At the start of the millennium bubbling in the underground of London, almost parallel to dubstep, a new genre of music called grime was born. With the difficulties of crossing over to mainstream success over the past 15 years, no one could have predicted the great success that the genre has had over the past 18 months. PressPlay sits down with one of the original grime makers Dirty Danger to ask him what he’s been up to within the grime scene.
For those that aren’t aware, do you want to quickly tell everybody what you do and how they may know of you?
I’m Dirty Danger. You may know me from a grime crew called Ruff Sqwad. We’ve been ac-tive since 2001 and I was one of the main producers and MC’s. I’d say Ruff Sqwad were one of the original grime crews. To this day you’ll still hear our tunes and instrumentals get dropped in grime and non grime raves. I’ve been making music for about 15 years and I’m now a solo artist.
Last time I spoke to you was around the time of your last release ‘Danger Season,’ how did that do? Did you receive a lot of good feedback?
Yeah, good, the people who received it gave me some really good feedback and it got a few reviews in different magazines. A lot of them were writing what I expected them to write, I’m glad it was understood and was happy with what they said about it. It was a learning curve because when I was making the EP I wanted to experiment and not make the same stuff that I’d been making for the past 10 years. That’s why you got tracks like ‘Realness’ on there. I knew that the people who listen to me via the broadcasters that currently support me wouldn’t fully understand it. People just had to understand that my mind is very wide and it was a case of branching out a bit more musically when I made Danger Season. More recently you produced Tinchy Stryder’s latest track featuring the Chuckle Brothers – how did that come about?
[Laughs] This came around when Tinchy met The Chuckle Brothers on The Keith Lemon Show. Tinchy approached me and said he wanted studio time with The Chuckle Brothers. I thought to myself – ‘Seriously, what do you want to do with them in the studio?’ I didn’t un-derstand what he wanted to do with them [laughs].
How was it working with them? That studio session must have been different compared to what you’re normally used to?
Yeah that studio session was really fun. It was a bit quiet at the start but we all had a little smoke and drink together and caught a real vibe. I made a beat and Tinchy had the idea of laying down The Chuckle Brothers’ catchphrases and we created something around that. It was like a rap battle really, they were going back and forth responding to anything that Tinchy said. I didn’t think I would have that much fun. I always knew we weren’t going to make a serious song, how can we make a serious song with The Chuckle Brothers? They came in my studio, we just messed around in the session and had a lot of laughs. I get con-fused between the two but I think it was Paul that always forgets things. One time he forgot his jacket in a black cab and it had their tickets to go home and I used to think ‘Is this guy on his TV show right now? What is he doing?’ [laughs]
The video hit over a million views in four days, how did that feel?
Its mad because we put a little video up on Instagram and that was supposed to be it. But then Jamal Edwards wanted to shoot a video for it and then Nick Grimshaw wanted us in the Live Lounge and DJs were playing it on Radio 1. We didn’t expect any of that, we didn’t expect it to go viral like it did. Sometimes you do things and you never know whats going to come from it, it’s good to get involved in other things other than what you already know.
So it’s almost the new year, have you been planning or working on any new projects for 2015? What have you got in store for us?
I’ve been working on loads of new music to kill 2015 with. It’s important to stay consistent but I’m very picky with what I put out. 2015 will start off with some singles then towards the end of the year a body of work will come out.
I have got double the job, but as I said I’m very picky. When it comes to production, I know exactly how I want something to sound, so that’s why you’ll hear me on my own beat most of the times. Some call it picky but I like to think I’m a perfectionist.
You have been making music for 15 years now. In those 15 years what would you say is your greatest achievement?
Releasing the I Aint Rich Yet album and supporting Ghetts on tour were big moments for me. Getting ‘Hard Bodied’ on the B List of Radio 1 playlist and on film soundtracks were al-so big achievements for me. Also making all them tracks for Tinchy and supporting Skepta on tour were really cool. Ive had some good moments but I know there’s a lot more mo-ments to come to make them achievement look minute.
Speaking of Skepta, did you watch the Red Bull Culture Clash?
[In astonishment] I was there watching from the Boy Better Know stage.
What did you think of the show overall?
BBK put on a good show, Rebel Sound put on a good show. I think its right they won, they obviously worked hard for first place. Everybody got the place they deserved.
What did you think when you saw Tempa T on the Rebel Sound stage?
[laughs] I knew you was going to ask me that. I was shocked, I thought to myself “Really? REALLY?” But I wasn’t angry, a lot of people were angry, but he’s not Boy Better Know, he’s never claimed to be Boy Better Know, and people forget he’s done tracks with Chase and Status. People forget it’s just a clash, it’s not personal, he’s got to do what he needs to do to make his career bigger. It was just a game and he played it even if it did cause pain to the grime scene. If Boy Better Know would have won the clash, no one would have cared about it.
Dirty Danger’s ‘Danger Season’ is available now.
Interview by Huda Funk