Razor from North West London has been blowing up the spot with his video to 'Sci-fi' getting aired on Channel AKA playlist, as well as doing a video for Linkup TV for his song ‘Closer’. Razor also won a talent competition called 'In It To Win It' which has given him an opportunity to do a lot more things in the industry. Now with his mixtape release out, Razor is aiming for the top! Tricksta asks the questions…
When did you start making music and was there a person or artist that inspired you to start writing songs and hit the studio?
I started writing lyrics in 1999 when I was 12 years old, my older brother’s friend use to make garage taped of him MC’ing. He used to come around and play them, he was sick! That inspired me. I started writing songs at 16, I weren't really taking it seriously, then I went to Malia in 2008 and saw Ghetts perform at the Tim Westwood party. That’s when I started taking it seriously.
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?
Thanks, my mixtape is called 'Reinventing’, I featured four people on it. Foz Tee, Tbless and Regime and I got a hook (sample) of Example. There’s only 1 verse I had from another artist on my mixtape. That was Tbless I took his mixtape from dark n cold in Soho and liked his rawness. So I asked him for a feature, and it was hard. Plus I had Regime (one of my producers) and Foz Tee on some hooks, coz there are the king of hooks. I worked with a lot of different producers; I used some beats from a few US artists. A few of the producers are Regime, Epic, Inks, Dj Eastwood and YT mikes. It took me about a year to do.
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?
I would say my music is very honest and it has so much depth to everything I say, I would say I paint pictures. I talk about everyday life and what affects me. I have had a lot of friends that hated on me for dumb reasons; actually because of there own insecurities so I address things like that. I am not just 1 type of artist though; I have very different type of songs. Rap/grime anything.
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?
I love writing and recording because when I am in the zone I don't care what people think, I just write how I feel. The best feeling is writing a song and knowing that you absolutely killed it, or when I write a sick punch line knowing it’s hard. Also when people come up to you saying I love this or that song. You’re sick! I love hearing other people’s opinion and feedback. The thing I don't love so much is when I write a song, and I feel like it sell-buy-date has gone but people still like it and try and play it to me. Sometimes it makes me cringe.
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?
Yes, everything I do comes out of my own pocket. I don't have a label; I am just on my own grind. However, I have a single called 'I don't wanna lose you' feat Foz Tee. Which is being released to all major online stores around the world through Musicroy. When it comes to you getting signed I just want to put my own work in, then hopefully I make a lot of noise for people to notice me.
How are you getting your project out there? Do you have a distributor involved or maybe some shops/websites stocking & supporting your music?
I have done a lot of YouTube videos and have my mixtape on a lot of websites such as :www.freemixtape.co.uk, www.ukrapmusic.com and www.mixtapemadness.co.uk. So that's how my music is distributed. When it comes to you getting signed I just want to put my own work in, then hopefully I make a lot of noise for people to notice me. I also do a lot of shows and give out freebies of my cd to the audience, so that's how I try and get myself out there. Dark N Cold which is a shop in central have my mixtape in there, they help me distribute my music as well.
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?
Yes, I have had some Dj's play my music. Dj Col-j from Deja Vu FM has supported me; to be honest a lot of Dj's from 1xtra have my cd. I'm not going to say no names, but a lot of them have it. When I see them again and ask 'have u heard it yet?’ a lot of them say no. This can be quite frustrating, because I feel like the same people saying we should support UK music, don’t! Dj Quincy from choice fm has supported me, Dj skratchee and I speak to Dj Limelight from time to time.
Do you enjoy playing live? Have you done many gigs and what kind of artists have you supported or played alongside?
Yes, I enjoy playing live. It shows people what you've got. It’s a good buzz; I try and do 2 to 3 gigs a week just to promote myself. I have supported and played alongside a lot of people, such as: English Frank, Don Strapzy (Dru Blu), Roachee, Big Man Zest, Doller Da Dustman, Gfrsh, Dotstar and a lot more big names.
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?
I spend a lot on my artwork for my mixtape covers, when it comes to branding. I don't really deal with that side of things. Recently, I have had a lot of friends doing t-shirts and trying to push that out. I am very easy going so I am helping them push all of there brands and there's about 4 of them. I have been sponsored by 'statemeant' clothing recently because I won 'in it to win it' and that comes with part of my prize. Lowkey has also help promote this brand.
What was the last album you brought and apart from Hip-Hop what other genres of music do you listen too?
A few days ago, I bought 9 albums and 2 mixtapes. These were artists such as Wretch 32, J Cole, Lil Wayne and a few others. I haven't had the time to get through all of them; I listened to two Joe Budden mixtapes and Beyonces new album. I listen to anything grime, rock, pop. It’s good to keep an open mind to music, so it’s easier to adapt.
Have you got any videos on You Tube and have any ever got played on TV Stations?
Yes, I have done freestyles and videos for my tunes with Rap city and Linkup TV. Also with a lot of up and coming stations. A lot of my performances are on YouTube aswell, my tune 'Sci-Fi' that I originally done for Rap city has been on rotation on Channel AkA's hoodtube. I have recently submitted another video to them. A TV episode called 'the endz', which comes on sky digital's channel 219 has had my song 'unborn child' played on it as well.
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?
Right now I just plan on making as much music as possible, finish promoting my mixtape. Do a lot more videos and shows. Putting more music out there and on TV. Getting my music played by Dj's and management and also a distribution deal. If I could do these things, I know a lot more could come from me.
Get 'Razor's' mixtape 'Reinventing' from
Facebook: Todd Allison
Interview by Tricksta