Infinite x MTV K First Showcase

9 Producers Keeping Grime Alive!

Meet the notorious producers who refuse to let the UK grime scene die.

Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Words and interviews by Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson

Grime music has long been the voice of a young generation coming out of the UK — well, for over a decade now — with the likes of Wiley, Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Skepta et al leading the lyrical way. But props must also be given to the producers who created dark, bass-riddled sounds for the aforementioned MCs to lace: Danny WeedAliasWaifer, and fellow 140 BPM beat-makers of auld lang syne, we salute you for blessing us with your now-classic PlayStation and Fruity Loops-produced instrumentals. It’s a new day and a new year, though, which means there are some new kids on the block in the production lab creating their own future grime classics. MTV IGGY went to the UK to find out whose beats are bringing bars to life in 2012…

Preditah. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Preditah

Age: 23

Hometown: Birmingham, UK

What grime means to me: “Grime isn’t just a genre of music, it is a feeling words can’t describe. Grime will put you in a balanced mood of hype, excitement and eagerness. Grime to me means musical freedom. I don’t approach a new track with any formula or method because grime is experimental music.”

My sound: “It’s refreshing, soulful and thirst-quenching to the ears. It has feeling to it. It isn’t purposely designed to sound like a certain way, neither is it manufactured to bring a signature formula. My sound is simply my thoughts and feelings transformed into notes, beats and chords.”

Essential jam:

Rude Kid. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Rude Kid

Age: 24

Hometown: London, UK

What grime means to me: “To me, grime is our own homegrown sound that we have created here in the UK. Grime doesn’t have a distinctive sound, it’s very unique. There are lots of producers who have their own styles, which is why you can never explain what a grime tune sounds like.”

My sound: “I feel as though I have a very signature sound. I make music that I enjoy hearing, more than anything. I like to experiment a lot with my music, for example, I like using weird-sounding synths, and confusing and skippy drum patterns. I always make sure that my instrumentals can be heard and enjoyed, with or without a MC.”

Essential jam:

Spooky. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Spooky

Age: 24

Hometown: London, UK

What grime means to me: “Grime has this raw, underground energy about it that just draws me in every single time. So for me, grime is my passion. It is like nothing else that I know. It’s like one of my vital organs that I need to function in life.”

My sound: “It’s that ‘Spartan’ sound: fully-charged and no mercy for the faint-hearted, but there’s also the other side to my sound that I tend to explore every so often, just to musically challenge myself.”

Essential jam:

Swifta Beater. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Swifta Beater

Age: 22

Hometown: Birmingham, UK

What grime means to me: “Grime is like an emotional outlet, like martial arts or driving at high speeds everywhere. I automatically get the urge to make a beat when I’m angry or drunk, but the majority of the time, the genre is for me to release my anger.”

My sound: “It’s very orchestral, but it can sometimes be influenced by electronic sounds. Some people say that I’m ‘grime’s answer to Dr. Dre’, as I tend to make slow, dark, bass-heavy beats, which are very close to sounding like hip-hop. But it isn’t hip-hop, it’s GRIME!”

Essential jam:

Royal-T. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Royal-T

Age: 21

Hometown: Southampton, UK

What grime means to me: “The main thing that I really love about grime is that it’s fully organic, it’s an escape for those who don’t want to settle for what is common. There aren’t any fabricated, sugar-coated artists or songs —just straight, honest and raw music that formed from the streets by real people.”

My sound: “It delves back to the roots of the genre. I make a lot of dark-sounding 4×4/2-Step stuff, which I feel is grime’s original identity. I try and emulate a balance of all of the best elements from that era, mixed with a bit of a modern twist.”

Essential jam:

Faze Miyake. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Faze Miyake

Age: 22

Hometown: London, UK

What grime means to me: “Grime is the UK’s version of hip-hop culture. It’s our homegrown sound and lifestyle here in the UK. The music is a mixture of so many different genres and is always changing. Being a part of the grime scene means a lot to me, because it’s a sound that I’ve grown up around.”

My sound: “The best way to describe my sound is hard-hitting, that’s always my main aim when making music. I can make almost any style and can make softer stuff too, but my comfort zone is always heavy and bassy. Woofer music!”

Essential jam:

Darq E Freaker. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Darq E Freaker

Age: 25

Hometown: London, UK

What grime means to me: “For me, grime music represents energy and UK culture.  The music’s energy is probably the most fundamental and significant part of the genre. It thrives on its strong and lively nature, whilst culturally, via lyrics/songs—it’s the voice of the youth and an insight into ever-changing urban life in the UK. Grime has a dark, guttural sound that mirrors what it explores lyrically: the dark, guttural nature of London life. It’s the voice of urban living.”

My sound: “My sound is primarily a fusion of hip-hop and electronica, but I have vast and versatile musical taste, which often results in my sound incorporating other elements from outside of the grime music region. I have a very distinctive sound, which I would imagine is solely identified as grime.”

Essential jam:

Mr. Mitch. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Mr. Mitch

Age: 23

Hometown: London, UK

What grime means to me: “Grime is music of passion. It’s a genre of music that evokes and describes strong senses of emotion. You can’t make real grime without putting your heart into it. It represents my generation, continuing to cut through the shit, no matter how society perceives us.”

My sound: “I can make that deep, pensive soulful music that you will sit down and think about life and love to, but I can also make dark and sinister music that belongs in a horror movie. I create music to bring out emotions in people. Anger or happiness, it’s all good.”

Essential jam:

Thomas Mellor. Photography by Liam Ricketts at Red Bull Studios.

Thomas Mellor

Age: 19

Hometown: Walsall, UK

What grime means to me: “When I first got into producing, I didn’t know too much about the grime genre, as I’ve listened to hip-hop for most of my life. Over time, I started listening to more grime music, which is what got me into producing it. It’s great being part of a scene that has huge potential, and it has helped my music move forward to a better place.”

My sound: “I’d say that all of my beats, no matter if it’s pop or grime, etc., will always have a hip-hop influence to them: Southern, West Coast and East Coast sounds. My sound can vary from track-to-track but, when it comes to my grime, I take a futuristic approach to my beats, using many virtual instruments for my synths and bass.”

Essential jam:

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