“We know that you don’t like the foreigners…”
When people think UK music, they ultimately think of cities like London and Manchester, and artists like Skepta and Wiley are thought to be at the forefront of the UK music scene. But on a sunny afternoon in Brighton I got the chance to meet up with Benji [@iambenjiwild] and Traxx [@lopezdupre], the frontmen of the Astroid Boys; a bunch of guys from Cardiff, who combine punk and grime to give a sound that is bringing an entirely new vibe to the game. Their latest vid, titled ‘Foreigners‘ features Sonny Double 1, and connects the youth with politics in a way that not only sounds really good, but is also low-key educational.
Benji: Hello we are the Astroid Boys, we’re from South Wales, Cardiff. We’re at The Great Escape Festival and we’re about to be interviewed; questions and that…
Bare questions. Question one; how did you guys get started?
Benji: Well I was MCing and rapping since I was young. Traxx was doing the same.
Traxx: Combined forces.
Benji: It was an accident really ‘cos we didn’t really hang out together so much and then we started getting friendly, and all of a sudden it just made sense. He was hard working and I could rap, so we could do it.
Cool, so what do you think of The Great Escape so far? What’s it saying for you lot?
Benji: The Great Escape is sick, but do you know what bugs me is it’s all about having people from the industry come and see up and coming acts, and see if they wanna give them opportunities in the upcoming year, which is fantastic for up and coming acts… Except for when it comes to the show itself, when there’s not a lot of atmosphere at those shows, and that’s the case through and through.
Traxx: There’s like fifty… [pulls a straight face]
Benji: They’re watching with intent and good vibes. They’re feeling it-
Traxx: Nah, they ain’t feeling it.
Benji: But they’re not vibeing to it.
Yeah, you want the gun fingers in the air.
Benji: Yeah I want all that…Braappp!
Who are you excited to see while you’re at The Great Escape?
Benji: Hmmm, there’s a band called Astroid Boys, they’re playing at 1am.
Benji: I hear that show’s gonna be litty.
Traxx: Young T and Bugzy.
Benji: I really want to see Steff Lon Don but she’s playing tomorrow.
Traxx: I would have seen Rejjie Snow.
Benji: Hang tight man like Abs as well(Abra Cadabra). We just spent the last couple of days with him, just hanging out you know…Can’t say too many things.
Are there any London acts that you guys really like?
Traxx: Jesse James.
Benji: 67. I like 67.
Traxx: We have different taste, me and Benji.
Benji: Nah I saw them at Fabric like a month ago, I was on the balcony and I’d heard about them and I’d heard clips, and then I watched them and I was like these guys are the shit. I’m about it.
Traxx: You know when someone asks you who you’re listening to and your mind just goes blank.
Benji: It’s hard to admit that you’ve just been listening to yourself for the last six months.
Traxx: We were trying to finish an album…which we did by the way.