Issue 81

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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So, Lucan, are you from? Winchester originally... You don't sound like your typical London grime artist! No i'm not really, ha, no. So how does that work? Did you follow the London rap scene? Yeah, so I was down in Southampton and Winchester a lot and then after uni, I moved up a lot closer to London. My dad lives in Milton Keynes so I've kind of made a base there. And that was it really - I knew music was my thing, that it was I wanted to do and get into. So I started writing more, putting stuff together and it went from there really. I liked grime, I listened to a lot of Ghetts when he was younger, a lot of SBTV, Professor Green, Devlin's stuff which was all really interesting for me. But I'd already started writing stuff by then - I was listening to beats and trying to download them, which was difficult when the Internet wasn't yet that big for music. I was playing cassette tapes and trying to get the lyrics out. And what about your musical influences? Musical influences, well, first of all there was a lot of Jay-Z and Eminem. When I was 13 or 14, the first tape I got was an Eminem cassette tape - that 'Real Slim Shady' tape - which got confiscated, but yeah that was all the first stuff I was listening to. It was all American back then. I was writing some tracks and yeah, I was sort of mimicking accents, and you do that until you grow up a bit and do your own thing. And then, as I've got older, UK-wise people like Kano - I'm a big fan of his, his flow is very similar to mine in terms of fast and slow, up and down, you know? So yeah, a mix of everything really. You mentioned that you were at some festivals this summer, which ones were you at? We did some great ones. We did Cock and Bull Festival in Wiltshire for Jamie's Farm, which was cool. We did Alsager Festival up in Crewe which was great. Kaya festival in Wales was fun, we went out there for a few days, Brand New Heavies were playing, there was some old classic soul and R&B, yeah it was an amazing summer. Hopefully next year there'll be more of the same. Sounds sick. You also mentioned that you're not what you'd expect, in the sense that you have a seven piece band behind you when you rap - just briefly explain how that works. I always knew that when I wanted to perform I wanted it to be live. I didn't want to produce a backing track. So I started putting together a band, started advertsing at first for a cajon player and a guitarist and we gradually built it up from there. Now we're seven piece, we've got a sax player, keys, synth player, bass guitar and vocalists to fill in. A bit of everything! It's really cool, I mean without them, when we do live shows it wouldn't have the same impact. Especially the live sax stuff, we put in a lot of jazz-influenced stuff into the music. Do you ever dip into the serious singing yourself? [Laughs] I mean, I can't do it, no no no. I've got a singer, a guy I'm working with at the moment called James Tosahrio. He's my vocalist for the band and he's awesome. So rap's my thing and singing is his. I always make sure I have someone on hand. In terms of the content of what you speak about, do you try to make it personal about your life? Like you said, you used to mimic people, do you feel you've moved past that now? Yeah I mean, when I was younger, I listened to all that American stuff, you mimic the accents and you talk about stuff that has no relevance to your life. So yeah, definitely moved past that. A lot of the rap now, some of its tongue-in-cheek, there are some jokes, sometimes a bit political but not deeply so. I try to talk about day-to- day subjects. One of the tracks 'Stay Lucky' is about life, personal experiences, things from uni that I've thrown into the tracks. It's all relevant to me and hopefully to other people as well. Absolutely - a debate we had recently at Guestlist is whether rap is becoming apolitical. With people like Akala, Lowkey, MIC Righteous, some people argue that they are getting pushed out of the mainstream, in favour of people like Skepta, because of their political views. Do you feel like there is a place for political rap? There's got to be a place for it. There is a definitely a trend like you say, I mean - Akala is a great example because mainstream-wise, he had a couple of things like 'Shakespeare' which were very smart and unfortunately that's been pushed out. But I think there's always been a place for it. You go back to the 50 Cent days and that was just about guns and gangsters, which sold well to be fair, but I mean Akala is one of the greatest rappers in the country without a shadow of a doubt, and I hope there is still a place for real messages. In terms of my own songs, for example 'Something's Gone Wrong', the clue is in the title. It's got three verses, the first is about energy,how turning off your lightbulbs matters,the second is about cash and benefits and how they say people on benefits are a certain type when they're not. The third verse is about politics in general, and, whilst the whole song is a bit tongue in cheek, you can look at it from either angle. There's definitely a place for it, people just have to make it a bit more commercial. But then you're at the risk of going too far the other way. A lot of people get accused of 'selling out' if they go down the commercial route. Exactly. It's a tough line. I gues you just have to make something that people want to hear. That's the main thing. If you make a good track that people enjoy and want to listen to, fingers crossed. And where do you see your career going? If music is the only thing you want to do, where do you see yourself in a year's time? Yeah music is definitely what I want to do and it always has been. The last couple of years I've been full steam ahead, we've just released the EP, we've got the website done. We want to get the music out there. Do festivals, do gigs. Hopefully over the next year we can expand on that. I've been working with a PR company, I do some writing, getting published would be amazing. And hopefully, by opening doors that way, that record deal is around the corner. That's the dream. Is that why you're here today? Yeah I saw this last week, someone showed me the link, and this was just a simple turn up and I thought "that should be easy! Sixteen bars and the beat is great." Zdot's done all the Stormzy stuff and is a sick producer so yeah, I had a day off and thought, "why not?" It's pretty busy, there's a lot of people practising in the waiting area and they're pretty good, so you've got some competition. Yeah I was 22nd (out of 40) in the list despite arriving fifteen minutes early and I was like: "that's a good couple of hours wait!". But I'm here now so, get it done, see what happens. Finally, if you want to give yourself a little plug - what have you got coming up? Where can we find you? So the first EP Level 1 has just come out, you can find that on You can check out all the tour dates, any new pictures. The EP's great and it's exciting to get new music out there, and there's more to come. I'm in sessions at the moment writing some fresh stuff and hoping to hit some festival's next summer, so keep an eye out! 7 35 Issue 81 / 2015 HIPHOP / RNB Hailing from Winchester, not your typical rapping ends, Lucan Mills is not your typical rapper. We sat down with him just before he was about to flow 16 bars on Zdot's latest production at the Red Bull Studios in London " Akala is one of the greatest rappers in the country without a shadow of a doubt, and I hope there is still a place for real messages "

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