long time since those two once had 'beef'. We like it when everyone makes friends.

Here's Will taking to RWD about the album, jeigerbombs and his recent success.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Time For: Kendrick Lamar

It seems like the Compton MC is unstoppable right now.

HIs UK shows received rave reviews of 4 and stars, his album was one of the biggest first week sales of 2012 (bigger even than Rihanna and Rick Ross) and he has everyone from (erm) Dido to Gaga queuing up to work with him. Check his freestyle over Nas' Nas Is Like to get some idea of why he is being heralded as on the greatest rhymers out today.

We caught up with Kendrick when he was in London recently. Here's what he had to say for himself:

It's been a good year for debut artists like yourself, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill etc. How have you found the last few months, in terms of all the critical and commercial acclaim? 
I find it quite amazing, alongside a lot of great artists, good artists. And they’re placing me to the side, as far as an album or a new artist, as one of the pinnacles. Placing me at the forefront of hip hop. It’s a great feeling cos I put a whole lot of hard work and dedication into it. They say I’m holding it down as the leader of the new school.

How have you managed that?
I think it’s really just based on the connection. I have a real close connection with people that listen to my music; it’s bigger than just a hit song or a hot video or something like that. They really feel me, they really root for me because they know at the end of the day, I’m just like them. It’s something I learnt to grow with, how to take my talents from that underground world and clash it into a universal world is something that I’ve developed over the years, for a long, long time. Some things you really can’t explain; Jay-Z can’t tell you why he’s still around. He could tell you a politically correct answer, but it’s really God’s gift to be able to be true to yourself while still appealing to a lot of people.

Section 80 appears to have been the turning point, but where did the fans come from before? 
By putting my best music out. I was once one of those artists who didn’t want to put certain tracks out because I was saving it for an album. But in all actuality, you should be able to constantly make something better than your last project. Every time I put a song out, I want it to be my best song, not a throwaway song, just throw it to the internet; it should be your best song. I really had that initial state of mind; if I continue to put my best music out and be competing, then it would eventually spread through word of mouth. It’s incredible, the effect and the power of people hearing and talking about your music.

Some things you really can’t explain; Jay-Z can’t tell you why he’s still around. He could tell you a politically correct answer, but it’s really God’s gift to be able to be true to yourself while still appealing to a lot of people.

How did you defy the odds of being a young man from Compton? 
Man. I think just by the grace of God. I had faith. I was always the chosen one out of my neighbourhood. I was the one to follow something positive to do and my outlet was music, it became my life 100% and I ran with it. I knew for a fact that those that could help themselves around me could at least put themselves in a position to be inspired by me. I take full leadership, full responsibility for it. I knew I was blessed with a gift of having both parents. That right there gave me a little bit more insight than a few of my other homeboys that didn’t have that. They weren’t the most straight-arrow parents (grins), but they were there and that gave me a whole lot of confidence. So I had respect for that and I didn’t want to throw that away, I didn’t want to throw my life away. So thinking about that, I was swayed towards positivity through music. I chose to do this.

There's a lot of 90s samples in your music - Aaliyah, Adina Howard etc. How would you describe Compton in the 90s? 
The 90s is some of my most prolific memories. It was a whole bunch of house parties, more people were outside then, for some reason. The block was always filled with people, the swap meet was always filled with people shopping. It was a time in my life where there was a whole lot going on. It seemed fun, at the time. It was very unpredictable but it was exciting. You have your best of days and you have your worst of days. I can remember, it was give and take, a balance. Sometimes when you go outside and play basketball, sometimes you hear gunshots, sometimes you have houseparties and there’s a driveby – it was just up and down. But that triggered a lot of what I talked about in my music and what I’ve been through and what my family's been through.

Your album feels intensely biographical.
The album represents one day in my life; the day that I actually turned my whole life around. That shows you how much can go on in one day (laughs). That was one particular day in my life that turned my whole life right around. The world can understand a story but they won’t really understand it until they come to the city and hear these people that I’ve been around and see the locations that I’m talking about. For the people that I’m talking about, it’s really close to home for them because it shows a different light, a realist state of mind but showing at the same time that things can change, things can turn around.

The album represents one day in my life; the day that I actually turned my whole life around. 

Where did the idea to offer a different perspective on Compton come from?
It never was really no reasoning behind it. That was a dare to myself to stand out and do that. Because you never know how people will take you or perceive you to be, if you’re not something they’re used to. People are scared of change, change is definitely me. I felt like it was something I’ve seen, something I know, my whole life, my real life. Something that’s never been touched on is the reasoning behind the street credibility; why these kids wanna be they they do, why they act the way they act, live the way they do and take full responsibility for it. That’s my whole science behind it.

What are those reasons?
Really, no guidance. The true story behind this album is showing how the world look at my friends as delinquents, as terrible people when they really are good kids at heart. Great hearts. But from the time they was born, they had no figure in their lives to really coach them and show them how to become a man. I had that father figure, my friends didn’t. With that being said, they tend to act upon what they see and it’s a constant cycle. I was born in ’87, most of my friends were born in the 80s. This the era of crack cocaine, the crack epidemic hit very, very heavy, so you have most of these kid’s father’s going to jail for life, they mothers getting strung out on drugs. So all they stand with is their grandmother and their grandmother can only show them so much without a father figure around them. That’s one of the stories that I put out there through my album.

Is that a picture of your dad on the album?
Yeah, with the shotgun? (Laughs). He’s crazy. That was his young, wild days. That’s how I remember him. It was normal to me, guns in the house. They kept them away from me though, they were smart enough to do that. But I seen it.

And the taped conversations that you have on g.o.o.d kid?
That was for real. That was me bringing them [my parents] into the studio and telling them 'be yourself and reminisce’. That’s all I told them. Some parts I didn’t tell them the mics were on. So what you’re hearing is really them actually talking how they would talk inside the house.

Is there a line on the album that implicitly defines who you are?
(Raps for a bit). ‘Look inside these walls and you see them having withdrawals/ Of a prisoner on his way, trapped inside your desire/ To fire/ Bullets that stray/ Track a tire/ He’s told you I’m tired and ran way/ I should ask a choir what do you require to sing a song that acquire me to have faith?’ [Pauses]
Ok, this the line. ‘As the record spin I should pray/ But for the record I recognise that I’m easily prey/ I got ate alive yesterday.’ Just that line. ‘For the record I should pray, I got ate alive yesterday but I’m prey.’ It describes me really being right in the dead centre of everything that’s going around and being vulnerable to it and oblivious to it and trying to find my way out. ‘As the record spin I should pray/ But for the record I recognise that I’m easily prey/ I got ate alive yesterday.’ Just being vulnerable to everything that’s going on around and being scared, then fearless the next moment, trying to pull out all of these different emotions going on but you’re trapped. A good kid trapped trying to figure it out.

You lost a lot of people? Is music a way for you to cope?
Yeah music. My music is really venting sessions; they keep me alive, they keep me motivated to continue to vent through it. This album is a self-portrait but it’s really a piece to help me move on with my life and get past my past demons and really better myself as a person. It was really a growing process so when I go back and listen to this, I can really say ‘I did it’. I wasn’t scared to tell these stories and show this vulnerability knowing it can help somebody else. Because for a while, you know, as an artist, you be scared to talk about certain topics because you can never be sure how people will perceive you or what they’ll think about you. That’s something that I learnt from Tupac, how to put those emotions out there’s and not being scared to.

This album is a self-portrait but it’s really a piece to help me move on with my life and get past my past demons and really better myself as a person.

What was the problem with the Lady Gaga track?
It really was a timing difference and something that was out of my control but then I think these things happen for a reason. We didn’t want to push the album back again, so getting that song mixed and mastered and getting the business done would have meant it would have been pushed a couple more weeks and it might have come out the day Obama was re-elected so… that wouldn’t have been good. I didn’t want to wait so I had to go forward. But by the grace of her, she put that version out. I love Gaga (laughs). I’m glad she got to share that moment with the world.

What's she like to be around?
Great, great, a beautiful person. She’s always happy, very considerate, very passionate. A people’s person.

Lady Gaga is always happy, very considerate, very passionate. A people’s person.

And how about your relationship with Dre? How involved is he?
He has input. For the process of this album he really just told me ‘go ahead and make your album and bring it back’. He felt I was already developed, he felt I had a vision and he felt I could execute this vision. The initial plan was for me to make this album and then come back and get in the studio with me and him. But when I came back he said ‘You’re done, what do you need more beats for? It would have just been prolonging people from hearing this masterpiece’. That was a big wow for me that a person can appreciate my music that much that he doesn’t want to lay any type of hand on the back end of it. It was really humbling. This is Dr Dre. He said ‘I’m Dre. I’m on it, lets get it out’. Humbly, he just loves the music, he’s a fan of music. He said ‘You’re ready, you did it’.

Was it weird for you to meet him?
It was weird. Very weird. Especially at the beginning. Like, all these people you see on TV all the time. As a kid, figuratively, you really don't look at them as a human being cos you’re on these high places, like TV, so a kid feels they can’t touch you. That’s how I felt as a kid looking at my favourite rappers like Dre, Snoop and them. The fact to see him and shake his hand and then work with him bought back all the memories of me watching TV and wondering what it would be like to be around these guys. At the end of the day, they’re just genuine, regular people.

Dre works out hard. Everyday. Two miles a day hiking, gym… I’m going to start doing that if I can hang. I don’t thing I can hang..

With his big arms.
(Laughs). Yeah, he works out hard. Everyday. Two miles a day hiking, gym… I’m going to start doing that if I can hang. I don’t thing I can hang (laughs).

So, what are you bringing to the hip hip landscape?
Continuing the culture as far as being original, keeping originality inside of hip op. My earliest memories of hip hop from an older persons telling was that if you copied or bit anybody’s style, you’d get kicked out the game so, seeing the repetitiveness that was here over the last couple of years, just really changing that design and standing out and what happens is that furthers the culture. My initial start with doing that, is with this album.

good kid, m.A.A.d city is out now.

Johnny Knoxville: RWD TV

RWD sat down with the eponymous Knoxville, who was in town to promote the new Arnie film, The Last Stand, in which he co-stars.

Now, we've seen this film and all we can say is, if you're a 13 year-old boy you'll probably love it.


Johnny talks here about drinking reindeer blood, not changing his underwear for a week and being sick. Whatta guy!

A$AP Yams: New York Times

The 'Yoda' to Rocky's 'Skywalker', Mr. Yams talks about his Harlem buddy, the A$AP outfit and New york rap in 2012.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Clare Maguire: Happy Anniversary

Any song that has the words 'tramp' and 'stamp' in it is always going to get a massive thumbs up from us.

The amazing Clare Maguire is back and if this is the direction she's taking, we're all over this bad boy.

A strong county vibe, lyrically and musically, Clare's voice sounds, as ever, incredible.

Here's what she had to say about the track:

"I thought I'd share this demo with you... This song was written after spending an evening with my ex, what was supposed to be a special occasion turned out to be a giant hazy dose of our morbid reality... love."

Wiley: Reload (BTS)

Wiley hangs out with the NME at the set of his forthcoming smash, Reload, featuring Ms. D and Chipmunk.

Big, huge, massive fan of this track.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prince: What You Don't Know...

One of the greatest to ever do it returns with this soul-funk-jammin' number that sounds like pretty vintage Prince with an uptempo twist.

With the likes of  Miguel and The Weeknd drawing on the Purple One's influence, seems like now would be a great return for the one we know as Prince.

Honest Trailers: Indian Jones and The Kingdom of Skulls

Shout out to RWD for telling us about Honest Trailers.

This guys inject some actual reality and lolsome-ness into the forthcoming trailer for the latest Indiana Jones. 'Starring Harrison Bored, Gandalf and that guy from Transformers...'

Loving your work Honest Trailers.

S.A.S Ft. Nicki: Dungeon

Mega and Meyham were once signed to Dame Dash and the Roc, and have continued putting in the grind since.

Produced by Kid Bass, this feature none other than Minaj; proving that SAS still have a lot of clout Stateside.

Dungeon is taken from the forthcoming mixtape, Coming To America.

Follow Mega
Follow Meyhem

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

John Legend: Who Did That To You

The Leg returns after a somehat lengthy hiatus (bar cropping up on various Kanye projects), with this old-skool soul flavoured track.

Taken from the Django Unchained soundtrack (and spotted on i-D's Soundcloud), the track provides a fitting end to an incredible film.

Something about this tune reminds us of many other Tarentino soundtracks like Jackie Brown; John Legend sums up both the time and the director pretty perfectly with this, don't you agree?

Kozzie: Skitz

One of the grime's scene's grimiest, Kozzie has been a name on many mouths for a while (wait, that sounds weird).

What we mean is, Kozzie is being tipped by all types of people; from the grime heads to the hipsters, many are liking this South London spitter. Leaving behind a career in football to concentrate on music, Kozzie has risen through the ranks since his Straight Off The Book debut in 2009.

Produced by Faze Myaki, Skitz is a great introduction for those that are yet to hear Koz The Kid; flow, punchlines and 140 BPM is the order of the day.

Follow Kozzie.

Disclosure Ft. AlunaGeorge: White Noise

On our shortlist at the Dazed/ G-Shock awards late last year, AlunaGeorge team up with bad boy bass duo Disclosure on this housey number, which premiered on Zane Lowe last night.

A$AP Freestyle: Semtex

The 1X DJ picked the perfect beat for the Southern loving A$AP; Bone Thugs & Harmony's Thuggish Ruggish Bone.

Going off the top, Rocky drops some good one liners and a few awkward fillers...!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Allow Him To Reintroduce Himself...

His name is Obama, Barack Obama, and he's back for a second time.

Helping to celebrate his inaugeration, no other than the Queen Bee herself.

Beyonce sang a rendition of the National Anthem. Can you imagine how nerve-wracking that must be? Well, we can. Quite a lot.

Ed Sheeran: Tour Diary

With his mammoth tour currently over in the US, the latest installment of Ed's Tour Diary takes us to Belfast where Ed plays to his biggest audience ever.

New One From Wang

The latest line from one of A$AP's favourite designers features a lot of quilting, leather and not a lot of colour.

Monochrome is the order of the day in Wang's Fall 2013 collection. We're liking the futuristic Japanese bike crew feel that runs throughout.

Trailer: Spring Breakers

We're not sure if Harmony 'Kids' Korine's latest opus is a joke, or not.

Starring The Franco (with braids) and lots of Disney stars (Hudgens & Gomez) in bikini's with guns, this looks like it might be one of the oddest films ever.

Presumably this is some sort of iconic comment on, well, something deep and meaningful.

Spring Breakers is out in April.

Rick Ross: Pirates

Taken from God Forgives, I Don't, The Bawse hires expensive speedboats, laydeez in bikini's and gets his Jolly Roger on (sorry).

Time For: Charlie Brown

We've been keeping an eye on Charlie Brown for a while now. Not only the vocalist on Wiley and Bless Beat's The Rain, he's also written with everyone from The Script to RedOne (Gaga).

We had a little catch up with the South London singer and songwriter to find out how never giving up has helped him to get to this point.

You’re signed to AATW (Dappy, Tulisa) but it’s taken you years to get to this point. How did you stay motivated? Others might have quit a long time ago.
The main thing is, I just don’t know what else I would do. I think if I hadn’t kept on getting close to it then maybe I might have quit. But coming so close; I was nearly signed in 2004, I did get signed in 2006 - one A&R loved the record I made, one A&R hated it - I’ve had people from Atlantic in the US fly over to meet me twice. So I knew there was something there and it would be a disservice to myself not to see what it is. It’s like blind faith really. Plus other people’s stories too are inspiring. RedOne had been through the same thing in the producer world; Jessie J came from her Gut deal to having 6 labels trying to sign her, then no one did, but she figured it out and stuck with it and now she’s Jessie J. Robin Thicke had 7 deals. Pixie Lott had up’s and down’s. Some people do a TV show and get successful, some people are signed and make it, other people have 5 deals before they make it. I had two! (laughs) The only time I stopped believing was around 2010. I thought ‘Ok, this isn’t going to happen’.

"I stopped believing was around 2010. I thought ‘Ok, this isn’t going to happen..."

This was just after you featured on Wiley’s Bless Beats produced, The Rain, right?
Yeah, that was in 2009. A friend of mine introduced me to Bless. I was at his house, and we recorded four or five hooks. He put Wiley on The Rain and released it. That was the first good thing that had happened in ages. Wiley was cool. He talked me up in label meetings for ages. He’s got a great nature. He’s always been a big supporter of mine. The song wasn’t a No.1 or anything, but it meant that 10,000 people on Youtube who didn’t know me before, knew me after.

You were signed as a songwriter at 19. Tell us about some of the people you’ve worked for, including the aforementioned RedOne etc.
I signed to Simon Fuller’s 19 and from there I was sent pretty much around the world to write for all sorts of people. That was my first experience of going into a studio, hearing a finished beat and then having to write a topline on top. The week after I’d signed, I was sent to Canada on a writing trip for Canadian Idol – I didn’t know there was a Canadian Idol at that point! I got there and it’s a bit conveyor belt; they have three weeks to get the whole record done. So you get a rota up in the kitchen and you do two sessions a day with complete strangers. I had this one session and really gelled with these three guys. We wrote a couple of songs that we all liked and that ended up being on the Canadian Idol record. They asked if I’d step outside for a second and write with them for some other acts they had. Two of them later formed the Script – Mark and Danny. My first ever songwriting cut ever, was with them.

Who are you working with on your debut?
So far there’s Quiz & Larossi (Conor Maynard, Cover Drive), MoJam (Emeli Sandé, Professor Green), Wayne Rodrigues (Natasha Bedingfield, Nelly Furtado, Kelly Clarkson) and newcomers Focus (Dappy, Misha B) and Mushtaq. Artist-wise there’s Mic Righteous and of course Yungen and Ms D.

 "There’s a million paths to you now and you where you want to be. Don’t stay too stuck on one particular route..."

What’s been the toughest lesson you’ve had to learn?
I think to stick with something. It’s a cliché, but if there’s one thing I’d say to people starting out, it might not go the way you think it’s going to, but there’s a million paths to you now and you where you want to be. Don’t stay too stuck on one particular route. I’ve calmed down a lot and stopped obsessing. It’s hard to do, but it’s about being in the moment and enjoying it. I’m calm for the first time in my career. You never know what’s going to happen so my only job is to be the best I can be and deliver honest music as best as people. People will like it or they won’t. I’m so glad I’m doing this now with the mindset I have than the one I had two years.

What are your future ambitions?
As a writer I’ll be 99 years old on my deathbed pitching songs (laughs). On the artist side, I’m glad I’m getting to try it. I know people who are frustrated artists and would love the shot. So I hope to release albums but right now it’s about this album being the best I can be. I aspire to be like the people I look up to and to have a career that spans years. But actually, to be real, I just stay focused on the now. That’s the best thing I can do. You don’t know what’s going to happen, but don’t be scared of that. I like not knowing what might be around the corner. It’s exciting.

On My Way is out 25 March.

Follow Charlie on Twitter.

K Koke Ft. Rita Ora: Lay Down Your Weapons

What makes this an interesting choice for Koke is that he of course knows all too well about that life. It's when these words come from the mouths of those that have been there, that hopefully you might see an effect. As the cliche goes, even if it's just one kid who decides to opt out of road life, that's one less life ruined,

Good on Koke for putting this track out.

The Roc-Nation signed rhymer has been tipped by MTV for 2013 and is sure to make a splash this year.

Happy Birthday Fred Perry

Who'd a thought it, eh? Mr. Perry doesn't look a day over 59...!

 To celebrate the iconic British label's diamond anniversary, they've asked 60 of their frainds and family to design a shirt. Everyone from Damon Albarn, Raf Simons, JW Anderson and Bradley 'Wiggo' Wiggins has contributed.

The results of their efforts will be on display at Dover Street Market from 26 Jan.

This is what Simone Rocha had to say about her shirt:

"The Simone Rocha Fred Perry's are mixing the original polo shirt with silk tulle , creating a contrast of fabrics, textures and styles , which is a theme that runs through Simone's work".

(And when we say 'Simone' we mean 'someone at her company')

Friday, January 18, 2013

A$AP: Westwood Freestyle

The Harlem Hot Boy is in the UK this week and so, obviously, passed through the Big Dawg's show and spat some rhymes.

If you don't have A$AP's album yet, WHY not?

It's ACE! (And tbh better than him freestyling)

Aaliyah: Quit Hatin'

We're unsure of posthumous releases. Especially one's so long after the death of the person. This was obviously recorded some time before 2011, the year of Aaliyah's death.

As a huge fan of 'Baby Girl', we love hearing those vocals over a new track, we just hope it's an idea she would have been into. We'd prefer it if maybe Tim and Missy were involved. As it is, this was produced by Knotch and Dre Sinatra (yeah, us either).

This track was released to celebrate what would have been her 30th birthday earlier this week.

Expect an album at some point this year.

K Koke Ft. Rita Ora: Lay Down Your Weapons

The way Rita sings the chorus, it's hard to tell exactly what kind of weapon she might be referring to here. But maybe that's just us.

Anyway, yes, good one Koke. We like an anti-violence song, yes we do. Especially one so atmospheric and dramatic as this.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

RoxXxan: Power

Just premiered on Noisey is the brand new one from Ro Triple.

The Brummie Bar Slayer on her Wu Tang in this video...!

George The Poet: About It (SBTV)

One of the most brilliant talents to come through in 2013, George performed at the Royal Albert Hall last Monday in front of Wretch and Tinie and a packed room.

We've seen George perform twice recently and we can tell you he's pretty amazing. The video above proves just why everyone from the BBC, Channel 4 and Formula 1 all think this North-West Londoner is just so fantastic.

We caught up with George last week. Here's a little of what he had to say.

How did you get into poetry?
I started out rapping, and moved onto poetry because the audience I was attracting through rap, for whatever reason, wasn’t really engaging with the social stuff that I wanted to talk about.

You're working with Naughty Boy, signed to Wretch and his team, you performed an amazing poem for F1... What's been your career highlight to date?
Working with the ACLT. It gave me a lot to think about and a sense of priority. I just made a quick poem for them but through seeing their journey and seeing their work and get people, especially black people, to register as donors.

What's the plan for 2013?
I want to have more of a commercial music presence, release the first of two EP's. One is with Wretch and Jacob Banks

What's the toughest decision you've made?
Turning down charity stuff is always tough but I have to think about priorities. I’d love to give myself to everything but it’s not possible.

You should know that… I was born with a tooth!

Watch more of George on his Tumblr.

Wiley Ft. Chip: Reload

Absolutely love this third single from Wiley, Ft. Chip and Ms. D.

Out in March, just before the album.

Joey Bada$$: Decoded

Mr. Bada$$ sits down with Life & Times and breaks down the meanings behind his CJ Fly assisted rhymes on Hardknock.

Rather interesting.

(Nice watch Joey!)

Flux Pavillion: Blow Off The Roof

If this title track is anythign to go by, Flux Pavillion's forthcoming EP will be pretty bananas.

Play this and you'll be like 'Yeah, I swear it was cold, like minus 3 a minute ago? Now, I'm like super-toasty warm all of a sudden'. If this tune doesn't make your nose bleed and your ears itch, then perhaps collabs with P-Money, Sway and Childish Gambino will.

This body-warming womp womp will be available from the Flux's from January 28th website.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dawn Richard: 86

Former Danity Kaner and ex Diddy Dirty Money, Dawn Richard is winning huge acclaim for her Nu-'R&B soundz'.

In this video she dresses up as a knight.

Dawn Richard, we love you. We're off to buy the album, Goldenheart.

A$AP: Letterman

Rocky took to the American airwaves last night in support of his brand new debut album, LongLiveA$AP.

Here, he performs the title track and the Skrillex creation Wild For The Night with A-Trak, Clark Kent and Aarab Muzik on hand to pump up the jam.

Rude Kid: What The Hell

We've told you about Rude Kid before. We hope you were listenting. Were you?

Good. Well done. The east Londoner returns with even more bass for your face with What The Hell EP, out on Feb 11th.

This sample should give you a little idea of what to expect. Wobble. Shake. Crunch.

Devlin Ft Diane Birch: Rewind

Right, for real, Dagenham's Devlin is one of the UK's finest rhymers. His wordplay, internal rhyme schemes... he doesn't waste a word.

He's yet to have the success he deserves, but with tracks like this behind him, we think it might be coming.

Dev's second album, A Moving Picture, featuring Katy B, Ed Sheeran and Wretch, is out 4th February. Pre-order from here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ester Dean: Bam Bam

She's written for so many people (Rihanna, Nicki, Katy Perry, Tinie, Usher, Mary J...) it's impossible to list.

But now Dean, the woman behind Super-Bass, RudeBoy, Fireworks and What's My Name is ready to step into the solo spotlight. Signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation, omparisons to Missy can't be overlooked; there's certainly a lot of similarities visually and musically.

Good looking to the UK's Yogi who produced the beat. S'a big look!

Frank Ocean Ft. Outkast: Pink Matter

Ok, well the official artwork says 'Andre 3000 and Big Boi' but come on  boys, you'll always be Outkast to us.

Ocean revisits his album track and gets a little help from the two ATLiens. Lets not pit them against each other, lets just say they both sound incredible. Fantastic to see these two back on wax again.

Ed Sheeran: UK Tour Diary

Want to go on tour with Ed Sheeran? Well, you can't, sorry.

However, you can kind of go behind the scenes with this tour diary of young Ed as he scales the country on his recent sold-out tour and performs at the X-Factor.

Check out his doppelganger, it's actually uncanny.

Santigold: Girls

Philly born, Brooklyn residing Santi delivers a track for the soundtrack for Lena Dunham's Golden Globe winning hit series, Girls.

Jaden Smith Ft. Willow Smith: Kite

In which overachieving teenage brother and sister team up on the ambient Kite.

Looks like Jaden has been taking a lot of tips from Drake/ Frank/ Weeknd.

Aren't siblings of this age supposed to be fighting and/ or ignoring each other? Ah, you guys!

UD Live: February


Misha B, rapper Joe Black, Leicester singer Mahalia and singer/ songwriter Tom Prior will join the amazing MckNasty on the 7th Feb for UD Live.

Taking place at Cargo, this is a live night with a twist. Last month, Amplify Dot and Squeeks tore the roof off and we're sure these guys will do the same. As well as performing live versions of their own tracks, the night is also a jam session, with Misha and co improvising along to drummer extraordinaire (and brother of Labrinth) MckNasty and his brilliant band.

Get down to Cargo, 83 Rivington St, Shoreditch, on Feb 7th. Tickets are £5 on the door before 7pm, more after, or £3 for members of UD

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pitch Perfect: The Riff Off

I know we're all over Glee and choirs and stuff, but this is a bit brilliant.

Featuring Rumpshaker, Lets Talk About Sex and, most best, No Diggity, this is one musical comedy we certainly intend to check out. It's out NOW!

Ciara: Wake Up, No Make Up

DC and JT aren't the only ones making comebacks this week.

Atlanta's Ciara is also preparing a return.

Produced by Mike Will, this brilliantly titled single is a slice of dark, menacing, flow-filled 'tude. Ci-Ci even samples herself (Ride It) at one point. Love the production, love the vocal, love the tune.