Influences: Vineyard Cries takes us on a journey from Kid Cudi to Kensington

“This record will soon be celebrating its 10th Anniversary. I was a half hearted student who filled most my school text books up with UK grime infused lyrics. So when this gem dropped it was like the second coming of Christ for my ear drums.”

“Soundtrack to my life – has inspired my writing style so much. Putting together a far-from-flatlined verse and then marrying it with a chorus catchy enough to make a nun living in a silent monastery want to sing from the top of her lungs and wake the birds up. It’s just magical.”

“Ps. Track 15 ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ became my first tattoo. Yep I’m a Cudi Fanboy and proud.  (Disclaimer – no the tattoo was not inspired by the Will Smith film)”

Andre 3000’s work as a feature artist is astounding. The word play on Frank Ocean’s ‘Pink Matter’ when he comes in with, “Since you been gone / I been having withdrawals / You were such a habit to call”. It takes the song to a new space and the syllables just land so carefully around the kick drums. He has to be in the top 5 underrated rappers of all time.

 ‘Kensington and Chelsea,  where it’s hell if you live and dwell / heaven if you’re wealthy. Land of the carnival, green handled in particles.’ These are a couple of lines I’ve penned in the past about the town I grew up in. A lot of my songs have started by me going for a stroll down to Olympia station. Or up to Westway for a kick about. 

There’s a beautiful juxtaposition around here, and I’ve experienced it first hand. For example, these prestigious five-story Victorian houses must have hosted many an aristocrat for tea and evening scones…  but 100 years later its split into five council flats, all consisting of 1 or two bedrooms supposedly fit for a family of mum (dad?) siblings aunties and a handful of cousins. 

Growing up in my borough was like having a twisted experience of wealth and poverty all in one bite. The areas and buildings look great, but when the gas and electric key ran out, there was no candle lit chandelier to save the night from darkness.

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