Talkin’ Hip Hop With IKES (@ikesonthereal) !

Q. What made you want to pick up a pen and paper and start writ­ing lyr­ics, was there a par­tic­u­lar per­son, event or turn­ing point in your life?

I think it was the fact I was immersed in rap music from a young age, I come from the era where Hip Hop and r’n’b music was huge, plat­in­um albums was a com­mon thing. So I used to watch videos all day long on The Box, BET and MTV, record em on VHS tapes, that was our thing, u know me and my eld­er sib­lings. Then at school came the gar­age cul­ture, it really took over, I just used to MC for a hobby, did some pir­ate radio shows and under 18 raves. But as I grew older I found rap more inter­est­ing, the storytelling aspect espe­cially grabbed me, and all my idols were rap artists, so as gar­age evolved to grime and every­one went right, I turned left and took a dif­fer­ent route. I was around 17 at the time.

Q. Who were your biggest influ­ences?

The greats, so Biggie/Tupac, Nas and Jay Z, Michael Jack­son, Tracy Chap­man, Phil Collins, Lionel Rich­ie, R Kelly, Whit­ney Hou­s­ton, Mary J Blige, Puff, Wu Tang, Talib, man so many to men­tion!

Q. Hip Hop is an extremely power­ful means of expres­sion. If there is one thing you could change through Hip Hop, what would it be?

I’d prob­ably try and change the judge­ment­al atti­tude we all have, that knee-jerk reac­tion that makes us shoot people down and write people off so quickly, when they’re just on their pur­suit of hap­pi­ness. So much can be done togeth­er, so I’d like to bring unity, espe­cially amongst our own. They say love starts at home, I think the black com­munity needs more love from with­in, so I’d attempt to change that.

Q. Tell us about the music you have made? Do they all have a sim­il­ar style or theme to them? Any favour­ites?

The style of my music usu­ally depends on which producer(s) I’m work­ing with at the time. I try not to work with too many, I under­stand that when it comes down to it my sound is my brand so I try to keep it con­sist­ent and prom­in­ent at all times, I want people to hear a record and say “that sounds like an Ikes record” that’s impact to me. One thing I can say is that it’s usu­ally very music­al and invent­ive, I always try to visu­al­ise how i’d play it at a live show with my band, that face to face exper­i­ence is of most import­ance.. I think for an artist your favour­ites change every time you go to the stu­dio (laughs), but I got a record called ‘Believe’ that’s always gonna be a spe­cial record to me. It’s like 3 years old now.

Q. Your latest single ‘Let It Go’ has been receiv­ing a lot of good feed­back, and remixes too! Tell us a bit about the track?

Yeah ‘Let It Go’ is about giv­ing life your all, not wor­ry­ing or look­ing back, or hav­ing regrets, liv­ing in the moment. See­ing what you want and going for it. It’s meant to be quite uplift­ing (laughs) even though there’s a gun­shot ref­er­ence, that just sym­bol­ises that split second of energy when a trig­ger is pulled, that moment if defined is exactly what I mean.. I feel like I still got a lot to prove and the verses address a few things.


Q. With the lack of pos­it­iv­ity in young people in Lon­don today, how do you feel col­lect­ively we can make a dif­fer­ence, and bring some hope to the future?

I think everything is deemed impossible, till it is done, word to the great Nel­son Man­dela. So I just think we need more people doing the unthink­able, going that extra mile to grab suc­cess against all odds. We need suc­cess stor­ies across the board, the next gen­er­a­tion need to under­stand that you don’t need to be a music artist or in sport to make it. I’ve been through school and came out with a Math­’s degree, music was my choice, my pas­sion, my true love. I think more mean­ing­ful things need to make the news, at the moment it’s all show­biz and scan­dal, which sends the wrong mes­sage to the youth.

Q. What can we look out for from Ikes in the near future?

Just more great music, more live shows and more cre­at­ive visu­als. Really wanna take it all to the next level. Port May­fair, that’s what we’re about.

Find out more about Ikes by vis­it­ing

Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhali­w­al

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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.

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