Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

No Hats No Hoods Showcase – January 2010

February 1, 2010

No Hats No Hoods showcase @ Tim & Barry’s studio, featuring P Money, Blacks, Royal T, Magic, DJ JJ, Rude Kid, Hammer and the Don’t Watch That team.

Big up to all those involved! Set soon come!

For photos contact me on twitter @threefoldmedia

Kristian

Barcelona Pt. 2

December 22, 2009

I took so many snaps I had to split them up. Here’s part two:


Yes that is blood she is pouring.

Kristian

Barcelona 2009

December 20, 2009

Went to Barca for my birthday a week ago. It was nang. Here are some pics.

Weird Bits

December 9, 2009

A few weird bits…

Kristian

Threefold Media meets Royal-T

December 7, 2009

We met up with Southampton-based producer Royal-T, they guy behind this year’s Grime smash ‘1UP’ as well as set favourites ‘Gargoyle’ and ‘Mega’, to discuss Grime and his upcoming debut EP release on No Hats No Hoods.

So, fundamentals first, who are you and where are you from and what do you do?

I’m Mark A.K.A Royal-T, from Southampton and I’m a beat maker. I would say ‘producer’ but I won’t do that until I start getting paid an annual rate!

You were the man behind 1up, undoubtedly one of the biggest grime tunes released this year. With it you have been catapulted up the producer rankings. When you were making the tune did you have any idea how big it would become?

Not at all. I remember sending it to Elijah and he asked me who else I’d sent it to, and told me to get a vocal straight away. Luckily I had a group of DJ’s that pushed the beat – DJ Smallz, Butterz DJ’s, Logan, Score Five and Vectra.

What did you think when you first heard P-Money’s version?

I thought it was perfect. The only person I ever had in mind for the vocal was him. At the moment, in Grime, he’s the best in the scene. He’s bringing back those old-skool Grime elements along with something original. He isn’t all about content or blah, blah, blah. P-Money is a 2009 D Double E – he’s got skippiness as well as catchy flows…He is what Grime is about.

All the content stuff…leave that to hip-hop.

Your new EP ‘1Up or Shatap’ is out now on NHNH. What does it feel like to have your work published?

It hasn’t quite sunk in yet just because of my location – all the business stuff has been done over the internet or phone. I can’t go up to London as much as I’d like to [and so] I haven’t met any people, or heard my tunes played out at a rave. Once I get the vinyl in my hands it will all feel a bit more ‘real.’

How would you describe your sound and how does it differ from what else is out there?

I’m not sure. It might sound a bit cliché, but I don’t follow everyone else. I know what I want my Grime to sound like and I think that sounds a lot different to what’s out there now. Gargoyle and Mega are similar tracks in the way that they are structured – both have a string intro that leads into a big drop. For me, it’s fast paced and hard. I don’t really like Drum ‘n’ Bass, but I suppose I’ve taken a lot of elements from it – the skippiness, the pace.

I always work on my ‘drops’ and make tunes for clubs. Being based in Southampton I’ve never been able to base tunes around MC’s – which is perfect as most producers will go into studio to make beats for them, whereas I make beats for DJ’s to be played out.

It’s a big statement but I think that without MC’s I think Grime could survive on its own. It just needs a bit of originality and that’s why I make 2-Step rhythms because if I made halftime tunes, it would be Dubstep. If I went slower, it would be Hip Hop. I think Dubstep now is what Grime should be – there’s more bass, frequencies etc…

Do you think Hip Hop has become too big an influence in Grime now?

Yes. It’s not that MC’s have necessarily picked bits out of Hip Hop in terms of lyrics or anything like that, but to gain credibility they’ve taken elements in their flow and content. Grime was punchlines and flows. Now it’s concepts.

You say you make music for the club and for a live environment, do you think that because raves aren’t as regular as they used to be, the Hip Hop element has come into play because people are listening to it more at home and on iPods?

I think it’s down to what people listen to. In London it’s a community. Everyone is swapping tunes and everyone hears what is going on. It’s got so competitive that making ‘hip-hop’ has become the trend. I can’t make Hip Hop, I listen to more UK based stuff.

Back to the release, how has it been working with Magic?

Really good! He has really helped me with this release. Leading up to the release date there will be a lot more promotion – I think we have a Crib session with Westwood planned. I probably wouldn’t be where I am without his help.

How did he get in contact with you?

He reached out to me on Grime Forum. We spoke about work and gradually it happened. We didn’t sit down and plan an EP, it was more of a case of a few phone calls here and there. This all took place around the time Big H went on Logan’s show.

What can fans and MC’s find on the EP?

Grime. There are different remixes, but I’m proud of it. It’ s Grime tunes being remixed and not the other way around.

The B-Side, ‘Beatfighter’ has been on heavy rotation ever since I got it – how did that come about?

Well at the time I was listening to a lot of old skool stuff and thought that there aren’t any 8-bar switches anymore – tunes back in the day that used to get reloads. When I make tunes I make them so someone can get a reload out of them after the drop. The best example I can think of off the top of my head is FWD Riddim. 8 bar switches define Grime and I wanted to bring it back. It was easy to make as I had a Street Fighter sample pack.

It’s quite current with Grime MC’s and DJ’s battling each other on SF4 now…Was that something that inspired you to make it?

It was a bit. But I just thought it was a cool idea. Funny thing is I don’t even play SF4! Obviously I played it on SNES or whatever, I just like the sounds and the melodies.

Is sampling computer games to become one of your producing traits?

It wasn’t really intentional but people will relate me to it. A lot of other people are starting to do it and I’ll leave it to them…

SRC has sampled Mario and other computer effects. Is this a declaration of war do you think? To see who is the best SNES sampler?!

I don’t know! I will let my music speak for itself. I made ‘1UP’, maybe his tracks would be about if ‘1UP’ wasn’t made. But I’m gonna stop doing it now. I’ve got ‘Mega’ which is completely different to all that – with violins and stuff. Retro gaming is what I was into and that’s why I made them.

P-Money seems at home on your tunes – he smashes Gargoyle live and one of his most memorable reloads on Logan was over Mega during the epic ‘M.O.E.’ set. Do you plan to work together again?

Definitely. We’ve been speaking for the last two months actually, we’ve got a lot in the pipeline. Again it might sound cliché, as everybody says that, but we are bouncing ideas off each other. We are on the same wavelength and have similar ideas. If you imagine Tempa T and Silencer, Tinchy and Maniac, then there is P-Money and Royal T. I’ve shown him beats and we have about four or five tracks that we are going to do. These might not even be for mixtapes but it’s just good to make music.

Would you both consider doing something like the Tinchy vs Maniac CD?

Yeah man, I would love to but I don’t want to go down that ‘VS’ route where the producer is in the spotlight. I’d rather produce a P-Money project and be credited as such. That’s the thing with Grime – there is no proven direction to go in. I know that P has a few things coming up so I’m going to try and get involved where I can.

What about the rest of the OG’z? You have worked with Blacks, do you plan to work with him again?

Yeah, I did the booklet for Sick Individual and we do speak. He did my first vocal (I Know My Place feat. Jendor) and at the start he took me under his wing. He told me to keep working and gave me targets. He made me stay focussed and I’m grateful for that because he didn’t have to – we’ve never met. We are definitely going to be working.

Do you think an OG’z vocal of beatfighter could happen because I know people would want to hear that!?

There is one being done already, but I would love it to happen. I know Blacks really liked it and it would be good to hear him on it – but there would be no project after.

Have any other MC’s shown interest in collaborating with you? If so, who?

Griminal, Lil’ Nasty, M.I.K. and Lee Brasco…

Which artists have you been feeling this year?

Erm…P-Money, JME, Skepta, Frisco. In terms of tracks, Don’t Phone me was a big one. To be honest I haven’t been keeping up this year as I’m seeing the scene from a different perspective. Oh, I’ve been listening to a lot of Burial. It’s the darkest garage you can get and it’s not sequenced – it’s all free-flowing. That’s like an urban movie. I’d like to do something like that – evoke emotions and make songs with soul. Songs that have a start, middle and end.

What has been your highlight of the year so far?

Apart from the ‘1UP’ vocal, it has to be Dizzee spitting over my beat on Logan’s Newham Generals set. That was surreal – I jumped around the room when I heard it! Hearing things like that keep me optimistic.

What have you got planned for 2010?

A CD, another EP. I’ve made 6 EP-worthy tracks. I’m not really on making mixtape-fillers – I want to boost raves, just bring that influence back.

Can you give us a sneak peak of what you have in store?

Sure.

1UP E.P. is out today on NHNH records.

Smurfie Syco Interview for Grime Forum

November 27, 2009

Despite having a new mixtape to promote, a tour to prepare for and an album to complete for next year, 19 year-old Smurfie Syco is unnervingly calm. Embracing a workload that many other artists would find too much to handle, the North London MC positively relishes the challenge “That’s where I want the pressure. Right on my shoulders!”

Fresh off his third tour with Dizzee Rascal and with 3 days before his debut release SmurfieSyco.com hits the shelves, Kristian Samuel-Camps caught up with Dirtee Stank’s emerging star to talk Dubstep, Dizzee and Downloads.

I’m sure you get asked this in every interview, but just to clarify, why are you called Smurfie Syco?

Yeah I do! In my family I’ve got loads of brothers and sisters and we all had nicknames for each other. My one was Smurfie ‘cos I was really short. In my area, when I used to run about with my friends, they called my Syco, ‘cos I was this little terrier. Then, when my friends started to come over to my house, they would hear my family call me Smurfie and get confused. So in the end they called me Syco Smurfie. When I signed up to MySpace I switched it around and it stuck from there.

It’s quite a catchy name isn’t it?

Yeah it is. It works to my advantage.

How did you get signed to Dirtee Stank, and what’s it like working with Cage, Dizzee and the Newham Generals?

It’s kinda like Justice League haha! Or maybe Ninja Turtles – Cage would be Splinter with the guidance and knowledge! I’ve been eager to do things and got excited about situations only for Cage to say three or four things and change my mind completely. He sees things way in advance, and is great at making the decisions – which you can see in Dizzee.

All the decisions Dizzee has made, Cage has been instrumental.

Justice League is a good name for them because they are superheroes to me. Even though we’re friends, it hasn’t clicked for me yet. I’ll hop off the tour bus with Dizzee and see people react crazy…

How much say does Cage have in the camp?

He’s like the final thing. At the same time though, he won’t crush my artistry. Seriously, when my album comes out you will see stuff everywhere! He allows me to do whatever I want and then he’ll give me the guidance. It’s up to me to except it. Karate kid can never tell Mr Miyagi how it’s gonna go. He has to listen and interpret it. That’s what I’m doing.

I’m not scared to take risks.

Conversely do you find it stressful having these guys around you, scrutinising your work?

It is stressful. You do get to a point where it’s a gift and a curse. It depends on the audience, and what part of the audience I listen to. You’ve got the fans that are happy to have new music and see new faces, and then you’ve got these internet critics who don’t know much about music at all. In the grand scheme of things, the things that they say will keep them where they are.

They want to compare, compare, compare. I can’t understand why they can’t accept something for what it is. I can’t address all that because if I did, I would never get an album done.

How would you describe your style of music?

Ooh it’s a crazy mix. I ain’t given it a label just yet but it deserves one though ‘cos it’s really good! Haha! It’s melodic and quite old fashioned. I never really owned any music in my house so I listened to a lot of music that at first, I hated. I didn’t jump out of my mum’s womb and straight into Reggae! Now though, when I hear those sweet melodies on a Sunday morning when my Grandma’s cooking or something I can just vibe.

There is a mad mix in my music – I can hear it all in there. On this mix CD I listened to it top to bottom and it is Grime. It’s not quite what is going on today, but it reminds me of those ‘Boy in the Corner’ days. I know that’s a big thing to say but on one track that Dizzee features on (Clappin), it could have made it onto Boy in the Corner. If not Showtime. It’s definitely that era of music. It’s a conscious tune too – it’s not reckless.

What would you say to those people who say that, because you didn’t climb the ranks, Dizzee shouldn’t have signed you?

I would say to them that Dizzee wouldn’t be where he is today if he couldn’t make good decisions. If you respect him and think he’s a smart guy then respect his decision to sign me and wait and see.

Your hotly anticipated new CD, Smurfie Syco.com is due to be released on the 30th. How you feeling?

Excited man. I just want to see it in my hands and I’ll be like ‘Yes!’ I want to go and see it on the shelves as well.

Promotion across Dirtee Stank media, including Dizzee’s official announcement yesterday, has kick started the hype…So what can people expect?

Expect hype! If there is anything out there you want to get right now, forget that and get this CD! It is a breath of fresh air in music. if you are buying CD’s, buy mine, Chipmunk’s, N Dubz, Tinchy’s, Dizzee’s and Newham Generals and that will be 2009 right there. My mixtape deserves to be next to all those releases.

Are there any guest spots on the album?

One. Dizzee Rascal and that’s it. Together we recorded three to four songs for the mixtape, but I’m a perfectionist. When I first signed [with Dirtee Stank] I told Dizzee ‘Don’t tell anybody I’ve signed’ and for six months, nobody knew. Everybody there thought I was an office clerk or something; sorting stuff out on the phone, helping the tour manager. I wanted to figure out what I was going to do first.

It eventually got round that I was signed and so I got recording. I made my first single ‘Where’s Your Head At?’, and after performing it live it got such a good reception that Dizzee wanted to come onto the tune. So for me that’s a sign I’m doing the right thing.

What will be the first single?

The lead track will be ‘This Way’ but my first single will come next year with the album, which will probably be ‘Where’s Your Head At?’

Your free download ‘Unleash Da Syco’ instrumental EP showcased your loud and brash production talents. Did you produce any beats on the album?

I produced all the beats on the album. I’m a huge Dubstep fan and it’s crazy ‘cos I discovered it through DJ Tubby by accident. I really ignored it for the first part, but I’ve always been attracted to the grimier side of Grime, Bassline and that. So when I found it I was like ‘Rah!’ Nobody was MC’ing on it apart from Newham Generals and Crazy D at that time, so I immediately wanted to.

‘Unleash Da Syco’ has some musical similarity with Dizzee’s earliest work – it’s messy, electronic and sample heavy. Was this one of the things that first endeared Dizzee to you in the first place?

It could have been. To be honest I’m not sure – I’d have to ask Dizzee. In fact I don’t think I’d ever want to know. I’d like that to remain a mystery because it keeps me working and if I stick to one type of music it’ll blur my creativity.

Would you consider yourself his protégé?

Erm…I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think Dizzee’s protégé is still out there somewhere. There’s elements of Dizzee, D Double E and Footsie in my work, but I don’t think I’m his protégé.

Your 300 bars series on YouTube was an innovative online promotion tool and opened you up to audiences in a frank, honest way. Are you going to maintain the series or have you got something new planned?

If MC’s want to talk about MC’ing, then I would love to see another MC do that, and spit for six minutes constantly! That series must have totalled thousands of bars. The reaction from that series was big. I’m still getting tour fans going ‘Wow!’

We are working on something! That was one of 15 ideas we had and even now the ideas don’t stop coming. We will definitely do something for people to subscribe to and I will be going even harder to make sure there are more eyes on me.

The crowds on Dizzee’s tour have certainly been going mad for you, judging by the videos and youtube comments. What was touring with Dizzee like?

It’s the best thing that could ever happen to my music. It showed me that I could do what I was doing in my spare time, professionally. The first Dizzee tour was Boy in the Corner and Showtime fans moshing. The Maths & English tour, girls had started to come in, then on the last Tongue ‘n’ Cheek tour it was chicks 6 rows deep from the front. I’m happy I’ve seen that and it has made me understand where I want my audience to go.

I love all the girls there – I’ve even got my own little group now called The Smurfettes – which are my own female fan club.

Anybody who wants to join by the way, just holla me on Twitter @Smurfiesyco!

Tell us about your album due to be released next year. According to Dizzee’s MySpace, he, along with Cage will be executive producing it. Can you shed any more light on it at all?

It’s untitled at the moment, but we’re aiming for a 3rd quarter release. My single should carry me through until then and I believe there is nothing from the UK that will be as complete as mine.

With that in mind, what does the rest of this year hold for Smurfie?

Just promoting really, speaking to my audience, keeping them in the loop. This is nursery rhymes right now. I want to take my crowd and start singing real music that can stand on its own.

I want to stress that SmurfieSyco.com is the sharpest end of the knife, and will be for some people because it’s Grime. But after this I’m going bigger, wider, and you will like it because I keep things real. I’m heading toward success – if you want in, follow me!

Any shout outs?

Shout out Dirtee Stank – it’s the label! Laurence – number 1 UK label manager. Shout to Musical D, my family, my fanbase and R.O.A.D – the Righteous, Organised and Determined.

Kristian

Stock

November 16, 2009

Kristian

Listed Magazine Feature

November 3, 2009

Here’s my feature from this months’ Listed Magazine. Text and photos by me:


Click to view in PDF format

Kristian.

Autumn

November 1, 2009

Camden – October 2009

October 25, 2009

Never been to Camden before. I had previously avoided the place because I got the impression it was wasteman central – full of Doherty and Winehouse types. In fact, it wasn’t. It was, however, very touristy – with a vast array of London trinket stalls all run by Turkish and Greek guys. What delicious irony!

Most of them sold the Trilby hats, the chains, the whispy ‘independent’ clothing…Everything you need to become ‘different’ and ‘arty’ [/cynicism]

Kristian