An In-Depth Conversation With UK Veteran: Scorcher
10 Dec 2020
A prolific veteran within British Rap, Scorcher, has over years become a reputable figure within the UK scene. Coming up through the vibrant and charismatic sounds of Grime, the emcee made his way up through Pirate radio and began delivering a slew of impressive projects from his ‘Simply the Best’ mixtape to his debut album ‘Concrete Jungle’, as well as ‘1 of 1’ – just to name a few!
Taking his love for acting to the next level, over the last few years, the multi-talented emcee has made an assortment of acting appearances in the likes of Top Boy, The Intent and more recently in Small Axe. In branching out into a different career path altogether, Scorcher also joined forces with Ay Em for his brand new release titled, ‘Cookies’. Housing an up-beat and instantly recognizable sample, this track is a slick and feel-good track that we needed to blow our lockdown blues away!
Following the release of ‘Cookies’ and his appearance on Small Axe, we caught up with Scorcher and asked him a few questions…
How have you been? How have you been finding this pandemic period?
Do you know what, in this period of time it’s been dope for me because I’ve had a chance to hibernate and wrap up the stuff I wanted to get done.
So, it’s been a nice time for you to chill out and enjoy the moment in a sense?
Not so much chill out, I’d say more so to get active! Luckily for me, the studio has been open I’ve been able to work in peace!
So, it hasn’t knocked you creatively at all?
Nah! It’s impacted my acting stuff; I’ve been going to auditions through Zoom and all of that kind of stuff! Covid has delayed projects getting filmed but other than that it’s been alright man! It’s been a good time for me to just get down and get to work!
If you were to meet someone who wasn’t aware of your sound, and you had to recommend one song out of your entire catalogue to listen to – which song would it be and why?
I’d probably just tell them to listen to the last thing that I put out, so maybe ‘Cookies’ or ‘Entanglement’ –
Nothing classic then?
Nah! Some people are trying to live in the past too much man! I’m not trying to be some old legend – I’m not trying to be that guy. I’m trying to make cold music yesterday, today and tomorrow!
You have definitely proved your versatility over the years, and you never limit yourself to just one sound! Having explored your sound sonically, moving forward, where do you see your sound going?
Whilst I have been recording this album, towards the back end of it I have been experimenting a lot! Once I had the body of the album done, there was some stuff that I never did even out of confidence like singing from the heart – I was like “Nah, it’s not my ting!” but for some reason I have been experimenting and having fun with it. Get ready to hear some notes out of me! *laughs*
When do you think this album is going to drop then?
Hopefully the first quarter of next year! To be honest I wanted to drop at the end of this year, but it’s been a bit mad!
Is there anything we can expect to hear from that? Or are you just keeping it on the low for the moment?
I think it’s probably a bit darker than what people might have imagined!
Oh okay, in what ways is it darker?
The sound, not the whole way through – but the sound for sure!
You’ve dropped a string of singles this year! One of which was ‘Body’ and more recently you followed through with ‘Cookies’ alongside Ay Em, tell us how this came about? The sample in that track is hard!
People seem to like that one! I have been meaning to get in with Rymez for quite some time, it kind of just fell into place! We linked up and played some stuff and as soon as I heard ‘Cookies’ I was like “Woah!”. Ay Em, I mean he just done his ting, it was so easy from there! The vibe in the studio with Ay Em was lit! I slyly wish we had more done but you don’t want to keep rinsing the same combination – he is definitely someone I look forward to working with!
Do you prefer to build a relationship with someone prior to working with them? Or are you at that stage where you can just hop on anything?
Yeah, nah I’m at that stage! In an ideal world, I would prefer to have real life relationships with people, that’s always the best! A lot of the times to be fair a lot of times you do see me on something with someone, I do have some form of relationship with them. Not always though, sometimes it is just a straight musical thing. I am past that now, we haven’t got to be each other’s best man at our weddings *laughs*
You’ve also got your collaboration with Skeamer and Snap Capone coming out later today!
Yeah! You see Skeamer, that’s my bredrin from jail! Man don’t just do music just because we know each other, when the right sound or time pops up then it’s calm! No need to force it!
I listened to it earlier, it’s a very thought provoking and real rap kinda track, in a sense that the bars have substance. Tracks like this are always refreshing to hear especially amongst our current soundscape, it’s not every day vibes sometimes it’s actually substance!
Nowadays, this is something that, well I don’t want to say victim to, but it wasn’t like this earlier on in my career. I’ve always been of the mind; I can do a song about this and another about that, there are no rules but before I think that confused consumers because they needed a clear consistent message to relate to their artist. But now the game is different, people understand that humans aren’t straight forward beings, man don’t gang bang 24/7! *laughs* Man might be behaving like that for half an hour out of 24 hours a day, all the other hours, what’s going on in that time there? People before didn’t understand that, say if you were involved in some kind of violent altercation but it’s a public thing, you couldn’t go and do something else! People were looking at every song which had a male and female collaboration as if it was a love song, but now everything is different!
I’ve seen a lot of comments throughout lockdown that real rap is on it’s way back. I think people are searching for more substance, but only because of what this year has entailed instead of the UK bangers that are usually coming out.
When you lose the clubbing and you just have the music, it impacts you differently! You start to find appreciation for things you didn’t necessarily have the time for, or maybe the way people are consuming music now or over the past few months has been completely different. Like how many times have you been out, heard a song and it’s been in the back of your mind because it’s a banger and you know it will go off – that feeling has been gone for the majority of the year! The songs that are being put out and are making people feel, that’s all there is now!
You’ve obviously been in the game for a hot minute! –
Ages! Too long! *laughs* I’ve been in the game for so long I need my ten million now – I’ll take it in euros! *laughs*
What do you think you have learnt the most either professionally or personally through from your journey so far up until now?
Being myself is the best thing, to be able to make the music I like and I feel represents me best, not to worry about what everyone else is doing and just concentrate on myself. This year in particular has been a good one, I’ve got my head down, internalised and did what I wanted to do. With Drill, I was semi like “Should I do this?” because I was into it, but I didn’t want it to look like I was just trying to jump on drill or he’s trying to get a shortcut – you get me? So, I did a few freestyles, just because I was feeling them, and the people seemed to respond to them well! In me not coming up on drill, it probably made me have my own little spin on it, in me jumping on those beats my vibe might be slightly different!
What are your thoughts on Drill at the moment? Obviously, it’s at the forefront of the game.
I like it you know, I don’t like everyone, but I like it! The ting that caught me was the flows, that’s what got me interested in drill. When I was first hearing a lot of these yutes that are coming through and doing there thing, like the Loski’s and that, I was hearing new flows and I thought “Rah!” – it’s like you’ve been watching football for a year but you’ve just noticed there’s another person on the pitch, that to me was sick! I hadn’t heard of that before! I started to get my own ideas and eventually I said, “Fuck it!” *laughs* It kind of spilled over into doing things like ‘Entanglement’, branching out and doing other things with it was cool.
Has your idea of success changed at all from since you first started out?
Oh yeah! There’s loads of ideas and things that have changed since then because I started out making music from so young, in essence it’s like man grew up in front of all these people! When you’re going through life, and you’re making mistakes, learning about yourself and the world, you’re doing that, you have had that quiet process of getting through it, you get me? Whereas for artists when we start out young, we’re in front of people, not to say you have to be as famous as Chris Brown, but people seem to care for whatever reason! In some cases, I am growing up in front of everyone, and I haven’t always got it worked out.
Do you ever feel fulfilled?
Nah, not so much! The moments are so brief, you will feel like that just for a second; I’ll be real with you, I am in the studio now mixing down some last little bits for the album but my mind is already thinking about sounds for the next one! I can’t help it! *laughs*
I think that’s natural with any creative, you reach the first milestone, and you want to keep going to the next big thing after that.
Yeah! I saw my Spotify, you know when you can see however many streams you, I thought it was decent but then I was like “Boom! Next year, when I drop…! –“ – I can’t help but just want to move on.When I started doing music it didn’t make me any money, people were never doing music to make money! It used to cost me money! *laughs* Man would have to go to the market, buy Fruit Loops, go home and load it onto your PC, make beats, then get a bus to Tottenham Hill, cut it onto Vinyl, buy records, decks, a mic and a mixer to practice in your house! Then you have to go on Pirate radio, which is illegal, so I’m now breaking the law and then paying someone to help me do it– this is all mad?! *laughs* Whereas now, people come in the game with the intention of making one hit and making p’s. Everybody’s intention and what drives them is different, for me, I wouldn’t do music for those purposes, it’s always been a passion-based thing for me! Fulfillment will never be a thing, there are just nice moments on the way.
Even you just saying how some people want to come in make a hit and that’s it, I feel like everyone now is trying to rap, and some of the stuff that’s coming out can be rubbish –
I’m with you on that! It’s not a problem because the glass is either half full or half empty, on one hand anybody can make music and anyone can be heard, which is crazy because man used to have to fight to be heard! But in that, it also gives a voice to people that aren’t so talented which is fair enough – it gives an opportunity for everyone. When I came out of prison, because of the current settings and the way music is now, it’s easier to get back into things than it was once upon a time because there are so many platforms and ways you can promote your music. It’s so direct! For example, I could put all my energy into Mixtape Madness, let’s say I wanted to put all my video’s on your channel; but I can also put energy into me and build a direct link with my own fanbase, whereas before you had to go through other platforms in order to access it – everything just helps each other, whereas before there was only one way!
A lot of people now, are coming up and seeing what comes with being a ‘popular rapper’, too many people aren’t studying the craft backwards, so when they are asked to make a track, they almost don’t know how to do it again because they didn’t study it enough to know how.
Yeah! I agree!
Tell me a bit more about your acting. I know you’ve dabbled in a bit and you’ve just mentioned you’ve been auditioning for things, what is the goal with you and acting? Where do you want it to go?
I feel like I’m early on into my acting career, right now it’s just about growing, improving and finding roles that suit my skill set. It’s probably different to what people would assume, which is why I did ‘Small Axe’ because I thought it would be a chance to do something other than gang shit or whatever! I want to see how far I can take it!
Just testing the waters then at the minute then!
Yeah, I don’t know how far I can go but I am definitely trying to find out! *laughs*
What else can we expect to hear from you this coming 2021
The album! I am so into this podcast thing at the moment as well!
Yeah! I have seen you in a few pods!
I am just trying to get my podcast out there, ‘Armchair Gaffers’, we are on 10 episodes now and we go once a week. We release on a Monday, Tuesday, and a Wednesday! Between making music, learning lines for auditions, and keeping up to speed with football and then doing an analysis on it – that’s my life to be honest! I fucking rate it!! *laughs*
I don’t feel like I am doing much work, making music is not work! And the same with the ‘Armchair Gaffers’, I’ve had the idea for time but all we do is take our dialog and conversations from outside of the public, to the public! *laughs* It’s the same conversations that man have been having for years regarding football! Big up my co-host, contintentaljess, SB and Walkz, make sure you go subscribe to the channel and follow us on Instagram! If you like football come over, if you also like hearing man chatting shit, there is also a bit of that!
Keep up to date with Scorcher via his Instagram. Subscribe to his podcast ‘Armchair Gaffers’ here!