Distinctive South East London rapper D-Kel of Colombian & Irish heritage presents his new alternative, energetic and emotive new EP ‘Genuine’. The unique hybrid of Ska, Dub, Indie Rock and Rap combines perfectly to form an innovative, exciting, fresh new sound destined stand out from the crowd. Drawing inspiration from Artists such as Smiley Culture, London Posse (Rodney P), The Beat, The Specials, Jamie T, The Streets & Plan B (Stricklands Bank).
“I didn’t set out to make a song which follows a certain formula, I’m becoming more open and experimental with my music which I believe has a positive impact on the quality, some people might call it indie-rap or Ska-Hop, to me its just music influenced by what I like”
The EP certainly does have a feeling of something classic, somewhat vintage but yet refreshing and original, an strong British representation is featured throughout the EP, whilst the EP is varied, there is a consistent sound flowing throughout the tracks which have been carefully produced by D-Kel’s long term producer team ‘Insynthesia’. Enjoy our interview with D-Kel below, where we chat about his newest EP “Genuine”, and get the inside scoop on the idea behind the new music video for “Bounce”.
Where did your interest in Rap/Indie/Ska & Dub sprout from? It’s a mix of genres you don’t see often! It’s a few reasons really, Rap music was my first love I guess but in London with a huge appreciation for Sound System Culture, which is visible in our own homegrown genres like Grime, which has dub/dancehall influences you can even hear it in the early days of Jungle music. Growing up my father would play bands like The Specials, The Beat (British Beat). Reggaeton was also quite a big influence in my early teens, being half Colombian I was really intrigued that the Latin community has this hybrid genre of Rap & Reggae. I guess the indie influence came a bit later, quite recent to be honest, as you get older you become more open minded and try new things out/listen to new stuff.
Tell us about your EP, Genuine! What was the recording/writing process like? It was an interesting process really; it was the first project I had done with the production duo ‘InSynthasesia’. What was interesting is a lot of the tracks on the EP are actually old rock songs, ‘InSynthasesia’ used to play live back in the day, so we literally brought them back, kept the fundamental sound and just changed a few things and what not, working like this meant we got the foundation of the music sorted pretty quickly and once that’s done, the writing part comes really easy for me then.
Which song would you say was the most challenging to write/record? I would say ‘Game On’ it’s about a friendship that turned to a ‘Situationship’, and it was hard to write and record as it meant being honest to myself about how I had such a mix of emotions at that point with this person and it was also challenging as that situation changed so much, had so many twists and turns, ups and downs so I think there’s defiantly more I could say carrying on from that track, It’s all good though, might sound cliché but music is my therapy.
Which song do you prefer to play live? Why? Oh wow, that’s tricky, I’ll do with ‘Better Days’, it’s got that indie/punk influence, that Ska break, quite fast flows, the song comes from a place of frustration but looking at the bright side of things, I have a dark sense of humor at times, the kind that inappropriate at serious times. I think the lyrics to the song are quite liberating, pretty much says I don’t care what happens because I know for certain there are better times ahead.
Tell us a bit about your music video for “Bounce”. Where did the idea stem from? As an up and coming artist, you have to use the most of the resources available to you and I think with music videos, it makes sense to have a simple idea, with a loose story line and ensure its executed properly. I chose the quirky coffee shop as we in a ‘coffee shop’ generation young creative professionals are always in such places, working or having meetings etc. I thought it would be something relatable to people, and in terms of the concept, I didn’t think too much about it, ‘Bounce’ is a fun, tongue & cheek kind of track and I wanted that to come across in the video.
What is next for you in 2016? I’ve got a video for ‘Breakdown’ coming out soon, and hopefully will get a video for ‘Better Days’ before the year is out! and start work on the next project, which at the moment I have a working title which is ‘In Spirits We Trust’ it’s going to be a bit more darker, more personal, I’m looking forward to it.