Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us at British Hip Hop.
Charlie Sloth: Thank you - for giving me the time.
First up we have to talk about the “Guided Tour of Camden” track, it is brilliant! How did you come up with the idea for the video?
Charlie Sloth: When ever I construct a song, in my head it is always very visual, in my mind I paint a picture from the words I'm using - so when it comes to making the video for the track the idea has already been written by the song and because I make my own videos it is very easy to get the vision across. So when I made the Guided Tour of Camden track, the visual you all got to see on TV was the visual I had in my head when I created the track.
You also won an award in Canada for the video, how does that feel?
Charlie Sloth: It feels incredible... to know my music is reaching as far as Canada and being appreciated. It was not only a massive look for me but also for the UK hip-hop community because it shows people are starting to take notice of our talent on a international scale which I feel is long overdue!
But yea the award looks dope in my studio haha.
You are due to release your E.P. soon, what can we expect from it?
Charlie Sloth: You can expect the TRUTH! I'm not the kinda artist who comes with these songs talking trash about how much dough I’ve made or how hard I am. I don't glorify Drugs or Crime and I don't base songs around one punchline! ALL of my tracks have a concept which I feel is a must in modern hip-hop... anyone can spit bars on a track, anyone can say they are a MC but only true hip-hop artists can create a conceptual song that can bring change to somebody's life. A track that can touch somebody's soul and make them relate to REAL life issues!
Being originally part of a larger musical family called “the Grimey Limeys” how did it feel to branch out on your own?
Charlie Sloth: It was mad at first cause we really are like family and were always together but it has always been part of my plans to have my solo thing popping because I got so much to say. All the Limeys always knew this and all support me to the fullest... I’m the Grimey Limey General now and will be forever!
You also recently got props in The Source magazine, that’s a big move, how did it feel to have them say you are “One of the U.K.’s finest”?
Charlie Sloth: For me this was special because I grew up reading that magazine day dreaming about one day getting props off them... So when I become the first UK artist to be blogged by the Source it was like DAM!... If you want something bad enough and are willing to go to any lengths to achieve your goals, I promise you will achieve them - that sounds mad cheesy right? But it’s real - I’m living proof!
Was music something you always wanted to pursue? Who inspired you?
Charlie Sloth: Ever since I stole that NWA "Straight Outta Compton" cassette from some rich lady's house my mum was cleaning when I was like 10 I’ve wanted to Rap. I have been inspired by so many People it would be unfair to name a few the list is massive and is constantly getting bigger.
The U.K. has some hot talent right now, what are your views on the U.K. Hip Hop scene? Is there enough support out there?
Charlie Sloth: I feel we are at a beautiful stage here talent wise, there is a massive spectrum of artists here now repping all the different genres of Hip-Hop. i.e. you have your Gangster / Street Rap, your Cheesy Pop Rap, your Back Pack Rap, your Battle rap, Conscience rap and I could even say Grime. I feel our scene lacked this five years ago. The industry is very diverse now and can cater for different people from all walks of life which is important.
The UK scene at the moment reminds me of the US market 10 years ago. Labels were all too shook to invest in Artists, so artists started building their own empires, which in turn made the labels do a U-turn and start giving investment to homegrown companies, which obviously was giving power back to the people who loved hip-hop and understood the "Hip-Hop industry", which then made the music a world wide selling genre...
Independent labels are popping up all over the place in the UK right now which is a great look. Artists are putting their stuff out themselves marketing for free via the net... and with accessibility of studio equipment and the net its all become very DIY... Once the power has been given back to the people over here - folk like (Just Jack) won’t be getting signed, artist like Skinny will be. And I hate when I hear people talking about how "UKRAP can’t and won’t sell....", that’s bullshit! You give someone like me the money to market any top hip-hop artist in the UK and I will make them a European star! YOU MUST PUT IN TO GET OUT! The scene just needs to step up its Business game...
Because unless it is treated like a business it isn’t a business...see me? Anyone who wants to make a living from music industry must understand it is a business!
I think a lot of DJ's need sacking as well. Far too much US junk is being played on our airwaves when there is a UK track just as hot if not hotter that should be getting played! You wastemen DJ'S know who you are... address yourselves don’t let me address you!
I really could go on forever!
If you were given the opportunity to work with anyone of your choice, who would it be and why?
Charlie Sloth: Wow, thats a good question, its made me think... US wise I would have to say Jay-Z because I don’t write any of my songs I just go in the booth and let it out (thats right I don’t write). I know he does the same so working with him would be interesting just to see how similar our methods of recording are.
For the UK I have already been blessed with recording with some of my all time fav's such as TY and Duke.
There are so many other gifted musicians from other genres id love to work with like Radiohead and even Sting!
Any new projects planned from the Grimey Limeys over the coming months?
Charlie Sloth: Well I've been working with Jonny Gutta trying to get his solo project finished, he is defo one to watch out for. As for a Limey crew project you guys are gonna have to wait until summer 08 for that shizzle.
Charlie Sloth: Yup, big up to everyone who has been supporting me, I’ve got nothing but love for you lot...
And big up to Mr. Johnston who told me nearly every day at school I’d never be a rapper... hahahhahaha.
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.