“When it’s time to rally up and bally up and tally up the losses” the first intent filled lines from this dynamic project. Weeks after the Avalanche ft. Benny Bizzie, Artcha is back with the EGO Playlist and is pulling no punches with a range of genres in 8 songs.
This self-produced playlist is a collection of songs that showcases North-London artist, producer and film-maker Artcha’s range both in production and song writing. As a pre-cursor to Urban Tales Vol.3, EGO playlist is unapologetically Artcha at his most arrogant and humorous with innuendos and playful jabs at some of his favorite MCs. Ambitious certainly but underlines the confidence this artist has in his ability, not only as an MC but a producer to be taken seriously.
Rally – “This Anthem begins the project and is reminiscent of J. Cole’s first world offering ‘Who Dat’. Lyrically, I was channeling my inner Jay Electronica and Jay‑Z in terms of multi-faceted metaphors, double entendre and complex flow patterns. I wanted to start the project with this intense message of justice, leadership, angst and lyrical rebellion. I also wanted to nod to some of my favorite MCs in a cheeky fashion hence; “I’ll go against anyone, even Jay‑Z” AND “I will cane Kano, wreck Wretch, Get Ghetts, chip at Chip and park Pyrelli…”. Although the rest of the project is quite upbeat and commercial, I needed to start with some Hip Hop authenticity as a symbol of my musical foundation.
Ego – “The title track of the project is quite Timbaland inspired in terms of the production. Funnily enough the original sample in the record is an old beat I made in 2002. I found it while clearing old boxes and stumbled across a pile of Mini-Discs. I really loved the melody I played at the time and decided to sample it and slow it down to fit a 75 bpm. Once I had that loop in place the drums came and I realized it had the Timbaland bounce and continued to layer the percussion and 808s. I wanted a song that really captured the title of the project. Although it could be viewed as crude, there is also an element of mature sensual appreciation – ‘I love your scars and your stitches’ – pertaining to female motherhood, menopause and growing older. Like any of my records there are always multiple perspectives of who we are and who we are at our most egotistical.”
Siesta – “You would never guess where the original sample for this record is from, particularly as I have chopped it up, slowed parts down and rearranged the melody sequence. Part of my love for producing is being able to make something from nothing. You really do need the patience to listen to 100s of vinyl’s and select parts that grab your ear, record them, edit, and put it through various effects and time signatures to make it your own. Once I had the two melody parts, it really felt reminiscent of a Lil Kim song from ‘Hardcore’ or a Junior Mafia song from ‘Conspiracy’. The sound is very late 90’s Hip Hop and I was hooked on these loops I had created. The piano sounds also hard a salsa feel to it and that’s where the concept came from. A siesta as we know is that part in the day where Mediterranean cultures would take a break from work in order to rest for a nap. The whole song is cheeky. It’s the more humorous record on the playlist and one of my favorites. I cannot wait to perform this.”
Tek Time – “I wanted a contemporary Rap record that wouldn’t be out of place in today’s club scene. It was important to challenge myself on this playlist and go outside of my comfort zones. It is not easy to make a song that seems easy. Stripping back my lyrical flow to be more attainable to the masses is a great pillar for me. I enjoyed the process. Most of the song is freestyled and then shaped in written form. ‘Tek Time’ is a Jamaican term and just means ‘go easy’, ‘don’t do too much’, ‘take your time’. The premise of this record is the clubbing experience from entering the club to having conversations with the opposite sex, dancing and having a good time. Littered with cheeky lines like: ‘I was on stuff — details I can’t tell my mum’ and ‘But she wants the rod of Troy’ I really wanted to bring a typical club night to life where there is flirting and humor.
They Know – “More Jamaican influence on this record within the production and the subtle layers of vocal snapshots from Jamaican sound clash events, plus this song really captures two insane years of my life in the height of touring, going to festivals, Carnivals, Fashion weeks, Marley V.I.P. parties etc… I really wanted to document some of those experiences with lines that only a few who were there could understand but also commercial enough for anyone to latch onto lines like ‘Hate nah go run’ and ‘I’m in the set with stylish dudes, stylish girls, stylish fools’. This was fun for me, and the flows, cadence highlight my more diverse delivery. I recommend turning this one up and letting the bass rattle your cars, homes and festivals. I dare anyone to ignore the infectious trumpets and hook-line this year.”
Gosh – “I have always had the ambition to raise political issues in a song that can be played in the club. I know the power of Reggae, Ragga and Dancehall so with the Jamaican influenced production I could tailor my lines and delivery around this hypnotic beat and melody. Even though I had recorded this song 4 years ago, it has never been more relevant now in 2020. The lines ‘You’re looking out of place here, you look sooo unaware’ is really directed at racists; the fact that we are still experience blatant prejudice is bewildering, especially with everything that has happen in society, technology and freedom of information. There really is no excuse not to be more educated about all races and cultures. I pray this becomes an anthem for that reason.”
Brand New – “Can you feel the old school garage sound? I am such a fan of Garage and the whole dance movement from the early 80s. I had made a few Dance productions over the years but never wrote to them. I guess I needed the confidence that I could contribute to the genre successfully. After recording this song, I realized my love for the movement even more. Imagine how much fun I will be having performing these songs… Absolutely tongue in cheek, lines like ‘Don’t forget to shave, your lucky night, my lucky night…’ capture the fun and vibes of this genre. The video will be a collection of dancers from around the world so look out for the #BrandNewChallenge
Irregular – “This one feels like my Grime/Dubstep record, fast-paced drums and searing bassline with occasional drop outs. With the content, it flirts with social commentary: ‘10s and 20s and 50s (£ notes), Class, nobody’s bunking’ explaining the dominant drug, gang culture we have in London and obviously globally, but the idea that ‘Class’ has a triple meaning (Hierarchy, school, Class A drugs) is where I am at my best. I study the music industry and watch the trends, mainstream artists tend to be economical with content and even words. I wanted to see if I could say a lot by saying a little. This is a record I want you to play in the clubs, festivals and stadiums as well as on your headphones where you can digest and dissect the lyrical content.”
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