VIBE.COM! It seems like forever since we last spoke. Fear not, though, because your boy – Joseph 'JP' Patterson – is back to showcase some more exciting UK talent. The last artist I profiled was north London’s Joe Black, who still continues to feed the streets with that UK rap heat. This time, I’m taking you all on a trip to east London for a bit of grime education. To most across the pond, the grime scene literally consists of Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah, but it’s much bigger than that, I can assure you. Introducing Marger, a grime MC from Hackney whose original delivery is currently being lapped up by fans of the 10-year-old genre. Join me as he shares his story...
MARGER: I've always loved music from as far as I can remember. My dad owned a studio and my mum was well into her partying. I used to dance with her in the living room to Michael Jackson, Joe, Keith Sweat, LSG and many more. As I got older and started school, I began experiencing all different types of music. I turned into a big DMX, Lox, Jay-Z fan and I’d jump around in front of the mirror pretending to be famous and writing rubbish little bars (laughs). Over time, I would perfect certain bars and would spit at youth centres and school shows. Life is about learning so as long as I'm listening I will always be picking up new things 2 enhance my craft.
I used to rap, but I found that grime was more challenging and exciting. Grime music takes a lot more time and mastering. If you don’t know the history of grime, you can’t just make it. I love seeing uneducated grime listeners explaining what they think grime is (laughs). The whole UK music scene is growing, but I just think it needs loosening up a little bit. There's so much creative material that are levelling with a lot of stuff abroad, but we hide it away because it’s classed as ‘too explicit.’ Recently, though, I've started to see a lot more UK artists being creative, but it has taken big acts from the States to come over and sign them for it to happen.
Right now, I’m really feeling the work of SBTRKT, Metronomy, Frank Ocean, D’Banj, Tyler, the Creator and A$AP Rocky – I just like that original s**t. I wouldn’t mind working with Drake and Rihanna, too. If I had to describe my sound to someone, I’d say it’s Dr. Dre meets David Guetta meets DMX, who just happens to know Lil Wayne (laughs). Add a whole lot of head-banging snares and you have 'Kushwave Music'! I love people who are prepared for change, because my music is forever changing. I've done shows and collabs out in the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and Denmark, and they appreciate the raw sound that I’m coming with. I've actually just signed a single deal out in Scandinavia, so I'm really looking for that campaign to start. I’m currently signed to 360 Records, which is an independent record label based in London. As much as they’re heavily involved in every aspect of my career, I still have full creative control. Having creative control is so important for me.
My CD is selling, my Twitter is popping and my manager is happy, so everything is going to plan right now. I wouldn't want to sign to a major and mess that up. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of benefits when you’re signed to a major, but I believe we could do it by ourselves if we just have the patience. People forget when labels take your control away it’s because they believe your way won't sell, or because you aren’t selling. For me to sign any deal, they would have to believe in my campaign. The years and beyond? Expect my 'Kushwave' album, loads of chart-topping hits, a big role in one of those 'Kidulthood'-type street movies and an appearance on The Jonathan Ross show – if I’m not too busy, that is (laughs).
–As told to Joseph 'JP' Patterson
Photography: Liam Ricketts