In Talks With CASHH: “Oh – exclusive! We’re going to drop a ‘Dancehall & B’ project.”
11 Nov 2021
I got to know Cashh during a ride to school, on the top deck of a South London bus. The newly-released “Paranormal Activity” remix was blaring from a mobile phone and we all instantly locked in, not knowing that Cashtastic’s verse was one we’d chant religiously thereafter.
“Looking in the mirror, I see two of me. Blink twice and I see a whole crew of me!”
His return has inevitably taken us back to a simpler time in the UK rap-sphere where all one needed was a flagrant beat, a contagious hook and bars that would electrify crowds. Returning a decade later, the Peckham native unveils his eagerly-anticipated ‘Return Of The Immigrant’ project and finally, we are restoring our connection with the “Gassed In The Rave” spitter.
Following his life-altering deportation, I was able to hear directly from Cashh who began making a name for himself in his adolescence.
“Let’s begin with how you are! Since ROTI’s release, how’s it been and what kind of feedback are you getting?”
C: First and foremost, I feel grateful to even say it’s out now. I’ve been working on this for seven years. I guess this is how parents feel when their kids go off to uni! People are really appreciating the time and art that went into it – you can always tell when something’s been thrown together. It’s just been busy, I haven’t even had a second to sit and think.
“How was the listening party?!”
C: It was mad! We went for an airport/Jamaican theme. We had incense… I wanted to make sure I was engaging with everyone’s senses and make sure that you weren’t just there to hear stuff but smell, and see – it was gonna be an experience. We had zinc fences – which are all over Jamaica’s trenches – and we spray painted ‘Return Of The Immigrant’ on them. We listen to music differently when we get context.
“In your lyrics, your whole thing is not doing too much to get the girl… that’s your vibe right? What’s your rules?”
C: (laughs) I said it on one song! I don’t think it’s a rule situation but we’re in a generation where it’s cool to woo people with finances. For me, rather than buy you something, I’d prefer to give you an experience – I think that lasts longer. A lot of mandem splashing money is really because they see and think I have to do this to obtain her interest. For me, when you’re yourself, you’re always gonna be able to fly through.
“I feel you. The ladies wanna know if you’re single?”
C: Yes. I’m single, but I’m focused. I’m not out here, I’ve got a lot of decorum. People think being single is synonymous – for a rapper – with being outchea.
“The people also want to know what your dream collab is? Let’s do one for UK, America and Jamaica!”
C: Hm… a Cashh and Celine Dion. That’s over that side of the water. Jamaica, I don’t know, probably me and Popcaan. UK? Who haven’t I worked with yet? Do you know who I actually wanna work with? RAYE.
“That’s a good pick, she’s cold! I love how you are now such a hybrid of Jamaican and Black British culture. I came up on your buzz, let’s really talk about how your artist package has changed?”
C: That came inevitably. I grew up within both cultures, essentially. Going back to Jamaica for five years, it enhanced my yearn to let the world know that I have that within me.
“I agree with you, I can hear it. The music landscape in Jamaica is a whole different ball game, I wanna know what kind of effect that has on your musical process now?”
C: One of the main effects is melody. Early in the UK, we were just rap rapping. Your accent can be a barrier but melodies have the VISA to access anywhere. I’ve got songs on ROTI that I have other versions of. That’s the next chapter and we’re gonna bring that to the UK. Like, total different songs! I’ve got a song for the gyaldem on Mi Gi Dem – it’s a fresh, new one!
“I think that’s one of Dancehall’s strengths. Another thing that’s different is also your visuals?”
C: It’s less to do with the videos I saw from dancehall, and more to do with me seeing more. I’ve always been visually artistic. I went through the phase of going on YouTube and looking at filming equipment. I really got into producing and directing videos – being out there allowed me to have multiple bags.
“We love a meaningful experience. You’ve come back a full artist package – now you’re singing your hooks! Do you think UK rappers should invite R&B singers to do that more often?”
C: Do you know what? It’s being realistic to what you’re able to. With me, I sing my hooks but there’s a certain tone I know I don’t have. If I don’t have it then it’s easy to allow someone else on the song so I’m definitely not against it. We’re in a weird place – is there a separate genre for what Travis Scott does as oppose to Styles P?
“Facts, they’re singing! Are we getting more singy, slow stuff from Cashh? العاب اون لاين ”
C: Oh – exclusive! We are going to drop a ‘Dancehall & B’ project. This is, I guess, the bag that Tory Lanez gets into when he does his Chixtapes. كيف تربح المال من الإنترنت Yeah…
“Oh! How soon can we expect that?”
C: I’ve got the songs there already. ROTI is really just the first, so we get that out and then we’re gonna start playing for real.
“I’ve got to make the listening party now, right?”
C: You’re there, you’re there. Don’t worry! I already know what I want for the listening party…
“I don’t wanna miss this! Back to directing – let’s talk about Mood! Not a lot of rappers are putting those kinds of videos out, tell me your thought process?”
C: (laughs) The way I looked at it, I was just giving access to another part of my life. I’ve been talking my business, but I never showed it! موقع المراهنات على المباريات I was very confident and had total creative control and edited it with the lead lady. Really, what you’ve seen is the PG version… There’s a lot of scenes that we took out, that I wanted to stay in there! I wanted to make sure it’s sensual and not tasteless – especially coming from a yard man – and I wanted to show that from my perspective.
“I mean, we’re all grown. Now, this project is really an experience. One of my favourite things was hearing the different soundscapes…”
C: The 23 tracks, that’s including skits and those glued it together. There’s different sections to the project but it doesn’t feel separate! There was a big team debate about what would make the cut. We wanted there to be different things that engaged different parts of a human being.
“What was the writing process like at such an uncertain time?”
C: I always had that blind faith, but I didn’t know when I’d return. I couldn’t tell you when. A lot of the songs – including “Return Of The Man” – was written whilst in Jamaica. I was just floating through. I had a studio in the house and didn’t know I was necessarily working on a project before it sounded cohesive. I didn’t want my experience to sound like it was all happy or all sad. I was going through it all.
“This is a really heavy experience but I didn’t feel any defeat from you… I really liked “Special” – talk about that wholesome track?”
C: “Special” is a special song to man. In fact, “Special” is the first song I wrote when I got back. Good question, this is the first time I’m acknowledging that. I was in hiding and hadn’t announced that I’d gotten back… because we wanted to plan my return properly. The guy speaking on the intro was someone I was with in the detention centre, do you know what I mean?
“This is so deep, but you’re being so cool?! What’s your people saying?”
C: It’s like a mixture. Overall, everyone is happy and proud of me. When you go through the situation that I went through, the public don’t see how relationships can deteriorate and loads of things come with that. Everyone is just happy that I’m back and I’m focused.
“You say the whole experience made you hungrier. What are you hungry for?”
C: I’m hungry for stability for me and my love ones. We haven’t had that in forever and it’s so underrated. I’ve moved around so much and my daughter tells me I used to live everywhere! That plays a part.
Cashh’s ROTI picks:
Wake up track: “Starving”
Night out track: “Mi Gi Dem” or “Mood”
Mazzaleen track: “Mazzaleen”
Look deeper into Cashh’s latest Return Of The Immigrant, here, in our official review.