One of the best releases we have heard this year on Backseat Mafia came from UK Rapper, Ty and his Kick and a Snare EP. Born Ben Chijioke, he was born and still lives in London. More importantly, he has been at the forefront of UK Hip-Hop for over ten years, starting with his album Awkward, which came out in 2001 and was followed by the brilliant Upwards, where he stamped his laid back style and jazzy-funk style on the genre, and was promptly rewarded with a Mercury nomination (2003)
Recently, Ty has moved over from Big Dada to one of the other brilliant independent labels in the UK, Tru Thoughts. The kick snare and an idea is the first result of this new partnership. Part one is out now (and it’s brilliant) with part two following later in the year.
We were totally excited to catch up with the man himself, for the inside word on the new EP, making music, and what he’s doing next.
Tell us about your new EP
The new EP is a new collection of songs I’ve been working on that all centres on the process of working on a song, from home, to demo, to studio, till completion… The Kick Snare And An Idea title is really to just coin the phrase that a lot of people who work on music go through, in order to complete a piece of music. Instead of waiting for a phrase to be coined, I am coining the phrase myself. I belong to a group on Facebook called The Beat Inn [http://www.facebook.com/groups/THEBEATINN] which focuses on exploring the work of bedroom producers/fulltime producers, who work on music
Ty – Like you never, The Kick Snare and an idea – part one
It’s been a while – why is that, would you say you’re a perfectionist?
I used to be a perfectionist, but hey what can I say? I will always be. I generally take time with music, as I don’t consider myself in competition with anyone. Also, life gets in the way sometimes so something’s take longer to happen when things are going against you.
It’s only part one right, when will part two drop?
Part two drops on 10th June and is going to be two more songs plus some remixes of songs from part one that might raise eyebrows…
Ty – Let’s Start, from Kick Snare and an Idea, part 2
And you’ve moved over to Tru Thoughts – seems like a perfect fit
It’s going to be a new adventure over at Tru Thoughts – it’s a new relationship, it’s also a collaboration of both brands Tymusic and Tru Thoughts, so I think it’s going to be an interesting union that hopefully spawns some exciting music, and a new chapter in hip hop music from the UK
But we can also pick it up on vinyl – is it important to you to have a physical release?
It was crucial that I get my releases on vinyl! I believe in keeping traditions alive and the vinyl tradition is not dead at all.
Some of the lyrics in the EP seem to suggest you’re not totally happy with the state of the music business – would that be fair?
My lyrics on this EP are not just about being unhappy or moody, it’s about being thoughtful about a problem and taking ownership of my own part to play in the problem. I don’t think anybody that truly loves music can be happy with the state of music at the moment, it doesn’t have balance. Balance is the thing I want to see.
With that in mind – What advice would you give up and coming artists?
I’m tired of giving advice to up and coming artists LOL We are all the same; love what you do, believe in what you’re making, that is all.
Do you think you’d have made it in this current climate?
I don’t think I’ve made it at all….I’m pretty clear on that, trust me! LOL
And you’ve got some guests on the record, Akala and Durrty Goodz – how did you get them involved/meet them – were you a fan of theirs?
There are always guests on my music. I consider the musicians that play on the music to be just as important as any guests that I have on the record. Goodz and Akala showed me absolute faith by being on this record and I thank them. The process of having people involved in the music is always a challenge, but it makes the puzzle worth completing.
You’re on tour, I’m guessing performing is important, you get nervous/excited? Thinking back to when you first started, is it like chalk and cheese now, or do you still get the same feelings?
I am currently doing shows here, there and everywhere! If you sign up to my mailing list [http://tinyurl.com/ckuvphk ] or Bandsintown [http://www.bandsintown.com/tymusic]you can get my whereabouts or follow me on Twitter @Tymusic. As far as performing, yes we always get nervous – but it’s part of life really, I enjoy it.
And Uk hip-hop, the scene at the moment is?
The UK scene is thriving. Most importantly, artists are beginning to see themselves as part of the European scene, which is really important. It’s a move I made years ago and I think it’s important to think outside of the box. I’m enjoying the energy and relationships between artists at the moment, there’s a lot of hope in the air.
Future plans are?
I hope folks get behind me knowing that their turn will come…
A Kick Snare And An Idea Part One is out now on Tru Thoughts, and available from:
http://bit.ly/aksaai_etch directly from Tru Thoughts
Connect and Get Interactive with TY:
www.bandsintown.com/tymusic for tour dates
www.tymusicstore.co.uk for merchandise