Interview with Grime Artist, Ghetts for Bespoke Mag

Ghetts Talks Exclusively to Bespoke Mag About His New EP and Musical Journey So Far. Originally published in 2015.

About 10 Days ago we were invited to the listening party for Ghetts' collaborative EP with Rude Kid, 653. The concept was simple: 6 tracks, recorded in 5 days with 3 music videos to be shot alongside (including the video for 'One Take' shot on the night). The EP was recorded completely in the Relentless Building at No.5 Denmark St.

The night itself was a absolute madness. After getting a teaser of the madness to come in the form of a PA of 'One Take' for the recording of the music video, we got live performances from Frisco, Mercston, Giggs and Kano. And this was all before the man himself came out and played the 5 vocals from the project back to back. You may have also seen the visuals from the madness that ensued after. Check out the video below if you missed it.

Ghetts performed his new material with his signature energy and charisma and had everyone in the crowd completely gassed. What stood out to us, though, is that he seemed to be having more fun with the music than maybe he had in the past. Naturally, we thought it pertinent to reach out to him and find out a bit more about the 653 EP, his future plans and his musically journey to date.

Tell us a bit more about the concept behind the 653 EP and how it came about
Ghetts: I actually had to go and do a freestyle for Rude Kid over at the Relentless Building. And you know what we was just vybzing in the studio and I’m a person who like just bases anything off of energy. You know like, like someone off their energy or dislike someone off their energy. Pretty much like anyone else. But there was a great energy in that studio and I knew it was somewhere I would want to come back and do some work. Then I met some people in the relentless brand and you know like it’s crazy because see brands, brands piss me off normally because they don’t understand the culture; or not even that they don’t understand the culture, they don’t try to understand the culture. So when I met Relentless it was a breath of fresh air because it was like “rah, man, where’d they find you lot?” They were cool, just cool. You know like when you vibe with your people-dem. That’s how I was with them. And I was like, “Oi, Rude, come we bang out a quick ep” because I’m not gonna have another release this year because my album is taking too long. So let me just bang out an EP like 5 or 6 tunes in 5 days. Boom boom boom boom. And they loved it. So that’s how that came about really.

Do you see yourself doing any more work in the Relentless Studio given you liked it there?
G: Ah yeah, definitely. Definitely. We’re already talking about the next thing.

Oh, nice. More mixtapes? Or an album?
G: Nah like, I think I’m just gonna release tune after tune. Because my albums are so conceptual, when I’m recording them I just disappear for a while and then come back with an album. But this time I just wanna release tune after tune. I don’t wanna just focus on my album like that. I kind of want to take time and have fun with it but not disappear and keep releasing songs.

Coming into this interview we heard that you had been working on the album so naturally my next question was going to be when can we expect it but I guess that means it’s just going to be tracks for the foreseeable future?
G: Yeah, you see Rebel With a Cause was so personal that... My albums are all so person that I feel like I haven’t lived enough since that yet for the difference to be heard. And I don’t want to put something out that talks about the same things. You know what I’m saying? So I’m just gonna have some fun with the tracks and the club bangers. I’m just gonna do bangers for a while. Music to me is first and foremost is therapy to me. That’s why I don’t have as many club bangers as the next man. I always do music from the point of view that I’m going through this and that so I’m going to speak about it. Because I don’t really speak in real life. Like, I won’t tell someone what my problems are in real life. I don’t have an outlet. Music is my outlet. That’s why the other side, the bangers, slip a bit. But I’m enjoying making bangers right now so I’m gonna keep making bangers.

One thing I find interesting is that just a second ago you said you haven’t lived enough yet to do another conceptual album. Would you say that in terms of success and creating a successful body of work would you say that it’s life experiences that drive the work? What would you say makes an album special?
G: I don’t know really. It depends on what artists you like and what you like them for so. Me answering this question will be me answering it for me. See me, yeah, I grew up on Biggie and Pac and that. Them man were rich but they had stuff that the average man could relate to so their albums were very much like personal life journeys. That’s what I grew up on so now when I make music and I’m doing my album I get very personal. So for me, to answer your question, that’s what I enjoy the most; when I’m listening to an artist I like and they’re just giving you that little insight. We all like people for different reasons. I love Lauryn Hill. Her character is intriguing in itself so when she releases an album I get intrigued because she’s letting you know what she’s thinking. I proper respect that because that’s what the art’s from; it’s from the heart.

Changing the subject slightly, do you think we’ll ever see some sort of reunion EP from The Movement? It’s been too long since we’ve heard you go back to back with Wretch, Scorcher, Mercston and Devlin.
G: Fam! I pray, cuz. I pray. I pray that I don’t leave this Earth and that’s not happened. See what’s mad is that we all still speak. We’re all bredrinz still. There’s no internal politics but it’s just like it’s crazy because when The Movement was happening we were just kids rolling together every day. So it was just a natural ting. Then we looked around and realised we had a brand it was like “rah, what do we do now?” because we’ve all got out different family situations as you do when you’re this age and we’re not wrapped around each other like we were when we were younger. So yeah… Madting.

So you’d definitely be up for it if the opportunity arose?
G: Yeah, yeah definitely. We’ve had talks about it but in The Movement, I’ll be very honest, everyone’s a strike. Every single person. And when you’ve got a team like that it’s very hard to conduct. You know what I’m saying.

Yeah because everyone wants to shine.
G: Not even that because every man will shine regardless. It’s just the timing of everything. See I might not be doing anything, yeah, but Wretch is doing his campaign. Or vice versa. And where there’s 5 people involved it’s a big problem because there’s never a time when everyone is doing nothing. It turns a bit mad but we’ll get it right.

Yeah, hopefully, man.
G: Hopefully.

So, when you get in the studio generally, do you have a process?
G: I really just catch a little vibe and zone out. I’ve been going studio so long and I only just started letting people come studio with me the other day. Normally I don’t really like people in the studio but of late I’ve been catching a new vibe with people in the studio. I pretty much made 653 like that; catching a vibe. It was more fun if I’m honest.

So moving forward do you think you’ll record more that?
G: I don’t know because I’m weird. Tomorrow I might just feel different emotions. I feel so many emotions and I feel so connected to them that I think that’s why I’m able to do something mad and then do something else that’s a complete next ting. I’m definitely feeling the 653 vibe at the moment.

On the subject of the EP, what’s the track you feel that really sums up the vibe you were feeling in the studio over those 5 days? Or if you prefer which is your favourite?
G: I don’t know really but my favourite at this moment, at this moment in time, is ‘Serious Face’. I don’t even know why. I feel that one like it wasn’t even me that made that one. I just got the hook perfect. And the verses. And the beat, man! The beat is crazy. Absolutely proper sick.

What about of all time? The best song you’ve made ever…
G: Haha you’re killing me, man.

Give me a top 3 then
G: All time?! Ah! Nah cuz, I don’t know about that.

It doesn’t have to be in any order. Just a top 3!
G: I know but it’s mad. I’ve got a personal attachment to all of these tracks. Some of them have changed my life for the better so I can’t really pick 3. I can give you my top albums though.

I’ll take that!
G: I’d say Ghetto Gospel, obviously. Freedom of Speech 100%. And, erm, 2000 and Life because it was my first release… my first body of work ever.

I think most would agree with that if I’m honest. And when you look at your tracks does your mood change? Will those 3 ever become not your favourite?
G: Yeah it changes all the time. I’m a very indecisive person. Like ‘Serious Face’ is my favourite on the EP but I really like ‘Bad Boy’. ‘One Take’ is everyone’s favourite though. Everyone likes that one.

Before I let you go, there’s one thing that I have to ask. What was the reason for not clashing P Money on Lord of the Mics? Had it gone ahead it would have been up there with Wiley vs Kano etc. as one of the best LOTM clashes of all time.
G: Yeah it would have been crazy! But I just feel like I’d done my time in that arena. I feel like the people don’t want to ever let me go and leave that. And then I wouldn’t have done Rebel With A Cause. I wouldn’t have been in that frame of mind. What people don’t know is that when I war I war for 2/3 years. Like if you go back to the wars like me vs BBK or even me vs P these wars weren’t really no dubs for dubs. Man was warring for years. That means my whole energy was in that and that’s dangerous at a time where there’s things to accomplish. Because all energy is in that.

Yeah, so it takes you away from other things.
G: Yeah. Because when I’m in war, I’m in war. That is it.

Would you say you won the exchange of the war dubs?
G: Haha. Yeah, of course. If I didn’t think I won I wouldn’t have stopped. I’d be still going now. There would be no stopping! I did all those things for the scene and it’s crazy because people don’t even know that since I’ve been alive in grime I’ve never been a spectator of war. I’ve always been involved. So this Chip vs Bugzy thing I’ve really enjoyed because I’ve been able to be a spectator. Before, whenever there was war before I’m normally in the thick of it or one of my team is so I know it’s coming to me next. But I’ve had nothing to do with this one so I’ve enjoyed.

In terms of grime, who do you think is coming up next? Who are you listening and thinking, “yeah they’re sick”?
G: Izzie Gibbs. Hardest yute out. I don’t know if he’s next up because talent don’t mean shit. But that’s who I’m feeling. I’m feeling him no matter if he’s next up or not. I know he’s nuts with it.

I hear you. Those are all of our questions so thanks for taking the time out to speak to us.
G: No problem, bro. Any time.
Ghetts and Rude Kid's 653 EP is available for download from iTunes now.

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