Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat. What made you decide to become a soloist?
Music is something that I have loved since I was a kid, I spent a lot of my teenage years writing lyrics and poems as a way to express myself, I bought some cheap equipment in my early 20s and honestly never looked back, the best decision of my life
Introduce us you / all to the members and your musical history
I’m UK-Craigie, a hip-hop artist who makes music from the heart. I heavily favour acoustic instrumentals and make songs about the struggles we all face, approaching music from a real underdog’s perspective.
My family history has a lot of mental health problems that really impact the direction I take my music, I style myself as a real voice of the underdog, I’ve been creating music from my home studio for the last 12 years, and releasing music as a serious artist for the last four, working on releasing my 4th studio album this year
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Honestly, I don’t get sick of any, I could take interviews all day. I’m really lucky I have quite a diverse following so I usually take such different interviews from different outlets and countries. I’m always up for an interview!
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Video games, So many video games! I bought a couple of guitars and made my home studio look great, but in terms of things, I didn’t need I picked up a Nintendo switch and like 15 games! It saved my sanity whilst the world imploded though
What useless party trick do you have?
My impressions have been known to be outstanding! You’ve never heard a more convincing Welsh man from Oldham
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
While I was hosting my own radio show I started to develop a great following in Zambia. I get so much love and attention from that country, I work with a lot of artists there and also released a special Zambian edition of my last album ‘Ghosts In Time’ exclusively for my supporters over there. I also work with a really talented graphic designer who makes really cool Lyric videos. I love the music, the culture and the people. Zambia is beautiful
If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe it?
Honest, rap music devoid of any ego, music to listen to while you are alone feeling introspective. My music gives a voice to the voiceless, empowering the underdog with hard-hitting brutal honesty over acoustic guitar. If you don’t fit in, my music probably fits you
What makes you stand out as an artist?
My music is so unique, with nothing but hard-hitting, relatable lyrics to get you through tough times. Usually, over an acoustic guitar, you are gonna hear a man express himself, his vulnerabilities, his struggles, his regrets, his fears, and his passion. Featuring a lack of profanity it is music for the soul, music to listen to at 2 am when you can’t sleep.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
The price of energy bills, Boris and the fact that the corruption of this government isn’t even being denied now, just blatantly and brazenly shoved in our faces every day and the fact that politically there seems to be a lack of any real alternative right now. We all feel downtrodden and betrayed by a government we didn’t have much hope for at the start.It feels like a really bleak time for everyday people. with no real let up
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
I have an interesting tale here, Mid pandemic I released an album called ‘I Can’t Sleep’ which really blew my world apart, from coverage on the BBC, media in the UK and around the world things really haven’t been the same since I’ve always had a small core group of fans but nothing like I’ve experienced over the last couple of years because of the pandemic opportunities to play live were unavailable, now we seem to be at the end I made a conscious decision to finish this album then go out and play as much as possible. There are so many songs I can’t wait to perform for people, I have some great things planned
I hear you have a new single what can you tell us about it?
Senzu is the 3rd single from my upcoming album ‘Keep The Faith’ Produced by long time collaborator and good friend ‘w0lfpak’Senzu is a song all about the things we do when we feel defeated when we are at our lowest, how do we bounce back? Mental health is something I have never shied away from exploring in music, and over a beautiful lofi landscape we explore the topic here
Senzu is also a nod to one of my favourite tv shows of all time ‘Dragonball Z’ the heroes in the story would eat a Senzu Bean while close to defeat, bringing them back to full power, so we ask the question, what makes you feel better mentally? Personally, I take a trip home to see friends and I write music. The song is dedicated to anyone going through a rough time, since the pandemic people seem to be struggling with their mental health so much more, hang in there, keep going and keep fighting
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
I had the idea as soon as I heard the first demo of the piece of music, I’ve known w0lfpak since college, and we’ve worked together ever since. We like to send each other little ideas and we always work on some new music when I take a trip home to Oldham.He sent me the rough outline for the beat and I got to work, I knew I wanted to write something that would inspire people and let them know they aren’t alone with the problems they face right now.
The thought process of the new album has been really exciting too ‘Keep The Faith’ is the follow up to my third album ‘Ghosts in time’ and I knew coming off an album that was so well received I had to really elevate my game.
The album is almost completely finished and I’m looking to release it in September, I can confidently say already that it’s my finest work to date, I have been overwhelmed with the response to the first two singles ‘Just Breathe’ and ‘Growth’
What was the recording process like?
The words just fell from my mind onto the page, as soon as he sent the rough idea I started to record, I had the idea that Senzu would be a fantastic title, and had plans for the music video straight away (Which is amazing, my right-hand man with the video production John did a great job, we also had a drone thanks to Jamie and a skateboarder Linf film some excellent footage, to top it off we filmed 80% of the video at a place close to my heart Ashville Football Club, where I spend time and volunteer we altered the beat a little and extended the third verse. I knew it was going to be special as soon as we started, I have been making music together with w0lfpak for quite a while, and everything flows together really well, we both respect and admire each other’s talent. Turnaround for this song was really quite quick, everything just came together seamlessly
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Honestly, the biggest learning curves and the ones that I enjoy most are when I’m working with a producer whom I have a strong relationship with and they throw a curveball, I thought the song was finished and I had a call from w0lfpak ”I’ve made the beat like a minute longer, put a really cool distorted vocal sample and you need to write extra lyrics” Love unexpected happenings like that, it keeps you on your toes and really sharp as a lyricist too. Having to jump back into that thought space and keep creating.It works really well, and I’m glad we made the song longer, feels so much richer for it
Would you change anything now it’s finished? Not at all, I’m just marching forwards with the album, I’m really proud of this single and the momentum I have going forward continues to excite and inspire me
What are your plans for the year ahead? After the Senzu rollout, I have the final single planned ‘By The Lake’. I’m actually recording the music video for that this month, It’s an incredible song really worth keeping an eye out for, Then the album release is planned for September. After that, I’m looking to tour, I’ll have signed physical copies of the album for sale, and then after a short break I’ll be straight back into the recording studio working on fresh material, I love the recording process. I spend as much time as I can creating
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Life is short. Embrace your quirks and chase those dreams!
If you’d like to support me then please share my music with your friends, A quick share through social media or firing my spotify page over to your friends helps an independent artist more than you could know.