So this is the inaugural interview for this blog. There will be other interviews here from my past work etc but this is exclusive to www.niiteiko.wordpress.com
Bless Beats (press shot)
For as long as you read this the spotlight is shining on Bless Beats, a young male producer of mixed heritage who resides in the East of London, most notably the postcode E3 and the area of Bow. This musical breeding ground within the multicultural London Borough of Tower Hamlets is commonly known by many as the birthplace of the genre of music now known as Grime. He’s known primarily as an MC and Grime producer but last summer was responsible for a dance pop beat which when twinned with the catchy vocals of the Godfather of Grime, Wiley, became a song called Wearing My Rolex. Things haven’t been the same since. Its resultant national chart success changed the aspirations, sights and targets of many of the scenes core or foundation artists and once again opened the guarded, locked gates of record labels
On the 13th of August 2009 I once again had the chance to meet with him. Once again because I managed to spend a day with him last year just as Wearing My Rolex was getting signed a year previous for my day in the life of feature. This will feature in the new series entitled Archives coming soon
In the room was me, Bless and a 3rd party we’ll just refer to as friend. We talked about a few things and he even gave me some advice which may come in handy later. Like the first time conversing with the young Bless was easy and pretence free.
What now follows is the full transcript of the near hour interview. Why full? A few thoughts passed through my mind about how I would write this. Finally the decision was based on how it would just make a change from the usual format, layout and approach of interview you may have seen in magazines – take it as a perk of reading this blog lol. It’s a long one so take time out of your lunch break, study time, ironing lol, get something to drink / eat / lie on and enjoy. please leave feedback, comments etc
n – right. Okay so first of all introduce yourself to the people cos I’ve got people back home reading it and they don’t know about you
B – um…my name’s Bless Beats. I’ve been around for about a good 3 years now in the underground scene doing Grime. Um…worked with people like Wiley, Chipmunk, Jammer, Roll Deep. All the names man…loads of names, Tinchy Stryder…you know? Done Wearing My Rolex for Wiley last year summer. Done Rolex Sweep aswell for Skepta. Produced for Ironik…loads of stuff. Remixing…remixed Red Light Company…
nii-o / nii-teiko / me – how did you start? Like let’s go back to the past like how did you first start? Like for instance…what your first musical memory that you can remember?
Bless Beats – err (smiling)
n – memory of music growing up or sticks with you? certain song when you were young that you just remember to this day? What was your first musical memory?
B – um….um…that was a long time ago (laughter)
n – that sticks with you to this day?
B – musical memory…um. that’s a hard one man. Ask it again (chuckles)
n – so like when you were growing up…
B – yeah
n – in the yard and stuff…running around…doing nonsense there’s a song that sticks with you. like for me I can remember Neneh Cherry
B – oh any song?
n- it don’t matter what it is man or suttin that was being played and till this day you can still remember it sorta like ‘oh yeah!’. Baaack in the day you know?
B – (silence) aaaah I don’t know man (smiles). Musical memory…
n – someone was playing like an older brother, sister, dad, mum, whatever. Someone was playing and you remember it till now
B – (silence) (smiles) that’s really bad I can’t think of any. I dunno. Musical memory….
Friend – say Michael Jackson f*** it
B – nah that’s true that’s just me though. I dunno…I dunno what my musical memory is
n – or something that made you wanna make music. When you heard it made you excited you were like ‘how do you do that? could I do something like that?’
B – (silence) aaah loads of stuff man (chuckles) erm. Ahh that’s a hard…quest…I know it sounds stupid…
n- no no it is hard. You hear a lot of things.
B – yeah
n – how many sounds do we hear every day? How many sounds do we hear when we’re growing up? Just try to bring out the most important one
B – just tryna think…
B – that’s f***** up man
b – that’s f****** up bruv…I’m proper baffed like (smiling). How can I not know?
n – I dunno. Like what’s artists…when you were young? What its must’ve been…late 80’s…early 90’s
B – yeah but er…as I was into Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles them times innit?
F – yeah yeah (smiling)
N – exactly. definitely definitely. Shredder, Splinter, all of them
B – them times there man wasn’t even caring about music
N – that’s it then. you remember the theme tune? Do you remember the theme tune clearly
(he hums the tune. We all smile and laugh)
B – I remember all the themes. Captain Planet, Bucky O’Hare…
n – oh my days….Bucky O’Hare…the frog
B – I’m from that day brother. I know what was going on and then…Power Rangers. It was only good for the first season. Biker Mice From Mars…
n – Jason and the Wheeled Warriors
Bless (press shot)
B – yeah man. There was a lot of stuff
n – so it was mainly like…yeah..
F – cartoons
n – yeah cartoons.
B – it was loads of things cartoons…just growing up. Do ju’know what? It was…was just I found the computer stuff interesting. I can’t really put it on a specific moment but er I’ve always liked music. You know what I mean? When I was a kid I played football and that but I always liked music. And when I realised that you could make it…you know when you go from that like point from when la la…you think people on the TV…
n- emm emm
B – people you’ll never meet. D’jou know what I mean? Like when you’re a kid…when you’re a kid and you don’t realise what’s really happening. Just like…
n – it’s a different world. It’s not real life what your seeing…it’s like somewhere else
B – yeah like you don’t even think that’s down the road or sutting. I think…I think I’d say being about 11, 12 just being in secondary school and seeing all these computers with software on. And seeing year 11’s when I was like year 7 year 8 and seeing the last years making beats on them and thinking ‘what the hell is that?’
B – I want to press a button
n – what were those first beats like?
B – they were bootlegs man. They were like…I’d make someone’s beat again or take a bassline from like I dunno…one tune and the same drum pattern as another tune. I was just putting stuff together but obviously I was still in school learning music anyway. I was like early in the class in terms of um…as a head start.
n – Its mad when I hear this though like…so you were in school and you had software making beats? Cos I never had that in school man
B – Yeah
n – Nothin’
B – it was dead though. I bet the kids…
F – You must’ve had that
n – We didn’t have that
B – I bet the kids today get looked after when in comes to school computing
F – Cubase
B – yeah Cubase VST
F – We had Logic aswell
n – What?!
B – Nah we didn’t have Logic. We just had Cubase…some dead out ting brother. I was upset with the teacher (chuckles). All the work was on Cubase yeah? I had Reason at home innit. I’m making beats and this man…and the computers at school just had deadout sounds on ‘em. The standard MIDI sounds. An I’ve got all these beats with big snares on ‘em and he’s telling me ‘nah but the coursework…the thing…is on um…Cubase’
F – Everyone used to make beats that had helicopter sounds and gunshots
B – Yeah always
n – Ah man. Did you even think about it them times why you made them a certain way? There must’ve been a certain way you made them with certain sounds you went for even if they were basic and arranged them. Did you think to yourself ‘why do I construct the tunes in these ways like…?’
B – Er cos I was making instrumentals and the only instrumentals I could only really hear where Grime ones, Garage ones so I guess I just modelled myself off of them ones. D’jyou know I mean? Like if I would’ve had Dance beats then around me to see how beats are made then maybe I might’ve made Dance – you know? But now I listen to anything I’m making so it’s not even like that nowadays
n – When did you start rhyming? When did the rhyming get involved?
B – Ah I was rhyming…I was spitting from secondary school anyway. Before I took beats serious I was emceeing but er yeah nah…I don’t actually take it that serious anymore.
n – Seriously? You’ve neglected it now?
B – d’jyou know what I just know I’m a stronger producer. But do’jou know what the joke is though you don’t need to be the best lyricist to have a good song.
n – That’s true
B – so er…cos you know what I’m very competitive and like…I feel like I’m in shape with my production to put it like that d’jou know what I mean? The beats there…up there…they can really stand up with…or I can make something to stand up with anyone. With emceeing I know that there’s like…good people and not so good people and you know I wouldn’t wanna be like halfway know what I mean. I wanna be in the…
N – Top 5
B – know what I mean? I wanna be in the conversation. When I’ve got a stronger profile on my beats I wouldn’t wanna push something that’s not as strong as that. That’s kinda what I’m tryna say. I would go back to the mic…Swizz Beatz did and I like him but like…he ain’t the best spitter either
n – Nah nah
B – but I guess (phone rings and is silenced) if you’ve got a good song you have a good song so. I’m in the studio having fun so it doesn’t really…
n – so
B – So just at the minute I’m not um…I’m not writing or spitting at the minute I’m just making beats. But I’m in the studio so anything can happen
n- When you…when you first….so like how…cos obviously the area you’re from bare people make stuff man like it’s a breeding ground…
B – Its Bow innit
n – Its E3. It’s in the water; air…whatever but how did you…like obviously loads of people are doing it? How did you manage to get…what was the first break? It was 16 Bar Rally innit?
F – yeah
B – yeah…not. d’jou know what?
n – Was that the first break? What was the break before that then?
B – I dunno. I was just doing music. Before 16 Bar…I was just doing music and known in the bits. Like before 16 Bar Rally you come to Bow like Devons Road and that kids my age coulda told ya who Bless Beats was so like it was just on a wider scale
F – (says something confirming that but is too low and far away from the mic)
n – Oh right okay. So you got recommended? Your name got to a point where it was like ‘actually who is this dude?’
F – People who knew knew…like…
B – I was around…I was around for a bit like before that…like even in school people I knew I could make beats. By the time it got to Year 11 my beats were sounding better. When I went to college like…I went college in Leyton so that was like a whole new batch of people to meet and from different areas so then some knew people in Leytonstone, Walthamstow could tell you ‘ah he’s got beats’ and the name was just getting around just like in my area East. Now obviously you can go South London, North, West, Australia…people will tell ya about I make beats so err..
n – What was the…what was the tune then that got you then outta the main people in the ends and the other bit above it? What was that?
B – What…like proper commercial?
N – Not even commercial that…it was like I can go on a bus in North or sutting like that and I can hear the tune? Was it 16 Bar Rally?
B – yeah yeah that was on people’s phones…yeah that was about. Erm…
n- or was it before that?
B – Nah in my ends people had tunes on their phones. In the ends…
n- No I’m saying outside of the ends?
B – Oh outside of the ends when did it get to the phone? Err I dunno…it was just a little after 16 Bar Rally and not know my face just know that name – I’m not an mc or nothin. People now know who Bless Beats is but couldn’t even tell you who I was like – kna what I mean? And I do understand that as I’m not the face of it
n – emmm
B – so er…its’ been a while man. Really like…and you know what? Once you start working with people out of your own area anyway. That’s when your tunes are about so er. So I say 2007 when I did My Mistakes.
n- oh right yeah yeah yeah
B – Around that time really because I was working on a different kind of scale still
n – Different people
B – Yeah
n – and then obviously Rolex…
B – Yeah man
n – the whole thing just…because I met you just as that was happening I think actually. It hadn’t been signed yet
B – Yeah
n- and then it started to take off. How do you feel about it now because it’s a unique thing you know?
B – Yeah
N – What happened now has kicked open the door for all these people that are coming now. Tinchy wouldn’t be there
B – Yeah I hear that
N – Ironik wouldn’t be there. How does it feel now because it’s quite historic? Artists are making history
B – Yeah I know – it’s mad. You know what?
N – it’s a new sound. You introduced the sound and now it’s a different ballgame entirely
B – Yeah I know it is mad
n – What does it feel like?
B – Err…
n – What did it feel like at the time? Did you stop to think about it or it’s just happening and I’m going to move with it?
B – Yeah…do you know why? If I cared about it I would’ve got stuck with it. Where I tried not to pay attention and just do what I wanted it kinda kept me moving. Do you get what I mean?
n – Yeah?
B – Like so err because now I’ve got loads of new material and stuff. If I just stayed in that…some musicians just stay in the hype of one tune. I don’t want that tune to phase me I’m too young to have a tune like that I think
n – You’re too young to have tune like that?
B – Yeah
n –so would you take it back then?
B – no I wouldn’t take it back (I laugh) its good to have it at my age but at the same time theres big men who have 10 years on me that ain’t got that tune and that’s what I mean
I’m trying have a career span that lasts till I’m 32, 33. I don’t want it to end now so really I can’t look at that as a peak…as the best…no it ain’t it just…a phase and if that’s what I can do now then I’m tryna achieve a lot more and a lot more to come from me
n – I remember its true you were tryna stay on it as you were already making a follow-up and I remember on the audio at home…I’ve got Rolex Sweep you talking about it and “this is the next one…this is the next one I’m going to do” so you were already trying to do the follow up and that
B – Yeah
N – When that happened…the 2nd one came up what were you thinking?
B – I thought I was taking the p*** a bit (we laugh). But at the same time that was the flavour. Buts that’s cool. When you’ve got the flavour you’ve got the flavour. Right now it’s a hard flavour to judge cos everyone’s jumped so hard on the flavour that the flavours a bit bait right now so I’m just tryna err…avoid jumping on the bandwagon. I might just drop one more dance one – I’m entitled too (friend laughs) err…but I’m just tryna see where the industry’s moving next year still.
N – So you don’t think it might not stay with the dance thing it might go…
B – Well course not. Everyone got fed up of Indie bands now theres bare Electro music. In a minute it’ll be too much electro music go back to the Indie bands ya know what I mean?
N – and then you said you did a remix for Ironik. I like that tune a lot by the way.
B – That was fun that day in the studio
n – Who sings on that tune?
B – Daniel De Borg.
n – Cos I was like why is he not credited? I swear he’s not. I’ve always tried to figure out the name. Anyway so you did the remix for Ironik…erm and you’ve had other tunes floating around. I remember that Sex and The City tune
B – That tune. That’s in a deal…that’s with Moshi Moshi. That’s coming out in a minute
n – Who…as Janee as the artist? Or what?
B – We’re sorting that bit out (laughs). D’jou know what? The deal was my deal but just had a few complications with too many tunes being out at the same time with my name on ‘em
N – and they obviously want you to focus on one tune to give it that much push?
B – Yeah yeah err. But that’s in the deal with Moshi Moshi that’s coming out. We just done a video. It’s got Double S on it so err yeah
(pr peeps in the door in to check whether we were finished)
B – …so yeah loads of stuff. Moshi Moshi deal…
n – What is that a label or clothing?
B – Moshi Moshi are a label. They’ve got Cocknbull kid, they signed the first Kate Nash stuff and um Hot Chip. They’re just a cool quirky label. There from Universal. They’ve got a deal with them
N – Is this just for the single or…
B – They’re like a singles club. They do 2000 7” (inch). It’s a little promotional ting nothing major but its on my album that’s another to put a single out with them. It’s like a single off the back of my album
n – Double S is in place of Tinchy on that tune?
B – Yeah
n – How come?
B – Tinchy’s a superstar right now
n – He didn’t want his vocals on the tune?
B – No no I could use a tune from my album but what happened was basically…erm…yeah at the time he had Amelle and the album coming out. Cos we were looking to come out in September…the like…the management were like no features
n – clash…
B – no no………..yeah yeah yeah it was a clash. It wasn’t a problem its just they didn’t want Tinchy to be featuring. He can be on the album but none of these featuring to be released
n – right ok. It takes away from the project…
B – fair enough I understand that cos we don’t want any one to think its on his album while stuff that… they’re just tryna keep it there. I’ve got other tunes with him that’ll be on the album but Sex and the City I put Double S on it. It hasn’t lost nothing from the tune. Videos done
N – When’s it hitting the screen?
B – Ah…its information I couldn’t tell you today. Gimme by tomorrow…that’s the truth. Just need to chase it up
n – So obviously you got an album coming out? Okay…okay…actually the present is the reason why I’m here anyway is because of the single – The Rain
B – The Rain yeah yeah
n – so yeah its mad like I heard the song and it’s a good song – it’s a live song. The remix…the remix is interesting aswell like
B – what one? Janee?
n – Nah it’s the remix that you just did
B – What the rolex remix?
n – Yeah kinda like a rolex remix. Its interesting like it doesn’t take off but it stays mellow like. I played it in the morning and I was like ‘rah. I feel alright you know. Alright for the day’. Its nice
B – Yeah nah because you know what? I’m a laidback guy and sometimes you have to just understand that I don’t want the beat to…push up all the way. Sometimes I just want it to stay there. There’s certain times you hear a beat and that’s the vibe you need there and then –d’ja kna what I mean? With that tune with the remix I like where it is. I’ve had a reply
F – The reply’s sick
n- There’s a reply?
B – Janee. A girl reply.
n – Oh seen
B – She’s happy in the rain (I laugh). She dunno know why he’s upset
n – That’s alright, that’s a good idea. Is that gonna be around or with the release?
B – Nah it’ll be with the release. There’s a Wizzy Wow remix aswell. Agent X remix so yeah man…
n – So when I saw the single it was like mainly your name but wasn’t it on Wiley’s project?
B – Nah nah it’s mine from the beginning
n – so it’s yours totally your release?
B – Totally my one man
n – So this is in preparation for the album I guess
B – Yeah that’s the first single. Sex in the city’s like a…it’s a single but not like an official…yeah it is…that’s the next single then I want another single
N – So September is when you want the album to drop?
B – Nah nah nah nah the album’s is next year if I’m honest because err…I want it to be right. It’s a producer album
N – you can’t just fling it out there?
B – You see a producer album sometimes they don’t shift today but give ‘em a year and you’ll do the 200, 000 just based on around the world and people interested in production and stuff. I don’t really need to rush it but it’ll be out by next year summer. I wanna release something in February around that time
n – When you made that tune…did you make it with Wiley in the studio? And with the vocalist in the studio?
B – Nah I made it away from everyone and the beat itself reminded me of a rainstorm. Like basically all the tracks on my album are my concepts
n – Right
B – When I made the beat what I wanted the track to be about, who I wanted it, what kind of vibe I wanted to bring to it. If you ask the artist they can all tell you that. Every track you hear on my album gotta be what I wanted as opposed to just grabbing a name and using then for their name. we actually sit down and…
n – So you came up with the concept and you wanted them to supply what I need
B – Yeah like…like The Rain you can even ask Charlie. The way it needs to be spoken about is the rain is a metaphor for anything. Everyone can think ahh the rain means rain, thunderclouds whatever but The Rain’s a situation a person whatever something you don’t wanna be in. so that’s what the rain is really. And that’s what I was tryna say with that song. By using Charlie and Wiley to express it on the vocal side
n – How its being released? Are you self releasing it?
B – Yeah yeah I’ve got my own independent label called Blatant Swagger
n – Yeah I saw that logo and was thinking ‘who is that exactly?’ so its your yeah?
B – Yeah its mine
n – Big
B – Yeah its my label
n – Why the name?
B – Huh?
n – Why the name?
B – because that’s how we roll (he smiles. I laugh) cos err…everyone’s got swagger kno what I mean? Its gotta be upfront so if its not blatant and there then it ain’t
n – so that’s the main project for now yeah?
B – Yeah I’m pushing The Rain right now
n – What was the video like cos I ain’t seen it yet. The videos out but I haven’t seen it yet cos I’ve just been mad busy
B – The video um…(chuckle) I haven’t seen it either (chuckles). Who’s in the video? Okay so basically we’ve got Charlie Brown he’s having an argument with the missus. Basically err… I’m rolling round with Rhianna. Erm…for some strange reasons. No we’ve come form a studio session together and then um…she goes to save Charlie from The Rain which is his girlfriend and the circumstance
F – you actually got Rhianna?
B – (make ssssh motion. I laugh) watch the video (chuckles). That’s the concept of the tings. Yeah but obviously its hard to explain where I’m coming with the album from the UK cos when you say producer album to certain majors they’re thinking are you Jamieson or MJ Cole and we’re so past that day. They were both big producers but it’s a different day with a different breed of producer now. We’re not making that one kind of genre
N – Its kinda like…I dunno
B –we make songs and that now. It’s kinda different to making old school garage. It’s not an Artful Dodger album. Then there just going off on the ‘some of those didn’t perform to well why do you think your one can be the change’. Yeah because I’m coming with song and a whole different concept
n – That must be a it jarring as you’ve had chart success. How are you not?
B – Cos do you know what? If it’s not black and white some people don’t get it. Even now I tell people yeah I’ve done that tune Wearing My Rolex…like family members and you’ve got an auntie who don’t get it ‘but I swear thingy done that tune?’ ‘yeah I know but I done the beat’ ‘ Whadyya mean the beat?’
n – Oh right (chuckles)
B – like there’s people like that nah what I mean? Its easy for people that are round music to get it but there’s people who go to church and that and they don’t even know what the latest phones do so they don’t know what a producer does
n – True
B – You get that sometimes so that kind of average person is not gonna be into it or know stuff then erm…it’s a lot harder to explain. The average person will see The Rain and be looking for Charlie Brown…as the next single or they might think Charlie Brown’s Bless Beats and then it gets confusing cos sometimes people don’t get it (I chuckle)
F – (says something too far away from the mic)
n – Yeah they need you to point it out for them
F – (Says something again. We both laugh)
B – but yeah that’s all there is so I need take my time and put stuff right. So I’m not vocalling them myself but if I can sit in the studio and make a good song from producing it I don’t need to be on the vocal side
n – so the album comes out next year? You got a title for it?
Bless Beats ladies and gents
B – My Interpretation. That’s what the albums called. That’s exactly what it is. Me making an album of songs that I envisioned in the first place when I sat there and made the beat. And this is the end of what I originally thought of
n – I’m gonna ask a silly question but when I met you last time you said the album was nearly finished. What happened to all them tunes?
B – Yeah no cos you know what? I was doing a different kind of album then. I’ve got a catalogue of old tunes though. I was laughing to myself the other day cos err…I went through my old computer erm…I’m gonna take a look at it. I might have few mixtapes out around the time of the album to…get rid of some catalogue. There’s a lot of catalogue sitting on my computer. There shouldn’t be really
n – You were playing me some tunes back them. I can’t imagine how much you have now…
B – I’ve probably got two, three mixtapes sitting there now. Err…d’ya know what it is? I would like to promote everything but there’s so much work you can’t promote everything at once. You get sidetracked. I need like err…a whole team
N – You have a manager though right?
B – yeah but the joke is the amount of work me and Most Wanted churn out…you need 10 managers mate and I’m so versatile with my production that one minute I’m giving you a Grime beat, the next a Pop beat I want The Saturdays to go on and its like (chuckles)
n – I heard the tune you did on Ras Kwame’s with Janee. Some funky tune I think. I dunno if it was Janee. Some funky tune. I didn’t even know it was you bruv…I didn’t know it was you. I remembered Ras Kwame played it was like 2 weeks ago. I listened and said “that is a big tune”. When he said it was Bless Beats I was like wtf? So are you going to continue with that sort of thing just doing anything because…
B – yeah yeah people like my funky. Marcus Nasty – he backs my funky quite a bit so erm…I’m not tryna get involved in the genre thing right now
n – Outside of genre are you just going to continue with you approach of just doing what ever the hell you like?
B – Yeah man why not (we chuckle)? No one’s stopping me. Just carry on making what I want when I feel like it….cos I come from a genre already so I can’t keep tryna jump ship. I hate when people jump ship – it works and it’s good but know what I mean? It’s a bit if a shame when you jump ship and you’re not as strong
n – What’s going to happen to Another Hard Day’s Graft? (the 2nd mixtape and follow up to Hard Day’s Graft)
B – Yeah I’m gonna. The scene just needs to buck up a minute. There’s no one there. Everyone who was the scene has got a deal so err (smirks)…its not the same streets mixtape you need to errr….let new people come up now and ttke names. start taking titles
n – Then what you might work with them?
B – Yeah well ya know the mixtapes ain’t for the thing like none of the beats that were on the mixtapes are for the commercial world so why should I give that to a commercial artist? I’d rather give it to someone whose hungry, just as hungry as he is…d’ja know what I mean? Like Axeman, Maxsta, Double S like there good emcees they’re the new breed, they’re fire man
N – I’ve been hearing a lot about this Maxsta guy
B – Nah he’s good
n – …cussing each other talking about hats and things
B – Yeah that’s some funny s***. Yeah but they grow out of that…they’re kids but at the same time they are the future of MC’s cos they’re the kids who are taking it just as serious as we are now. They think that’s what they wanna do…they know what they wanna do so…I take ‘em serious cos when I was at that age I took it serious and look when I am so….if they take it serous who knows where’ll they’ll be?
n – in your personal life how has it changed with all the success and stuff? How have you personally changed?
B – do’ya know what?
n – Do you feel family acting different to you? Friends…or is it just normal?
B – I don’t really have funny friends like that and if I did I was just as distant as I am distant to them now…do you get what I’m saying? I have a lot of social acquaintances and I have friends cos I don’t really feel like people are that different – its not that. It’s um…it’s um (chuckles)…no-one acts different but it has changed
n – Are you aware of things like ‘oh…Bless is here’?
B – Nah it don’t even…cos…I keep it real with everyone and everyone knows to keep it real with me
n – That’s healthy then
B – Yeah…No-one breds. We‘ve all got things we can brag about and some of my mates they got things they can be proud of…for themselves. It’s not like everyone needs to watch what I do or that’s the kind pf people I keep around me so its not that kind of thing where I feel things have changed and family…my family are my family…and they stay how they stay kna what I mean? Nothing’s really changed. Been a bit more busy but that comes with anything when that picks up you know? If you get a promotion at work you’re gonna be a bit more busy ya know? Its not…I wouldn’t say I’ve made it or nothing so it ain’t changed dramatically. I’m still about; I’m still in the manor
n – Are you able to go down the street without everyone noticing you?
B – course I am. I walked here mate (I chuckle). It’s not that
n – No…’AAHHHH’?
B – As I said I’m not the front man. I go places people know me but I tend to find people know me when um…I’m in places where people would not expect to see me but…are from music or they’re into music.
n – Industry heads?
B – Not even industry heads. You see like I Luv Live or Cargo…you know the places when everyone tries to be at? (I laugh. he smiles) That’s where you get noticed kna what I mean? Like Yo Yo’s or Nike ID party…you know those places? Nah I could walk down the street
n – Do you find a lot of that real or fake? Cos sometimes when I go to those events I just wanna go home
B – do’ja know what? I find it um…I’ve turned it into a switch. Ya know?
n – Different demeanour for different places?
B – Nah you just have to perk up. Now who Bless Beats is and know who Gareth is. Some times I don’t wanna do nothin when I’m Gareth. Just stay in my house, play Playstation , f*** the world today kna what I mean? Nah I’m joking but at the same time when’s its time to be Bless Beats and its time to be promoting you have to do it its part of a the job. Sometimes you wanna go home rest your feet. Sometimes I don’t answer my phone. I don’t have to. If I wanna sit indoors and just chill out. That’s all it is .So them places…you might not see me all the time because I don’t necessarily wanna go smile up or I’m tryna do something. Not that I‘m arrogant and don’t wanna socialise but I’ve got a life…a kid and that ya know?
n – Congratulations on that by the way.
B – safe
n – I think that came at the best time bruv
B – I know
n- Cos I was with you at the time. Your like “this needs to be a success” and the timing was like that that (click fingers). That’s one thing I remember of all the interviews I’ve done over the past 3 years is the timing. I just though you know what…I can’t be bothered to even say…but it’s actually bless it’s actually bless (he smiles). Nah nah it is a blessing because it was coming at that time and it was a massive success
b – That was a good move. Big up Wiley (we all laugh). That was a good move mate at the right time. I think for both of us that was a f****** move man so big up Wiley on that cos we did do the move
n- Have you found it hard to keep the business side stuff from your life though?
B – no. it takes control of my life. I’m a very unsociable person because of it. I’ll come to your house and my phone will ring emails and stuff. It does take up my life that is the joke but do’ya know what the joke is though? I wouldn’t wanna do anything else (me and him laugh) trust me I think about it some days. Why would you wanna go and work for someone else
n – You’re doing a good thing man
B – Ya kna what I mean? It’s…as much as it does take up a lot of time what else would I be doing really and be as happy. Yeah man…It is good though
n – Obviously business is booming as you mentioned your management your doing bare bare work you need a bigger team
B – Yeah we do
n – What advice would you give to people in a business sense to handle themselves in a business like way? Is it just something you learn form the start or..
B – erm…there’s ups and…be ready for a fall. If you’re ready for it then it won’t be such a shock to you if something goes wrong. Don’t be negative be very positive about it but also know that you’re not always gonna win. Its not always gonna work out. You have to know to be aware of that so you an work your way around it if so in terms of what your doing. There has to be a lot of communication. Can’t think you do everything by yourself
n – Delegate
B – Yeah
n – lets people play their positions stuff like that
B – People are set for certain things. It’s how you run any business ya know? If you look at the most successful businesses someone…who’s over someone who’s over someone…that person does that and that’s how the company works and generate whatever. That’s what I’d say. Just look at that
n – What was your fall then? Have you had one yet?
B – I haven’t had a fall yet but um…I’m already for it
F – Fall?
n – Yeah like…he was saying be ready for one.
B – Nah I’m saying be ready for it like don’t go in it expecting things to be…that it works. Not everything works sometimes. You go to a shop and buy a new phone and it don’t work. Be aware that people will spin ya or do a move on ya. The more you can be aware to that the better off you are. Knowledge is power that’s what I’m tryna say. The more you know the more it won’t be a shock and you can bounce back
n – That’s some good advice man. Okay…so My Interpretation next year summer?
B – Yep. I wanna pace out the tune months apart
n – it’s independent
B – That’s how we’re rolling. I want people to know that I’m gonna put bangers on stuff people can feel on it cos it’s not as easy as….1, 2, 3. I need people to be aware of the singles I’m putting out so they don’t go off looking for three different things.
Grime Forum questions
Q. where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
B – err…sitting in a studio somewhere
Q. who have you been working with recently?
B – Remy Nicole and Fenix
Q. what producers do you rate at the minute?
B – Wizzy Wow and Calvin Harris
Q. Are you still making Grime?
B – course I am man
Q. and is ‘Woi Oi’ instrumental ever going to get a release?
B – Do’ya know what? That’s a good question – big up that person. I like that question. Yeah I found all my old Grime beats the other day so we’ll have an instrumental CD out soon
Q. What’s going on with you working with the geezer from Lighthouse Family? Is that still happening?
B – Huh? That’s just writing sessions. You might never hear the song but we do writing work together. You potentially will hear a song written by him on my album or his album or somewhere. That’s the relationship there. It’s with Paul Tucker the guy who writes all the songs. Not Paul Tucker
Q. Are you going to release or give away Icey Box instrumental?
B – (laughs) all the old instrumentals they’re coming out . I honestly found ‘em all
Q. what happened to Beatfighter or whatever it was called
B – yeah yeah Beatfighter’s coming. I found Beatfighter… I didn’t have Beatfighter for a minute
Q. are you pissed that Wiley didn’t turn up to the video shoot of …Rain
Err…yes I was (I laugh) but we’re all big men and you get over stuff. That’s the truth if you want me to be honest but err…at the same time expect a fall. When Wiley didn’t come I didn’t mind. Obviously that’s part of Wiley’s mysterious…thing. He hasn’t been to any video so it followed suit
Q. do you think your signature sound is good enough to be recognised by big labels for more than single deals?
B – Yeah course it is but you know what? If they don’t want it I’ll put it out independently
Q. who would you work with outside the Grime scene?
Er…I wanna work with M.I.A. she’s wicked man
N – She’s popped out her baby so she might be ready now
B – Yeah I like M.I.A. I like L.E Paperboy Reed
Q. who’s your favourite producer in the scene?
B – Apart from me (LAUGHS) Maniac’s the champion in Grime. So everyone can shut up and just give back to…
Q. why do you always use Wiley’s sounds?
B – Wiley uses my sounds (I laugh. He smiles) let’s get this straight. Do’ya know what? Me and Wiley make beats together an stuff so of course things rub off and stuff but you need to keep listening cos we don’t sound like each other
Q. Are you working with Axeman, Wax and Realist on any projects
B – Yeah they’re my dogs, they’re from Bow they’re from the manor so err. Course…there the goon’s man so of course
Q. Your mixtape had some harsh critics. Is it because of the long delay people had it built up in their head their own ideas on how it would sound?
B – With Grime sometimes there’s two sets of people.. you’ve got the people who love Bless Beats then you’ve got the people who do hate me the people hate me is because I don’t always use the hardest bassline or I might put a string there. I’ll take it another way and they have to understand that’s how I produce I don’t wanna sound like generic grime and grime fans need to stop putting pressure on artists. We wanna spread our wings and that you need to look at the bigger picture. There’s good song…we don’t always have to put a square bass in
n – There’s always new heads to take their place anyway?
B – The joke is the sounds that they like is like all the presets man. I’m past that I’m going to the oscillators and stuff man
N – modulation…
B – and doing other stuff to the sounds so it’s a different ballgame now. I don’t think it got a bad response I understand what he’s saying but obviously you wanted to hear a Maniac CD that’s what happened
N – There were pressing issues but that was out of your control at the time
B – Yeah…no,,,of course. But that’s all your first stuff. Of course all your first stuff is gonna be rocky…its your first time round. By the time you come 2nd time, 3rd time you’re having a laugh. I’m not even worried about that. that’s all learning curves. But yeah man
And that’s it. Phew lol. There’s a lot to digest read and take from this so again leave comments and feedback
The Rain featuring Charlie Brown and Wiley is out on digital release now on Blatant Swagger
p.s here’s a nice pic of a church I captured on the way back
The Almighty’s Blessings