“Present the world with another universe.”

The godfather of British hip hop is back. Roots Manuva describes himself as “the black British Mark Rothko” and I reckon that’s a great description. Creativity pours out of his every pore – he’s a brilliant writer, performer and thinker. The new track above, is absolutely beautiful – typically thoughtful and lyrical, and shot through with a poignant soul tinge via a Barry White sample. He calls it “gospel music for out of the box thinkers.” Check out the new album, Bleeds – it’s up there with his best work.

It’s interesting to think about how an artist of his calibre consistently comes up with ideas, keeps things fresh and keeps pushing his craft. The other day I read an interview on this very subject, where he was talking about the creative process and his scrupulous approach to every detail of his music. Check out this quote – his determination to create something unique is brilliant and inspiring: When you’ve spent about 20 weeks trying to find a certain snare drum, that’s when you have to stop. I’m always after a quality, a nuance, that in my head no one’s record should have. I don’t want to do anything that someone else has already done. Everyone uses drums, everyone uses basslines and everyone’s got a rap on it (laughs). It’s an impossible situation. I’m trying to get everything as organic as possible – I’m trying to make sure my special effects and the studios I use aren’t the same as everyone else. I try to make sure I’m using keyboards and microphones that nobody else knows about and I even try and change the power sources so that it sounds slightly different. All these things, they might only be apparent to me but it makes me feel better that in the ocean of new music that’s released today, I can honestly say with every album that I have gone the extra yard to try to present the world with another universe.”


About antmelder
Executive Creative Director at Host/Havas Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

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