Named as ‘One to Watch’ for 2010 by BBC 1Xtra, Scorzayzee has actually been making music for over 15 years.
Once voted seventh best rapper in the world, the 29-year-old MC tells us what it’s like returning to the UK rap game after five years away, as well as sharing some top tips.
You’ve returned after a substantial break from the scene. What were some of the challenges you faced coming back?
While I was gone music changed so much; all these new artists had come through, grime music had come out and the spitters were spitting really hard. As well as letting my original fans know I was back, I also had to start thinking about appealing to a younger generation who didn’t know me from back in the day. It was weird being back in the booth as well, my timing was a bit off at first and I was as nervous as when I first started rapping!
Is it frowned upon in the industry to have a break?
In music I think everybody likes a comeback. But the trick is you have to come back strong, you have to reinvent yourself.
Do you have any advice to artists getting their music out there?
With (former group) Out Da Ville, we’d go round all the venues in Nottingham and ask if we could do a gig for free. We’d also go down to local radio stations. For a young artist starting out I think it’s best to approach local radio first, get the feel of doing freestyles and interviews on air, and just go to open mics.
Is it harder for artists who don’t live in London?
To make it professionally as an artist, you have to make a few trips to London with all the media that’s based there. Also London is the biggest city in England, so if you don’t get your name known there, then you won’t be known elsewhere in the world. We used to come down every couple of weeks.
What’s the scene like in Nottingham?
There are MCs on every corner now, the scene is really flourishing. Everybody wants to get involved in music and it’s good to see. It’s a positive thing, spending your time doing something that’s going to help you progress rather than doing negative stuff.
What’s it like as a solo artist as apposed to being in a group?
You have a lot more freedom as a solo artist as it’s all your own ideas and you do what you want. I did like being in a group as there was a good competitive spirit, it kept us sharp, but there can also be disagreements over tunes, like someone might not like a verse or something.
You’ve been on the 1Xtra playlist several times, back in the day and more recently with your latest track, Luv Me. Do you have any advice for artists taking their music to radio?
If I knew that a 1Xtra DJ was at a jam in my town, I’d approach them and give them my music, that’s what we used to do with Out Da Ville. Where there’s a will there’s a way. You just have to get out there and push your music and have belief and faith in yourself.
Scorzayzee’s debut album Peace To The Puzzle is out in March 2010.
Anna Nathanson is Assistant Producer for BBC 1Xtra Interactive. Anna blogs about all things urban at annanathanson.wordpress.com