Words: Caroline Simionescu-Marin
When it comes to urban music in the UK there is one topic which comes to the forefront of every debate. The UK Grime scene. Grime music hailed the humble beginnings for London’s most successful and mainstream rappers, including the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Tinie Tempah, Wiley, and Kano. With 15 years in the game, Grime expert; BBC 1xtra’s DJ Cameo, alongside two members of his latest initiative ‘Future Grime Movement’, Scrufizzer and Kozzie, discuss why they think there is a bright future ahead for the genre and more specifically how they will lead they way…
IMC: Cameo, what is the Future Grime Movement (FGM) and how did it come about?
DJC: FGM started in 2009/10 and we released our first ever track together, but we didn’t label it anything at the time. The video came out on Channel AKA and got half a million views. All the artists were little kids! Kozzie, Scrufizzer, Krept and Konan, Mz Bratt, Lady Leshurr, Dream Mclean, and there were more. That was the start. What I was doing then was saying these guys are the next best MCs, you need to pay attention. Krept and Konan have just won themselves a Brit Award for Best Newcomers.
IMC: Who is FGM?
DJC: Myself, NASA, Kozzie, Scrufizzer, Dot Rotten, Maxsta, Kid Bookie… there’s so many more – it’s a massive UK movement from all over not just London.
IMC: Scrufizzer and Kozzie, how do you feel about being involved in the movement?
Scrufizzer: It’s more of a lifestyle. See like Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, they’re in a position where everyone labels them as ‘one scene.’ Like when Kendrick did the “Control” verse and pulled out Wale, J Cole and Drake, everyone labels these new guys as one group. With FGM all the new talent is under one market; our age group who is pushing exciting music.
Kozzie: Everyone does their own thing separately and we can all help to push and promote one another.
IMC: Let’s talk about the new single “Win” featuring; Kozzie, Scrufizzer, Dot Rotten, Maxsta and NASA, which has had over 115,000 views! The beat is very Dance/EDM in our opinion. Was crossing genres intentional?
DJC: I’m glad you said that! These guys have always done Grime music; we wanted to prove that each artist has diversity, that they could cross Grime lyrics and flow onto more Dance beats.
Kozzie: It’s important to keep originality in everything we do, like you said the beat is totally different to what you’d expect. Each person on the tune MC’s so differently and brings something fresh to the track.
IMC: Cameo, as a DJ what do you think about the crossover between different genres e.g. R&B and EDM? Does Grime exist as it is anymore?
Cameo: What we’re trying to say in the movement is that in this day and age, genre specific music just does not exist.
Scrufizzer: In my opinion every genre comes down to Grime. “Harlem Shake” is Grime, it was just labelled Trap. Trap is a straight rip-off of Grime. “New Slaves,” that’s Grime. Rudimental is really Garage music, but they’re labelled dance. Labrinth “Earthquake” is Grime… just very well produced! Everything comes from Grime.
The general public believe what they are sold and there is a stigma attached to Grime. We will sell less because of that. If someone tells you ‘listen to this Grime track’ you are way less likely to listen to it then if they said ‘listen to this hip hop track.’ The word Grime has been tarnished, and all of us have been tarnished with the same brush.
Kozzie: To develop as an artist you have to mess around with different music types, Wiley, Dizzee Rascal, Skepta, they’ve all made pop songs. You must elevate and do what you’ve got to do.
IMC: What is your definition of grime?
DJC: In 2013 Grime is a platform, not a genre. Once most Grime artists get some hype around them they change their genre so to speak, in order to appeal to a wider audience and become more commercial. They’re still proud of their roots but they feel they have to change their tact because of the labels, radios and consumers. Radio and consumers will not support and push something that is labelled Grime, despite many of the artists being equally if not more talented. It is completely political. Grime has to now clean itself up a bit and appeal to middle England, otherwise we will remain a niche small scene and slowly the artists will either whittle away because there’s no money in it or turn to different types of music under guidance of their management.
IMC: Do you feel you have a responsibility to save the UK music? What advice would you give to radio DJs coming up?
DJC: I remember the days when you couldn’t get even a UK track on BBC 1xtra. People like me, DJ Slimzee, DJ 279 and Logan Sama had to battle the stations to play UK music. Let’s not take it for granted. Real DJs need to stand up… presenters please stop pretending to be a part of dictating the underground music, because you’re not a genre DJ you are a personality. Support the tunes when the time is right. Don’t play an artist for a week just to say you’ve played it. Support it fully at the time of release when the help is really needed. The artist/DJ relationship needs to be more real… play your position! Artists can be ruined with over exposure at the wrong times; we want to see more DJs coming through with real input and heart.
IMC: What’s next for the FGM movement?
Scrufizzer: I’ve just released my latest single “Kick it Again” and working on next single with the label. I have also just released a mix tape called Unreleased Songs. Obviously working on some more tracks with Cameo and Kozzie, just keeping the momentum going
Kozzie: I have another EP coming out in January or February, I’m just wrapping it up at the moment. With regards to FGM we have new songs ready for New Year. Everyone is going to be doing so much work that next year we’ll be unstoppable.
DJC: We just want do good music. Stuff we’ll be proud of and the music industry responds and pushes it, that’s a great feeling in itself. We’ve been supported so well already, I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. There are another 5/6 tracks ready and an FGM mixtape which features the core members and other UK artists. On the back of that music you’re going to have so much individual music from each artist. You’ll get the best of both worlds I’m really excited.