Interview: Stylo G talks MOBO victory, crossing genres and more!
The UK dancehall scene has traditionally had mixed fortunes when it comes to cross-over success, with the limelight traditionally being placed on Caribbean and American artists. Despite there being no lack of quality, the music has been pigeonholed, but over the past few years Stylo G has given flight to the sound.
Having collaborated with Clean Bandit, Major Lazer and Basement Jaxx, plus a record deal with 3Beat, he also won a MOBO award this year and a earnt top 20 hit with the bass thumping ‘Soundbwoy’. Nick BBlunt spoke to Stylo recently to discuss ‘that’ MOBO acceptance speech, the power of Bob Marley, and how he used to earn a living before music paid it’s way!
Good to meet you Stylo, big congratulations on the recent MOBO success! Your acceptance speech was pretty memorable! How did you feel once they announced your name, leading up the speech?
I felt it was like a performance – on stage in front of thousands of people, my heart was beating rapidly and when I was on the platform I started singing “Call me a yardie”, to get in the zone and make myself feel comfortable!
The new single combines your debut 2011 hit ‘Call me a yardie” with a Bob Marley classic – tell me the story behind that one
I just wanted to refresh the old track, and make it appeal to a wider audience, and it works!
After touring across Europe and Africa I realized just how big reggae music was, and how much respect Bob Marley held too…
Any time soon I have a track dropping with Cham and Shaggy on the VIP remix of ‘Call me a leader’. It’s such an honour to work with those two. Also have songs with Sean Paul and Damian Marley coming next, so sit back and put on your seat belt for that… it should be ready very soon!
You have managed successfully cross genres whilst keeping your authentic sound – what has led you down that path?
When I’m in the UK my brain is very open and I get exposed to these EDM and dance records – I have got tracks with Major Lazer and Dillon Francis coming soon also so watch out for them
What is the most effective platform for the reggae sound in your opinion?
Reggae dancehall is being pushed heavily on the internet but historically it lives in streets – a lot of the songs come from the trenches… the producers release them, they’re being played in the streets and the radio then pick it up.
Are there any artists you’re bringing through currently?
Yea – the Warning Crew, which consists of Lisa Mercedes, Juvinile and a lot more – for now I’m pushing the artists who have been working with me for years!
Which other reggae artists are doing a lot for you at the moment?
Chronixx is taking it to a different level, with that live sound – sometimes there’s about ten of them live on stage, and that’s a different look. Then you have Sean Paul who is bringing that cross over, dance sound at the same time!
Any little known facts about Stylo G you can reveal?!
Yea I’m a skilled carpenter, and did chippy work for five years so I’m good with the hammer, drills and nails. It’s something I was doing while recording music to pay the bills but since then the music took over!
Any message to the fans?
Big up all the people supporting my music and believing in the movement, fighting for reggae music in the UK and showing them we got talent here for reggae. Also thanks to everyone who voted for me in the MOBOs – big up yourselves and look out for my album next year!