Grime is such an interesting genre. Stemming from the urban areas of London, this homegrown music narrates the lives of MCs and gives them a voice. The bars are usually backed up by a bpm of 140, which explores the hybridity of the genre, keeping it fast and giving it that euphoric feel. Since the first large scale release of UK Grime in 2003 with Dizzee’s ‘Boy In Da Corner’ album, grime has progressed into how we know it today, with artists like Giggs, Stormzy, Kano, JME and loooooads more.
Even though the sound originates from the streets of London it is taking over northern culture. Except, when you think of northern grime artists who to you think of? When I sat down and actually thought about it I couldn’t real off that many names. Taking this into account, I linked up with Blazer Boccle, a grime artists from Bradford, to pick his brain about all things grime.
We grabbed a coffee and straight away the banter was flowing, as a dodgy pesto sandwich in the fridge of the café freaked him out. To anyone who hasn’t heard Blazers music, I’d describe it as the lighter side of grime but still obtains a quality beat and catchy bars. He keeps his sound fresh and interesting simply because it isn’t that serious, his lyrics portray his humour and I can definitely say he’s just like that in person too.
As we kicked off the interview we quickly dropped into a nostalgic theme as he told me about his first experiences of grime. Young and easily influenced, he walked into his sisters friends house as they were watched a Lord Of The Mic’s DVD…
“The first MC I ever saw was a girl, that Lady Fury, she was spitting and then she passed the mic to Crazy Titch and Dizzee Rascal then they start going at each other and I was like WHAT IS THIS?! Back then when I was a kid I used to listen to 50Cent and Jay Z, then I walked into that DVD playing and was like this is sick…”
Witnessing these MCs spitting must have had a major impact on young Blazer as he tells me, giggling at the thought, that not long after he wrote his first bar, at the minor age of 9 years old.
Although Blazers described himself as a comical person, with his satirical approach to lyric writing supporting this, he does slightly touch on a deeper subject regarding his dad’s previous heroine use.
“I try not to touch on it too serious, I don’t ever wanna tell a sob story like ‘aww this has happened to me, feel sorry for me’ I just sorta touch on it but with a bit of humour ‘cos it’s just easier for someone to laugh at you than to cry for you.”
However, He went on to tell me how it’s not the biggest aspect to his music.
“Everyone always thinks that its like a big thing that I touch on, it is to someone else, but to me it’s an everyday subject, it’s normal to me.”
This then raised the question, why does grime tend to be SO serious?! Is that what sells the genre? Or do artists just shy away from the banter that is present in tracks by artists such as Lunar C and of course, Blazer himself. When I asked Blazer why his music is so comical he said
“Everyone’s got a serious side to them but I can’t make music and lie and be like ‘stab stab, shoot shoot, gun gun, trap trap’. Yeah, that is an aspect to my life but that’s not the bigger picture. I’m just not that way inclined, I have a laugh and I’ll have a laugh at the expense of myself. I don’t make music to make anyone think I’m a badman, I don’t make music to make anyone think anything of me. I just wanna make people laugh, make people dance or smile, which is weird for grime.”
This lighter feel to such a heavy genre works really well in my opinion, it is refreshing but still upholds the characteristics of grime but with a northern twist. I asked Blazer his opinion on the northern sound within the genre:
“I think it’s just the slang and the experiences we’ve been through. When I went to London to go on the Radio, everywhere there’s like council flats and its all built up but up here its not like that as much, it’s a completely different way of living. That’s what differs… the way of living. That’s what we talk about and we use different slang.”
‘Local’, the first track that Blazer put together after some time out of the game, shows off different variations of Yorkshire slang that separates northern and southern grime.
However, Blazer was hesitant to get ‘Local’ out into the open, since he hadn’t spat for a long period of time due to spending time in prison. He humorously tells me about the moment he sent the track over to his girlfriend.
“She went out and I text her saying ‘shall I send you this song? Do you wanna hear it?’ I sent it to her and she didn’t text me back for AGEEES. I thought ‘she’s sat there laughing at me’.” He says holding back a smile. “She rung me and said ‘Babe, THAT’S SICK! I don’t even listen to that type of music but that is sick!’ and then I sent the track on to a few of my friends.” And the rest is history…
Since gaining the confidence and the support of his friends and family Blazer has gone on to produce tracks such as ‘Don’t Get Gassed!’ and ‘Poke’ which all reflect his lighthearted personality and just shows that you can stray away from conventions and still be successful with whatever it is you do.
The full interview will be included in my forthcoming radio podcast, which will be airing some time in early April…so keep a heads up for more info! The podcast will contain interviews from producers DJ Q, Jake Burdass and Bassboy and grime artists Luke Kash & of course Blazer Boccle. Along with music from all these artists, the podcast will examine the traits of both genres in order to give you guys a deeper look into the fast paced world of grime and bassline!