This week we are taking a look at the UK Grime scene, which is now becoming more recognized internationally. Chiedza Zvirahwa got to sit down with Bashir Bazanye,21, better known as “The Flow Father” and Marvell member Double S, and talk about his life as an up and coming grime artist. Marvell – Double S, Shocka and Vertex are three young men from Tottenham, North London, whose faces are becoming more recognized every day. They came together to form Marvell through a chain of mutual friends back in 2008. Though his other two group members were absent, Double S still managed to give us an insight into what him and his group think about the industry, and what he hopes to achieve in the future.
How did the group get their name?
“In the beginning we were in group called Shoddy Crew and Chipmunk was in it as well, but people started splitting up. In the end me and Vertex created Marvell, then we brought Shocka in.”
How would you describe your music for the public audience if they have never seen or heard you before?
“Our music is very uplifting and motivating. If you listen to it you will feel like you’re a superhero!” [laughs]
What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
“When I came back from Africa, I went to college but I didn’t enjoy what I was doing. At this time I already had a song out called From Day, and everyone was talking about it. From there I just decided that music is what I was going to do.”
How did you become involved in the type of music you sing?
“Grime is where I come from. I think that for our generation, myself and the people that started the same time as I did were the originators of Grime – getting our motivation from others that started before us .”
If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?
“Marvellous, inspiring, honest and beautiful.”
How long have you been performing live for?
“I’ve been performing live since I was 14, but started doing it more professionally in other cities when I was 17.”
If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?
“In our group we try and do everything, so it’s hard to categorize our music under one genre. That’s why we call it Marvell Music – it’s a genre itself.”
You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?
“You have to be strong. Anyone can tell you how they would do it due to what they think is right, but that doesn’t make it necessarily right for you as well.”
If you had the opportunity to change something in the music industry what would it be?
“I would change the way the UK market is. It goes on success whilst the US market goes more on talent. It seems like anyone can sing anything these days. The UK market needs to concentrate more on people who have talent, and can sell records as well.”
We’ve heard about the young boy who cried when he met you (Marvell) while you were on Tour with Chipmunk. How does it make you feel as an artist, knowing that someone looks up to you that much?
“It is such an amazing feeling. It reminds me why I am doing this. The feeling is just something else.”
What does your family think about your career? Are they supportive?
“At first my dad didn’t really agree with it and we didn’t speak for a while, but now he is supportive. I think he just saw the passion that I had for what I do. Everyone else has always been supportive since I started.”
What has been your strong influence to continue performing?
“The fact that I haven’t made it. With me I set goals, and I don’t give up until I have reached those goals.”
What advice do you have for the youth of today?
“I just want to educate the youth of today through our music. Many of them are very lost due to lack of good role models, and following the wrong crowds. God started me up in Tottenham, one of the worst areas in London, but look where I am now. I want them to know that just because they are in a negative environment, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be positive people. Nobody can stop us from chasing our dream.”
What has been the biggest nightmare for the group?
“We were in a situation where we got signed by a label, but due to certain complications things didn’t end up going as planned and lawyers got involved. We got to feel what it would to be like to be signed to an actual record label. Bouncing back from all that was a big step for us. Though it wasn’t one of our happiest moments, we learnt a lot from it.”
If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, who would it be?
“Dead, it would be Michael Jackson, Tupac and Aaliyah. Alive would be Drake, Lil Wayne and Justin Beiber. The list is too long, we could sit here all day!” [Laughs]
As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?
“I just want everyone to listen to my music. Regardless of whether they like it or not, I want to hear their views every time I release a CD.”
Do you currently have an agent, endorsement or record label?
“After that record label situation, we feel like we should do everything ourselves. We are thinking of doing a joint venture under Sony or EMI. That way we will have the level of control that we are comfortable with.”
Is there anyone you would like to thank for making your dream come true as an artist?
“I want to thank the people that didn’t help me because they actually made me the person I am today. They drove me to do more for myself. I also want to thank everyone that was there for me.”
What are some of the details fans can find by going on to your website?
“For more information on the group, news updates and video links, you can find us on www.marvellmusic.co.uk, or you can subscribe to our YouTube channel MarvellnetworkTV.”
With the Grime scene continuing to grow, it could do with a lot more people who have the same attitude to life as Double S. He started off at the same time as his good friend Chipmunk, but the fact that Chipmunk is now signed to a record label didn’t make Double S, Vertex or Shocka give up. If anything, this just motivates them more. The way they see it, if their friend who they grew up with can make it, then so can they. Like they said in their first ever single Marvell Music, “Nobody can stop us from chasing our dream.”
Images reproduced from marvellmusic.co.uk and facebook.com/#!/flow.father
Video reproduced from YouTube / MARVELLnetworkTV
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