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It's A Rap
A few issues back, Plan B’s guitarist Adam Jordan enthused about the current Irish urban scene. We can’t say we were surprised – there’s no denying the genre continues to go from strength to strength… Here’s a brief summary of what’s happening at the moment.
Maeve Heslin, 02 Oct 2012
In the sunny south-east, meanwhile, Wexford label First Son Records are keeping busy too, having recently put out an album by the aforementioned Cyrus Malachi, featuring beats from GI label manager Ruairi Hartigan. He reflects on the current Irish scene. “Since Sons Phonetic dropped [debut album] Twelve Labours and Lethal Dialect released his stuff, it’s really improved. Music like that showcases the hard work that’s been put in. Some people throw up anything on YouTube. These guys took their time to perfect it.” Going forward, First Son are set to release a full Cyrus Malachi LP later this year, and then a label album which, Hartigan explains, will feature various Irish producers. “It’s great to see,” he smiles, “that the stuff happening in Ireland is getting recognised”.
Up north, Belfast’s Melted Music continues to go from strength to strength too, with releases from Wicklow man Monto and Portadown native SertOne hitting virtual shelves in recent weeks. Label manager Matt Agnew recalls, “I signed SertOne first, then Monto, and basically gave them free rein on what they wanted their releases to sound like. [SertOne’s new EP] Shapes In The Sky is a bit more evolved than his debut. I guess when he started playing at shows and festivals, his music made the transition from something you can listen to on your headphones to something that’s made to be played live.” He continues, “With Monto’s Best Boy EP, I think Ross went back to his hip hop roots, but brought in his new-found influences like electronic, jazz and juke music, and made something entirely new and refreshing.” On Melted’s ethos, he adds, “We consider ourselves a hip hop label but we don’t really have a rule book on how something should sound - if it’s good, we’ll put it out”.
Back in Dublin, and the artist formerly known as Lecs Luther is also making serious musical waves. Rejjie Snow, as he’s now known, shot to fame following the release of ‘Dia Dhuit’ last year. First up, why the name change? “It was spontaneous, I was just messing about,” he laughs, “and liked the sound of Rejjie Snow. I was a bit sick of people calling me Lecs!” A rose by any other name and all that… Following a spell in the UK, Rejjie recently signed with a London management company; “They stumbled across my YouTube and Tumblr,” he explains, “the internet is a great way for people to reach each other.” The worldwide web is also how the rapper came to collaborate with Jitterbug Studios, the animators behind the excellent ‘Meddling Loops’ vid (check it out if you haven’t already). “After I’d done that track, I got an email from this guy saying he wanted to work with me. I checked out his stuff, then we came up with that video”, he says. So what’s next on the agenda? “I’ll be releasing a small EP shortly”, he reveals. “I’m working with a few people – King Krule, Joey Badass, and a couple of guys in New York. It’s awesome for people to appreciate what I’m doing.”