You have been with us all the way through the Jungle, Drum n Bass, Garage years up until now. Whilst you have all been working on solo projects – what’s it like touring together again?
It’s fun being a crew and touring together again. It’s almost as if we never left! and It’s as good as it was before maybe better because we have a new audience and new set of challenges plus we’ve all grown and developed as individuals.
The UK Grime scene is currently doing very well; would you say that this is an evolution of the UK Garage era? How did MCs and DJs like yourself help pave the way for the scene?
Grime evolved from Garage we think of it as our little brother! As the Heartless Crew we are heavily credited for the birth of Grime. Some people even go as far to say that we created it which is debatable but what we definitely did was introduce full on MCing lyrics on that tempo of music. We also brought reloads/rewinds which at the time was frowned upon but now the focal point of any live Grime set. We made the MC a much more prominent feature whereas when we first started the MC role in Garage was secondary to the DJ and they would mostly host their set by talking and maybe drop one or two lines. We took a lot of inspiration from UK Jungle MCs like Stevie Hyper D, MC Dett, Five-O and Shabba. We also integrated other genres into our Garage sets at half and double tempo which brought together people from other scenes who weren’t necessarily into Garage, we called this the Crisp Biscuit!
What would you say is the most challenging part of being in the music industry?
Putting up with everyone’s bollocks!
The rise of independent artists is massive now, with music crossing borders due to technology. Has this helped your music travel?
Yes. When we started there was no internet so it took longer for our music to travel. Over the years with the development of the internet and social media we’ve gained fans in all corners of the world. Evidence of this is we’ve got our first gig in Australia this September and every year we’re touching new territories as a crew.
With the advancements in technology, the original style mixtape on a cassette and later CD has now evolved into online digital platforms via streaming or through Instagram and Facebook live. Whilst it makes music more accessible, do you feel there is a loss of authenticity in the scene now?
Yes. Definitely. The essence has been diluted and, in some cases, completely lost but we can still look at this as an evolution and a sign of the times.
What are your thoughts on the current UK Hip Hop scene, is there anyone we should look out for?
There is a bit of a blurred line in current UK Hip Hop scene because the Grime guys are rapping and the Hip Hop guys are also rapping on Grime tempo but having said that it’s still in a very good state. Big up Giggs who made UK rap cool again on a wider scale.
The trouble with the more traditional UK Hip Hop scene is that it’s often overlooked by the more mainstream hype and gassed material and egotistical rapping.
Logic, Big Cakes, Amy True, Ty, Awate, Children Of Zeus and Brazen are all dope!
The one thing I always loved about HLC is the fun loving, positive vibes you send out with your music. With a lot of bad press surrounding the UK Hip Hop and Grime scene, how important is it for artists to promote positive lyrics in the music?
It’s very important for us as we’ve always been purveyors of good vibes and uplifting people with positivity. It’s a shame others don’t think this as music has the power to change people and affect the world.
There has been a rise in throwback UKG nights, and we have noticed a lot of younger attendees embracing the oldskool sound. Has your listenership expanded as a result of this? Or do you feel you have had to experiment with new current trends to attract younger listeners?
Bit of both. We definitely have noticed a lot of young people catching the heartless fever as well as us keeping up with current trends.
Tell us a bit about your involvement in the Red Bull Music Odyssey? What was it like?
The Red Bull Music Odyssey was a great event to be involved in as it showcased musicians from all different genres representing under the UK banner. We were on the Transmission boat which was the best of Garage and Grime and this gave us an opportunity to execute our party vibe in a small intimate surrounding with mostly new ravers.
You all have your individual projects you have been working on. What have you got coming up together and solo?
Bushkin: I’ve been working on developing my label Bush Bash Recordings and we’re gearing up for our first summer release which is ‘Ride’ by Sweet P. We’ve just shot the video so look out for that coming soon!
Fonti: Individually I’ve been producing for some prominent UK artists helping to cultivate their single. I’ve even done a bit of song writing too 😉
I also enjoy dancing and teaching Salsa in my spare time to keep my legs dem busy!
Moe: Dusting off my vinyl and DJing again working on projects with Smasher (BILLITFAM) and Logic and one of my old musical mentors Ghette.
WHEN CAN WE EXPECT A CRISP BISCUIT VOLUME 2?
We’re always baking at home and working on new recipes so hold tight we’ll have something to tantalise your taste buds soon!
Heartless Crew performed on The Transmission boat as part of Red Bull Music Odyssey. Tune in to the link below to catch their full set from the night.