Scorcher, once a key figure in then emergent, genre-defining Grime collective ‘The Movement’ alongside Ghetts, Wretch 32, Mercston and Devlin, has seen his career take some remarkable twists and turns since first breaking through as a part of ‘Cold Blooded’ in 2005. From going bar-for-bar with Boy Better Know back in 2006 to releasing independent debut album ‘Concrete Jungle’ in 2009 to now most recently starring in award-winning Channel 4 drama ’Top Boy’, Scorcher’s journey reflects a wider shift in the evolution and subsequent appreciation of Grime culture in the UK.
A host of creative platforms and a recently cultivated, albeit genuine, media interest in documenting the inner-city culture that has for years lived at the heart of the music, has opened up a wealth of new opportunities for MCs to express themselves. For Scorcher, also recently cast a lead role in new feature-length UK film ‘The Intent’, it is his work in acting, alongside a renewed focus on releasing new and palatable Grime music, that has undoubtedly reinvigorated his career.
Now, ahead of the release of new single ‘Work Get It’ alongside long-time collaborators Wretch 32 and Mercston and with a new EP on the horizon too, we had a quick catch up with Scorcher to pick his brains about The Movement, ‘Concrete Jungle’ and the challenges facing MCs today..
How do you think your careeer has developed since the days of The Movement?
I’ve explored and evolved as a person I think, both personally through things like becoming a father and professionally through trying different things like acting and directing.
Do you the think the rivalry with Boy Better Know energised the genre back then, or did that prove more of a hinderance in terms of being recognised by wider audiences?
I thought it was good at the time because it pushed all of us to make good music and ultimately, it gave the listeners what they wanted too.
Do you think you face the same challenges as an MC now, as you did back then?
As an artist, I face the same challenges every time I make a record. I’m just the best me I can be.
What do you make of the different journeys the likes of yourself and the rest of The Movement emcees, Devlin, Ghetts and Wretch, have made?
I think it just shows how different we all are and it’s good that we can be so different as individuals but still come together and make good music when we choose to.
Have your experiences with releasing your ‘Concrete Jungle’ album independently changed your approach to releasing music?
No, not really. I learned a lot through my releases and realised that it’s not just about the platform you’re on, it’s about making it work to your advantage.
What did you make of that album looking back on it?
There’s stuff on there that I like, stuff that was ahead of it’s time I guess, but there are bits that haven’t aged as well! All in all, it’s a project I’m proud of though.
Moving forward, your new single with Mercston and Wretech ‘Work Get It’ is out soon. How would you describe it?
I would simply call it us being us. Having fun and trying to out do each other on the verses is just what we do and what we’ve always done.
Is it typical of what you’re looking to do musically going forward?
It’s a slight indication but I want to get deeper and deeper with each release from the new EP.
Speaking of the EP, what can we expect from that?
It’s a step away from a lot of the music that’s out there at the moment. It’s more a case of me just experimenting with new sounds that I like.
Moving away from music, talk to us a bit about your acting career – how did the ‘Top Boy’ casting come about?
The casting director saw me in a video for one of my tracks, ‘Dark Knight’, and for some reason thought I’d be ideal for the role. I went down to casting not expecting much and the rest is history…
How would you describe your experiences in Top Boy? Is there any crossover with how you approach your music?
It was a real eye opener for me because it made me realise just how many different opportunities there are out there, especially after receiving such a positive initial response.
You’ve also just been cast in a lead role for new film, ‘The Intent’ – can you tell us any more about that?
All I can tell you is that it’s looking like one of the best UK films for a long time. If I could sum my character up in one word, and more generally the film, it would be ‘explosive’.
All things considered, where do you see yourself this time next year?
It’ll be summer time, so hopefully I’ll be shooting a music video on my day off from shooting a film, while complaining that I haven’t had a chance to go on holiday yet!