We sat down with Ghetts at PUMA’s brand new Suede Music Studio in West London.
If we’re talking about pillars of the UK scene there’s no conversation without Ghetts involved. A Grime pioneer who cut his teeth in the genre when it was at the heights of its notoriety, he stamped his place in the scene with aggressive, unrelenting flows, and elite level lyricism. Whilst early critics made comparisons or were distracted by the energy of the delivery, over the years as Ghetts has matured so has his sound and he’s been able to silence any critics by delivering top quality music year after year.
I sat down with the legend in PUMA‘s new Suede Music Studio space, for which he’s an ambassador. The space was designed to support up and coming talent and was launched by Ghetts recording a track called ‘Newham’ teaming up with Myers and Villz to have three generations of artist from the area on the record. Beyond the commitment to providing mentorship to the younger creatives entering the space, the studio celebrates the legacy of the connection between music and culture with a whole host of memorabilia on display. When I arrived Ghetts has just finished recording with Chuckie for JD’s In The Duffle Bag series so after a quick break we got straight to the questions.
Zweli: What made you decide you wanted to work with PUMA?
Ghetts: They’re just a great brand. In terms of what they represent and their relationship to music it’s always been real.
Zweli: How important is it to have spaces like this for young people coming up in the UK?
Ghetts: It’s key. It just means there’s more opportunities, and nothing but good can come from that.
Zweli: You’ve had a long career in this scene already, how do you think you’ve managed to maintain longevity?
Ghetts: To be fair, I’ve just stuck true to myself and put the work in and I’ve just been blessed in that respect.
Zweli: You’ve been recording and this year you’ve been doing promo on the album, what’s been your big inspiration for this upcoming project?
Ghetts: My inspiration? Probably just life itself. I’ve been inspired by so many things it would be hard for me to just pinpoint it all to one thing. So I’d just say life and all that it involves.
Zweli: Where would you say your love for music, or even putting together words, came from?
Ghetts: I think it might’ve been from my mum, yeah probably my mum.
Zweli: You’ve been a part of two huge crews in terms of the scene, how important do you feel that crew culture was to your personal development as an artist?
Ghetts: Yeah man, it’s healthy competition. You always want to be around people of a great standard so you can try rise and match it, it’s a good setting to be in.
Zweli: You mentioned healthy competition, what do you think is the best way to foster healthy competition in the scene?
Ghetts: Collaborating. Collaborating is very healthy and the energy’s great as well if its perfected. ‘Cause you always want to have, well not always, but you want to have the best verse on a tune and collaborating puts you almost in training for that.
Zweli: You’re live shows are a madness.
Ghetts: [chuckles] Love bro, love.
Zweli: What do you think were the most important things that helped to develop you to perform like that?
Ghetts: A lot of it comes from the energy of the music itself. That’s why I always just find the energy of how in that moment its making me feel and just reacting to it. So number 1 is the music. Then number 2, just watching other great performers before my time and seeing how they interacted with the crowd and ran it.
Zweli: Personal one, why is ‘Microsoft Word’ not going to be on the project?
Ghetts: [laughs] Ahh, d’you know what it just didn’t fit the sound, the style. It’s a great standalone.
Zweli: In terms of your legacy, you already have a great one, but are there any other things you want to add to that legacy?
Ghetts: Loads of things. I still feel like I haven’t done enough yet, I’ve still got so much more drive so there’s a lot more things I want to add.
Zweli: Last one for today, when can we expect the project?
Ghetts: First quarter, yeah let me just say first quarter for now [laughing] is that cool?
Zweli: [laughs] Yeah bro that’s cool, appreciate you taking the time for this.
Ghetts: Love bro.
Look out for Ghetts‘ new album Conflict Of Interest coming soon, keep your eyes on his socials for updates. The album feels special and it’s not even here yet and the care that’s gone into the music is clearly being given to the campaign rollout. Already announced are features from Stormzy, Jaykae, Moonchild Sanelly, Skepta and I can imagine there’s a lot more in store for us. You can listen to the latest single from the project ‘Skengman’ which dropped today featuring Stormzy here.