With his debut album out in the world now, we had a chat with Youth about its reception so far, how Notts influenced the songs, plus the local artists he’s really into at the minute.
How have you found the reception for your album so far?
Great! It’s the first project that I’ve like properly done – I’m used to like copying the CDs myself and that, and this is the first time that I’ve gone for spending quite a lot of money on the packaging and making it look and sound good. I was kind of questioning whether it was worth because I’ve never spent money on it before. But yeah, I’m really happy with the reception. I think a lot of people quite like that I’m going down Hip-Hop now cause I haven’t really done Hip-Hop tunes before.
And it felt right for you?
Yeah, to be honest, I’ve been quite strictly Grime and I don’t know why. I’ve been quite stubborn, and when I was younger, I used to rap up Grime and then I did something called Storyteller on JDZ Media and that was the first ever Hip-Hop verse I ever wrote, so yeah. I think the Hip-Hop tunes have actually had a better reception than the Grime ones really.
Your music is clearly heavily influenced by Notts, the places and the people, was that a conscious decision or did it come about quite naturally?
Nah, I’m just like the most diehard Nottingham person there ever was. I set up a page recently called “Nottsman’ and I’ve just been sharing loads of old videos of Notts MC’s. So really, Nottingham is my heart and soul.
The album is a punchy ride, done in just under half an hour; how long did it actually take to write and record it?
It’s a funny one because it’s kind of put together a bit scrappily. Some of the tracks on it were never even meant to be part of an album, they were just solo tracks that I’d written, and then it got to the point where I thought “shall I record an album?” I went, “alright, I have one Hip-Hop track and three Grime tracks. Let’s do another two Grime tracks, another four Hip-Hop ones and make a ten track album.” It was a working progress over years and years, I feel like I’m kind of working back on myself. I wrote ‘Drops’ … must’ve been about 6/7 years ago, then the SCORZAYZEE track was written really recently. ‘Little Man’, that’s another one, that was written years and years ago. So yeah, it was kind of put together at random really.
The songs on the album swing from very self-confident and positive, to quite dark and self-deprecatory, is that a representation of the highs and lows you’ve had during the album’s timescale?
Yeah definitely. It happens to me quite often, like there are tracks now that I wrote two years ago when I was in a really dark place. I kind of don’t wanna stop tracks, but I listen back to it and think “I don’t know if I wanna release that cos it’s not really what I’m feeling right now, it’s just a representation of how I was feeling.” But yeah, really my music just goes up and down with how I feel. I just write lots and once it’s written, I think, oh I might as well record it.
Have you got a favourite on the record or kind of one that you’re proudest of?
Of all of them, I like ‘Vandualise’ the most because it’s my kind of beat. My favourite kind of music is like old 2007 dubstep, and it’s the only track on there that really sounds like something I would listen to. There’s some tracks like ‘Little Man’ that obviously I spent a lot of time on, like with the video, but it’s actually my least favourite track. It’s not the kind of music I’d listen to myself. It’s not really me, I’m not really into grime and that myself so…
What Notts artists are you really into at the minute?
There’s a lot of people I really like! I’ve always liked SCORZAYZEE, they’re just amazing. I really like in general what BRU-C is doing like the whole package he’s got with his event, his music and his clothing. I really love a lot of my old friends who’ve made music since we were young, like JAH DIGGA he’s always doing quite a lot, VANDAL SAVAGE and JUGANAUT, they’re really good. I really really like ROB GREEN. SHXDOW, he’s very dark, it’s not something you’d listen to with your mum or something. You could call it satanic Grime, it’s like a cross between dark Heavy Metal and Grime. I’ve known him since I was young and a lot of my friends help him out with his videos and stuff, he’s one of my favourites at the moment.
Big love to Youth for taking the time to answer these questions.
You can buy the album HERE.
Yours in Love of New Music,
Alice Robbins x