Since their first release was played on John Peel’s show the North West London collective London Zoo have worked with Dubbledge, Foreign Beggars, Stig of the Dump, and more. They now have their Brainstorm LP out and Danielle caught up with them to find out more…
Who is behind the group London Zoo?
London Zoo: Sumgii, Pierre Green, DJ Frost, Cobes, Rocko and I (Dabbla).
How on earth did you guys come up with a name like that?
London Zoo: We put loads of names in a hat and played paper, rock, scissors to see who picks.
You have had some amazing press and feedback since you started out, do you still feel though like as a group you’re slept on? Or is it all part of your ultimate plan to dominate UK music?
London Zoo: Very good question, we've been sitting on a lot of music for a while seeing what stands the test of time. I think first impressions are important in music which is why we are coming with all our favourite underground shit first. That way, when we release our cheesy pop songs mutha fuckaz can flick through the archives and see that we done it the right way round! Only joking, you'll never catch us making that crap, if we ever do become popular in the mainstream it will be because we stuck to our guns and didn't compromise our style.
As for being slept on, I think its safe to say that the noise we've made in relation to what we've released so far is spot on… and its only gonna get louder!
Dominate the UK? Nah, were going for the whole planet mate.
The new LP is firmly here, what can you tell our readers about it?
London Zoo: Our latest release is the 'Brainstorm'. This is a 24 track LP jam-packed and oozing wit that 'hard-hitting, granny-bashing, cutting-you-up-at-the-lights' flavour LDZ are known for!
Trust me this is not the sort of CD you wanna leave lying around in your mums car, unless your mum's into blazing peng and getting wasted?
Its not all 'effing and blinding though, there’s a lot of conscious material on here; we just like to grab your attention with the comedy because lets be honest, its more fun!
Special guests include Stig of the Dump, Dubbledge, Dr Syntax, King Kiaow (IRS), Taskforce, Son of Light and more with guest production from Philly B, Formula, Matta, Harry the Bastard, Jabba the Cut & Tommy Tee. This will be available: 15th November 2010 on Dented Records, iTunes and all other good music outlets!
How would you define your musical style?
London Zoo: My music’s like walking in on a family member during intercourse. Shocking yet natural.
What are your personal views on the current UK market? Do you think there is room for fresh talent to break through and be heard?
London Zoo: Ok, (deep-breath) ~ The UK is home to some of the best artists in the world but everywhere I look all I see is the same people doing the same shit in the same way its always been.
When it comes to UK hip-hop I think there’s a HUGE misconception as to who's really reppin’. Without getting into the whole 'is grime music hip-hop?' debate.
I think it’s fair to say that if your remixing old dance classics over a house tempo your ideas are pretty thin and your shit certainly doesn't float in hip-hop as a culture.
There’s a lot of manufactured bands and rap groups that have come and gone because they cannot 'cross-over'. It seems that unless you can appeal to fans from other genre's then you ain’t gonna last. I guess it all depends on who you’re making music for and your intentions, even if your the most talented rapper on the planet you cant fool people with that 'get rich bullshit'.
It’s a very strange time for music. On one hand, technology has allowed absolute garbage to sound incredible which means there’s a lot of really well produced shite out there.
But on the plus side the availability of software has opened up the doors for everybody to have a go which should make way for some really interesting stuff and hopefully there’s a lot of fresh new talent just waiting to burst through!
You clearly don't put yourself into one box so to speak, it must be a daily challenge to keep your vibe and style fresh, where do you draw your inspiration from?
London Zoo: Man I wish it was a daily challenge but unfortunately we all got lives to lead which involve going to work, paying the bills, having relationships and in some cases, taking care of kids! I suppose the dream of being able to do this full-time is our inspiration!
If you had to describe your individual styles in five words what would they be?
London Zoo: Gully, Peng, Tiger, Trampy, Fresh.
What can people expect next from London Zoo? What plans do you have in the works?
London Zoo: We got the LDZ Album which is now finished and will be out in the New Year! The single to promote this is called 'Faith', produced by Sumgii and remixed by Matta!
We'll also be releasing another single called 'Come On' with 'Anne-Marie Lataille' who is an astonishingly, soulful vocalist with the voice to make an East-End doorman burst into tears!
We got two more EP's in the pipes too! First one is by 'Philly B', one of my favourite producers and life long bredrin. This is a project I’m really excited about because it will showcase some of our best shit yet! For those of you unfamiliar with Philly B, he's responsible for 'LinkReady' on 'Living Long Ting' and 'Everybody Does It' on 'The London Zoo EP' so you know that’s going to be absolute fire!
The second EP is from 'Formula' who is another producer I have been working closely with. This release captures some really extraordinary material from LDZ and showcases some of formula's best work to date! Guest vocalists include Dubbledge & rapper / singer 'Aynzli Jones'. Definitely not to be missed!
Also I'm five tracks deep into an EP with 'Stig Of The Dump' called 'Altered Ego's' which might turn into an LP and will feature the likes of King Kiaow and Jam Baxter.
I've also been focusing on finishing my solo album which I might release early next year too!
Plus we just done the music for the new adidas viral adverts featuring Lionel Messi and apparently there’s more to come there so keep your beady lil eyes peeled for that shiznit!
Where can people check out more about you?
London Zoo: Shout out to everyone listening and supporting unsigned / underground artists in any way, shape or form- from showing up to a local event or burning a CD for a friend- its nothing but love!
Stay awake! 😉
By: Danielle Fear
For British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.