|B-iLLA from Cambridge, UK|
|Written by tricksta|
|Tuesday, 10 January 2012 22:01|
When did you start making music and was there a person or artist that inspired you to start writing songs and hit the studio?
Dillahman: I started making music because I come from a music orientated family, My late father was a DJ and my uncle was throwing a lot of the raves in the Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire area in the late 80’s all the way to the late 90’s. In 2006 My older brother “Biggz” started writing rap music In his room and with that I used to hear him in his bedroom and I used to go up the local parks and estates with my friends and we would sit and cypher/battle. In 2007/8 My brother took it to the next stage and went to record his debut album titled “The Darkness” with collaboration’s from one of my biggest inspiration’s Liam “Diggy Don” Walsh. That pushed me to take it seriously and finally in 2009 I hit the studio for the first time Recording my first track as an artist with my older brother over a Lewis parker instrumental, Its hard for me to say who really inspired me to become a rapper as there are so many brilliant artists from the UK and from the States, But hands down Skinnyman and DMX have to be in the top five for me!
BiGGZ: Well… (LOL), I first started making music when I was 13! I began playing guitar and stuff when I was around that age, messing around with my boys n that, always been into music as its been a big thing in my family since I can remember… one of my earliest memories is my dad bopping around doing the hovering, big hash zoot, bent up at one end listening to “Break 4 love – Raze”, he always loved rapped, and always used to boast about managing a rap crew when he was younger in London running round the streets. I believe my first taste of UK hip hop/ rap music was “Bring Forth The Guillotine by Silver Bullet”, and again, it was my dad spinning me the record when I was probably not even 7, that’s when I knew music was for me, I loved it how it makes you feel, like you just forget everyone around you and everything on you’re mind when your stuck into a particular jam you know! After that it just went from there, used to love garage, the typically oxide neutrino when I was that age, didn’t know a hell of allot, the obvious 2pac, Dr.Dre, NWA,WU etc … out of all the older lot, for me its without a doubt Tupac, the guy is a legend! More than any music artist has ever been, he was more than music, he was an all round entertaining artist! He had it all, and I loved that, someone from the struggle can get too that; a rose from the concrete. At the end of the day, LIFE inspires me… I lost my FATHER at 18, tragically… a best friend to suicide a year later, then my “real” dad also to suicide just before this Christmas (2011), I’m still here for a reason, and I’m just about to go HARD!
Let’s talk about your latest project, its sounding really tight. Who features on it, who dealt with the production and how long did it take to make?
B-iLLA: Our upcoming project, set to be hosted, promoted and largely supported by the big daddy Tricksta and the park street family. We are yet to come up with a final name for the project but it will be the first instalment of several UK Runnings projects. Production ranges from a varied list of talented producers from around the world with the likes of Dead Man Walkn, Show N Prove, Tricksta, Apozitiv, E21 productions (Mr. BoomBap) and many more. We are still in the writing stages of productions however we have so far confirmed features from Genesis Elijah, Ruthless, Big Dutty Deeze, LifeScarz (power military), Real Tally Fam (Madd Man Jeff), Supar Novar, Terra Slim, AC and more so keep watch for this!
How would you describe the music that you make? I know it’s hard to compare yourself to other artists and styles, but what kind of vibe is your music on?
B-iLLA: Like you said its difficult to compare and we don’t really like to do so, because we like to believe we’ve got something different to bring to the game, HOWEVER … Its hiphop! There’s no other way to describe it really, it’s a way of life, a journey along a path, you can draw from your experiences and stories and make it reflect in you’re music, and basically... Everyone’s got a story!! We appreciate real, and we like to follow the artists that are doing it right now from all over – we like the vibe that EXo from USG and his whole team are on at the moment, there’s definitely some talent there. On the other hand, there are crews like London Zoo that are really doing it for us right now, PiffGang… and of course the WolfTown crew, FlipLife, PLC, the whole scene! It’s a vibe in itself!!!
What do you enjoy the most about the whole process of recording and writing music? Is there something that you absolutely love and is there anything that maybe you don’t like doing as much?
Dillahman: I enjoy every single bit of the process!! I love seeing progression in myself and within my team and receiving recognition for my efforts from people around me. Its good to be noticed for something good you’re doing. I love the vibe in the studio when you absolutely nail something and its like ok, done! Its an overwhelming feeling too when you get support from people that you sit there listening too, people sharing you’re videos. But as for what I don’t like, its hard… coz I just record while the boys cut it up and mix it afterwards! Lol!! ;)
Biggz: Everyone probably says that but I do enjoy it all. Seeing it piece together like a jigsaw puzzle throughout the whole process is amazing. Recording at someone else’s studio where you are just the artist is good, when you’re able to chill out and just do what you do; I don’t get too do that allot! Hahaha!! Having allot of equipment available to me, I do allot of the work myself now, and it can be quite draining; but it’s the best feeling hearing the final product after you’ve sat there for hours swearing at a screen, haha! But over everything, I don’t bitch about nothing, I love the music, I love the hustle, i'm on the grind!!!!
Are you releasing your music on your own label or do you have a team that is aiming to help you get signed to a major?
B-iLLA: Well… we are B-iLLA. It’s a stage name, and a label in itself. “Biggz and Dillah” was made into B-iLLA so we could perform under a collective stage name, but as we’ve grown and expanded its much more of a family – we come as a duo primarily, but there’s a whole team under the wing, DJDenzelP, DjDee, Don Walshie, Jacky B, BiG Brad, DeFacto, and that’s without everyone supporting and buying the CD’s on road! But as we have these plans coming together for the first instalment with UK Runnings, we are looking to work with Park Street PR and Tricksta allot more in 2012 and beyond! So, who knows what time can do? WATCH THIS….
How are you getting your project out there? Do you have a distributor involved or maybe some shops/websites stocking & supporting your music?
B-iLLA: Mistah Biggz’s first project is a available from our mans studio website which is Vertical Room Recordings. However, both recent projects are available for free download at http://mistabiggz.bandcamp.com . As for the next project, we will be pushing the release very much independently with a few street teams up and down the country, but support will be shown from UK Runnings and the team!
Getting radio play can be hard for unsigned Hip-Hop artists, but have you had any radio play and if so what DJ’s and stations have supported you?
B-iLLA: As of yet, we haven’t had much “airplay”, we’ve been featured on a few online broadcasts around the country, Mistah Biggz has featured on Cambridgeshire based radio station “Rapture FM” a couple of times in the past, but even still this was like 5 years ago when starting out! Our main focused recently has been writing/recording for our next projects, and networking!
Do you enjoy playing live? Have you done many gigs and what kind of artists have you supported or played alongside?
Dillahman: For me I love performing live, It’s a feeling you cant explain. The first time I performed on stage was at a hip-hop show case for Hoochinoo/RTM family in London, alongside some great emcees like JokerrStar, Granville Sessions, Lewi London, LifeScarz among others, but I really enjoyed it. We done a second show in London at the same venue a little while after, again in association with Hoochinoo/RTM Family, this was in early 2011. Since then we have been more focused on recording new projects to promote, but plan on attending many more live shows and open mic sessions soon including the roadblock session with our Real Tally Family popping up in Northampton, and The All Out Show with Chris Ongaro in London… But yeah, LOVE IT!
Let’s talk image and branding for a minute. Some artists spend lots of money on artwork and other acts aren’t that interested. How important is image, artwork and branding to you?
B-iLLA: As we’ve expanded as label and brought more people into the time, ideas have been spiralling out of control! Let it be known now, that B-iLLA is more than just a hip-hop act from the grimy suburbs of the UK, we are an network and a label; looking into exploring comedy, clothing and other entertainment! We believe its important to try and achieve a niche, which of course everyone try’s to do, however we are a brother duo, with a large collective of talent with big support, so all you can do is watch out for us!!!
What was the last album you brought and apart from Hip-Hop what other genres of music do you listen too?
Dillahman: Honestly…… I’m unsure!! Alicia keys was the last album I brought that I wouldn’t consider “hip-hop” but then again, is it?! Lol…
Biggz: I actually brought Liam Gallagher’s latest album with his band the highflying birds. I really like it; I’m a big, big Oasis fan! And that was only a couple of weeks ago I got that, great album!! I listen to allot of music, I love drum and bass, and the old school jungle, and used to be a raver! I love experimenting with my own music too, so its good to listen to other genres.
Have you got any videos on You Tube and have any ever got played on TV Stations?
B-iLLA: We have a few videos on YouTube; we have our own channel, which you can find at “BEiLLATV” if you want to search for that. Our first video was recorded on a budget of absolutely nothing with a low budget camera, but we felt it important to get something out there visual, something for people to see, that was early 2011; around the same time we released a video for Dillahmans track “To:Dad” which can also be found on our channel. We have recently filmed 3 videos with upcoming filming and media crew “UV.UK” (Urban Vibes), 1 live performance of a track, 1 freestyle video and a HD Hood Video, for our track “Holdin Me Back” which is being dropped on Friday 13th January 2011 on the UV.UK YouTube channel!
So what does the future hold for you as an artist? Have you got any big plans that you can tell us about before you go?
B-iLLA: All we can say RIGHT NOW … is WATCH this space with intensity, the first instalment of the UK runnings series with B-iLLA and the family will be dropping mid this year……………. But until then… its all love, and keep watching!!!!!!!
Dillahman Twitter: @dillahman
Interview by Tricksta
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 22:12|