Always first to bring you the best UK artists, we caught up with Sir Smurf to talk about the scene, his background and the highly anticipated debut album 'My Alpha' out on YNR Productions soon.
First up, can you explain your name? How did you get it and what's it mean?
The full name is Sir 'smurf' Little. In regards as to where the name came from, apart from stating the obvious (The Smurfs) cartoon; it was given to me due to the fact of me constantly wearing a white woolly hat. I mean, I literally wouldn't take the hat off, kind of like the Asian kid in the movie (East Meets East) who would never take off his jacket. That was me, true story. But still, I am a fan of the cartoon. For me, The Smurfs represent that grind. A family unit that moves as one. You could say it was due to the overwhelming goodness of the smurf way of life that transformed me. Shout out to Smurf Bones (Elite Team).
Who are your biggest influences and how'd you describe your music?
In terms of influences, that all depends, because what influences me changes on a daily basis. Instead of who I like, think of it as what influences me. The most prominent influence would be the critical spectatorship of people. Observing people is like watching theatre from a godlike view. My music has been described as being ear pleasingly fresh, but again I'll let you guys decide. My style is like bringing horror to Walt Disney, but Jehst described it best. "It is kinda like Nas and Roald Dahl mugging Walt Disney in a Hackney back street".
Where in the U.K are you from originally and how did you end up in Hackney, London?
I was originally born in Milton Keynes. Around about the age of 1 year, my parents moved to Finsbury Park (Islington). Within a couple of months we moved to Hackney, East London, where we officially became Murda Mile residents (stamp approval).
How did you hook up with The Colony crew and when's another group project gonna happen?
Me, Willo, Tera, and Kitchen knew each other from studying at the same college, way before the Colony was even a foundation. I met Grim' and Cons' through Willo who had invited me to come down to 'Homegrown Bless The Mic' Show, which at the time was being hosted by Apollo, and the in-house DJ was Excalibah. Before The Colony, it was Verbal Dialect, which was a 13 man clique in which Cons', Grim' and Willo were a part of.
To cut the story short, 13 became 6, which formed The Colony foundation. After the departing of Tera and Kitchen, we are now a four man unit which consists of: Sir Smurf, Willo The Wispa, Grimlok, and Conspicuous. Look out for The Colony and New York's Stronghold Joint mix-tape. (Boot Prints and Fist Marks) coming soon. We are also currently working on a Colony album.
How long have you been working on your solo project 'Myalpha' and when do you think it'll drop?
The 'Myalpha' project is completed. I had pretty much written the album within the space of 3 months, but it had taken me a while to record due to Jehst and L.G moving equipment in order to build up a joint studio together (YNR and Sit-Tight), emerging to form Arkham Asylum studio. So I on the other hand patiently waited until the process was complete, but I did manage to record tracks. 'Outside' (the 1st '12'), 'Training Day' and 'Cabrini Green' at Jehst's old crib in Camden (Shout out to Tree). Album release date: 2006.
Can you talk us through some of the tracks you've cut? What lyrical and production vibes are in store?
I am somewhat prohibited from giving out too much info, as that wouldn't leave much space for the element of surprise, but what I would say, especially when referring to the production side of things, 'Myalpha' has captured a new sound wave of the Billy Brimstone. People didn't even believe that it was Jehst that produced 'City Night Life' (B-side to 'Outside' single). Jehst definitely got shit on smash.
My favorite track on the album would have to be 'Training Day' as Jehst had the Sir Smurf spaz out on that one. The track title 'Training Day' really does speak for itself, true story. Shout out to L.G and Apa-tight who both have production work on the 'Myalpha' project, and other future Smurf material soon to come.
You get pretty deep with lyrics quite a bit. Is it a mind fuck that your personal 'ish will get heard by tons of people all over the land?
Everyday is like training day in a sense of vocal sparring and stretching rap bars into practice, but lyrically it isn't so much of a mind fuck to spaze out on personal shit. I guess it's somewhat therapeutic, not only for myself but to whoever can relate to what is being said. I aint scared to touch upon any subject. What scares me is creating barriers.
How did Jehst end up producing for you and how do you think his experience and success aids your LP?
I first met Jehst through Lewis Parker back in 2000, whereby we recorded a track together on a Lewis Parker beat. After that, I hadn't seen Jehst since 2004 when he got at me about a month and a half before I was about to graduate for uni, about wanting to do a track. When Cons' was telling me Jehst wanted to get at me, I just took it as hearsay, but when blud phoned me, I was like 'damn', Cons' was serious.
After I had finished uni, I got at Jehst and we recorded 'Training Day'. Blud must have been feeling me, or even making sure it weren't no fluke ting that I was coming with, 'cause he had me record another two more tracks. Mind you, we were only planning to do 1 track, but 1 track turned into way more then 2 albums worth of material. Incase people really do take towards the 'Myalpha' project, we ready to hit them off with another batch.
I am still constantly recording with Jehst up to this present day. We good to go. Having Jehst behind me aids greatly. It's like he literally allowed me to tap into his audience fan base. In doing so, people have become even more interested in knowing why Jehst even chose to even fuck with me. It's like they're willing to listen to me to see what it is that Jehst sees in me which is sort of a blessing.
But as Jehst said, you can't buy fans, you have to earn fans. By taking me on tour with him, he has given me the opportunity of seeing what could be me if I work hard at it. Getting the chance to feature on his album's (Nuke Proof Suit) 'Pepper Spray' track with Kashmere was crazy. People love that shit. Shout out to L. Parker & Kashmere.
What was the typical process of creating a track? Do you write the lyrics and then comes a beat or vice versa?
Again, it all depends on my mind state at the time. Sometimes it could go either way, but most times I write to the beat. 'Training Day' is a song that I wrote in my head when I was on the bus, leaving from Jehst's crib.
What situation are you aiming to be in, for you to feel you've achieved the goals you set out for?
A part of me is still tying to figure that out. I'm still kinda planning. Ask me again next year. Ha ha ha.
Are you going to hit the road and do a tour in support of the album?
Yeah, Jehst and me have been doing a lot of ground work, looking into how we gonna plan out tours and release dates, but when shit is solidified, we will get that info out.
How are your freestyling skills and what other areas of Hip-hop have you dabbled in, in the past. Graff, Breaking?
Me and Cons' both kind of took an oath that we would freestyle at every radio station appearance we have, with 1 or 2 writtens to warm up the vibe. We (The Colony) like to keep vocally in shape so we freestyle often, even occasionally battling each other. I mean ,it's healthy. But freestyling in a different surrounding is good, because it's a very big difference freestyling to yourself in your bedroom as apposed to freestyling to an open crowd, or to a live broadcasting audience. As far as Graff and Breaking, I leave that to those who do it best.
On 'Nightmare On Any Street' you mention uni. What degree did you take?
I studied up in Leicester 'De'Montfort' University where I studied Performing Arts and Media Studies/Broadcasting Production. Shout out to Leicester C. That's second home for me. Sir Smurf represents for them as well as L.O.N.
If you couldn't rap for shit, what occupation would you be chasing?
The same one that I am still currently chasing, broadcasting production trainee.
What hip-hop releases are you feeling at the moment and who's the top dogg of U.K hip-hop right now?
I'm still buzzing off the Elite Team (The Phone Home) E.P. Ruffstylz's (Lyrics) compilation, and the Micall Parknsun (The Working Class Dad) album. As far as who I'm feeling in the UK, the list goes on and on. Just to name a few, Colony undoubtedly, Phoenix Quarters, Queens English, Dubbledge, T-Bear, Shameless, Big-Cakes, Logan, Manage, Ralph-Rip-Shit, Tor, T-Dangerous, Kyza, Jeff3, Plan B, Lee Ramsey. What more can I say blud? The Smurf is a true fan of the UK movement. Shout out to the Grime heads. You man are dicing shit up, true story.
What's the weakest song you've heard recently?
Ha ha ha ha ha. That's easy but I aint gonna 'pepper spray' anyone like that, but I will use this opportunity to tell you about the songs that I am feeling. T-Bear: 'Little Black Boys And Black Girls' unreleased, Lowkey 'Bars For My Brother', Sway 'Pretty Ugly Husband', and Jehst 'Suicide Song' which is on the L.G and Biscuit album called 'Smoke Rings' coming soon.
Who do you feel's the most slept on UK hip-hop talent and what's the main thing needed for UK rap to blow up?
The most slept on rapper to me personally is Troy-Scalpels. He's a wordsmith genius. Troy, where you at fam? Flag me when you come through, true story. In order for us to blow, well, first off organization has got to be right in order for business to be healthy. There is too much cutting corners and secrecy going on out here fam'. Aint no one wanna share ideas and build together, but still I'm tired of going on about the same shit. I'm gonna sit tight and see what happens.
Is there a website or Myspace people can keep an eye on to find out what you're up to?
Currently sorting out a Myspace account which should be up within this month. The YNR website www.ynr-productions.co.uk is also being updated which will have Smurf details and all that.
Have you got any shout out's or messages you wanna throw out there?
Just to say love to everyone who supported The Colony movement. Go pick up the Conspicuous 'Backgammon' album if you aint already done so, as for the Willo E.P 'What's Willo On', Grimlok mixtape 'Unbeautiful Mind', and the Sir Smurf 'Myalpha' album coming real soon.
PS, for every American hiphop album you pick up, make sure you pick up a UK hiphop album as well. True story. Right now, I am gonna go pick up that Ghostface Killah album 'Fish Scale', so you know I've got to pick up that Asaviour album. 'The Borrowed Ladder'. It's as easy as that. Thanks for having me come through. Peace. Sir Smurf… Much love to Rapnews.
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