Check out this extensive chat with the Nine High crew, talking about their past and future projects, performing live and tons more.
First up, please introduce yourselves and tell us how you all hooked up to create Nine High?
Felony: Basically, I went to an event one day and Fraksha and Scotty were spittin'. They was heavy. I never really heard any people my age who did what I did. I was new to it and went up to them and wham, it went from there really.
Fraaksha: Me and Brinks were doing it for a while before with Bennykid and we met Scotty through Bennykid who went to college with him, and then we just linked up and started doing loads of shows around Reading. Sort of a lot of drum 'n' bass raves. Then we linked up with Felony.
Felony: It kind of just fell together.
Scotty: Then we met Wandan and that was blatent. You had to do that.
S.A: Wandan was at the same thing as where we met Felony.
What does each member of the crew bring to the table?
Felony: Well I suppose like every person's got their own different thing.
Fraksha: Their own style, but everyone comes on a similar sort of agenda.
Scott: Same sort of vibe.
Felony: I suppose it's 'cause we're from different musical backgrounds if you will, therefore it creates differences in styles and influences, and knowledge of music and stuff where we wanna take it.
Scotty: Stuff that I listened to early on when I started listening to hiphop, you would'nt have listened to or Brinks might not have listened to, or things that you might have listened to, I have'nt heard, so differences come together really innit.
Fraksha: A lot of crews, a lot of the emcee's in the crew sound very similar.
Fraksha: Same flows, same accent. But everyone in Nine High sounds different.
What's with the name? There's only six of you…
Fraksha: The name was just one of those things that came about. Nine High was a taxi rank that used to sell cigarettes and alcohol to us when we were underage and it used to be a dirty little sketchy shop that had like, one packet of cigarettes on the shelf…
Felony: That is a heavy reason.
Scott: First place you got fucked.
Fraksha: Also, we smoke probably a bar every day before breakfast.
Scotty: It that old robotic lungs.
Where abouts are you from and what other local talent could visitors of the area discover?
Fraksha: It's the Slough to Reading connection. The Thames line connection.
Brinks: The Thames-Link.
Felony: Thames Valley, as you walk thru the valley, but anyway, I'm from Slough and there's a couple of people that people may know. I know the girl Kazire. She's very good. Very talented girl. Joker Starr from down the road. He's done a few things in hiphop.
Fraksha: Then we got Mikey-T from Reading way.
Scotty: I used to freestyle back in the day with Mikey Terra. Some freestyle thing down hiphop shop run by Coalition. That's where I met the Fauna.
Fraksha: Deadly Hunta…
Scotty: Yeah, Deadly Hunta was always down there.
Felony: DJ Muzzell…
Fraksha: Yeah Muzzell, DMC winner…
Fraksha: Caramac plays in Reading quite a bit…
Having shared the stages with Kano, Skinnyman, Blak Twang and Klashnekoff, whats been the best live set, and who's been the safest person you've met.
Fraksha: Most of them dash off…
Felony: We try to show people love. I dunno about anybody else but anytime anyone goes on live, I try to show them love y'know? What I mean, from time they come on stage.
Fraks: Skinnyman was someone who's always been safe. Jargon too…
Felony: Kashmere was jiggy.
Scotty: Jargon's always like yo, yo…
Felz: DJ Cro. Now DJ Cro was fucking safe.
Scotty: They're all alright really. Ain't no time to be aggy.
S.A: Dutty bwoy Skeme.
Fraksha: Yeah Skeme and Big P are heavy.
Do you guys perform your own events much and what goes down at a typical Nine High live experience?
Scotty: Just the groupies…
Felony: What you got yeah, you got ten gal up the front of the stage with their titties out…
Scotty: Grinding their pum pum.
Felony: We got zoots the length of metre rulers going on. We got kegs of beer…
Scotty: Roll that shit. Light that shit. Smoke it.
Fraksha: It's hype. We try to keep it hype. You won't ever see us leaving the stage not sweating. No homo.
Scotty: Always put in energy. If the crowd gives back then it just gets even rowdier. Y'know what I mean? If the crowds all still then it makes you feel like 'uh oh', maybe I'm being too lively, but if they're just on a mad one lively, then you get more lively, then it just fucking gets…what…live-lier.
Felony: Word of the week.
Felony: But I'd say we also try to kind of step up the levels. Bring it up. I've noticed that in the the last few sets, the tempo's raised. Started off quite slow, reached a certain level, then we finished on a high so we always try to leave it to people remember that something different than we got a lot of passion for the music unlike a lot of heads.
Fraksha: Performing live is what it's all about really and I think we do smash it. We got heavy beats that get people moving. When Wandan's with us it's sick. We have a lot of fun on stage. It's not a chore like it seems with some people. You see them with their three tracks on CD with backing vocals on it, just recreating exactely how it sounds on the recorded track. Hardly putting in any effort. I want it to be live.
What releases have you put out so far, and what's the one song that gives the clearest picture about who you guys are?
Fraksha: We put out our mixtape 'First Take' which we kind of didn't anticipate how well it'd do, but we ended up probably shifting around a thousand copies. Now it's for download on the website We got rid of like 400 on there or so.
Scotty: Sold a lot at shows…
Fraksha: Sold all them at shows…
Felony: And I'd say it's not even a shout on what's gonna be coming in the future. I know you should always big up you previous ventures into the music industry…
Fraksha: But that was nothing.
Felony: No, we got into more the construction of things. We're more comfortable with like, each other in the studio. The way we work, we're more efficient, so frankly for a first thing I think we got a lot of love for something that we did'nt put much effort into.
Fraksha: And it was a proper mixtape…
Felony: It was mixed, 'cept it was'nt a tape.
Scotty: Shout to Ghost-Town for that 'cause they done a good job. It sounded crisp. Recording conditions wern't always primo, but they made it sound crispy so…
Felony: And the tune that sums us up the best, 'Music'. Listen to the lyrics. You'll hear. You'll know why.
Scotty: That'll be on 'Take Two'. Keep your eyes peeled.
Are you guys on an independant tip as far as labels are concerned, or are your eyes peeled for signing opportunities?
Fraksha: It's not something that's just gonna happen like that at the moment.
Felony: Yeah, I don't know. I don't even think like that. I just think at the moment we're doing what we're doing and at the moment we're in a transitional period of starting to take the music a lot more seriously and see something actually happening with it as opposed to just…
Brinks: Fucking around in the studio.
Felony: Fucking around in the studio and doing fuck all.
Fraksha: It would be good to have someone to do all the shit we hate doing…
Felony: Like the rappin' and making beats. Nah it is difficult. It's a lot of hard work.
Fraksha: There's a lot of work that people dont even realise.
Felony: And we're living the 9-5 as well. It's fucking difficult.
Scotty: At the same time, I don't even think that we really need a record label right now.
Felony: Distribution's the main thing.
Scotty: Know what I mean? At the end of the day, you gotta start with your underground or it'll never support you when you get up any sort of table. Know what I mean?
Brinks: Keep smashing shows.
Scotty: Aint saying we gonna get massive or nothing but if you aint got nothing suporting the lower levels, how you ever gonna rise up?
Felony: Foundation don't work, your building's gonna fall down baby.
Scotty: It's like a building innit.
Fraksha: That's why we keep doing shows all over the place regardless, 'cause that's the way to get our name out.
Brinks: Build a foundation instead of just jumping in at the top and getting fucked over.
Felony: Nationwide like bank.
Pages: 1 2