In 2006 Wretch32, a talented north London artist won BBC 1XTRA’s first Annual Mixtape award for ‘Most Street Heat’ with 'Learn From My Mixtape'. Since then he had received support from BBC 1XTRA, Radio 1, Asian Network, Kiss and Choice Fm. 2007 lead to European tours and 'Teachers Training Day'; and this guy can't wait until 2008…
LadyJay Uk: How important was pirate radio in bringing you to where you are now? And how did you get involved in that?
Wretch 32: It helped me because that’s how I started with my crew Combination Camp on Heat FM to be honest they already had a set and encouraged me to write lyrics. If I didn’t go on radio I wouldn’t have had to challenge myself to write lyrics and also know how to project my voice. Also pirate radio is where my first songs got played, it’s the foundation of my success.
LadyJayUK: Tell me about the track Punctuation, what’s it all about?
Wretch 32: My single Punctuation’s which is out now is a way of me saying that I feel like I’m the best but in an educational context. I’ve been to units and seen it written out as the class lessons showing the students the relevance of having correct punctuation.
LadyJayUK: In the track you state: ‘I’m greatest’, ‘I’m levels above’. Levels above who?
Wretch 32: Lol… you know I can’t name people… Ok everyone who’s overrated lol.
LadyJay UK: Do you think quality is missing in some artists work? If so, why do you think that is?
Wretch 32: I do whole heartedly feel that. I feel like the masses are not able to hear the growth of underground talent who have music that can now be played on par with any other CD in the world.
LadyJayUK: Who do you think you’re on a level with artistically?
Wretch 32: The best this country has to offer like Kano, Sway, The Movement and Dizzie.
LadyJayUK: Who do you most admire musically?
Wretch 32: I admire people like Kano, Lemar , Keisha White and Sway also people outside the box as well though like Mr Hudson and Amy Winehouse.
LadyJayUK: And in life…
Wretch 32: I admire anyone who strives to be the best that can be especially people that resist solely existing in the cycle of life and try to exceed expectations.
LadyJayUK: Have you always tried to exceed expectations?
Wretch 32: Yea definitely I don’t want anyone to think they no what to expect from me lol, that’s why I’m always tryna be futuristic rite now im jus finishing 07. I can’t wait for 08 in a few weeks lol.
LadyJayUK: How long have you been doin’ music? And how did it start out for you?
Wretch 32: I’ve been doing music for about three years now and I started by writing a few lyrics for pirate radio then trying to push myself to write songs and that. Before I knew it I had a catalogue of material which ended up being the ‘Learn From Mixtape’.
LadyJayUK: How did you get from spittin’ on pirate radio to completing a mixtape and your album? How did it happen?
Wretch 32: It was all to do with my work ethic and my drive to be the best, So I just had to prove it, also a mixtapes an easier way of getting heard, also everyone will always appreciate a product over a freestyle on the radio.
LadyJayUK: Who does your production?
Wretch 32: I always use different producers and that don’t have to be producers with a big reputation either. Like on Punctuation the producers name’s Nocturnal and on my previous mixtape’s I’ve used producers like Stikman, Y. Wizz, X Triple I, Chunky Bizzle and Scorcher to name a few.
LadyJayUK: Did you learn anything from these guys?
Wretch 32: Not to be rude not really I no how to put together a song so I reckon producers learn more from me then I do from them, jus being honest, lol.
LadyJayUK: How did you feel about winning BBC 1Xtras ‘Most Street Heat’ award. Has it had any impact on you at all?
Wretch 32: I was happy because it shows appreciation for the work that I put in and it helps because now I can bring it up in business meetings and its helps with negotiating and that.
LadyJayUK: What are you working on at the moment?
Wretch 32: I’m working on my debut album ‘Wretrospective’ please buy it when it comes out.
LadyJayUK: Explain that title…
Wretch 32: Well wretchrospective means a exhibition of an artists life’s work, so I’m gonna make a musical exhibition about my life, its gonna be a different kinda CD still, nothing like what you usually hear truss me.
LadyJay UK: Do you run the UK Unplugged event? Tell me about that!
Wretch 32: It’s an urban platform for the best UK artists to perform alongside a live band. We held the first one in July and Ace & Vis & Twin B jointly present it. It went well and I’m currently in the midst of planning another one for more info on that visit myspace.com/ukunplugged.
LadyJayk: Have you got live performance coming up that we can catch!
Wretch 32: Come see me in Kent on 25th of November and keep checking my myspace page for my live shows.
LadyJayUK: Anything else to add…
Wretch 32: Please buy Punctuation it’s out on digital release and I really would love your support.