Paul J Nelson better known as Phoenix Da Icefire is a deep lyrical hip hop artist from East London, and is one part of the well respected group Triple Darkness. His debut album ‘The Quantum Leap‘ features Ruste Juxx, Keith Murray, Klashnekoff, Kyza and more, with production from Chemo and Beat Butcha.
What were the main inspirations for producing and writing for the album Quantum Leap?
Originally the album was going to be called ‘Right Timing’ because of an incident which happened which made me view time in a different way, for that split moment in time everything was in sync… the music matched the actions of the muted TV and with the conversation I was having all at once and I had never seen that before, it changed my perception of time and life itself thus the concept of the album was born. I then began looking at quantum mechanics and saw the natural growth of the album as a kind of portal to another time as the tracks were so far from each other in the same universe/album… I then re-named it “The Quantum Leap” for that reason.
The cover of the album means many things. It’s me sacralising myself and my time for my city and the love of true hip hop. It is also an oxymoron because the very thing that has set me free in the scene (as this is my first album) is the same thing that has caged me, because making real hip hop puts you in a box I feel and is unattractive to the mainstream heads.
Why did you decide to bring the likes of Keith Murray and Klashnekoff on the track together?
It was something that a lot of people didn’t think I could do, so I decided to pull it off making it a rare jewel on the album.
‘The Point of No Return’ Ft. Keith Murray & Klashnekoff
Did you always have the passionate drive towards music from a young age? If so how did you channel that in your early projects/ventures?
I first channelled my energy into Triple Darkness’s first release “Anathema” and having no product out there of my own made me want to push that particular sound only they brought in the UK scene at the time.
Were there any childhood influences or role models you could count on, as moulding the person you have become today?
My dad was the best representation of what a strong man should be. My mum/living Goddess taught me how to survive with almost nothing. Minister Rebel & Dr Malachi taught my about ancient Africa which I feel was and still is very important.
What advice would you give your teenage self, and young adults who want to break and succeed in this industry?
Make sure you love the art form you intend to use, discover your own love and signature and use your imagination – don’t be caged behind the bars you write.
How would you describe your style of hip hop to a to someone deciding whether to buy your album?
I’m telling you something you don’t know in a way you’ve never heard the story told. The album is an original concept that has never been done before and five years worth of pain, suffering and craft has gone into it. This album is the closest friend and diary I have never consciously kept.
Phoenix Da Icefire’s debut album “The Quantum Leap” is available to buy now from
Interview by Katie Allen and Nick BlatantlyBlunt
Online Editing by Nick BlatantlyBlunt