Ellie Hewitt, London - United Kingdom - on 18/7/12
Brazenly British dubstep, hip hop, grime collective Foreign Beggars take some time to tell Pulse's Ellie Hewitt about their upcoming album 'The Uprising' out later this summer on Mau5trap as well as their last single. They also cite some seriously good advice for up and coming MC's and hip hop outfits, give us a bit of an insight as to what records they would take with them to outer space, underground becoming overground, bling tin men, wizards and lions.
Your album ‘The Uprising’ is due out this summer on Mau5trap, what kind of things can we expect to find on there? How long has it been in the making? There’s a bunch of dope music reflective of the wide range of sounds we’re into, production comes from Alix Perez, Kid Kanevil, Starkey, Knife Party, Burns, Salva and Nasty Nasty, Millions Like Us and drums from the legend that is Tommy Lee from 90- 172 bpm it covers a wide spectrum of some of our favourite producers.
Will it be a physical CD too? Would you say there’s been a resurgence in the comeback of the ‘album’ recently? Why do you think this is? We will be making cd’s and some really special packages and limited edition vinyl releases, up until now for the singles, Flying to Mars and Palm of My Hand, its been digital only.
Tell us about your latest single that’s just been out - ‘Flying To Mars’, what were the influences and aims for the release?It’s a song about journeys, life journeys, journeys of the night. There’s a dialogue there that a lot of people from our generation, when they go out, will be familiar with, sonically we wanted to take it back to a more roots yuk sound and made more of a song as opposed to a genre track with hooks and choruses etc.
If you were exiled to outer space, which records would you take to Mars to explain yourselves as people and artists to any aliens/other life forms? Flako, its only fair cause he did the first space shit on the moon, and George Clinton and Om Unit to translate I'd also take Ras G from the Afrikan Space Programme to communicate with his 404, Pink Floyd, portishead, Meshuggah, MF DOOM Viktor Vaughn, Goldie Timeless, Logical Progression 1, Pantera Vulgar Display Of Power
You’ve collaborated with so many artists across a very broad genre spectrum, have there been any particular projects that you’ve found particularly inspiring? The Noisia relationship has always been special, the way of working closely together in the studio means a lot of ideas are bounced back and forth, and we get on as people really well. It's turned out to be some of the music we’re most proud of, but the relationship with Alix Perez is incredible, we smash out tracks and it’s really electric everytime we get into the studio. Donaeo is also a beast in the studio.
You’ve all been in the industry for a long time, what advice would you give to people just starting out? (Particularly MC’s and hip hop outfits). Be original. Learn your craft, do your research and don’t give up too easily. It's important to be single minded in what you want to achieve but know when to listen- there’s always gonna be someone out there with more experience / different view on things that’s worth listening to but don't be afraid to invest in yourself.
How would you say the sound of UK hip hop has changed over the last few years? Are there any predictions you can make for the future? Seems there’s still some great mc’s in all genres coming out. Kids are less pigeonholed nowadays, which is great. Things come in waves and I think we’re on the cusp of a new wave of good rap music coming, and the producers have branched out and are repping on a world stage as opposed to just niche uk fanbases.
Do you think there’s an increase in the underground becoming ‘overground’ or more mainstream? Everything moves in cycles.. ‘overground’ music by its nature will always cater to a wider audience, people at work, drinking in the pub/local club, generally they wanna hear big melodies and generic hooks that don’t make you think too much. Having said that I think people now are more and more exploring ways of hearing interesting music, and have ways of finding out more what they like; internet portals/ digital radio etc. gives us these opportunities. Everything's becoming available to the masses and slowly people are figuring out there's more than what's thrown in your face through the big corporations.
You’ve just played at Glade, and then you’ve got Kolor, Dours, Creamfields in Spain to name a few, what are your festival essentials as a unit? Dours is special, one of the top 3 electronic festivals in the world in my opinion, really looking forward to Creamfields too. As for essentials wet wipes and an extra telephone battery, and raincoat if it's in the UK
OV and Nonames, you met through doing the production of the ‘Wizard Of Oz’, out of the four of you who is the Tin Man, the Lion, Toto… Dorothy? Yeh OV and I were doing the sound for that in some uni theatre production 10yrs ago, but if we were the actors, OV would be the Wizard, E would be the tin man, cause he always blingin, and I'd be the Lion. "Let me at emmmm".
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