We caught up with an exciting new grime artist from East London to chat about his influences, past and future projects, who's hot in the scene right now and how beef's effecting the live circuit.
Who are you and where are you from?
My name's Vortex and I'm from East London.
How did you come up with the MC name?
Well Vortex has always been my music name. I came across it while I was looking through the dictionary one time, and liked the sound and meaning of it. So now I go by the name of Vortex or Tex.
How long have you been rapping and who are your influences?
Well I started off as a garage MC, then I thought about trying rap. This must have been like, a year ago. My influences I would say, have to be, other than Tupac and B.I.G, Ransom, Papoose, D Block, Diplomats, Eminem, early Lloyd Banks and Joe Budden.
What'd you describe the music you make as?
Well I would like my music to be seen as entertaining to say the least. I think its powerful but easy to listen to at the same time. Because my style is heavily based around metaphors, similies and punchlines, I try to keep the listener's ear peeled and ready for anything. I like to play around with my flow and try different things. As well as my lyrics and the flows I think that the concept of a tune is very important also. I like writing tunes that are storylike, so you can picture in your own way, what I'm saying. I think that's cool.
Are you in a crew of affiliated with any other guys?
Yeah. I'm part of a crew called Boyz/Kidz In Da Hood or just 'Indahood'. In my crew, I got Darkboi, one of my boys as well as partner in Rhyme Constantly, keeping me on my toes. Crazy Titch you may of heard of after he had a massive battle with Dizzee Rascal, and as well as that there's Mr. Slash and Scratch Black, the producers making that fire.
Tell us about the releases you've put out so far and what we can expect of them.
Well, I leaked out my first mixtape on the internet for free, just to see the feedback, and it was a big one. That mixtape was mostly me on my own. I wanted to show people what I could do without the help of the big names and dat. But, I have a new mixtape that I'm working on as we speak, featuring a couple of names like Wiley, Ghetto, J2K, Titch and quite a lot more. I aint sure on when it's being released but I'm thinking winter times.
What producers have you been working with and who'd you most like to jump on a track by?
I've worked with quite a few producers. Davinche, Dexplicit (Forward Riddim), Scratch Black, Mr. Slash. M-Millz (from the states, Virginia), so it's lookin' good. I would like to work with Low Deep. I think he's doing well this year still.
Are you signed to a label, or is that something you're hoping to address soon?
Nah, I aint signed. I've been approached by a couple of labels but I don't think I'm ready for that step just yet. I'm still young, 19. I've seen too many MC's jump on the bandwagon, get signed, then flop. I aint lettin' that happne to me. I'll just sit back, clock their mistakes and learn from them.
A few years down the line, what'd you like to have achieved with your music career?
A few years…boy! Just to be on top of my game. Maybe have a couple of plats on the wall. Haha. But, I think that havin' people's respect for being one of the best that did it for the UK will do it for me…
What projects have you got planned and what gossip about them can you let us in on?
Gossip, gossip, gossip. Haha. Erm, well, I'm flying out to Atlanta in a couple of months to work with some big names out there, but I can't tell you who they are though. Use your imagination. Haha…
How often are you out performing and what are the biggest raves you can recommend?
Performing live at raves is kinda dying out due to the beef in the scene really, but Eskimo Dance and Sidewyder are the raves you wanna hit if you wanna know what the grime ting's about. It's serious.
A lot of grime seem overly focused with beef. Would you say that's a fair comment?
Of course. I dont know what it is man. Everyone just thinks they're Styles P nowadays. I talk about what my life and what I see day to day. These guys need to sort it out if they think talking about shooting up your mums house will get them anywhere…
Do you feel all the beef and tension is because there's so many people trying to rap?
Nah. I don't even think the rapping ting has anything to do with it. I just think it's a load of people trying to be the best. When everyone wants one thing it becomes competitive and it's just escolating. I think it's healthy for the scene to a certain extent but keepin' it on wax is the smarter thing. If you want money, keep it on wax.
Who are some MC's that stand out a bit more from the crowd?
Well, right now I would say JME, Skepta and Wiley (Boy Better Know) are doing big things, as well as 'The Movement' (Ghetto, Scorcher, Wretch 32), so keep an eye out for them 'cause they're doing it big.
How should we keep up with you and grime in general?
Any shout out's or plugs you wanna make?
Yeah. I wanna big up Rapnews first of all for the love. My mandem Indahood, Lockdown, free Ttich and big up everyone in the scene. One.