Grime is now firmly established as an international genre. From its humble beginnings on Pirate Radio stations in London, it’s evolved into a commercially-successful musical platform. But who’s responsible for the genre’s latest permutations at its core? Though plenty of people will be familiar with the genre’s big hitters—such as Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and Skepta from the old guard—the new generation of grime stars is bubbling up nicely, with Stormzy achieving unparalleled success with his album Gang Signs and Prayer, and the likes of AJ Tracey receiving co-signs from the genre’s most famous fan, Drake.
At the forefront of ushering in the new guard is Grandmixxer. Novelist’s DJ and right hand man is one of the best selectors in grime. Novelist is the most prominent flag-bearer for grime in it’s purest form, and Grandmixxer is commissioned the task of delivering the heat upon which the south London MC’s spits over.
Aside from serving up the best new beats from the genre on slots on NTS Radio and Rinse FM, he’s also the head honcho of South London Space Agency (SLSA), a label dedicated to broadcasting the freshest instrumentals from the emerging, new generation of grime. With this expertise in the scene, he delivered us a mix ahead of his performance with 3’Hi in Berlin, which also features talismanic grime DJ and producer Sir Spyro, (who recently produced Stormzy’s “Big For Your Boots”). Listen to it below.
We chopped it up with Grandmixxer over email, who spoke to us about what the mix represents, how he got into the scene and when we can expect Novelist’s highly-anticipated new project to drop.
Tell us a bit about this mix — what do you want people to feel when they listen to it?
This is mix of all in house music from my forthcoming record label South London Space Agency (SLSA). I want this mix to be a intro to the journey for people that love the sound and for those who this might be there first time listening too music like this.
How does the FM pirate radio experience differ from the current landscape of internet radio?
Pirate FM has a totally different feeling, the regular listeners like to text in and get involved. Having a phone line and having that interaction with people who you know are locked in, it adds an adrenaline rush for me anyway! I am more inclined to do some extra stuff if I am vibing with the locked in massive!
What initially got you into music?
Everyone has a love for music growing up. I was no different, I was not really deep into any music before I started getting into DJing. I more fell in love with the turntables as a device than music as a whole at the start! Grime was the local sound and loads of other young people in my area had decks so I just started buying all the hardtunes I was hearing around my mates etc and my love for music as whole began there.
What do you think the next big trend in UK Rap is going to be?
I think we are going to see a lot more blurring of the lines between the genres with artist jumping on beats regardless of being a MC, rapper or singer. I feel a lot of artists will be chasing or be in a place to be commercially successful with all the attention on UK underground music as whole right now.
What’s it like working with Novelist? How did you two link up originally?
Working with Nov is amazing beacuse he understands the sound and style that I am trying to bring. He understands the timing; when to stop, when to go, when to take over. He is a general of showmanship on the stage and we bounce off each other naturally to bring that energy when ever we combine, be it at radio, in a club or on a stage at a festival. We enjoy we what we do and that is a large part of it. Me and Nov met through mutual friends and built a bridge and understanding through all the pirate radio sets and linking up that we did in the early stages.
Can you give us any details about when his project will drop? We’re eagerly anticipating.
I can’t give you any details of release dates but I can tell you he is working on loads of new music and it is sounding beautiful from what I have been hearing, Novelist is a musician not an MC. He makes most of his beats and thinks about what ever he releases next will display his growth as a producer and a MC. He is only 20 so time is on his hands.
For more grime, check out Skepta link up with Lethal Bizzle in the new video for “I Win” right here.
- Photographer:: Blue Laybourne