Emcee and producer Footsie will be fusing Trap and Dubstep into a bassy mesh on his newly-released instrumental LP King Original Vol. 3 and unleashing his latest single Piff, alongside partner in Grime D Double E as one half of the Newham Generals. SB.TV managed to corner the east Londoner to chat about working with Pop acts, Logan Sama and what kind of boss Dizzee Rascal is…
So King Original Vol. 3 is the third in your series of instrumental mixtapes, what can people expect from this instalment?
I think there’s a more musical side of Footsie on there, it’s the same grease you know me for but with a more polished finish. It’s 2014 and obviously the music can’t be sounding like it’s 2003 still, and so you have to add some 2014-ness to it.
It’s interesting you saying that you wanted to take the music into 2014, as you bring Trap into the fold more than ever before on this volume…
Yeah, because Trap is playing a heavy part in the sound of the UK right now – everything from Beyoncé to Katy Perry. People are not so scared of a bit of bass anymore, and I think it’s a good thing. If you come up with the right song, it can be a go, because things are not so commercially led now. I think the Internet can make things big if it wants and that’s good because you can actually get a decent-sized, bangin’ hit from the underground that can get you somewhere.
On Instagram, you recently posted a picture of yourself and London singer/songwriter Angel and expressed some love for his work. I could see him doing something pretty creative with Battery from Vol.3 – does branching out to more Pop-driven artists interest you?
100% bruv. Popular is good, I’ve got tunes with Maverick Sabre and other decent sized singers because they love the music as well. Not everything they do can be for the stars and so you need to catch those people on the right day, with the right tune. No artist is going to turn down the right tune, it’s impossible – if it’s the right tune business will happen. If it’s the wrong tune, they can always worm a way out of recording it. You’ve got to know the artist and the tune you’re gonna pitch to them.
Are there any more inhabitants of the Popworld that you’d like to inject that Grime/Trap flavour into?
[Pauses] There are a few things I’d like to sample, that I’ve heard. [Pauses again] I ain’t saying it because someone will sample it. [Laughs] when I do it, you will know! You will know from this conversation! You’ll go, ‘yes, this has got to be what he was talking about!’
There are things and good bands that interest me. Taking something else and flipping it into a Trap tune – in a good way, not on that cheesy one – if it’s done well then it’s gonna be loved. I’ve got a few things in mind.
Sticking with your Instagram, after only ten minutes of poking my nose around your posts I completely received, understood and registered the depth of your passion for zute…
[Laughs] Yes! Yesss! [Laughs]
So looking at the Newham Generals’ Piff track and the line that goes, ‘I’m high all the tiiime’ – thats not fiction is it?
Piff is real life.
Let’s just say, weed aids your creativity…?
Yeah man, a lot of people say to me ‘I dunno how you do it man!’ I don’t know how I would do it without it.
I guess I’m more of a drinker, and when I want to get completely twated there are certain people that I will contact because they’re great company in that state.
You know tons of emcees, is there anyone you’ll try to have around when you wanna go green? I always imagined Big Narstie would be amazing to have nearby in such a situation…
Narstie is a sick man to bun one with.
Chronik and D Double E. Double is the funniest guy lean.
Is getting high the big secret to the Newham Generals’ solid partnership?
Yeah man. You know what it is? Double is like Snoop, he is one of those people that talks like he spits. It’s weird, Double can sound like a bar sometimes – when he’s talking to you in a lyric, it’s f**ked [laughs].
The Generals are signed to Dirtee Stank, and so I wanted to know if having Dizzee Rascal as a boss is has much fun as it sounds?
It’s the perfect word ‘boss’, because in my eyes he is a boss – I’ve learned loads from him. For someone that is younger than me, he’s taught me loads. He proves that knowledge is not bound by age, he has lived and experienced a lot – stuff that we might not see because of the life that he has lived. To be able call Dizzee a friend…that’s been the best thing to come out of Dirtee Stank. To watch him and learn what’s expected of you if you’re gonna be a big artist. It’s been a priceless learning curve.
He can be that Bonkers guy, he definitely is that Bonkers guy in the video, don’t ever get that twisted but he is very knowledgeable. He does a lot of reading and is more clued up that you’d think, more than you’d expect comin’ from where we’ve come from. He ain’t got the time to sit down and tell you about the Pop scene, you just need to be extracting from him. It’s like sitting in a seminar and taking notes – it’s down to you to be taking notes fam.
Well Dizzee made the top ten of MTV’s latest and much discussed Best Of The Best 2013: UK MC countdown. He was at number five alongside Krept + Konan who were number one and J Spades who was at number two. Ghetts, Fekky, DVS, Squeeks, Giggs, K Koke and G Frsh also make an appearance. What are your thoughts on the results?
So it got decided did it? I don’t give a s**t about lists bruv. If a list is the be-all and end-all of an artist’s existence then you’re not an artist. No list can let me know or confirm to me if I’m good or bad at my job. That’s just me personally, that’s just how I feel. I can’t say anything else on that one.
Twitter lit up, some fans wanted various overlooked rappers to be featured in the rundown, others thought certain acts were placed too high or lucky to be included in the first place. Who would be in your Top Ten?
I dunno bruv, because I don’t listen to enough of it. I listen to whatever comes up and obviously the popular people come up more often. I saw my son yesterday and he was like, “have you heard Don’t Waste My Time?” I know it’s on his wave, that’s on his radar. I just listen to whatever I’m told because whatever the normal person likes, it helps me to know because I’m not a normal ear.
I don’t really listen to music sometimes – it’s mad. I like what’s current, but I’m too busy to even listen to music. When I’m in my car – that’s the most I listen to music. Other than that I’m either building it or writing to it – and if I’m not doing that then…I’m doing nothing.
Until that passion for zute kicks in…
Yes. Straight! [All laugh]
Obviously you know Grime DJ Logan Sama has left Kiss FM after ten years on air at the station, and what keeps coming up with him is this theme of ownership; taking ownership of one’s output and not having it altered for anyone else’s agenda. Can you relate to that?
Yeah, I think Logan is going to be bigger now. Now the shackles are off, he got what he needed out of it. How many times did he trend #KissGrime around the world?
He’s got a pretty big responsibility on him now, I’m chuffed for him because I know the kind of guy that he is and I know that he will see it through. I know he is making plans as we speak. I think it’s a bigger moment for Grime rather than a death.
Without trying to demonise Kiss FM or whomever else, I don’t believe that the regular Grime fan, with no aspirations to enter the industry has a complete understanding about this supposed ‘shackling’ that is being constantly referred to. Can you shed some light onto that, as a Grime artist?
Anything legal has its guidelines – and that’s it. Grime has no guidelines really, other than be raw and innovative. The guidelines sort of go against everything Logan is trying to be. He had two hours, then he had an hour – ‘you can’t say this, you can’t film the footage there.’ It was all too connected to the stuff a legal station can’t really be connected to, and so now the shackles are off.
Now he can get whoever he needs down in the studio, he can say whatever he needs to say. He can record sets without the bleeps in and stuff cut out, and it will be better because that stuff is the juicy bit.
That stuff is Grime.
That’s it, That’s it.
Well, Ghetts just scored a position a smidge outside the Top 20 in the Official UK Albums Chart and Skepta recently headlined a show in New York – the scene is in a pretty good place eh?
Yeah man it’s massive, because they’re all bait names and are the dons that should be doing it – and they are doing it. So I’ve got love for it tenfold, keep it coming. All success gets charged back to the game and so the yutes below are gonna get a bigger scene to rise up into.