For those not familiar with Grime music and its scene, it can be pretty hard working out who's who and what's what. A good start would be to check out Logan Sama's radio show. As DJ of the only 100% Grime show on legal radio, we thought him the best person to ask questions on the scene, it's key releases, issues facing it's live scene and beef. Get skooled.
Introduce yourself. How did you come up with that name?
I'm Logan Sama. I'm a DJ. I'm the best there is at what I do. The name is just a name.
How long have you been working professionally in the music industry and what are the main things you do?
I've been working with a professional attitude in the Grime scene since 2002. I've been getting paid to host a radio show since 2005. Right now I have the only 100% dedicated Grime show anywhere in the world on legal radio.
Before the Grime scene came about, what musical flavours were you really into?
Grime developed when Garage closed it's doors on the new sound that was being made and as the old sound of Garage became more and more stagnant and ignorant of evolution, so I moved away from playing Garage to just showcasing the Grime scene that emerged.
How'd you define grime music to someone who's not quite sure? What are some of the biggest examples to check?
Grime by definition is unfortunately undefinable. It has no characteristic sounds. You could generalise and say it is music made at 140 beats per minute with sub bass, but that's just underground Garage. Grime is a vibe and an attitude and a culture of young people on Britain's streets. You want proof? Check Kano, Dizzee and Wiley's album. Music of different bpm's and sounds but all with that real British street attitude.
There's all sorts of terms flying around such as Eski, Dubstep, Sublow, 2step, garage. Any chance you can clear that up for us?
The name Grime describes the demographic which makes and performs this music. Hiphop is acknowledged because of the culture and people it reflects. It has a variety of tempos and sounds, just like Bashment or Dancehall. People like Jon E Cash, Wiley or others are artists and individuals and can call what they make whatever they like, but it has been recognised because it is part of the Grime scene or the older underground Garage scene.
Traditional hiphop has many blueprint albums. What'd you say is the best grime release to date?
'Boy In Da Corner' (Dizzee Rascal) was the CD which showed everyone they could go from spitting 16's on pirate to writing songs and broadcasting their thoughts into hundreds of thousands of people's homes. This music is only really 4 years old, but in that time I think people will look back on 'Shh Hut Yuh Muh', '2nd Phaze' (Wiley), 'Simply The Best' (Scorcher) and of course 'Home Sweet Home' (Kano) as milestones on the journey of this music.
How much do you think the grime scene lacks a sense of structure? It's pretty hard for a newcomer to grasp.
It is a insular culture, regardless of music. A group of young people hoodied out in slack down jeans is a group of people this country can not relate with, and so this music is difficult to relate to for new people. But, I think as this music breeds more successful and positive outlooks within the community, then positive music will come out more and the wider audience will be able to relate. People are already making tunes that anyone can relate to, such as Skepta's 'Single' track.
Do you think with time, the grime scene will have as strong an infastructure as UK hiphop?
Grime is as strong as UK Hiphop already, in many ways stronger. It is just that the scene is young and people do not understand or appreciate the true value of what they are making all the time.
Would you agree that UK hiphop lacks ambition whilst Grime lacks stability?
Grime lacks organisation and professional attitudes, much like the people who make it. The scene reflects the culture that creates it.
There's a misconception that grime is just about beef and acting tuff. What artists disprove that?
There's a misconception that kids are about beef and acting tough, and if that is all you expect of them, that is the attitude you will breed. I can't tell you to check artists because if you are looking for bravado and lyrics about violent situations you will find them with every artist, but there are several who are not limited to just that. Any successful artist has got varied lyrical content.
How healthy is the grime scene on a live tip?
There is a shit live scene. We have to deal with ignorance from the police who, as I mentioned before, just expect violence. For every event someone has a punch up at, there have been 5 that have gone fine. If you want to look at a bunch of street people all in one place getting drunk and be intimidated by it, that's you.
I look at groups of skinhead white guys drinking stella and getting loud and find it just as intimidating. Again, there's not a lot of regular stuff. And it is hard to advertise events without bringing too much attention from the police who will more than likely close you down. I would just say that Grime is still growing and finding it's identity, and this is doubly true for the live format. The days of 12 man on stage spraying 8 bars to get a reload are on their way out.
What do you consider the main ports of call for grime heads?
My show. Rwd Magazine. Myspace. Rinse FM. 1Xtra can be good. It's hard to find Grime information. I know this. I am trying to help this change.
Tell us about your radio show. How did you secure the job at Kiss?
They just contacted me after I put out a free mix CD in 2004. Got me to record a demo in January 2005. I did some cover shows and started my show in the end of Spring. Thursday nights at 2am. That did very well and I got moved to Monday nights at 11pm. I have to thank the producers at Kiss for having faith in me and my music.
Do you feel a sense of pressure or responsibility, hosting such a unique show?
No. I go to radio every week loving the music I play, and that is broadcast through the mic to other people. My job is to sell records for people, and I am good at doing that.
What projects have you got lined up at the minute?
Nothing concrete. Just the normal mainstays of a Grime interview. Mixtape, album, etc etc. You'll know when it's ready though.
Tell us about Adamantium Music. What are your plans for it?
Adamantium Music is my company. Right now it is a label. I operate it with my colleague Simply D. We just want to help bring out music and make the many tracks that are produced by this scene available to the people who might want to buy it, rather than download recordings of them ripped from my show.
What websites should we check out?
Have you got any plugs of shout outs you'd like to make?
I would like to thank my producers at Kiss, all the people associated with the label, and all the people in the scene I consider my friends. Also, I want to thank all the artists who provide such incredible music.