Interview: Scorcher talks vulnerability, new EP, acting in Top Boy and more!

In Interviews by Nick Russell

Interview: Scorcher talks vulnerability, new EP, acting in Top Boy and more!

I’m on my way to Kings Cross to meet up with veteran grime emcee, producer and actor Scorcher to catch up with him. We chat about a few things including his new EP ‘1 of 1’ and title track ‘Work Get It’.

I walk in to find Scorcher relaxing to the maximum in a recliner chair, dressed in quite possibly the most comfortable outfit he owns, pool sliders and all. After the usual pleasantries we sit down in some mad comfortable chairs and get down to business, sort of…

MXIIX: The New EP ‘1 of 1’ is set for release soon, so what can people expect from the new release?

Scorcher: Its me just doing all the things I’m good at, I’ve been experimenting and trying to take things to the next level and bring something different. It’s not an EP full of ‘link up’ records with ten man on this track and ten man on that track, its got some deep ‘ish on it that’s worth listening to.

MXIIX: If you could collaborate with any artist that has passed away who would you collaborate with?

Scorcher: Aaliyah! Yo! Me and Aaliyah would be a mad ting! Mad R’n’B rude boy kinda ting we would go iiiiiiin! It would be mental! Ima try sell everything I got and try buy one of her acapellas!

MXIIX: Have you got any advice for up and coming UK artists trying to make the breakthrough into the industry?

Scorcher: The main thing is to be yourself, the most valuable thing any artist has is the essence of themself. The moment you start trying to be another version of somebody else, you are playing a game you are eventually gonna lose. Nothing is easier than being yourself, you wake up yourself, you go to sleep yourself, your yourself when your in your bath your yourself when your taking a selfie!

MXIIX: Has there ever been a point in your career where you have felt like music is not for you?    

Scorcher: At times yeah. When there are things going on and it feels like people are more focused on the things outside of music, those were the times when I’ve been like, rah is this the right thing for me. Ultimately you stay on track because of that love for the music. You can be having the worst day and you meet someone that really cares about your music and it can totally change your whole vibe. The other day I was in my local McDonalds Drive Thru and I saw some kids and they come around like “Whats good cuz, we seen your video blud, whats coming next?”  I told them I’ve got a new EP coming out and this was their reaction..

At this point Scorcher whips out his phone jumps on his instagram account, (@scorcherslife) and shows this!

‘It makes you realise that no matter what industry nonsense is going on you still have those people there following you and that’s all that matters’

MXIIX: Everyone knows you’ve had a major role in (major TV series) Top Boy and you appeared in the film Offender is there any more screen work in the pipeline?

Scorcher: Yeah I’ve just landed my first lead role in a feature film that I start filming next month so that’s the next foray in my acting career.

MXIIX: Is that acting something you always wanted to do?

Scorcher: I wouldn’t say it is something I always wanted to do, it wasn’t even something I knew whether I was capable of doing and its definitely made me respect acting as a craft. Where my acting career is in it’s infancy everything is exciting and I love it.

After being rudely interrupted by an enthusiastic cleaner and his rather noisy hoover, Scorcher and I got on to talking about his portrayal of the character of Kamale in Top Boy. A point we both agreed on is that in many productions within the genre Top Boy comes from the true essence of life on the roads isn’t captured, in particular the vulnerability of people in situations like those seen in Top Boy is often underestimated.

Scorcher: Vulnerability, that’s one thing people miss out when they are making their music, when they are making their films, the vulnerability you have when you’re involved in certain things – the more you do the more you’re vulnerable to. When you’re the world’s most dangerous man, whoever’s coming for you is the universe’s most dangerous man and that’s a scary thought and the mentality behind dealing with these kinds of situations isn’t always explored.

At this point that pesky cleaner and his noisy hoover were back, so one of Scorchers entourage went to investigate the source of the disturbance. There’s a loud bang and Scorcher says ‘Bruh did you hear that my man just punched up the cleaner!’ I was obviously shocked and replied ‘Nah no way!’ at which point Scorcher jumps out of his previously indomitably comfortable chair to investigate and beckons me over to join him. I do and as soon as I’m standing next to him he shouts ‘Ah! I had you for a minute there!’ It takes me a second to realise I have just been pranked in the middle of my interview and I sheepishly trudge back to my equally comfortable chair to finish interviewing this big kid. 

MXIIX: So what do you think the next five years holds for you? Are there any brands, projects or people in particular you want to work with? 

Scorcher: I want to get what I’m doing and put it on steroids! I wanna dig deeper and touch more people, get more eyes and ears on what I’m doing. In five years time I wanna be doing this interview again at 9 o’clock on a Sunday! On BBC1! 

At this point we run out of time and I run out of questions so we wrap up the interview. However the fun isn’t over as Scorcher grabs his headphones and offers me the chance to sample some of the unreleased EP, to which I duly oblige and I can definitely say I wasn’t disappointed. The musical evolution is clear, and there is definitely a poise and maturity to the music which wasn’t consistently present before. Its one of those records you put on in the car at night on your drive home and just let it run and before you know it your journeys done.

The single ‘Work Get It’ will be available to download from the 3rd August with the release date of the EP coming shortly after. You can pre-order the new single here

Scorcher is making guest appearances in Tenerife and Ibiza over the summer and if you want to keep up to date with any other shows or appearances follow him on twitter @Scorcherslife and on Facebook here.

Interview by Mathieu Isaac.