Deeper Than Grime: Calibar Interview
26 Sep 2011
After receiving the privilege to witness the magic behind the scenes a couple weeks ago at a video shoot for the soon to be released track ‘Come over’ featuring Wizzy Wow and GFrsh; it was only right I organised an interview with the ‘Cali-Bunga’ star himself. In a quite dainty location that was Pizza Hut Calibar and I enjoyed a couple of slices as we sat down to discuss his music career thus far…
As a child what could you see yourself doing when you were older? Did you always want to go down the music route?
Does listening to Michael Jackson and doing moon walker in the mirror count? When I was younger I wanted to be a wrestler, I wanted to be in WWF and fight Hulk Hogan (laughs), but nah definitely music would have been part of my dreams as well. I’ve always liked music people like ‘Puff Daddy’ and ‘Mase’ have inspired me, so from those days I have always been into music. I have always recited other rappers lyrics and mimicked them growing up so music was definitely a big part of me when I was younger.
Who would you say has been your role model or mentor?
I don’t really have any role models or mentors you know but don’t get me wrong I do look at others and I do see them as inspiration like my pal Wretch 32. He’s doing big things at the moment and I do see him as a big inspiration.
Out of the two, Ambition or Talent what matters to you the most for success?
You need both you can’t have one without the other, you could have talent but if you don’t get your stuff out there and heard no one will ever hear them, so you could just be ‘bedroom talent’. You just can’t have one without the other…
– So you wouldn’t pick one attribute and just place it a little bit higher than the other then?
Hmm ok, maybe ambition because to tell you the truth there are a lot of ambitious spitters out there and not to put anyone down but not everyone is as talented as the next artist. Although with ambition and drive a lot of people have made it so ambition and hard work pays off.
What don’t you own that you would love to possess at this moment in time?
A pizza I’m waiting for, she said it would be 15 minutes, we have only been here for 1so we have 14 more minutes to go (laughs).
Could you tell us about your biggest expense or extravagance that you have?
I would say it was a note from my grandma because she passed away, that means more to me than anything. I never got to meet her so it’s priceless.
In your opinion what would you say was the difference between a mixtape and an actual album?
What I would call a mixtape now a days, is just showcasing what you can do with bars, delivery and just experimenting with stuff. Whilst with an actual album that would probably be like your best work ever, some people take years to make an album. A mixtape you could probably just do within a month or even in a couple of weeks but it’s just beats and bars. You may use an American beat to flow over or any instrumental but an album is your full body of work you get the instrumental from scratch and you put together the bars. The album is just the proper material.
Tell us about your career progression right from your 1st mixtape down to your most recent?
I had a mixtape in 2006 which was my first one it was called ‘They’re not in my Calibar’. I basically just did that, to be quite frank I haven’t really taken music that seriously up until this year so other mixtapes that I have done from before I have just done them just for the sake of it. I would say from when I did my F64, (shouts out to SB.TV) I got the incentive to take music more seriously. Before then I was never consistent with it, it was more fun but now as well as it being fun I treat it as a business.
Give us an insight into your thought process behind ‘Cold World’?
Ahh you like that one yeah (laughs), a lot of people don’t know about that video because I didn’t put it on YouTube, I did afterwards though. Basically the thought process behind it was that we do live in a cold world whether it be summer, spring or autumn it’s always going to be harsh out there. No one is going to walk you to your house and give you an opportunity; you have to go get it yourself.
Now tell us a bit about the video you were shooting a couple weeks ago and how you came up with the concept for it?
With the video ‘Come Over’ featuring Wizzy Wow and GFrsh I have to give full credit to ‘Kalvadour’ he’s the producer and he came up with the concept video wise with all the girls and the location. He also shot the video I did with Dot Rotten which was called ‘Hard Work’ and he also done ‘Calibunga’ so shouts out to Kal.
What current projects are you working on?
At the moment I have been doing a few bits and bobs with Slix from ‘Ruff Squad’. We did an ‘Otis’ freestyle recently, it received a good reception so I’m just going to get cracking on and do some more stuff. I’m not going to do any mixtapes for this year, ‘Lost and Found’ was my mixtape for 2011 so I’m just going to focus on the visuals for now and next year possibly get an EP and more videos, just a lot of TV work.
What is your greatest achievement in life so far?
Actually sticking to what I said I was going to do at the beginning of this year, I said I was going to create a mixtape and three videos this year and I’ve done that. For the whole of my career I’ve always said ‘I’m going do this, I’m going to do that with music but I didn’t really do it ever so I’m proud of that.
On a ‘Madness Scale’ – with sadness being a 1 and madness being a 10 where would you say your life is at so far?
With sadness being number 1 and madness being number 10 I would say 6, even 7 or even 10 (laughs). No, let’s just say 7 because I hardly ever get enough sleep, until I get my sleep back then I’ll be as sane as I use to be, it’s just mad, I need my sleep back.
Lastly tell your fans where they will be able to catch you in the following weeks/months?
Check me out on the YouTube there will be plenty of stuff coming on there, subscribe to CalibarArtist that’s my YouTube as there will be a lot more freestyles I’ll be putting out. Should be weekly or fortnightly; also get me on the twitter which is @Calibars
Any last words……
Originally hailing from the Combination Camp, which also introduced the likes of Wretch 32; Tottenham lyricist Calibar is back with his latest mixtape Lost & Found; following the seriously slept on debut ‘Their Not In My Calibar’ and the more recent SK Vibemaker hosted Capricorn mixtape.
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