In Talks With Mitch: “Now I know so much more; I’m doing things on purpose. I’m taking you through places.”
29 Mar 2022
Emerging as one of Birmingham’s most prolific rappers over the past 5 years, Mitch has been putting the work in. After a couple of years dominated by freestyles and planning, the second city’s silkiest spitter is back; better than ever, with a statement mixtape ready to put himself, and his town, firmly on the map.
In a way, Mitch’s journey to mainstream attention mirrors Brum quest for rightful wider acclaim. Too often overlooked, Mitch’s eclectic and impressive discography plays out like a selection box of UK rap, with the rapper’s comprehensive sound spanning across road rap, trap, grime and drill. The diverse nature of Mitch’s sound looks set to only progress further, with the multi-dimensional artist poised to release the best music of his career to date on his upcoming ‘Mitchtape 3’, set to drop later this spring. With hype building around himself, and Brum in general, could this be the tape that unsettles London’s supremacy?
Mixtape Madness had the opportunity to sit down with Mitch to discuss the upcoming mixtape, his musical origins, and his opinion on the current flourishing Brum scene.
Who is influencing you at the moment?
I’ve got a great team around me who influence me to do better. Musically, a few of the big boys influence me to keep going and work harder. I think right now I’m trying to fit in with the scene changing, with TikTok, drill etc. A lot of artists refuse to change but I’m trying to adapt to the now.
What do you think of the overwhelming impact that social media now has on creating and marketing?
I think it is good. I can see both sides of it, I’m constantly trying to adapt with social media marketing, and the idea of being closer to your favourite rapper is a good thing. For the older heads, I can see how it’ll mean they have to change their style of things and the way they work if they want to continue being successful.
When and why did you first start rapping?
About 6 years ago. I picked it up from the culture around me. I’ve always been able to put words together, and as I got older I started listening to music more seriously so it got easier. I started showing a few of my close friends and they said I should start rapping properly. From then, it just became natural. If I didn’t start rapping, I would have been doing other stuff that would get me into trouble. It’s just what I’m good at. People just started demanding it from me.
How would you personally define your own sound?
Substance, factual and fresh. I’m always change my flows, my beats, my wordplay. I try to let the beat do a lot of the talking and let it tell me how I’m going to go on it. That way I never sound the same. I think a lot of artists don’t hear the beat, they just do their own thing over it. I don’t pick the beat if it’s not talking to me.
Where do you send to source your beats?
Different people. I don’t work with a lot of producers but I have a few that I enjoy working with, like Jackson Romain, who produced Crossroads. On the mixtape, Jackson has a few cuts, Twintwo is on there too. I like to use different producers for different sounds. A lot of the new guys coming up are very good.
Looking back on ‘Mitchtape’, how was the release process?
I didn’t know a lot. I didn’t know about marketing, I was learning as I was going along. It was so natural. I released it when I was 21. Now I’ve changed as a person and as a musician, the way I make music has totally changed. The whole scene has changed too; the distribution, the marketing. For my first tape I didn’t even have a team.
What was the initial reaction to it?
It was good you know! The fans were demanding a mixtape from me, they just swallowed it up. I barely knew what a mixtape was until the fans told me! Now I know so much more, I’m doing things on purpose, I’m taking you through places.
Looking back now, what would you do differently?
I don’t like to say I’d change too much because that process and experience made me who I am today, which I’m grateful for. The only thing I’d do differently is to listen and research more. When you’re getting into something, I think it’s important to research where you’re going. It’s easier said than done. You can’t learn to ride a bike without falling off.
As someone from the city who has always championed it, what is your opinion on the current Birmingham scene?
The Brum scene has picked up a lot lately, especially the last month or two. There’s Brum artists going for it everywhere. Right now, everyone’s active, and the more artists doing their thing, the more eyes on us and the city.
Do you think it’s easier for Brum artists to make an impression on the wider scene?
I think they are starting to accept us. I can’t say it’s getting easier because I’ve been trying for 6 years. I think they are listening more but sometimes just pick their favourite and stick with them. I think slowly but surely it’s happening. It can change if we, the Brum artists, bring it home, which is what I’m trying to do. I’ve just done a feature with a big London artist, Backroad Gee, and I brought him to Brum. I think that the Birmingham guys have gotta stop thinking that we have to go to London, and we have to start making things happen at home. Listeners may have to look a little bit more, but it is there, it’s on their doorstep.
100%. I think Brum needs to be more collective. You don’t often see Brum artists collaborating with each other.
I feel like Birmingham is like South London. Everything in Birmingham we share, but in London these guys don’t have to share everything, they don’t run into each other. Everyone knows each other in Brum. I wish that Birmingham artists did get together more and collab more, but I do understand that we are a bit on top of each other. We’ll see, this year could be a good year for Brum, we’ve started strongly.
Which artists are standing out for you from Brum?
23 Drillas are doing their thing. I’ve got a few of the upcomers on the mixtape.
How did the collaboration with Backroad Gee come about?
Just naturally. We’ve both been watching each other and rating what the other has ben doing. We were talking in DM’s etc, and then when I was making the tape I just reached out. The song is the last song we made on the tape, but the first single to drop. It had to be on there, the energy is mad.
Was it quite a natural recording process too?
The most. I’ve been in the game 6 years, I’ve met a lot of big boys, but he’s the sickest guy to work with. We just got into the booth – chorus, verse, done. We could have made 5 songs that night. He’s very humble, he’s a real guy, he’s been for a lot just like me. It’s always the guys that have been through a lot that are the level headed ones. I’d make a mixtape with him.
You haven’t dropped a project for a few years, how are you feeling about the release of the tape?
I can’t wait. I’ve never been through this process of making music, sitting on it and waiting till I’ve met the right people to get the support. I know the music’s good, I just can’t wait to see it connect with the fans. I’ve never been in a position where I can just focus on music. Now that I am, I think I’m going to be making the best music I’ve ever made.
What can we expect from the tape?
I’ve incorporated a lot of flows that I’ve used in my recent freestyles.. The mixtape is very diverse; there’s slow ones, fast ones, grime, drill, garage. I didn’t want the tape to be the same from front to back. I’ve been in the best place to make it, I’ve been calculated. I’ve listened to a lot of tapes that have been coming out, and mine’s totally different.
When’s it dropping?
It’s going to be early May.
Can we expect some shows around the release?
M: Hopefully. The music, especially tracks like Crossroads… if me and Backroad ever got on the stage with that song… within the first ten seconds that’s being re’d up. It’s moshpit season. I’ve got a nice period from now till May to bang out at least two more hard singles, so I can definitely try secure some bookings for summer. Just got to stay humble. I don’t know everything about the game and I’m willing to listen, but I’ve been around; I know how to make music, I know what the fans want to hear.
“What’s next for you after the tape?”
M: I want to go on holiday and shoot a video. I want to go have a break and shoot something in a different country with different scenery. Like a vlog video.
Written by: Ben Tibbits
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