Sunday, 21 February 2010

Elijah and Skilliam interview


I've mentioned my love of grime on here before and having noticed that a good quarter of the people I follow are either MCs, producers or DJs I thought I'd see if I could grab an interview with someone on the scene. I'd been listening to Elijah Butterz and Skilliam on Rinse.FM for a while and thought I'd see if I could hit them up. Initially I thought I was just getting an interview with Elijah but BAM, Skilliam answered my questions too.

Could you tell the readers a bit about yourself?
Elijah: My names Elijah, I come from East London, I DJ only Grime music, I have a radio show on Rinse FM and I run an entity called 'Butterz' which used to be a Grime blog, and is now a record label.

Skilliam: Certified Butterz Grime DJ who loves a little mix and a skank! Got a fair few years of being in the scene under the belt, now teamed up with badman Elijah.

Was there any one tune in particular that made you think 'yeah, I want to DJ grime'?
E: I started DJing only in 2008 but I was collecting long before then, if I had to single out a track that inspires what sums up Grime to me it would be Skepta - D.T.I. DJs that im influenced by are Logan Sama and Plastician.

Growing up in the countryside, my only real way of hearing new grime material before I moved to London was through Channel U. How representative of the grime movement was the stuff they rinsed back in 2004/5 (I'm thinking Choong Fam, Wong, New Era, Southside Allstars etc)
E: That is the tip of the iceberg. Most of my favourite tracks dont have videos! Most artists picked the wrong videos to do even in at that time!

S: At the time that was fairly representative of the scene but just a small bit of it. I would say those were also the tunes that were getting plays on the radio. It was a time where MCs were doing a lot of collaboration tunes and it was quite cliquey with North East South West divides. It's not so much like that now.

Even though you and Skilliam play a lot of instrumental tracks on the Rinse show/your mixes, you still throw in a fair few vocal tracks. Who's your favorite MC lyrically and vocally?
E: All time: D Double E & Wiley hold that title equally for me. Right now P Money is leader of the new school.

S: All time it's D Double E. No contest. Currently, I would still say D Double E haha but other than him it would be P-Money. He MCs with clarity and his word play is on point and seems effortless which I like.

It seems that there's been a real resurgence in the availability of grime on vinyl - do you see 2010 being a massive year for the scene?
E: The people that are actively releasing quality music regularly and are working the live circuit will always win regardless of the genre. Now that a big producers are getting their DJ game on they are creating another avenue for themselves, it will be big for them. Right now the instrumental Grime revival is championed by Skilliam and I but lead by Terror Danjah & Swindle as they have multiple releases on Planet Mu and Hyperdub.

S: 2009 was a good year for vinyl and 2010 should also be a big year. Producers have stepped up their game and have tunes which they can confidently put out there. Definitely this year is theirs for the taking.
I think the MCs have left the vinyl format in favour of CD and Digital mediums as that's what they feel is more accessible for people and it is still working.

What do you think of Dizzee and Tinchy's (and to a lesser extent Wiley) recent commercial success? And as a sub question: can you ever see Dizzee recording another I Luv U?
E: Its good for them they deserve commercial success just off the back of the work they put into the underground. Dizzee can chart a Grime song right now if he wanted to.

S: Good on all of them. Everybody wants to be successful. They have found a formula which is working in their favour and Tinchy and Wiley still wreck a Grime tune to pieces despite their commercial involvement.
What's next on the cards for the Butterz label?
E: Terror Danjahs Bipolar is there, next we have Quality Street which is an assortment of 4 great tracks from SRC, Silencer, Royal T and Terror. After that we have Swindle's 'Open Your Mind' EP. Then we have the 'Air Bubble Remixes' which will just be a download only thing. Who knows what will happen in the next few weeks! Things change to quickly!

Which producers/MCs should we be looking out for in the near future?
E: Producers: Royal T, SRC, Mr Mitch

And finally, Next Hype: overplayed?
S: Nope!! It's served it's time well. It still is a Next Hype!

Check out the blog here:
Hit 'em up on twitter: @elijahbutterz @skilliam
Listen to their latest mix for Rinse.FM here:

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