The purpose of the collaboration between Logan Sama, The ICA and Boiler Room in putting on our new regular grime shows was first and foremost to create an environment for the sound where it’s real energy levels can be seen. And damn, we achieved it with the first show – by the time headliners Skepta and Stormzy took the mic, sweat was dripping, the passionate crowd was surging and chanting along to every line, and the performers’ fearsome charisma is all too obvious to anyone who watches the stream.
Of course, the flipside of that is that the challenge is now set for Part 2. But if there’s one man who is guaranteed to step up to the mark, it’s southeast London’s P Money. At 26 years old, he is already a veteran of the scene, a universally respected lyricist and crucially has some of the best stagecraft in the game – honed at the rowdiest grime raves, but also playing to vast crowds as the MC who most successfully rode the dubstep wave thanks to collaborations with the likes of True Tiger, Magnetic Man and Benga. We grabbed him at the end of a hectic weekend of promoting his own show then straightaway heading off to Europe with Butterz, to see how he thinks the grime nation, and his own career, are faring.
JOE MUGGS: Other than this show, what are you working on right now?
P MONEY: I’ve just launched my brand, Originators, which is the front for my label, my raves, merchandise and my crew OGz. We launched the first night in Oxford last Friday, and it sold out with a queue still outside, so I’m pretty happy about that. On the day to day I’ve been working on my crew – getting some releases together and doing radio – and solo wise I’m half way through my Money Over Everyone Vol. 2 mixtape. So yeah, a few things going on man.
What are you most excited about for the grime scene in general for 2015?
The future awards, playlists, festival line ups, releases, chart success. I think if the top people continue the work rate we can achieve so much this year. I’ve been a lot of places and it isn’t just here that grime is popping.
What do you think are the risks for the scene in its current position?
The risk is we had this before, when Devlin, Wretch, Scorcher, Tinchy [Stryder], Roll Deep, quite a few more were at the top for grime and got signed for it then the majors made them release what they felt was going to be “commercially successful” music. For some of the artists yes it worked, for some it only did for a while, but for grime it didn’t work at all because they took all our top players and the actual grime releases stopped. I hope that when people get signed again they continue releasing grime music or at least have a balance. I’ve got nothing against doing different stuff ’cause it makes people who know nothing about grime connect with it but don’t just abandon it like last time.
You seemed to manage the balancing act in the past, staying in touch with the scene but jumping on stuff like dubstep beats: do you think grime needs to cross over with other sounds to stay fresh?
I don’t think people need to cross over to chase success, but they definitely need to be open to trying new things, even maybe just bringing a bassline you heard elsewhere into your sound to see if it fits. For me, I do it because I’m P Money – I’ve never said I only do grime, and my first ever mixtape had dubstep on it. I look at it like this: if grime has 10,000 people and dubstep has 10,000 people, and drum and bass has 10,000, a strictly grime MC will only have 10,000 possible fans. An MC that can bring his grime style and do a lil bit of dubstep and drum and bass can now gain some of those numbers too so his reach is now 30,000. If the purely grime MC puts on a show and the other one puts on a show who’s show do you think will be bigger? Who will have more people to sell to? The key thing is to keep your style and bring it with you whatever else you do. I didn’t wanna be known as the grime kid, I wanted to be P Money. Why be the best at one thing when you can try and be the best at all of them? You don’t have to change who you are, but you can learn new things. Thats all I’ve done.
Who are the producers moving grime forward right now and what do you like most about them?
There’s loads but I’m just going to say Swifta Beater. He’s from Birmingham, he’s had his style for years, and to me every beat has been sick. Not many grime producers think about where their beat’s gonna go or what type of audience will hear it, so sometimes it just sounds the same over and over. He made a great track for me, then I sent him a link of me performing with Magnetic Man to a massive crowd, like 10k. He’s never seen anything like that before, and I simply said to him, “look at the energy and the mosh pits in the crowd – now imagine the DJ is mixing in your tune next. Is this beat on levels?” He came straight back to me with a banger, but what’s important is that what he came back with still sounds like Swifta. Like I said before, you don’t have to change but you can learn.
What MCs make you optimistic that grime’s younger generation are strong – and again, what do you rate about them?
Novelist and Jammz. Hungry, doing radio all the time. Bars everyday, they understand the culture like they’ve been here all along. They’re young but they MC like they’re veterans. They will win like that. I wish Sox did more too – his YouTube freestyles are timeless. He was hitting half a mill views ages ago. Stuff like that reminds me how strong we are.
What can we expect from you on Sunday that’s going to make this show unique? Skepta & Stormzy set the bar pretty high right?
Indeed they did, you can expect different energy and vibes, from me you can expect the 2009 Money Over Everyone P Money: the hype, the controlled aggression, and flows… no doubt there’s gonna be jokes going on, man.
What do you personally want to achieve in the next year?
Four decent instrumental releases on my own label, my mixtape to chart, and my crew to get signed cause everybody knows we’re OGz!
Head over to the session page here to find out more information
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