IT is time to talk with Stratz…
as he discusses the story behind his new single, Likkle More. I was eager to know where he goes from here and which artists have inspired him; the upcoming acts we should all keep an eye out for – he tells me whether touring is going to be a possibility.
I learn how much of his parents’ culture and background he brings to the music; what he wants to achieve before the end of the year; if he gets time to chill outside of music – he provides some useful advice for artists emerging.
Hi, Stratz. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi. I'm fine, thank you. Been juggling work and music for a while so it's pretty exhausting, however rewarding, to know it is progressing.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I am a new artist based in North London with the intentions of creating meaningful, somewhat emotive music. The song Likkle More, which is my interpretation of giving and doing so with pure intentions, was created to remind people we can all share something, anything; even a simple smile. The lyrics are spoken from things I see day to day and how I feel about them.
Likkle More is your new single. What is the story behind the track?
I take influence from Jamaica and Nigeria, as they are my parents’ origins and homes, and it is simple nature to share with your brothers and your immediate family. So, I used the term ‘likkle more’ as we carry these actions over from the homeland and into the current world we live in, which I'll describe as a problem.
What was it like bringing the track to life in the studio? Who is the female voice we hear on the song?
So. The initial track was recorded using an instrumental I found on YouTube and, when I laid lyrics onto this backing track, it was really good. But, to progress to a beat tailored to fit around me and the singer created a wonderful feeling of achievement - and going that extra mile to make authentic original music.
The female singer is a phenomenal artist from Portsmouth called Amba Tremain (shout out to Amba) who I met via the studio - and they thought she'd be a good voice to help push out my message (and it couldn't have been a better choice).
Is there going to be more material next year? How far ahead are you looking?
Yes. I'll make more before the end of the year if it is possible. Ha. I sort of do it as I can at the moment; however, as part of a contractual agreement, I can confirm one more song is definitely in the making and I'll release more info on that song as I make progress on it. We are going with a more Dance-type of sound so should be fun to create and record.
Who are the artists that inspire you and led you to get into songwriting?
From a young age, I always heard lyrics before beats so, if I can relate to the meaning made from the song, then I'd like it. Vybz Kartel, a Jamaican artist is one of the best artists regarding making good, current lyrics in my opinion. This is because he does not filter what he wants to say: he will deliver his message and you'll hear exactly that.
When it comes to U.K. music, I'd listen to Tinchy Stryder as his lyrics are good at creating a story so I follow and this is a powerful tool. My sister, Kid Wondr, makes music and is progressing rapidly. I listen to her words and it creates a story; this inspires me to be able to do the same with my words.
How much of your roots do you bring to music? Do you take from African and Caribbean sounds?
Sound-wise, probably not a lot given I have a strong English accent. Ha. But, mentality and culture-wise, I learnt from my mum and family members; therefore, I would say I have a different opinion on things and therefore write lyrics accordingly - my lingo definitely gives away my influence though, e.g. likkle more.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Another song, hopefully, but I don't want to rush it and potentially create a bad song. So, the biggest achievement would be to have more knowledge of the industry; more clothing available for sale; more performances - and then next year will hold the bigger goals.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Pretty early in my career to have a favourite memory but the last year has been pretty full-on with decisions and choices. I'd say the highlight so far has been getting the opportunity to perform at the Southsea beach cafe which was an eye-opener for how it'll be when I perform properly at bigger stages etc.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Funny enough, I've never really downloaded an album, as I like individual songs, so if we are talking about three songs I enjoy to listen to I'd say Solo Dance by Martin Jensen; Vybz Kartel’s Have a Little More and Merital Family - On and On. Solo Dance is what I'd call a pick-up song as it would make anyone want to dance - and I like the fact it promotes individuality. Vybz Kartel often talks about giving, as I've replicated in my song, and this was the biggest influence for my track. When I lost my friend a few years back, I often listened to Merital Family’s song On and On, which talks about lost souls etc.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
If I was to be offered the opportunity to support an artist on stage, it would have to be someone who could relate to my style and I could reciprocate - someone like Tinchy Stryder. I think my flow would be a match to his in a good constructive way and he sorta has the vibe I want to create when performing.
When it comes to my green room, I could only ever have my day one friend. Haha. So, I'd love to one day to see artists I've grown up with such as Kid Wondr, Baller Gen etc. to share my champagne in my green room.
Can we see you on tour soon? What dates are coming up?
I don't think a tour is due any time soon. Ha. However, I am doing a track at Portsmouth's Victorious Festival.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Very cliché, but be yourself and do what you feel brings you to life - and, hopefully, that mood will rub off on all listeners.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I have had the pleasure of meeting Joe Burger, an upcoming artist based in Portsmouth. He has a very fresh touch to Rap music and I will be glad to feature with him on a future track. Also; my cousin Baller Gen from North London is making his way up the industry. My sister, Kid Wondr (from London), is a brilliant lyricist. All are positive influences around me and very supportive.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
When I'm not making music, I'm at work so chilling is very rare. So, when I do get time to chill, I'm usually catching up with mates and family.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
A tune I would like to hear would be Martin Jensen - Solo Dance. Happy one. Haha.
Thank you for your time!