In Talks With Mowgs: “You grow through what you go through”

Mixtape Madness Bloggers

By Mixtape Madness Bloggers

Mixtape Madness Bloggers

7 Mar 2022

Coming from Erdington, Mowgs – formerly known as Mowgli – was one of the first artists to burst onto the UK rap scene from Birmingham. His early releases such as ‘Erdz Boy’ and ‘Clockwork’ firmly announced him to the rest of the scene, with his typically relaxed demeanour and unique flow turning heads.

Following the release of his single ‘Swerve Off’, with fellow Brum Town heavy-hitter Mist, we caught up with Mowgs on a Friday afternoon, ahead of the release of ‘The Bare Necessities’. The highly anticipated 17 track tape looks set to outline the story of Mowgs and his journey up until this point.

Featuring the likes of Rimzee, Country Dons, and obviously Mist, Mowgs is determined to follow on from his impressive catalogue of singles and provide fans with a fully-fledged body of work. The rapper is determined to put everything to one side as he focuses fully on music in 2022, ready to plant his name back into the all-important conversations.

You’ve spoken about moving around a lot and growing up in different cities as a child, did that have any impact on you musically?

Nah man, I didn’t even really listen to music back then. When I first started moving on that journey, I was probably in like year four? I remember going yard one day and my mum was like we’re going Bradford, boom. So ever since then man was just moving every year until I was like 13.

What about as a person, surely you find it easy to make friends?

Come on bro, man’s been around every type of person you can think of. Obviously when you live a certain way, you meet a lot of people, so your people skills go up, because man never had no money growing up, but I knew how to make friends.

Who did you listen to while you were growing up?

I used to go to school in Wolverhampton when I first hit secondary. People were talking about Giggs, I think that’s when he dropped ‘Talking the Hardest’, so man went to my yard and started searching Giggs, then PYG, then Gas Gang. When I started going to school in Birmingham there was a rapper called KB and I can’t lie back in the day I used to listen to Safone as well.

How is it living in Birmingham, Erdington to be precise?

Obviously Birming- the best way I can explain it, I got a bredrin that lives in London now and he says Brum is just a big South London. It’s a bit mad because it’s small here but at the same time it’s not small. Everyone knows everyone’s business, but n***as don’t see eye to eye, you get it.

What pushed you to start making music?

Man started doing music when I was 19, I must have been on the phone to one brudda like “Yo, man’s gonna start rapping” and he was like yeah? I left where I was, came to the ends, and went studio. Obviously, I was just rapping for the mandem, I must have been like three or four times then I dropped ‘Clockwork’. When I dropped ‘Clockwork’, it was like yeah say nothing, n***as are feeling man. Next thing you know, I dropped ‘Erdz Boy’ and now I’m here.

Yeah, it’s mad because I was thinking about this the other day you know. Mist is from my hood, and as soon as he got a little bit of a buzz man cut out and done his ting. At the time I was thinking that don’t make sense, but obviously I’m older now, so I realised the hood only holds you back.

Best way to deal with the setbacks?

I’ve had bare incidents in this music ting, you know what it is though, you grow through what you go through. You have to learn from your mistake’s bro, man can’t be out here complaining, I’ve got mouths to feed!

Out of all your songs, which is your favourite?

It ain’t even released yet you know. My favourite one so far is on the tape, it’s the outro, or ‘Slow Jam’, actually my whole tape is hard, I’m f*cking with it still.

How has having your daughter changed the way you view music, the industry, or life in general?

Life in general…obviously it made me man up. The way I was living before it was just me, but ever since my daughter was born, I don’t live for me, it’s not about me anymore.

Tell us about the aim behind the tape.

I ain’t dropped a tape since 018 you know, obviously man’s been through a lot, man’s grown a lot, man’s got a lot to say. I’m not even happy with my last tape, I can’t lie to you. It took me this long to find my sound so it’s all about showing that in the music; four years of sh*t in this tape!

How the process felt making the tape as an independent artist?

There’re no overheads. When I drop music – obviously numbers are cool and that bro – but I genuinely like music, so when I drop, I’m not thinking am I going get the maddest numbers. I release because I think my fans are going to f*ck with it.

What will we learn about Mowgs through this tape compared to ‘Roll the Dice’?

You know what it is, I feel like because I’m not in the blogs or I’m not always vocal on socials and in people’s faces, my fans don’t really know me. You see when you listen to this tape now, you’re going to be like rah Mowgs went through this or rah Mowgs done that. This is a way for people to get to know me, I wasn’t taking music seriously, so this is the year for me still.

There are some exciting features on the track list, how did they come about?

It’s just natural you know. I just hit the mandem in DM and that. I f*ck with all the artist’s on the tape still. Rimzee is my darg, Country Dons, and Mist. There’s one guy from North called Haze de Martian, he’s hard still, he’s a singer though. Trust me bro, man’s tape is musical!

We’ve heard you speak about looking to start a record label in the not-too-distant future, tell us more.

Yeah, I am on this record label ting. After I drop my tape that’s when I’m going to start focusing on my artists, one million percent. I’m trying to build something, obviously I’m 24 now, by the time I’m 30 I’m tryna have an empire out here.

You’re going to be performing at Wireless in the summer, how does that make you feel?

Yeah bro, I’m nervous I can’t lie still. The last time I performed was in 2019 you know. I’ll be honest with you, I miss that, Wireless ain’t no play play ting, Wallahi.

Talk me through any memories you have of performing in front of a crowd.

When I first started rapping, Mist told me come on tour with him. I was in the bando, and he phoned me, I literally left the trap and went straight to the show. I’m on stage, there’s like 3000 people, and I froze. I was not used to that. I’m thinking rah I just left the trap and now man’s here. And you know what was worse on top of it? There were some other guys there from Brum and they shelled it, they were performers! I went in there and I f*cked it up!

In terms of music videos from the tape, which tunes will there be a video for?

I’m going with what the people want now. I am just building on my fan base now, what the fans want, I will give them.

Who’s worth looking out for in Brum right now?

Favela is doing his thing, obviously SK as well, that’s my artist. He’s hard, he’s got a feature on the tape, when you hear that you’re going to be like he’s got a bad boy voice, trust me he’s not f*cking about!

What can we expect from Mowgs in the rest of 2022?

A tour is probably in the pipeline. Right now, the focus is just on getting the tape out, promoting it, and marketing it properly so that people can hear it. Maybe do a three or four city tour and see what that’s saying.

Words by Buez

Keep up to date with all things Mowgs via his Instagram here.