ISSUE NO. 6 / April 2020
A Rap & a cup of tea
Featuring Mister V // 7liwa // Yaro & much more
Mister V p.23
• Editor's Speech • Punchlines p.4 • Reviews p.19 • Playlist p.32
• Who's? • Doums p.11 • Gambi p.31 • The Manga's references in Rap music p.12 • The Team p.39 • Credits p.41
Photography Cover © Fifou
On behalf of the magazine team, I would like to apologize to you for the delay in publishing this new issue. Scheduled for late March as always, we had to make the decision to delay its release by another month due to Covid-19. It’s quite complicated to manage your professional projects and to talk about music when your own life or the one of your loved ones is in danger. That’s why, first and foremost, I would like to add my most sincere thoughts and prayers to all those families who have lost people because of this terrible virus. We’re back today for the sixth issue that’s stronger and more diverse than ever. I’m always amazed when I see the incredible artists who have made it possible for us to showcase their support and their time. I thank each of them and their team for placing their trust in us. As I have always said, this magazine is entirely dedicated to Hip-Hop culture and all the love we have for it. I’m also deeply grateful for all the love, kindness and strength you have given us since the first issue in 2018. My gratitude is infinite regarding all these sharing, congrats, likes and many messages. If you’re keen to be the first people to get to know everything that’s going on with the mag, you should follow the Twitter and Instagram account of A Rap & A Cup Of Tea. Exclusive news – and also one to remember – we're massively pleased to announce that the magazine will inaugurate its Podcast channel in few weeks! A great adventure is about to start and we’re hoping a lot of you to follow us on it. Mama Lova? It’s still for you if I work so hard to make our future shine. Everything’s for you. Always. With all my love, Fanny Hill Scott fanny.hillscott
Punchline " You're looking for the answer but it's the question that guides us" Laylow
"The silence of pain is sometimes louder than the noise of rage" IAM
" If you knew where I came from, you’d understand where I’m going to" Georgio
" Out of love I can do everything, but with hate, I can do even better" Youssoupha
" The more the time flies, the more haunted I feel" Maes
"We used to say that the future is already traced, but I'm always working to improve it" Sam Barboza
Drawings © DiCreem
A great flow, sounds coming from the entire world, a dazzling ascent in French Rap... I speak, obviously, of Yaro. This rapper, from the Parisian suburbs in Esssone, has everything he needs to seduce his audience. A feather, beautiful melodies, and above all; a real desire to succeed in life, while remaining faithful to his values and those who saw him grow and evolve. Benevolent, sincere and charismatic, Yaro speaks today to A Rap & A Cup Of Tea about his mixtape called La Spé, released last February. Back in full with the unmissable hit 'Mec De Cité’ featuring two pillars of French Rap, PLK and Ninho, Yaro shows once again the amplitude of his talent. Formerly known as Sirsy, Yaro began his solo career in 2017, and has continued to dazzle his audience through his collaborations and projects. He told us evertyhing on his beginnings in music until the birth of his last project. With simplicity and honesty, Yaro shows us the essential place that music has in his life. Can you talk about your peculiarity within French Rap to an English audience about to get to know you? I think I’m a pretty open-minded artist. I can make songs sound more 'street' right next to songs with much more melody; using auto-tune, afro-musical influence, etc. I’m really openminded on that. It’s a mix of everything I like. How did you get into Rap? When I was 11, I listened to a lot of Rap, and I also watched a lot of Rap stories like Alpha 5.20. I loved watching rapper’s interviews, and that’s what made me want to rap. I wanted to make the music they made, and I threw myself into it without hesitation. When did you tell yourself "I really want to be a rapper and do everything for Rap"? I think it came as soon as college began. I was 14/15, I think, and I knew I wanted to do that. You know, I also worked a bit in the factory, and I knew that it wasn’t the life I wanted for me. I said to myself: “You have to focus on what you like to do.” All I wanted to do was music. I started rapping when I was 13, and by 15, it was obvious to me. In the song ‘Kesoni’ you say "Henni told me: "Yaro, glory, you won't like it.” Can you tell me more? Actually, we were at my house with Ninho, and we were talking about it. You know, Ninho is my brother, so don’t just talk about music; we talk about everything... And this day, we had a discussion about all the success that is happening to him at the moment. He explained to me that success brought him many good things, but also many disadvantages, for which we're not necessarily prepared. And since he knows me well, he told me that if, one day, I had the same success as him, I wouldn’t necessarily enjoy it well. Being in the spotlight and everything; I’m not deluded; all that stuff embarrassed me a bit. But the more success you aim for, the more you are exposed - it’s a lot of pressure.
Do you feel that the behavior of people towards you changed since you breakthrough? In my eyes, I haven’t really made it yet (laughs). In my early days, I was happy with a few views and listens on the platforms where I posted my music, like Myspace, for example. But now that I see that I can go even further, my ambition becomes even bigger... But it's true to say that I feel there’s now more excitement around me, there’s no question about it. In 'À L'Arrivée' you say "The photos, the comments, the likes, we forget the inside of the human being, but life catches us up, slaps us…” Is this one of the negative aspects of fame for you? Yes totally. Now people are focused on scores, streams, performances etc, but they forget that behind all this, there's a human being like everyone else. When you’re little, you think that Rap allows you to shine and that’s it, but growing up you realize that the higher you go, the more disadvantages there are. As soon as I go outside, I can see that things have changed.
''We did a lot of duets with Ninho because this guy is family, and we used to work a lot together.'' Your album features songs that are completely different from each other. We find Afrotrap with the song 'La Galère' in feat with 4Keus, but there are also big hits like 'Mec De Cité' with PLK and Ninho, and much darker songs, such as 'Gillet Par Balle' for example. How did you get the right balance when making these different records? For me, it was simple in itself, because I had no barriers, so I put my voice on the beats I liked without overthinking. I listen to a lot of songs in general, whether it’s Funk, Rap, Soul... So, I could really do what I liked, and with my team, we selected the best songs for the mixtape.
In your eyes, is the difference important between coming back with an album or a mixtape? Yes, I think there's a nuance. I think that when you allow yourself to release a real album, it’s because you have a real audience following you, waiting for your new releases, etc. You give them a real ‘baby’ if you know what I mean. I once again preferred to make a mixtape, because it's more like a ‘business card’ and even if I have already released two of them before, this one is even deeper. There, I chose to focus myself on only three types of music, as you said earlier. It will also allow us to see what the audience prefers.
''Why not work with English producers or make songs there? It would be lit !'' Why did you choose to call it "La Spé"? To tell you the truth, we were supposed to do an album. And one morning on my way to the studio, I started to wonder, and I thought maybe it was a little hasty. I thought that before making the album we should do a special project. You see, for example, if you go out for a special occasion, you’re going to put on a special pair of shoes and you’re going to wear a special hairstyle, etc. If you want to talk to someone you like, you’re gonna tell them something special. You know what I mean? (laughs) What's the song of the mixtape that characterizes you the most? I would say ‘Kesoni’ whether in the choice of the instrumental, or the lyrics, it's the song that shows who I am and what my ambitions are. I also like 'Four' for its sounds. In truth, all the songs had their place in this mixtape. There are much more introspective pieces where you indulge much more, as in 'Derniers Mots' and 'À L'Arrivée’. Is it a difficult exercise for you to open your heart this way?
Actually, I did it without thinking. I could have gone even further into confessions, but I kept a certain modesty on some things. (laughs) When I was still at school, I used to love to write stories and essays. I enjoyed to express my visions of things. I wrote a lot of stuff, and as I had to talk about my own experience for this mixtape, it was even simpler.
''To tell you the truth, we were supposed to do an album but I thought that before making the album we should do something 'special'.'' In your songs, you talk a lot about the street. Was the music your escape somehow? Yes, of course. At school, I wasn’t necessarily a good student, and that influenced me. I didn’t wanted to work for someone else than myself, and have just a little paycheck, or just be a dealer in the hood all my life so I had to do something with my life. Music was really what I wanted to do, so it's what I did. I had the opportunity to do something concrete with it, so I did it naturally.
What would be the next featuring you’d like to do if you had carte blanche? It’s complicated to choose. (laughs) Maybe Jorja Smith? She's an artist I like. Or Drake would be crazy! (laughs) And a trip to London is something you’d like? Yes, that would be lit! Why not work with English producers or make songs there? It would be huge. I find that there are a lot of songs coming from the English music scene that looks like what I do, also the Nigerian and Ghana sound influences. I really find myself liking music from there. What are your future plans? For now, I will support my project, and try to take it as far as possible by broadcasting new clips and then I think I might release an album by the end of the year. YaroSirsy Words © Fanny Hill Scott Photography © Zeubleu
To talk about this feat again with PLK and Ninho, it’s huge to bring together such famous rappers. You already had features with them on your previous mixtape À Zéro, but what gave you the idea to bring them together for your new project? We did a lot of duets with Ninho because this guy is family, and we used to work a lot together. So, for me, it was essential to do something new with him and try something cool. And with PLK, we had already done the song 'Salut' but it’s a kicker song where there was no chorus. I thought it would be nice to do a song with a chorus and everything. So, with my producers, I agreed it would be nice to do this song together.
Doums It has been two years since Doums didn’t release a project but we can say that he returned stronger than ever. It was at the end of 2019 that Doums announced his return with the release of several projects for his fans’ delight. Originally from the 9th arrondissement of Paris, Doums began his career on Parisian stages surrounded by his most loyal mates. Backer of Nekfeu at his beginnings, he later creates with eight rapper friends, the collective L’ Entourage alongside Alpha Wann, Jazzy Bazz, Deen Burbigo, Nekfeu... Also a member of the incredible 2fingz duo with Népal - also known as KLM - Doums quickly climbed the ranks to reach an important position in French Rap. In 2017, Doums released his first solo project called Pilote which definitely propelled his career. Mainly recognized for his technical Rap, rich rhymes and innovative sounds, Doums created a solid fanbase throughout the years. An asset that will be even more praised with his remarkable Colors Show with the song 'Intro' in 2018. On 13 December 2019, Doums returns once again with his new EP called Pilote & Co featuring several artists such as 2Zer, Abou Tall, Nekfeu or Népal. Despite his absence with a solo project, Doums remained truly active in the Rap Game. We regularly saw him appear on the project of his different mates as on the wicked ‘Notting Hill’ from the mixtape Blackbird of DJ Elite which made us dance all summer long. We also saw him on the sound ‘Reason’ with the musician Waxx, and of course on the projects of his two sidekicks - Népal with ‘Millionaire’ and Nekfeu featuring with rapper Framal on “L'Air Du Temps” - on their respective projects. On February 13, the video clip ‘Onda’ featuring rapper S.Pri Noir was released on YouTube with Nekfeu as director of photography and Jean Guillosson as filmmaker. Shot in Mali, the country where Doums is originally from, we must admit that the visual is a high-quality one and enable us to discover the city of Bamako through the rapper's eyes. Very attached to his people, this video perfectly embodies the main idea of his last project Pilote & Co where solidarity and the importance of being with loved ones are essential for the artist.
We’re already looking forward to seeing what Doums has in store for us. DoumsLentourage
© Gloria Dominiak
rap x manga The Manga's references in Rap music, part.1
How about we talk about Manga through Rap? This theme so inspiring for rappers who don’t hesitate to draw their daily inspiration from them. Let’s take a closer look at all these references that have made so much ink flow.
One Piece Alpha Wann seems to have a big interest in DoFlamingo that can be understood by his power and his presence. The privateer is one of the most charismatic antagonists of Grand Line. The lyricist seems to be particularly interested in the character’s clothing accessories. Alpha Wann identified himself on several occasions like with ‘Paire de Prada’ with “Les fourrures de DoFlamingo” or here “Le fly nigga fourrure à la DoFlamingo”. Freeze Corleone named the eleventh and last track of his Purrp Beam Project ‘Donquixote Doflamingo’. On this track, he certifies in a nonchalant tone that he “pulls the strings like Doflamingo”. On 'LRH', to picture his progress in Rap, he draws from the best-selling manga in history “I’m on Grand Line, I reach a new level with each island”. Youv Dee, a member of L'Ordre du Périph collective, also sang: “Mugiwara on my flag”. You definitely can’t say that rappers are not inspired by One Piece!
Naruto Népal, the member of the Parisian 75 Session collective, also burned his retinas for thousands of hours in front of Masashi Kishimoto’s work, which sold more than 235 million copies. We can see it in particular on his mixtape KKSHISENSE8 which is full of references drawn straight from the universe of Konoha as here: “Chakra ouvert Edo Tensei” Evisu “Au-d'ssus des cendres comme Pain” 150CC “Rank S, I completed the mission” Necronomicon “Trois centimes en poche, j'ai les clavés d'la ville, t'es dans l'genjustu” Cloud8 “Demi dique-sa dev'nu Ero Sennin” Règlement Space #3 To be continued...
© Samson Gorski
An anti-pistonné, with a determination commensurate with his ambitions, Usky is without a doubt an artist that needs to be looked at more closely if not already being done. Of his real name, Marwen is from the 12th arrondissement of Paris, and it can be said that he's up for a little danger. The one who has devoted his life to his music and to the conception of his projects, he's not afraid to say things with honesty and sincerity. He indulges for A Rap & A Cup Of Tea to tell us about the real reason behind Porte Dorée his latest mixtape and the contradictions that make him the person he is. He told us everything about the relentless drive that pushes him every day to give the best of himself in all the projects that he undertakes. At only 28 years old, Usky makes music with guts, and it's felt as much in his songs as in his words. The artist who's not afraid to show a hidden side of the Rap game, entrusts to us today all the perseverance and wisdom that he has. Can you tell me more about your career? My career path is mostly a lot of work and stubbornness. It’s the fact of not giving up, and working continuously. I'm always in the studio, working on songs, concepts, thinking about future projects etc. All this is continuous. I’m always thinking about the next step. I saw you say that at one point you wondered a lot about your future in music. What made you tip the scales, and decide to make music your core focus and not give up? Honestly, what really allowed me to make that decision was the day I signed my first deal at Warner, and got my first pay. Seeing that I was paid to do what I like made me realize there’s a concrete side to music. It changed everything in the sense that I really had a chance to show who I was and to explore my musical universe. Coming back to the mixtape Porte Dorée that you just released in February, the song 'Paris C'est Gotham' is a true banger that balances with all the other songs on the rest of the mixtape. How did you get the idea? The song was not even supposed to be on the project. (laughs) Actually, I listened to this prod, and I got a kick out by it because I got a lot of inspiration from it. At the beginning, I just wanted to post a first verse on Instagram for my fans to enjoy, and to see their reaction. But in the end, I made my people listen to this song and they were all saying: "Dude, you absolutely have to put that song on your mixtape because it’s a fucking banger!". In the end, they were right because it's the most streamed song of Porte Dorée: Saison 3, so it’s crazy. I saw in your interview ‘Don’t Touch My Tattoo’ with GQ that you were of Tunisian, Lebanese and French origin. Is this cultural mix that you are lucky to have inherited, something that you have always wanted to show off in your songs?
I’ll admit it’s something I never thought of putting forward to be honest. When you are immersed in this cultural mix, it’s normal for you and you don't tell yourself "I should talk about it.” Besides, I’ve never been into the delusion of being a spokesman for a community or that sort of thing. I'm more in the creation of a concept; the development of an idea, etc. It’s like with Porte Dorée, a lot of media and people have simplified the fact that my project was named like that because I came from that neighbourhood in Paris. In truth, I did it mainly to designated Saori, the goddess of war, from the Japanese manga and the real Golden Gate. There’s always a much deeper meaning to everything I do.
''I am a science of my own because I'm the anchor of many different universes. To create my music I just have to pick up the stuff inside me that compose myself.'' In this interview you also say that you consider yourself as a kind of physicist; you made music your science, and you test lots of things. You also express it in the song 'Addiction' where you say: "I’m not a rapper, I’m a physicist." Can you tell me more about all this? I consider myself a music physicist in the sense that I have made music my science. Like you said, I’m experimenting with a lot of things and testing new formulas. If you take the example of a scientist with a white coat rather isolated from others, that’s exactly what I am. I do my experiments in the studio with a little bit of auto-tune "here and there", I do tests on new projects, just like a real physicist in his lab. I found the comparison quite interesting in the sense that I don’t consider myself a rapper at the moment. Yes, I do rap, but I don’t just do that. I try to propose a kind of Rap that is much more complex. I feel rather ‘apart’ in some ways, even if songs like ‘Talons’ and ‘Fer’ are more mainstream. It's in my approach; my positioning, and my way of mixing styles and universes with several facets that I find myself different. For example, sometimes I will mix the types of languages, and I will pass from a language that is supported to a language that is not supported at all. I'm full of contradiction. I am a science of my own because I'm the anchor of many different universes and therefore to create my music I just have to pick up th stuff inside me that compose myself. Speaking of contradiction, there's one very emblematic
thing about you: the fact that you are elusive. If we take the time to listen to your songs, we see that you sometimes put your ideas in contradiction as you just said... It’s something I’m aware of, it’s true, and I take it. But what people need to understand is that when you work on an album, you go through several phases. And the creative phase in which you are at the beginning is not necessarily the same at the end. I'm a very bipolar person, I have ups, downs, etc. Sometimes I wake up in the morning, and I feel like I’m not the same as the day before. I don’t know if it’s physical, chemical, or psychological... I could'n't explain it. But these contradictions, I don't hide myself from them, and I show them deliberately on the album, because they are part of the person I am. Every human being is made of contradiction, and contradiction is precisely what has marked my life for a long time. One day I’m going to want to go to work in an NGO, and the next day, I’m going to want to shoot an incredible video, you know what I mean? (laughs) I’ve always been like this, and the world we live in is also contradictory. It reminds me of your Views TV interview, where you say something very strong about the fact that you hope one day to be passionate about something else by saying "Music is just a passage." You also say it in 'Douce Folie': "My worst nightmare would be to be a rapper at 40, and not understand that life is a cycle that the wise hear." I found it striking. Actually, it’s a real question that I ask myself: “Am I only good at that?” I know with certainty that I love what I do and all that, but there's a hope in me that doesn't want to die: I hope I'll have other passions. That doesn’t mean I won’t be in music later on, but maybe I don’t want to be at the front of the stage anymore. There’s something very selfish about being an artist. I met a lot of artists, especially in the world of Rap, and I realized that we're all selfish; me first. I wish I could get out of this, be more in the shadows and put other artists forward myself. In truth, I would feel bad to be a 40-year-old rapper who is frustrated because it doesn't work as he expected, and who always raps on the same themes. It’s a form of anxiety for me. I don’t feel like rapping to get stupid. Are you looking forward to this second life or would you like to delay this step as much as possible? The goal is to delay it as much as possible. (laughs) To be honest, I don’t really think that I'll be the one who decide it. You know, I work on projects and if there are people who want to invest in me, it’s cool, we make a deal, and we can come up with something great. The day when no one wants to invest anymore, and they stop believing in me, then life will tell me that I have to stop. This is the beginning of my career and I still have many projects to come out, and I haven’t gone through with them yet. Loads of people don’t know who Usky is. As I
always say, “I will stop rapping the day everyone knows who I am, but nobody listens to my album”. We used to say that when you’re an artist, you’re never really satisfied and you always want more. You also say that if you have nothing more to say you'll stop everything. Are you afraid of that? To realize that you have nothing more to deliver as a message? Yes and no. I think music is some kind of therapy and if tomorrow you have nothing more to say, it means that you have emptied your bag, and in itself, it’s a good thing. If tomorrow I have nothing more to say, it's probably because I will be cured.
''All you’re saying is a rewrite of what you’re going through.'' You think it’s really possible that you said it all? It depends on what you say. To write, you have to have lived things; to spit them out on paper. All you’re saying is a rewrite of what you’re going through. The thing is that, for 3-4 years, I’ve been in my bubble, focused on my music, and in the end, I don’t live a lot of things. Maybe sometimes you have to take breaks too; to live new things and then to have material to continue writing. Not everything is black and white. Maybe tomorrow I’m going to take a break, and in 2-3 years I’m going to experience something incredible, and I’m going to say "Wow, I have to put it into music!" you see what I mean? There’s a lot of featuring on Porte Dorée: Saison 3, can you tell me more about them? Level feat, I really wanted to open up and relive moments in studio with other artists. We contacted each others through Instagram, you know. (laughs) There's no incredible story behind these featurings, like: “We met in Bali and we decided to go back to Paris to make an incredible song.” I prefer to be honest (laughs). I contacted artists that I loved, and with whom I thought that our two musical worlds could marry, as with Jok'Air, Doxx, Monsieur Nov and the others.
All these exchanges with your community via social networks, do you think that it also allows you to overcome the loneliness in which you can be immersed as an artist? You mention it on the song 'Silence' where you say "I have tens of thousands of followers yet I feel so alone"? Yes, in a way. It also depends on how you live things. We must not forget that social networks make you overcome a false loneliness. It’s not because you’re active on Instagram that you’ll feel less lonely; it’s a trap. Once your Insta live ends, you stay alone. I see networks more as a loophole and a barometer. It allows you to see if people enjoyed a song, or how they reacted for example. Above all, networks represent my only means of promotion; I'm not played on radio or television, except on a few channels. I’m also not necessarily very publicized either, so social networks are essentials. There’s a very benevolent side to you; you often give strength to people. For example, in several interviews, I’ve seen you saying things like "Don’t worry about people’s opinion / You have to live to the fullest" etc. Is it important for you to convey a message of hope like this? Actually with Porte Dorée: Saison 2, I had lost that feeling of hope, I was in a very dark mood. And I wanted to get out of that phase. Basically, I want to give hope to those who come from the scratch. My message is mostly to show that you can succeed without contact, or a brother working in a record company, if you know what I mean. I represent anti-pistonner. Usky is the music of resourcefulness; the hustler. I don’t necessarily say it explicitly in my songs, and I wish I could talk more about it on the album, so that people really understand it. What’s your next goal? Release an album; a real one. (laughs) Not in the form of mixtape or trilogy as I did with Porte Dorée. The real goal is to become a better version of myself. UskyVision Words © Fanny Hill Scott Photography 1,3 © Baeby Mama
01/2020 © Triple 4 Gear What can we say about this new masterpiece that Népal gave us as a final gift finalized before his tragic passing last November? It’s simply a message of infinite wisdom transmitted in music. There’s one thing overwhelming in this album: all the message of hope delivered in each song. Like a philosophical and spiritual ballad that would take us to another universe. It’s a call to the inner journey to probe the depths of our soul. Népal makes a strong call for reflection, as for example here with “Nobody learns to think for himself, the answer is in the question” in the song 'En Face' featuring Nekfeu. He also continues his reasoning by prompting us to question ourselves as here: “If hell is other people, why do we want to do like everyone else?” in ‘Sundance’. Between reflection and hope, the instrumentals are worked and intense. They all alternate between several emotions that reinforce the artist’s questions. Between melancholy and appeasement, the journey also goes through melody, ‘Crossfader’ being the perfect example. Népal was - without a doubt - someone who thought a lot about the meaning of words and the construction of his texts. Nothing’s left to chance, there’s always a hidden message. Adios Bahamas is an album that delights over time. Even when we think that we have fully understood the intensity of the message transmitted by the artist, we discover a new message that the rapper wanted us to get every time we’re listening to it. The infinite textual richness of Népal will undoubtedly be missing in French Rap. Rest in peace.
© Fanny Hill Scott
03/2020 © All Points
03/2020 © Sideline
After his trilogy DBSS – which is also very successful and should be massively listened to during this quarantine time – Sneazzy releases his third project brilliantly.
A year and a half after the release of J.O.$, Josman came back with his second album named Split and we can say that he hit hard. As its name suggests it, the album is inspired by the movie Split in which the character of Kevin Wendell Crumb played by actor James McAvoy has 23 different personalities. Josman took up this concept by offering his audience 23 songs where each of them would represent a different mood.
“I only like to write when I’m at my lowest, I only like sad subjects”. Like this quote from the song 'Zéro Détail' featuring with Nekfeu, we discover a new side of Sneazzy more expressive than before throughout this album. Nouvo Mode is surely the album of the maturity in terms of feelings and past experiences for the artist from the collective 1995. Through this project, the rapper regularly evokes love, regret, awareness but also the absence of a father in his life. Some tracks shoot us like a “Pogba hit” and we can say that Sneazzy didn’t go the soft way. On the song 'Règles', the rapper clearly had fun on it by delivering an impressive technical Rap without a chorus, to give us the ten life’s rules to follow, based on his punchlines and legendary flow. ‘Comme Avant’ shows us the rapper’s achievement with the combination of strong lyrics and catchy music. We no longer retain only his punchlines, but his whole work. A very good alchemy on his feat with Laylow, Lefa and Arma Jackson on powerful tracks, even more emotion was given with S.Pri Noir on 'Mon Père C'est Ma Mère' talking about their missing fathers. Impossible not to mention the powerful song 'Étincelles' in feat with Alpha Wann, S.Pri Noir and Nekfeu, a collaboration surely better than a fusion of Son Goku and Vegeta. This is probably the biggest banger of the year so far. It’s clearly a full score for this “new mode” album.
© Samson Gorski
Josman also worked on the album artwork which once again illustrates this concept. We can see the rapper from several angles expressing different outlook. The album is enjoyable like a captivating thriller. The artist manages to change his flow while keeping his personality, a bit like Travis Scott could do it. We also find a very good casting level featuring with Hamza, Leto, Seth Gueko, Chily and Zed (a member of the collective 13 Block). The track 'B!tch' in featuring with Hamza is particularly interesting, Josman manages to keep his inimitable flow while surfing on the R'n'B vibe of Hamza - the same vibe that made famous the Belgian rapper. Special mention for the crazy banger 'Bruce Wayne' where Zed made a reference to the song ‘Fuck le 17' of 13 Block by pointing the police once again. Josman also released a fabulous verse on it. In brief, this album is likely to turn your brain upside-down.
© Samson Gorski
Chaise Pliante II
02/2020 © Digitalmundo
03/2019 © Low Wood
Laylow’s new project has just marked the beginning of the year 2020 on the French Rap and we can congratulate the incredible quality of it that borders on the genius.
Hatik added a second chapter to the saga Chaise Pliante started in 2018 and we can say that he smashed everything again!
Trinity, which means 'three elements' is not just an album, it’s a software, a sensational adventure and even a digital experience. True to himself, Laylow offers us a dazzling project with 22 tracks inspired by the greatest science fiction movies. This album is a worked history that follows a meaningful journey felt by the artist. Throughout the album, we are discovering the relationship between Laylow and Trinity an artificial intelligence. Heavily influenced by the film Matrix, Laylow also released three futuristic clips 'Trinity Ville', 'Megatron' and 'Poizon' that take us into a dark and melancholic universe. Listening to this album has the effect of an emotional roller coaster between hope and sadness. Laylow often describe himself to a kind of Cyborg who can no longer feel emotion due to his mechanic side and it’s the reason why he decided to push the emotions transmitted in his songs to a deep level to make sure it can be fully felt. There are also surprising feats such as the one with Alpha Wann, Jok'air or S.Pri Noir and Lomepal on ‘Burning Man’. Always ahead of his time with a unique style and always looking for innovation, Laylow will never cease to surprise us.
© Gloria Dominiak
The one who has seen his career take a decisive turn since his appearance in the TV show Validé - the first series on French Rap produced by Franck Gastambide - dazzles us once again. This new project tinged with different atmospheres proved once again the talent of this rapper from the Parisian suburbs in the Yvelines (78). A perfect balance between banger where the flow is fast and jerky as in the tracks 'La Rue' and 'Cercle Vicieux' and a sweet melancholy on 'Ferme Les Yeux', this album is a true gem. We must admit that Hatik wasn’t afraid to take the pen to open up to his audience. Big crush for ‘Adieu Mon Amour’ where Hatik, whose real name is Clément Penhoat, evokes a painful and emotional break up in which many people can recognize themselves. Always benevolent and ready to speak up on the subjects he wants to defend, the rapper did not hesitate to make a song kinda “feminist”. Indeed, he expressed his support for women on ‘Je T’aime’ saying “You are the future of this world, they want to decide for you / I know you have your own ideas and many abilities / A few men who belittle you and I feel pain for you”. His respective featuring with rappers Jok'Air and Médine bring a truly special touch to this already excellent mixtape.
© Fanny Hill Scott
Ma vie est un film II
03/2020 © Don Dada Records
03/2019 © Atlantic Recording Corporation
After his last project called Ma Version Des Faits in 2018 – which is also a very good album – it has been 7 years since the first opus of the project Ma Vie Est Un Film was released. Infinit’ is now back more powerful than ever with the second part of the project with 14 tracks and 6 featuring including artists such as Alpha Wann, Deen Burbigo, K.S.A., or Gros Mo.
Lil Uzi Vert, the flagship artist of the Soundcloud scene that emerged around 2015, stayed quiet for almost 3 years without any projects. We saw a hype rarely seen in the Rap game around his album Eternal Atake whose release was postponed many times because of record label issues.
For this new album, Infinit’ has chosen to shoot the songs 'Programme', 'On Sconnait Pas', 'D'en Bas' or 'Cigarette 2 Haine' in featuring with the dazzling rapper Alpha Wann - surely the best connection ever. After a long absence, we find back rapper Deen Burbigo featuring on the vibrant track ‘Médicine’ and we have to admit that we’re glad that he’s back. Infinit’ shows us a new side of him through the song 'On Sconnait Pas' in featuring with Gros Mo where he evokes a woman who seems special to him. The rapper originally from South of France, also talked about a pleasant woman that he’s attracted by with singer Yeshe on ‘Pensées’. Being a perfect mix between soft sounds and banger such as ‘J’y Vais’ where rappers Barry, Veust and Infinit’ have a strong kick. Alpha Wann appears a second time on this project on 'UMLA tour' featuring with K.S.A. and this track draws the Alpha’s tour Une Main Lave l’Autre on which both rappers were invited as the support act. The album’s name meaning “my life is a movie”, the project of Infinit’ is so good that I clearly want to watch this film a second time, no pun intended.
© Samson Gorski
LIL UZI VERT
After a long lack of communication, he releases his album on a whim in the middle of the day on March 6, 2020. The result? The first week of sales reached 288,000 copies only in digital. This enabled him to acquire the status of superstar. Also, the artist confirmed theories explaining a structure of the album in 3 parts of 6 singles each. The first being Baby Pluto: an alter ego of the rapper strongly influenced by Future’s album: Pluto. On the menu: Trap and Egotrip seasoned with aggressive beats and ‘spatial’ sounds. It sounds kinda ‘generic’ but still interesting with a successful first track. The second is the other alter ego Renji: more jovial, recalls the goods vibes that propelled Uzi and make him unique in the Rap game. The third and last part represent the rapper himself who mixes his styles and spreads his versatility. Whatever the part, the productions are perfectly executed and transcribe a space universe as desired by the rapper. The themes remain wealth, fashion, women and Uzi’s rockstar lifestyle but brought by fresh music of which he’s the only one to have the recipe. Even after a long time away from the music scene, Uzi is still at his peak.
© Miguel Neves Da Costa
MIster V 23
What about Mister V, who's considered a little legend in France? This 26-year-old man from Grenoble in the South-East of France, who was discovered for the first time on YouTube in 2010, and who has conquered a large audience, has now become a fully-fledged rapper. Many have wondered how one can make humorous and self-deprecating sketches on Youtube and Rap in a serious and structured environment at the same time. If we don't yet know the magic recipe to finding the perfect balance between humor and musical punchline, Mister V seems to have understood how to find the compromise between these two universes. Yvick – by his real name – talk to A Rap & A Cup Of Tea with great sincerity, modesty and, of course, humour. He has always excelled through humour, and has even recently found himself making a video alongside Will Smith - on the latter’s own channel. Always on the move, working on his various projects, Yvick took the time to find the right words to describe his incredible journey. He told us everything about his dazzling return with his last album MVP released on January 31. Indeed, he wasn't afraid to highlight his fragility and how it allows him to give the best of himself to his art. Mister V is, first and foremost, one of the only French who managed, with a masterful hand, to conquer the USA . Indeed Yvick is the only French or European celebrity modeled in NBA 2K20; same for his music, which is available on the B.O of the NBA 2k20. He has accumulated more than 15 million followers through his various networks, Yvick returned to his career and his evolution in the French Rap game.
I wanted to congratulate you on this new album, which is very lit, and we see that you left nothing to chance. Were you not fairly worried about coming back with a second album? Of course, I was. It’s something you think about every day in the sense that you’re in the studio, you’re working crazy hard, and you sometimes wonder, "Wait, I’m doing what?” Especially as most people know me from another domain [e.d: his YouTube channel]. When I met people on the street, they ask me:"When are you going to release a new video?" And I knew I was working on a new album. As people aren’t in your head and don’t know what kind of mindset you’re in, you can become a little schizophrenic. Because you come back with a Rap album, where you’re serious, and you’ve really worked on it, etc., and people are still waiting for your new humorous videos. Do you ever worry about people locking you in the “Youtuber” box again, without being taking seriously in Rap, or do you feel like things have changed? As far as I’m concerned, I see that it changed because people really felt my sincerity. They understood that I had worked, and that I wanted to give them a nice project. I think opinions can really change when people feel your sincerity and your desire to
do the right thing. Those who come from YouTube like me, have also diversified quite a bit - some make comics, books; some become beatmakers, producers etc. We created our own work, and had to learn to manage several tools. In my case, I'm a fan of many things, and by making videos I discovered even more of my passions. Despite everything, I’ve been making music for 11 years, I’ve always incorporated it into my sketches, and I realized that I really like doing it, and my people have also encouraged me to do it. I didn’t wanted to die without trying to make music. Precisely speaking of 'Youtubers' we see more and more of them who try to get into Rap. For example, there was Seb La Frite who just released his new single like Squeezie did. Do you feel that you’ve paved the way for those who come after you? I don’t know if I did help, but if I did, that’s cool. Honestly, I don’t want to be the spokesperson for anything. I do my stuff and it’s fine with me. If it has allowed other people to get into this field and legitimize the image of “YouTuber-Rapper” that’s fine with me. I think the most important thing is that things are done really well and not just as a marketing product, otherwise it loses all its value.
'' I didn’t wanted to die without trying to make music.'' You still try to clarify things in your video 'Make a second album' where you say that on stage, you won't do sketches, for example. Do you think it’s hard for people to say to themselves, “He’s going to be serious this time”? My humor is based on self-derision, and I'm aware that when I'll be on stage, there will always be people who have in mind the image of me with dreadlocks that makes an imitation of Koba La D. I would be lying and be in denial if I said the opposite. I prefer to laugh at the situation, because I know who I am, and especially where I come from. This video was also important to make in the sense that I really wanted to warn people that on stage, they will see a new side of me. Explaining it to people also allows them to better understand that Mister V also makes music, and that he's a rapper as well. I’m convinced that without this video, there would have been plenty of people who wouldn’t even listen to the album, because they wouldn’t necessarily understand. It was really important for me to show that I was really invested in this project, and that I was doing it out of passion.
And now that the album has come out, how do you feel? I'm very happy, because I’ve had a very good comeback, and I see that this album has found its audience. I had this apprehension about how the public was going to react. With my first album, there was definitely more tolerance, in the sense that people said “He gets a shot, we have to leave him enjoying it”. It’s different with a second album, we need to prove ourselves more and 'prove' what we tried to show with the first opus. In all honesty, the results are well above my expectations. I find it crazy when I see Instagram stories from a nightclub where my songs being played. (laughs)
Speaking of fans, do you think your Rap audience is different from your YouTube one? In my opinion, it's a common audience, even though it's true that I also have an audience in each area. But of course, there are some who don't understand that I'm active in two different fields. (laughs)
Moreover, we see the evolution that there was between your first opus and the second, you say in ‘Clinton’ that what changed is “the substance but not the form”. How do we reach this level; with an album congratulated by all, which has no flaws, and where all see the work you have devoted to it, when you have many other projects next to it? Actually, there are no secrets - I just worked. It was really important to me to make this new album and to respect the traditions of Rap. I really tried to give myself the means to do so. I didn’t want to do anything sloppy where I rap in front of a wire and that's it. I really wanted to give the best of myself, and I worked for it, simply because I like it. I’m passionate about Rap, and I wanted to do things right. I surrounded myself with exactly the same people I made the first album with and we worked hard together. I’d say that we really “wore our balls” to work hard and do feats with artists like Jul, Dosseh and PLK. I really wanted to do something that could be game-changing.
In 'Femme De Ménage' you say that “Rap is an option.” How did you tell yourself “Come on, I’ll start working on a new album again”? Did you feel a need? In Rap, there’s a lot of guilt-tripping, you know. (laughs) But seriously, Rap is not my first area of activity, we all have a plan A, B, C, etc. I’d say that for YouTube, is my plan A, and the Rap went from plan E to plan B. (laughs) Rap is an option in the sense that I wasn’t supposed to do it.
There's a lot of sincerity in your songs, like for example in ‘Tudo Bem’ where you say “I lose loved ones in combat, all my hatred I keep to myself.” You also say that in your profession, sincere love is not easily found. Is that the kind of thing that you couldn’t express through humor that made you want to write, and get into Rap? Yes completely. Imagine, if I did videos where I said: "Well, I’m struggling a bit, it's not easy at the moment but let's hope it's gonna be better soon enough", that would make a flop. (laught) It’s one thing I love about doing music and being in the studio; being in able to see myself. Music is a universe in which you must be sincere towards yourself, but also towards others, and it feels good sometimes to indulge in this way. I didn’t want to tell fake stories or anything, I wanted to be honest and tell things I care about. When I make a song, I reveal myself, and show more personal and profound things about myself, but once I get out of the recording booth, I start making jokes again, if you know what I mean. (laughs) Do you think music is an outlet? I think so. It's something I love about music; it's beautiful when an artist lets a facet of him appear that we don't know about, through his songs. For example, there are artists that you see in an interview and you think, "Wow, I wouldn’t want to meet him at a party because he has nothing to say" and in the end you listen to his songs and you say, "Oh damn, there's a lot going on inside him." There's a lot of modesty in you. You have an impressive track record; you do incredible things and you remain very humble about your successes. We can see it when you show that you started from nothing by saying “I think back to all those who laughed at me, today, they all make me laugh” in the song 'Tudo Bem' or in 'Lidl' when you say “Now I hang out with my idols, it’s true. It's crazy to think that I was supposed to end up working at Lidl.” Do you ever worry that people won’t take you seriously when you expose yourself in this way, by showing a certain fragility they don’t necessarily know?
People will always have their own personal interpretations of things. When you’re in the studio, you lock yourself in your bubble - writing, recording, etc., and you don’t really think about that. You write what’s in your heart, and then you remember that you also have the humorist hat, and that people might think you’re joking when you’re not. Honestly, that second album really exposed me. You know, you usually have a challenging phase. The one where you wonder about the choices you make, or you made, and I never really had that with YouTube. But, in music, with this second album, I took the time to sit down and ask myself what I really wanted to reveal about me with this new project.
'' I'd say that we really 'wore our balls' to work hard and do feats with artists like Jul, Dosseh and PLK. I wanted to do something that could be game-changing.'' We have often seen you in the company of rappers like Nekfeu, Damso, PLK...who are pillars of French-speaking Rap. Are they giving you advice, or are you anxious to get their take on your music? The thing is, I’m trying not to jump the gun. When I spend time with my rappers' friends, I only share simple moments with them. To be honest, and it's even rare that I talk about music with rappers. Even if it's people I usually hang out with, I don’t see myself going to them and asking them for a feat because I’m not playing in the same yard at all. I’m not from a Rap background, so I can't imagine myself sitting at the same table as rappers like Fianso, Booba or Maes and saying, "Okay, guys, let’s do a feat!" (laughs) If something has to be done, like the song 'Jamais' with PLK, it will happen, and I'll be always the most surprised. On socials, there are quite a lot of established rappers who gave you
support during the release of your album, and they all said “Yvick is a true rapper”. What did you feel at that time? It’s always nice, of course. Each of them have their own vision of me, but if people understood all the work that was put into this new album, I'm glad to see that the 'job' has been accomplished. To be honest, it’s not because so-and-so has ‘validated’ me that I will rely on my achievements. Who would be the artist, you'd dream to work with? I’d say Drake. He’s got a crazy track record. He started acting with Degrassi, and it was a different world, far removed from Hip-Hop, and now he has marked the history of music in a global way. But we’re talking about a dream, obviously, not something achievable in my head. (laughs)
''When I spend time with my rappers' friends, I only share simple moments with them. To be honest, and it's even rare that I talk about music with rappers.''
I’m not going to lie to you, I guess I am a little bit. But on the other hand, I’m super excited because I know I’m going to have the best time of my life. Everyone who goes on tour has always told me that the best moments happen on stage, because it's a kind of “recreation”. Especially compared to all the work and the whole creative process that you provide in the studio. We have often seen your grandmother on socials, and you also mention her in the song 'Facetime'. Is that your safeguard in the face of all the pressure you sometimes feel? Yes completely. Generally speaking, I'm very close to the people I grew up with, and when I came to Paris seven years ago, it was complicated for me to find a circle of friends where I would feel good and where I could be myself. I also grew up with Grandma, and I have a special connection to her. It's also a strength because having grown up by her side, and with my parents, who are very distant from this world of fame, etc., it has always allowed me to keep my feet on the ground. They have always shown me that it's work that enables success and that modesty is the key to everything. Yvick Words © Fanny Hill Scott Photography © Fifou
It seems like you’ve already lived several lives between all your projects. Don’t you want to take a break? I don’t have time; I’m going on tour. (laughs) [e.d: few ones are delay due to Covid-19]. That in itself makes me feel like I had a break, because for almost a year, I devoted myself to music and it was different from my videos. I'm someone who fights my demons and my stress through work. I’m more relaxed by being busy than by doing nothing. Maybe after my tour, I’ll take a break, who knows? Already I intend to spend a month in the United States, but for now, I'm working all guns blazing. You will start the Zenith tour in October and it's also the first time you're going on tour. Aren’t you nervous?
Gambi A million views only 6 hours after its release and already a huge buzz generated around his new single. In the present case, we're not talking about the figures of a pillar of the music industry, but rather about the newcomer in French Rap, Gambi. Starting his career in 2018 by publishing his 'Makak' video series on Youtube, Gambi worked in parallel as a sushi delivery worker. Originally from the Parisian suburb of Val-De-Marne (94), he ended up in the French charts for weeks in August 2019 with his song ‘Hé Oh’. Arriving like a UFO in the French Rap, Gambi is now one of the most played rappers. It’s also very possible that you have already heard this song because he had the chance to be included in the Top 50 World of Spotify. His video ‘Popopop’ has been widely talked about in the media and on social network, as a murder scene is exposed to denounce street violence. A quality clip with dark looks that contrasts with Gambi’s joyful personality. Only 20 years old and he’s already signed in the label Rec 118 the same one as “la crème de la crème” of French-speaking rappers such as Ninho, Hamza, SCH and Soprano. Gambi really seems to flourish in the Rap Game, which opens its doors to him with a certain pride. The young rapper, more and more asked to do featurings with, admitted he has always been attracted by the Rap world, especially by the US one with artist such as Chief Keef who influenced him a lot. Playful, energetic and joyful by nature, Gambi conveys a feeling of cheerfulness through his dancing music tinged with Latin sounds and Trap one. Nevertheless, despite appearances, Gambi remains a very discreet boy. Indeed, the young rapper has never given an interview since the beginning of his career and keeps part of the mystery that intrigues and fascinates his audience.
For the year 2020, an album is being prepared, of course in the greatest secrecy. Gambi
© Gloria Dominiak
"Lettre À Une Femme"
Maes x Jul
Doums x S.Pri Noir
Gradur x Naza "Ma Petite"
Drawings © Gabriel Dominiak
If you’re interested by Moroccan Rap, you must have already seen the name of 7liwa. Indeed, the rapper is in the Top 10 of the most influential Moroccan rappers from the Maghrebin music scene and it’s understandable when we see the millions of views that he generates on YouTube and the streaming platforms. The young artist makes himself known in 2013 with the video 'Da7k T9ada', since then, he has continued to be creative to offer the best to his audience. The same year, he released his second song 'Batal l3alam', a 10-minute song without any chorus that became a reference in the Moroccan Rap Game. Since that day, 7liwa continued its relentless rise and collaborate many times with artists such as Lartiste, Shayfeen [e.d: you can find our interview with Shayfeen on here], Mister You and many others. A Rap & A Cup Of Tea went to meet this iconic rapper who told us everything about his dazzling success, his ambitions and also his future projects. No doubt that 7liwa is an artist to follow. What’s the meaning behind your pseudo 7liwa? It comes from a long time ago. When I was still at school, my friends called me 7liwa and I thought it was cool. In the end, everyone around me loved that nickname and over time I became more recognizable with that nickname than with my real name. “7liwa” means all the sweet stuff, it also means sociable. You’ve got a lot of success in Morocco, how do you feel about that? Is it not too difficult to handle? Obviously, success is not easy to manage especially, when you are young... Actually, I don’t feel different when I’m with my people, but when I go out it’s definitely another thing... There are fans who love asking you for selfies, etc. All of this is not that difficult to handle to be honest, but it’s true that you have to put aside your privacy. I saw that you went famous thanks to your exceptional freestyles like with 'Batal l3alam'... How do you find all this inspiration? I’m very inspired by lots of American rappers and some historical movies as well. I would say that in the studio, inspiration comes straight. I don’t need to force things. You start listening to the beats and directly after, you start to have a vision of the lyrics and what you wanna say. Then I add “my 7liwa touch” that I keep secret...
We often see you alongside many rappers such as Lartiste, Soolking, Shayfeen... is it important for you to collaborate with other artists for your next projects? Collaborations are always important. I will soon release my second album on which there are featuring with several world-famous artists which is great. For now, I don’t think I have a “dream featuring” in mind... but it could change, who knows.
''The goal of my career is to be international, in my opinion, this is the real success.'' The song ‘Safi’ is a very touching one... Is it difficult for you to open yourself that much through the lyrics? It’s true that the song ‘Safi’ is one of my best one from my last album La Street released in 2019. I think it’s just a mood in which I feel good. To be honest, it’s pretty simple for me to open myself to people. I don’t think it’s “too easy” or “too difficult” to do, but I think it’s a different exercise compared to the other songs. I saw that your clips generated millions of views and the visual is always a high-standard one. Is it you behind the creative process of all the making of? A long time ago, I was into audiovisual stuff and I did lots of directing, so it allowed me to work with many directors on my different projects. I guess, it helped me to have a better result in term of visuals and creativity. But at first, I did everything myself without anyone’s help.
Yes, I think so. Here, in Morocco, people are more inclined to go on YouTube, I couldn’t explain why. Things start to evolve gradually and now we also go on streaming platforms but it’s true to say that YouTube was our main platform of broadcasting. Is it important for you to develop your career internationally? Of course, it is. The goal of my career is to be international, in my opinion, this is the real success. For me, it’s very important to develop my career and reach an international audience. I also think that being broadcasted internationally is a double benefit because it’s beneficial for me but also for the Moroccan music industry and the rest of the country. What do you prefer, being on stage or in the studio? I’d say the scene. I rather prefer being on stage with my mate. It’s a completely different atmosphere and mood. It’s lit to be on stage to meet the fans. What’s next? I will release my single 'Dale' soon enough and then I’ll drop my second album. 7liwa Words © Fanny Hill Scott Photography ©
You have more than 197 million views on YouTube, it's huge. Do you think that in Morocco it’s easier to share music via YouTube than on other streaming platforms?
We went to interview Mikano a talented French-Cameroonian artist with a wide range of talent. He told us everything about his career, his passion for music and his debut mixtape Melting Balloons featuring the song ‘When It Rains Glitter’ with its impressive cinematic visuals. Growing up in different cities around the globe Mikano is the “perfect example of a third culture kid whose music has been dramatically influenced by his rootless past”. The artist is definitely one to follow. What can you say about your musical first step? It came gradually, I started with freestyles at 13 years old. I only started music really seriously 2-3 years ago. I learned everything on my own. I used to write a lot, and my friends had advised me to record myself and it’s what I did. I’ve never stopped since then... How did you start writing? What were your first texts about? At first, it was only bullshit, you know. (laughs) It was a kind of guilt-tripping, you just say stuff like that to do the same as what rappers do. Over time, you realize that you can go further than that because you have a fairly broad vocabulary and experience. This is how you end up writing about yourself and what’s surrounding you... Sometimes you don’t even know exactly what you’re thinking of until you put it on paper. It’s a kind therapy, you know. Are you a person who usually writes a lot? I used to write a lot but for the project Melting Balloons, I didn’t write anything because I changed my recording process. I went straight from what was happening in my head to the recording session as a one-shot without going through the writing process. I was doing it line by line so it would be more spontaneous. As we're in quarantine at the moment, I took this opportunity to get back to writing and it feels good, to be honest. How could you define your music? I’d say it’s an explosion of emotions. You can go through a lot of different mood and feelings without necessarily linking them together. You can go from a feeling that reminds you of past moments, to something you’ve already experienced etc. That’s how I feel though. Can you tell me more about your origin? Is that something important for you to share in your music? I am a French-Cameroonian guy. I was born in Paris, but my two parents are from Douala in Cameroon, but they were born in Yaoundé. I lived there for 4 years and then I did a lot of back and forth between France and Cameroon during my holidays. I’m not necessarily keen to claim my origins through my music... Music is music, you know. There’s no nationality in this art. It’s important to say where you come from, but I don’t think it is to claim it in your music. Do you work alone, or you love to surround yourself with other people? To be honest, it really depends on my mood. I like being alone or with my mate, but always in small committee. I always work on my music with one or two people maximum, like with my producer Svtvs, for example. I record my voice and do everything with him and once I have something “usable” I can share it with the rest of the team to discuss our ideas on what has just been created. I prefer to do everything in a “small group”
'' Music is music, you know. There's no nationality in this art'' same with my video clips. For example, I’d like it to be just me and the person making the video at the head of the project, and if we need to add people to the team I rather ask my mates to join us because it’s with them that we started developing ideas six years ago, you see what I mean? Talking about clips, I feel that the aesthetics of them is very important to you... It is indeed. In my eyes, it’s as important as the music. Clips can harm your music if they suck... Your songs can be dazzling but people will look at your artistic project as a whole. It’s the reason why visuals and music are something that must be perceived as something inseparable. If I decide to clip a song, I will do my best to create something really great. Where does your inspiration come from? Everything inspires me basically. First, I’d say Frank Ocean but if I only focus on Rap, because Rap is really my thing, I’d say Lil Wayne and Kanye. They
both managed to create a whole universe around their music, and not necessarily a universe related to Rap music. They're not afraid to shake the trends. Rap used to be focused on “money & bitches”, and they weren’t afraid to talk about other things like “I give my mom roses because she has cancer”, you know? They even talked about depression. It was another subject that was unique to everyone. They influenced me because it was more introspective and less bling-bling, like something truly “real”. In your songs, there are loads of singing parts... Would you say that you feel more comfortable with Rap or singing? Actually, I’d say both. I started with Rap but it’s important to try new things, not to “stay in your place”. For my project Melting Balloons I wanted to try sounds with a lot more singing to break this rapper image. I wanted to show that making music encompasses everything. On the project that I am working on at the moment, there are as much singing as Rap, it’s important to create several moods. Mikano_ Words © Gloria Dominiak Photography © Yann Dubois
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Miguel Neves Da Costa Samson Gorski Alexandra Monaury Believe Digital Haroun Erraji Federica Furlott Raouf Abdou Julien Chartier Antoine Corman Gloria Dominiak