JP is probably one of the most influential Grime journalists in the scene.
JP has written for NME, The Independent, The Guardian, mix mag and is Editor of MTV the wrap up and is also Contributing Music Editor for SUPERSUPER Magazine.
He also has his own grime rave (ChockAblock) and works with Tim and Barry. JP is respected by the whole grime scene and there is no stopping the journalist from Northamptonshire.
So check out my interview with the hood’s journalist to see what state the grime scene is in and why bassline is not that popular in London ?
Hello JP how are you today?
I’m good, enjoying the sun star.
When did you first get noticed and when did you get your first work published?
Well, I started my blog in 2007 as I felt no one was really reviewing club nights and I took it from there really. I never knew that I wanted to become a journalist, because I was a club night promoter first with my night, ChockABlock. Then I was asked by SUPERSUPER Magazine to do a three page story on the bassline scene and from there they asked me if I wanted to become one of their music editors and the rest is, as they say, history!
How do you think the grime scene is at the moment?
I think grime has been up and down over the last year I’d say, but now I think it is back to where everybody would like to see it. With artists such as P Money, Tempa T and producers such as Teddy, Rude Kid and S-X doing the damn thing, grime has a new leash of life. The grime and dubstep are working a lot more these days and I think that will be the next big thing in terms of trends. I know grime and dubstep have always worked alongside each other over the years, but now it’s becoming more prominent.
People are familiar with your Facebook and I see you go to a lot bassline raves. Is there anything you prefer more, bassline or grime?
Ahhh, that’s a hard one. I don’t think I can live without bassline music if I’m being honest. I do listen to it more than grime at the moment and prefer bassline raves to grime raves, only because where I live (Northamptonshire) I’m surrounded by it a lot more than grime and tend to go to more bassline nights up in the Midlands and up North. Grime is my heart though.
Why do you think Bassline is not as popular in london compared to up north ?
I have no idea why people in London don’t like bassline music to be honest. It did well when T2 came through with the whole ‘Heartbroken’ track and then it sort of vanished. Paleface’s Northen line records were also doing big things with bassline back then, but I don’t know what happened to that. Producers such as Dj pantha, Swifta beater, Piddy py and Bass boy are making some epic tracks and Pantha’s ‘Candy shop’ seems to be doing big things in the London clubs at the moment, when Marcus nasty dropped it at yoyo’s in Notting hill, it went OFF! Talking of Marcus nasty, I had a little meeting with him recently and he’ planning to really break bassline in london and make it successful, so keep your eye and ear open for that.
So what are your opinions on grime Bloggers,Do they help the scene and have you witnessed certain tensions between people or bitching?
I used to read Prancehall’s and Chantelle Fiddy’s grime blogs back in the day and at the time their words ment a lot more than what bloggers are coming up with today. It feels as if everyone is becoming a grime blogger these days because it’s the cool thing to do. I read some blogs and the quantity is there, but there is no quality at all and I think people should really pay attention to that. Yeah, grime blogs meant something back in the day and now it doesn’t really mean a lot to be honest, well, apart from mine and Hyperfrank’s blog, of course [laughs]. I’ve had a lot of arguments and disagreements with bloggers in my time, but I don’t watch none of that, because it’s only the net. If it was face to face then many would never say anything #nobadman.
What is it like working for Tim & Barry?
Haha, Timothy and Bazmondo. I love them guys (no JLS), I’ve know them for a few years now. We used to go to bassline events and take pictures and review them all over the country and we’ve worked on a lot of other things too, namely the recent Don’t Tour That project, which was epic. There aren’t a lot of people in this scene that I can call my friend, but those two are certainly my friends and I’d do anything for them, in work or otherwise.
What are your views on the Grime Forum?
Ahh, the good old Grime Forum. Me and them have had an up and down relationship, the whole forum turned on me once, but it was a minor [laughs]. That forum is a vital part to the scene, many artists like to cuss it, but at the end of the day, they’re the people that are going to tell you the truth. Saying that, there are a lot of pricks on there who just like to hate, but you’ve got to look past that and use their criticism good and bad to better yourself.
So you have your on grime rave ChockABlock. What inspired you to do it?
I’ve been running ChockABlock for over 3 years now. It started off in Northampton and I booked Skepta, Tinchy Stryder, Trilla, Logan Sama, Piff City and Book Bok & Manara (all before these guys were famous), I can remember it like it was yesterday. I then moved the night to London in 2008 where EGG Nightclub took me under their wing and helped me hold some of the biggest underground club nights to date. To be names alongside Dirty Canvas Sidewinder and Urban Nerds is a blessing. I wouldn’t call it a grime night, grime is the main focus, but I’ve always tried to make it a bit different by adding some bassline, funky and even a bit of electro in the mix. You should’ve seen when I was on my Nu Rave flex back in the day, had some next type of performers on stage [laughs].
What inspires you to keep covering grime on your blog and write about grime in other publications such as SUPERSUPER and MTV: The Wrap Up?
Well, like I said before, grime is my heart. I want to keep on pushing talent from the roads, because everyone has something to say so I just give them a little bit more of a platform to help them do that and be heard to people they might not be able to reach otherwise.
Why do you think so many grime night are held in Shoreditch like Cargo, Old Blue Last and The Macbeth? What’s so bad about it, is it that bad to be a hipster?
I think nights are held there because there is never, well, hardly any violence at those venues. If I was to hold a grime night in Brixton then you better know after an hour it will get locked off, I’m just being real. I think it’s also a good thing to hold nights in Shoreditch, because the people who go to those nights are usually very influential people, writers, fashionistas, PR and record label people, which can only be a good thing, no? When it comes to being a hipster, I can’t stand them. People who jump on a sound because it’s cool absolutely infuriate me, I like it when I see trendy people enjoy grime, but for them to them to start a blog and dedicate their whole life to talking about grime and only refer to Tinchy and Dizzee, really annoys me. You get me?
What do you think the grime scene needs? What does it lack?
Hmm, I think some MCs need to lay off the diva attitudes. At the end of the day, no one owes them anything and for them to demand things is really annoying. I help people who are appreciative of my help and not ones who like to take the piss. For example, I’ve hooked up artists with high-profile brands and they’ve took the utter piss by rinsing them to death, but I guess that’s my fault. Now when I talk to brands, I filter everything so it’s much better for everyone. I can’t say that anyone lacks professionalism, because most of the acts are on point, turning up to events on time and coming across well to people that they’d never usually talk to. It never used to be like this back in the day, you think grime raves were full up of trendy white kids, say 4 years ago? Nah, things have changed and for the better I think.
What are your views of certain MCs going commercial?
I’m proud of everyone. I just hate it when they go commercial and forget the scene they came from. I wrote a blog for NME talking about this issue and it was quite controversial, but I think people are taking note now. Tinchy Stryder is working with Ruff Sqwad more and more these days which is good. Other MCs such as Chipmunk can’t say grime is dead, grime is this, grime is that and then bring out a ‘Woooo Riddim’ and then cuss grime again, what sense is that? The commercial thing won’t last forever and all these artists will have to find solace in the grime scene once again, whether or not people will take them back, I really don’t know…
What has your best grime moment been?
The best grime moment? There has been a lot, I don’t think I can pick a particular one.
Any last words?
Keep locked to my movements on
follow me on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/JpizzleDizzle!