Updated: Feb 7
Making a grizzly mark with his label debut, Snowy links up with Potent Funk originator Sumgii for their new single 'Impulse'. The Midlands MC is now "becoming synonymous with Nottingham" and that's only through hard studio graft, loyal repping and tunes like this. We caught Snowy for a chat ahead of his release and got to know the guy behind the greeze.
"Got banned by the BBC... I'm royalty now"
As well as telling the unique story behind the tune, Snowy takes a fight/flight test and also fills us in on what else is up his sleeve. We learn the BTS of his anthem with Sleaford Mods' Jason Williamson and discover that "everyone is a sh*t head". Full interview below.
Also check out 'Issues', featured on the flip side of the vinyl edition and performed alongside 'Impulse' on Twenty Twenty Global. The 10" records are sold out except for four (ATOW) on sale exclusively via Bandcamp. Sumgii's instrumentals are only available direct from us.
As this is 'impulse', what would you do if:
1. You're queing for a fancy meal and someone cuts in front of you...
"I'd kick off right away. Say, 'Where do ya think you're going bruv? You better move. What do you think this is? You think I'm just queuing for some joke ting?' [Laughs] You don't wanna see me kicking off. It gets long."
2. Now you're inside eating and someone you just met says something you really disagree with...
"Ah I bad everyone up all the time. Imagine the other day yeah, some guy was on about politics and I don't usually like getting involved, especially when I'm high cos I'll just go off on one. So I thought, 'Allow it.' But then my man is chatting wass. I thought these lot were gunna kick me out the crib cos I was on some mad ting. I was telling him, 'You can't say that man, you're an idiot.' People don't care, if they don't like what you've gotta say they'll tell you anyway. You're just being nice by not saying anything."
3. Suddenly, the doors smash open and people pile in to rob the place...
"You can't rob me! I've been in them kind of places. It's not a joke still when it all gets on top. They can't come to me with that - what the hell! I'd just start throwing shit. While I'm eating as well? If I've just ate then I might be lazy but other than that, man are gunna get something thrown at 'em."
'Impulse' was made during Pirate Studios' Duel Frequency series. How did that challenge go down?
"So it was a series where me and Kabz (another MC) went head-to-head with a producer each, and we had three hours to make a song. Shout out Plastician cos he said, 'Yo, I want you to come through and audition for this.' I went down to London, did it, then got it. So it was all cool. We had just three hours so it was funny. We got there at nine o'clock and then didn't stop til late. It was like, 'Why are we getting here so early?' So I remember getting drunk the whole time (well, not drunk-drunk, just had a wave going). When Sumgii was making the beat I couldn't think of nothing but I looked at the keyboard and it said 'Impulse', and I was like, 'Yeah, impulsiveness, I'm with that.' I was talking so much crud there's so much shit they could have put in the edit. But I ended up making a tune about impulsiveness because I've got ADHD, so it's one of my personality traits anyway. One minute I'll be here, one minute I'll just go."
How did you find the competitive three hours of making a tune on the spot? Or is that how you usually create?
"Yeah I've been in-and-out of the studio since I was 13, (I used to skive school for it), so I'm alright with working with a producer. But I remember we weren't sure if I was gunna have it in me that week because that one was the second time I did it, but obviously it just came out like a banger anyway. And then going head-to-head I love that shit. No one is better than me anyway so I love that competitiveness, why not?”
Why does the video for 'Impulse' chop up all that animal and insect footage?
"[Laughs] Something to do with impulsiveness. Obviously we needed to do something, but I'm in Notts, they're not and I can't be arsed to go to London. I shot some profiles which didn't work, so I shot them again in one of the offices that I deal with and sent them over. But I like it because it's kinda primal. It's primal and instincts. To be honest, I’m kinda scared of bugs up close. Not scared, but I don't like them. I don't get why you've gotta have so many eyes and shit. When they're hairy, that's actually disgusting, like, who did that? I don't know who thought it was good to f*cking put hairs on a fly but it makes me feel absolutely sick. I don't know how I even watched the video the first time but it's sick so I was like, 'Cool let's run with it.'”
What makes you 'Nottingham's Saviour'?
"Yo, I had the whole city on my back for f*cking time bro. Basically yeah, I'm just the best init. That's why. No one wanted to believe it and then I just showed everyone. So I've been going on while everyone else fell off or couldn't make good songs in general. I've been here just grafting, so that's the reason why. I started saying it years ago when I was 18. But why not? Who's gunna save Nottingham anyway? I'm here, I'm still here, so now what? Everyone is bringing out shit songs - f*ck that. I'm bringing out bangers [laughs]."
So is it saved or what needs to be saved?
"The place is just pants if you want the long story short. Basically, the kind of problems that are going on with Nottingham are not even musical. We're getting overrun by students and there's no big industries coming into the city and that kinda shit. So really, there's not much I can do about that, but what I can do is keep bringing songs out and hopefully bring interest this way. Like, being on radio people here my name. And what I didn't know til the other day: my name is becoming synonymous with Nottingham now. So, as long as I don't fall off then we're alright. If I fall off then everything is f*cked [laughs]. No one else is serious. Everyone is some joke."
Another sick move for Notts was your collab with Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods. How did that linkup happen?
"Yeah man! Basically, me and Lenkemz (who's the producer), me and him always talk about big stuff anyway, like socio-political things and all sorts. So, we was on about making a certain type of tune but not in a corny way, because you hear them kinds of songs and they're always corny and I hate that. So, then I was listening to English Tapas because it just released that week, (a Sleaford Mods project from a couple years ago), and I was like, 'Yo, these lot are the hardest ever'. So I just tweeted them like, 'Yo I wanna do a tune'. Then Jason tweeted me back like, 'Yeah cool, let's do it'. I don't know if he knew who I was or nothing. I never really asked init. We was talking for like a year, just like normal stuff as well, then I can't remember how it exactly came around yeah, but I kinda had the idea because, you know about the atomic clock?”
Yeah, the doomsday clock?
"Yeah, it had just moved to two minutes to midnight and I was watching the news about it. I was like, 'The world's f*cked init!' and then I had the hook. I thought, 'If my man can do that then it would be f*ckin' sick'. We had it on a few different beats but we went studio. Lenkemz was living in Mexico at the time so we did the bits and sent it to him. Then he sent back the track a day later. I redid the verse and then it was bangin'. We went to get it signed by an indie, (shout out Dummy Mag), so yeah got that done and that was it really. The rest is history. Got banned by the BBC and Iggy Pop played it. C'mon, I'm royalty now."
On the topic of collabs, who else on PF are you keen to make music with?
"Well, Sumgii is in my top three producers in the UK so I wanna make another project with him [laughs]. That's what I'm on asap to be honest. Dabbla is sick as well. There's Dream Mclean, I used to listen to him in school man. It's mad still. You know when you get older and you're dealing with these people it spins you out still. It's f*cked."
What's next for Snowy?
"Bro, I hate music in the music industry. Everything is stressful about it. All I want to do is just release my song. I need someone to just give me some cash and say, 'Yo, drop all the songs'. That's all I need. So, right now I'm in the middle of releasing the SIRIUS EP. I've dropped the first single 'ALL THAT MATTERS'. That went off nicely, got B-list on radio and whatnot. I've got a garage single next which I'm getting the video shot for at the moment. After that, got another single then I'll drop the EP."
"I wanna be Snowy the rapper now"
Then I'm featured on a bunch of stuff. Different genres because I decided like a year or two ago that I want to hit every UK genre and just slap it over, then no one can tell me shit about anything ever again. So, last year I did: drum and bass, jungle, f*ckin' SWAMP81 shit (whatever you wanna call it but I have tunes with Lamont), dubstep, grime, garage, funky and techno... I think. I did all of them and they all went off, so that was cool. This year I said, 'I wanna be Snowy the rapper now', that's what I'm thinking. So I just want to drop my own stuff really. But at the same time, I'm still on the different genres, like I've got a rave tune that I did yesterday and another one coming out with Notion in October. It's sounding bangin' still. Then, I dunno man. I need a manager. I dunno what the hell is going on. I'm just trying the ting."
Any bookings and live shows to look forward to?
"Bruv I need a booking agent too. But, I'm doing the SWAMP81 bank holiday August show, then I'm doing Grime Originals in July. Then I'm doing a show with my bredrins from Notts actually, but that's the songs I've been working on over the last year or so anyway, so a little showcase of them. Oh, I've got a project with my guy Frost from Notts coming at some point. But I dunno man, I just make songs init. I just wanna get them all out really [laughs]. The shows will come but they need to come quicker to be honest."
Final words? Are you a shout out kinda geezer or not?
"Pfffffft. Not no more cos everyone is a sh*t head. Everyone is lazy bruv, I ain't got no one to shout out other than the #GREEZE man dem. Man need to pick their socks up - that's what I'm saying."