Updated: Jan 10, 2020
Before he jumped on tour with Professor Green, we grabbed Dream Mclean to celebrate the release of ALIEN!, the rapper's intergalactic new EP. The full project drops November 22nd on Potent Funk, and on your favourite streaming services. Before ALIEN! lands, read Dream's theories on martians, oranges, and *hits blunt* moments...
Do aliens exist?
“Yeah. Yeah, they do but it’s a sticky one.”
If aliens invaded London today, what would they think?
“They kind of already have. They already live amongst us, they’re already here – you might be talking to one right now. You know what I mean? When you actually deep it it's mad.”
What does the EP ALIEN! mean to you?
“Well an alien is someone who’s not from somewhere, right? To me, being from Colchester and being from outside of the scene it’s always been a kind of different way of looking at things. That was obviously what a lot of that was based on, but also the sound of the music I was making. It had a kind of sci-fi future sound to the vibe so that tied in. But yeah, it’s definitely that ‘outsider’ thing, that’s the meaning behind ALIEN! So in a way, I think they exist, but not the little green ones. It would be weird if we’d been guessing this whole time and they actually looked like that init.”
What’s the story behind lead single ‘E.T. (Ft. Alxndr London)’?
“We did this tune like two or three years ago and I was working a nine-to-five at the time. I left work, went to a pub, got a bit waved, went to the studio, and on the way I wrote them bars in the cab. Earbuds was in there making this beat and the verse I wrote went to it. I put that on straight away, but since then the beat has changed three times. It’s always had the same drums, but I think it comes from sitting on things for too long man and getting bored of them, so I wasn’t feeling the beat anymore and tried something else. We done that three times and I’m glad we did because the one we have now is definitely the best one, but yeah, it’s been a long process. It was just meant to be a freestyle but ended up doing a video from it.”
Who else helped make ALIEN! such a sick project?
“To be honest it’s just me and Anish, the whole project was produced by Earbuds— [indiscernible wail. Dream laughs]. Shut up man I’ll fuck you up. But yeah, when we first started this project it was before we had this project in mind – if that makes sense – we’ve been making tunes for the past three years. Get off me! There was more members in Earbuds back then too, and I can’t remember who produced what, so with their production credits I’ll leave that up to them lot to decide. With the project there’s no features, but Alxndr London is on ‘E.T.’. To be honest, when I put out ‘E.T.’ I didn’t know I was gunna do an EP called ALIEN!. It’s weird, I heard a few little spacey references in some of the tunes, but I feel like coming up with the name and an idea for artwork is all the most difficult part. It always comes at the last minute, but when it does, then it all makes sense. We shot the cover with James Kelly and Scribbler and it proper brought the whole idea together. The whole concept tied in nicely with the tunes and how it sounds, and then when the final product is there you can start looking at it like it’s an actual thing. Sumgii’s been mastering it, but other than that, and my team of ghost-writers… that’s pretty much it.”
What’s your favourite bar from the EP?
“It’s probably from the intro, called ‘Out’. That’s got my favourite verse ‘cos that’s the one where I thought I need to come back and put this as the intro to show people who say ‘Ahh yee you don’t spit bars like you used to spit bars.’ I was like ‘Cool, this is a little bars-y one.’ So that’s me trying my best. But my favourite lyric is on ‘Orange’. The tune was originally called ‘Hits Blunt', cos it goes: ‘I wonder if I could rhyme something with purple, maybe not, I wonder if I could do with orange / I wonder if they named the colour orange after an orange, or whether they called it an orange because it was orange.’ It’s a *hits blunt* moment. I’d never thought of that, so I thought ‘Fucking hell. Mind blown.’ For the mention of *hits blunt*, I wanna shout out Damien Brambley cos I wouldn’t have been able to make this EP without him [laughs]. What do you actually think though bruv? Do you think they named the colour orange after an orange, or if they called it an orange because it was orange?”
Maybe the word was first… or it was simultaneous…
“So what else was going to be orange? There’s not many orange things that would have been around in nature before an orange— [indiscernible interruption]. A parrot? A carrot! So why wasn’t the colour called carrot then? Hold up I’m spinning myself now, I don’t even know if this makes sense. I’ve hit a blunt.”
And a chicken, and an egg.
“Don’t get on to me about chickens and eggs bro, Jesus.”
What music videos are on their way?
“Bruv, it’s mad, there’s only one tune that’s not actually got a video that’s been shot— [sudden loud scream]. Stop fuckin’ interrupting me mate, hurry up and cook me dinner man. But yeah, every tune has a video other than ‘Tuff’. ‘E.T.’ is already out, ‘AMERI’ is next, and then we shot footage at the show in Brixton the other day, so used that and some other shots for ‘D.W.’, and we done the one for ‘Horange’ [laughs], ‘Hits Blunt Orange’, on the same day as ‘Out.’ We found a sick rooftop in the gaff, so we went up and shot a video. That’s actually the reason that tune is on the EP, ‘cos they were like ‘We need a short kinda tune that we can shoot a quick freestyle video for’. So I thought I’d dig up that one and make it a finished tune for the EP. Shout out Reece Selvadorai of Grade A Productions ‘cos he’s been doing all the videos. Without him the EP wouldn’t be happening as well.”
Who from Potent Funk would you make the best collab with?
“I gotta say Sumgii, I have an album with him on the way… and obviously Dabbz. It’s overdue to make a tune with Dabbz ‘cos I’ve never made one with him, so we’ll definitely make something soon.”
What’s next for Dream Mclean?
“Well this EP comes out next month. I’m going on tour with Pro Green next month so will actually be on the tour when the EP comes out. And then do another London show at the end of the year, that’s the plan, another headline show. I’ve got so much music though, especially with Sumgii. I’m basically planning to do one more EP with Gelato Boys that will ideally come out start of next year, and then the album with Sumgii. We said ‘99% complete’ about six months ago but it is getting there, that last 1% takes a while. But will hopefully be bringing that out in the first half of next year. Big up.”