Meet the new enfant terrible of the British music industry, slowthai. Artists like this come around once every couple of decades. Crafting slap-you-in-the-face tunes with an addictive energy, the inimitable Northampton MC is rapidly taking over the UK’s capital. But while the aggression is what grabs you, he’s actually a really nice young chap with good intentions. His lyrical skill set is second to none, spitting over beats crafted by his sonic co-D, Kwes Darko. Viper speaks to the rapper shaking everything up in London and beyond.
What have you got coming next – I feel like you’ve got a little project rolling out?
Nah not really, we’re just building up working getting everything in the right place. Making sure we got the works so that does the speaking, rather than being out here, tryna be a party boy.
Yeah its probably quite hard cos your quite in demand right now with parties, you know?
I’m cute, and life is good – we living – never be sad, be happy.
That’s a good motto. You’ve got a very high energy level – your shows are the type that you don’t go to if you don’t wanna get hit in the face.
Yeah and if you don’t like sweat, you gotta ‘low it. It’s just somewhere you just can be yourself. You ain’t gotta watch and think, “oh it’s for the gram.” You can be who you are, everyone can be somebody. The shows go crazy, if you throw up on somebody it’s OK. If you feel sad, come be happy and if you’re angry, you can go be angry, let it out but don’t hurt anybody intentionally.
There’s a real punk vibe to your shows – moshing and not caring about what’s going on around you. With the London scene people are still aware – but you’ve taken that away with this energy.
Everyone focuses too much on the look and the way they should be, rather of just being themselves when they go out. I feel its weak how people separate themselves. I’m hyperactive, I’m very touchy-feely, all over the place. So for me to come and be all chilled? I feel it’s weak how people try and separate themselves, like they are the sorry people and you are up here on this level, when really everyone is the same. So everyone should be equal and think they’re just as great as everyone else. People need to let loose – everything is too controlled by perception. It’s more rebellion – not so much punk, it’s an energy in itself.
If you don’t really care, and don’t want to be like, “I don’t want to get my shoes dirty.” Have fun and don’t worry about what anyone thinks, think for yourself and follow your heart. And if that’s punk, then that’s punk – I think it’s just being, the need to just be. If anyone tells you you can’t do something, do it – if you really want to do it. Just think, what is right for yourself? Then break through everything else, break boundaries break limits.
Just shout in people’s faces – if you gotta let em know! I think it comes from people not giving you the opportunity, when people push you down and oppress you, the more you get it, the more anger! As opposed to I’ll just bite my top lip and sit in the corner, you know?
This is an extract from Viper’s SS18 issue. Buy physical and digital copies via Viper World.