M24 Talks His Forthcoming Mixtape, His Upbringing, Staying Focused, Advice For Emerging Rappers & More!
24 Jul 2020
M24 has grown to become a remarkably prominent name within the UK Rap game. Amassing millions of views in a short period of time, although the Brixton native is still at the beginning of what’s looking like a prosperous career ahead, it’s safe to say he’s here to stay!
Growing up in Brixton, in an area where people don’t often look further than the hood, M24 took a road that contributed to him changing his life for the better. It wasn’t until the release of’ ‘We Don’t Dance’ alongside Stickz that he took his music to the next level. Following the reaction of the track, it’s been nothing but an uphill climb since. Developing a core fan base, the hunger for him to drop is always high. Delivering banger after banger, supporters can expect a highly-awaited mixtape by the end of the year – finally!
We caught up with M24 and asked him a few questions…
I would love to start by going back to the very beginning with you, I feel like not many people know a huge amount about you as person! What was it like for you growing up?
A lot of people say that you know! *laughs* I grew in Brixton; I grew up in an area where there’s loads of gang activity and certain things like that. So, growing up I didn’t really believe in myself much and just thought it was all in this one box and perimeter where I lived. I thought that was the world, I never really saw anything outside of that. But, music for me, has opened up those doors to make me see that there’s way more to life than the hood.
How did you originally get into rapping? Was music something you were always around in your household or?
Yeah yeah! You see my family; my family is very musical! We are always listening to music and I have got family that freestyle and that, so everybody is into music. That’s just how I have grown up, I have always loved music!
What type of artists were you listening to with your family?
Bashment! Growing up, I used to listen to a lot of Reggae, Bashment and old school R&B – I was a kid of many different genres! I never really used to listen to one genre.
When it came to penning your bars, were you always listening to Drill music or did it come from other influences like Grime or?
It wasn’t even Drill you know! You know M Dargg and Stickz? They are two guys that are older than me, that started doing Drill before me – I believe they made the Drill ting today! They started this whole Drill wave in my area, so I was listening to that at the same time. I used to listen to more American and Jamaican music – up until today I still don’t really listen to the UK scene like that.
If you were to meet someone who hadn’t heard of your music before, what song would you recommend they listen to and why?
‘Dumpa’ because it’s different! It’s Drill but it’s also got a Bashment vibe to it and a vibe for the females as well. ‘Dumpa’ would definitely be one of the songs for them to listen to, so they can understand that it’s not just Drill that I do – and that I can do!
Yeah! I reckon the rest are just hardcore Drill so they wouldn’t really get an insight into it like that! They’ll probably think it’s just the same old Drill!
You have flown to the forefront of the scene in a short period of time, the hunger for you to deliver is high and supporters are always waiting for the next drop – Do you ever feel the pressure to deliver ‘hits’? It’s rare that your video’s hit under a mill, it’s always 1 million and above…
I don’t you know! That’s the funny thing about it! You see for me, it just comes so naturally! When I’m in the studio, I’ll just produce something and everyone’s like ‘Rah! This is a hit!’. The majority of the songs I have out right now, I don’t even think are anything near to what I’ve got coming on my tape – there not anywhere near those tunes! For me, I’ve just been kind of playin’ around with them; just releasing and releasing. I haven’t really taken anything too serious – yet! That’s just the beauty of it because people are taking to me already and I don’t even think they’ve seen half! I would say they’ve seen a quarter of what I can actually do and what type of music I can provide!
We predominantly hear you on Drill beats – I know several artists do not like to be boxed in to one specific genre, what other sounds could we expect to hear you on?
Rap, you know that wave where I can add in melodies as well…
Yeah, the Trap-wave sound – just all that stuff to be honest!
You have just dropped the little teaser for your documentary! – Tell us a bit more about that? What can we expect to see?
That’s just an insight basically, on my life, where I’m from and how the tape was made! I am just trying to show people that I actually have a personality, I want people to get to know me – without knowing me! Like you said, nobody really knows much about me but after that documentary, the effect I am trying to give is like ‘Ahh, we actually know M24! We actually know him!’ – but without them knowing me!
Your work rate is unbelievable; you are very consistent with drops! But you definitely an artist that people don’t get bored of as well, sometimes when artists drop and drop – it can get a bit boring!
Yeah! It’s boring init! It does!
You keep it exciting! A man of your tier, there are lots of distractions around and it’s easy for certain people to fall off and lose that original mindset. How do you stay focused and what keeps you driven?
Do you know what it is, what keeps me driven; I’m not really excited by anything! As funny as it sounds, I’ve experienced a lot of things before this music ting and me doing music, it bettered my life but it hasn’t changed my life in a sense that I’ve got more clout and all that comes with being an artist. I think with a lot of artists, they’ve never really experienced that kind of life, so once they do music everything changes for them! Everything is so new to them! That is why it’s easy for them to lose concentration and forget why they originally started. For me, I’m just taking everything in my stride because I’m not happy; well I wouldn’t say I’m not happy, but I’m not satisfied with where I am now. I’m just trying to focus at the end of the day, I don’t really lose focus that much!
What is your creative process like? What tends to be the first thing you lay down? Do you find it better working in certain environments or?
I used to like just working by myself but the more I’m getting used to it now, once I hear the beat, I will know straight away the kind of song I want to make or what kind of lyrics I’m gonna produce. I have to hear the beat first though! Once I hear the beat, that’s when everything else comes!
Let’s talk about the tape then! Is there anything we can look out for? Any features coming up?
On the tape, I’ve got a very big feature and then the rest of the features are just with people from my area. I didn’t really want to do a lot of features on this tape – I want people to see what I can do first. This first mixtape is just like a showcase!
Okay cool! So, showcasing your ability!
Yeah! Showcasing my ability as just more than a Drill artist. My next tape, that’s when I’m going to focus on features and really think about who I want as a feature, but the majority of the tape has just got me on it really!
So is there like specific message that you aimed to get across or was it just you playing around with sound?
Nah you know! Yeah, I’m literally having fun init! The tape is called ‘Drip & Drill’ so it’s got some drippy songs on it and it’s got Drill songs on it! It’s just a contrast basically!
It sounds good you know! I’m excited for this!
Thankyou man! *laughs*
You are an artist that’s very much looked at and has gained success in a short period of time, what advice would you give to someone who aspires to take a similar path, who might have grown up in surroundings similar to you where there is gang activity?
I would say, take yourself out of that situation and to understand the situation. What I mean by that is, when you’re in the hood, it feels like the hood is all you have; ‘This is my life, police are onto me and I haven’t really got any drive – this is where I belong, in the hood’. That’s not necessarily the case, whatever you put your mind to, you can do it! You have to put the work in to see the results. A lot of people do just make one song and become this big artist off of one song, but the majority of the time you have to put the work in.
Yeah, you have to sustain it as well once you get there…
You have to! Definitely! The aim of this thing is to stay relevant; you can have one song that does good for a couple of months and then after that everyone forgets about you again.
It’s true! We are looking for longevity and not a 5-minute career!
Yeah man! Literally!
What else can we expect to see from you this 2020?
Just expect loads of big features with artists from America and stuff! Expect loads of different music, you aren’t just going to hear Drill – I am trying to create my own sound! I’m not trying to do what everyone else does or follow how every artist does there thing; ‘This artist got a 100 million views because he did this!’ – I’m trying to do it a different way and get the same result. I’m trying to set a whole different trend, I’m not here to follow underneath anybody else’s footsteps or anything – I’m going to create my own thing, I want to be an artist that lives for 20 years rather than an artist that lives for 2 years!
Keep up to date with all things M24 via his Instagram here!