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“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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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.