We catch up with Cardiff's number one rapper to find out what's the deal with his name, what he's released so far and what records and dates are in the pipeline.
First off, please introduce yourself to the people.
My name is King Gritty AKA The People's Choice, AKA The Dank Man, AKA The Future. West Yorkshire Bre, livin' in Cardiff. I'm an underground artisit that represnts real music, done with skill.
How did you come up with that artist name?
Basically, it's top secret… Ok then, I tell the people. In the MTV Rap days, you know Fab Five Freddy? You know when you had one hour of realness a week on TV? There was an MC called Human Wreck. Where I was always high at 1am in the morning, I thought his name was Humurak.
I used to tell everybody that was the baddest name. Then one day, my cousin said his name was Human Wreck so I said that's my name. I was always called Gritty, so to be original I put the Humurak before the Gritty. The D went in the middle because my name is Derek.
Can you give us a run through of the releases you've been involved with so far?
Ok, off the top…
Defesis and Blade EP, 'Second Chapter' on SFDB
Lewis Parker 'High Stakes (De ja Vu)' EP
Secondson and his Orchestra LP ('Rags' track)
Clarity 'Way Of The Dragon EP ('The Visitors')
Rags To Rags EP (Debut EP)
They Ain't Ready (2nd EP)
One For The Road EP (2001)
Blade's album, Guerilla Tactics ('The Massacre')
Mr Spleen, Brainwashed Beats ('Nuthin' To Say')
Three Blaktrix EP's;
Trust EP ('Knowledge of Self')
Strappado Styles ('Indian Rope Trick')
What Shall Be EP
Michael Parkinson, The Interview Mixtape ('Don't Talk Shit')
If I forgot any, my apologies to the person.
How did you feel your debut EP was received and how did you link with so many dope producers?
The EP was recieved better than ever imagined. It got good reviews accross the board. Full page spreads in a varity of national publications, even the Daily Star. It also led to two UK tours (Skinnyman and GLC), plus a load of Radio One and 1Xtra play. As regards to the producers, that was through my hard work. I must be doing something right as all came to me.
What do you look for in a producers beats?
It's all about the drums, big drums, and Secondson's got the best. The vibe is important on a beat. I know after ten seconds whether or not I like it.
What projects have you been working on and what gossip can you drop?
I been working on my album, which is self titled. Got a few guests on there. For now, Skinnyman is the only one I'm gonna drop, and that's the 'Rags' remix. There will also be a bonus CD called 'The Story So Far' which speaks for itself. Also, my debut mixtape 'King Gritty.com Vol 1' where I just jacked all my favourite beats. The next single will be the first single off the album, called 'Yeah That's Me'. I will be featuring on a few people's stuff, but I will leave them to tell you about that.
Cardiff has one of the strongest scenes in the UK. How comes all this talent has suddenly appeared?
It's not suddenly appeared. People are now grinding and getting themselves about and well known. Shout's to everyon who has put in work. You know who you are.
What are some of the biggest influences, be it other artists, books, films?
Life is my biggest influence. I write from my heart and use my emotions and feelings. Fuck books and films.
How do you approach making tracks?
Different tunes, different things. Depends on the situation. I have done it every way possible. I write my rhymes but not on paper, just in my head.
How aware of the audience are you when you're plotting your lyrics?
When I'm making rhymes up I'm writing 'em for me and I just block everything else out.
What advice could you give to someone wanting to be a rapper?
Work hard, go to as many open mics as you can and get about as much as you can. The most important thing is to be original and be yourself.
What level of success will you have to reach before feeling you've 'made it'?
Really yeah, I have already done that man. I just wanted to put Cardiff on the map and I feel that I have done that, but I'm always aiming higher. Right now, I'm intent on being the top three and I wont settle for anything else.
Aside from the music, are you interested or involved in other angles of the culture?
I am hiphop. I walk it, talk it, live it. I don't graffiti, breakdance. I just live it.
What are your interests beyond hiphop?
Females, as long as they're sexy and over 18.
In light of the nation voting MC Daz for the Eurovision song contest, what can be done for the public to finally understand decent music?
I don't know. I don't care. I just make music. If you like, that's cool. If not, then you don't, but I mainly make music for people from my environment and hopefully it appeals to people outside that box.
Do you perform many gigs and what dates are there?
Yeah, catch me on road up and down the country, rollin' with Mud Fam, so shouts to Skinny, and you can see me performing with my DJ, Killer Tomato. Dates to look out for; 1st of September in Bristol. Check Myspace for the rest.
What goes down at a typical Gritty show?
The Typical Gritty show is rags. We roll deep everywhere we go. My performance is always energetic so expect the crowd to be skankin' out. Bare weed smoke floats around the vacinity. Expect me to be chillin' with the crowd. I'm not one of them to do my show and bus.
How can everyone keep up to date with YA?