Will socialism change the face of Grime? M.I.C met with me to discuss the patriarchy, memes and upcoming events in 2017. Keep your eyes peeled for M.I.C this year, he’s coming for the Grime scene and you all need to be prepared.
Klaudia: So your Instagram allows you to have a platform that reaches a lot of people; how do you think you influence your followers?
M.I.C: I’m inspired to influence my followers with this meme that I have on my phone. [Pulls out phone] It’s so weird, it says, “use your internet powers for good.” I hate the fact that I have to say a meme has influenced me to do good; in recent times, memes sometimes are an outlet for negative views, so for me, I kind of wanted go against that and have something more positive in this year, 2017. Everything is sordid and corrupt, I just wanted to make something nice. Also, I have younger friends and family and I wanted to make something that was a good influence on them.
What do you think about memes becoming influential on people?
I love memes! I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from people who have meme accounts on Facebook, which is a bit weird. There’s some really good socialist pages on Facebook, that have hilarious memes and very interesting articles and links to documentaries. I’ve learnt a lot from them. I think that the stand up comedian in 2017 has become redundant. Memes are taking over.
Time to get a bit political here, but with the current President of the United States being a huge misogynist and other political figures undermining women, how does that make you feel?
I’m someone who’s really frustrated with men. I hate the (male) community and the views within the community because I’m trying to be a better man and I find myself battling with a lot of men’s views. Not to say women can’t be bigots; I think men just have a lot more to improve on. I do exaggerate on being a misandrist, I don’t hate men, I just want them to improve. It can be tiring to help them do so.
How do you feel being in a genre that is predominantly male with some misogynistic views?
A lot of music, outside of the realm of rap music is misogynist. If you look at a lot of metal festivals, lots of festivals in general, they’ll have 3% or 4% of female lead acts. Another example is (the comments section of) Boiler Room; they have an electronic forum and lots of male commentators tend to say rude things about women. I feel like the genre (grime) can be seen as misogynistic because it’s wordy. There’s a lot more words in a song when someone is MCing compared to an R’n’B song (for example), and we know people like Chris Brown can be REALLY misogynistic. What I’m trying to get at is that I want to use my aesthetic and moral code to contest the norms of the genre which includes the misogyny in the lyrics. It can be a bit frustrating when I’m around people in the scene or when I hear MCs say stuff that’s really problematic but you know what I have to appreciate that not everyone is on the same level as me yet. It’s a bit pretentious to think that people will adopt my views straight away. I just need to get the ball rolling and wait.
What other genres do you like?
I’m really into a lot of hardcore punk. Metal, heavy guitar music in general. I like challenging music that demands my attention. I think I listen to a wide range of music, but my focus shifts every few months. I like a lot of post-punk too, so like Killing Joke, a British band from the late 70s, early 80s. I really like Siouxsie and the Banshees, I really like a lot of jazz, jazz-fusion and related genres as well. Psychedelic rock and pop. Back to the different genres, I like 90s rock, my favourite band is My Bloody Valentine anything neo-psychedelia. I like a lot of world music. Music from Japan, from Brazil etc. I’m not into anything else the way I am into music. I try to absorb as many different music genres as I can, to get influence into making a slightly more diverse left-field sound. I’m also really inspired by someone like Kate Bush, she’s so inspirational, I love her so much.
Why is she?
Because she was the realest. She made her best albums when she was a teenager, young adult. She writes her stuff, has a beautiful voice and really interesting song topics, which inspires me a lot. She was in the realm of pop but she was someone who pushed.
Your new compilation, Revenge for Colonialism, what’s the reason behind the name?With this next release, I am capitalising the attention I got with my last release. It’s going to have similar production, similar song topics and subject matter but a bit more diverse. It’s almost like a mission statement. I was inspired when I saw the rapper Father had a mini tour around Europe entitled Revenge for Slavery. It was comedic, but at the same time, it was slyly inflammatory. I want to make music that is really invigorating for people who are from backgrounds that have been displaced or assaulted by Britain and similar places in western Europe. A few of the lyrics will be referring to things I am really against, like colonialism/imperialism and British right-wing politics. It’s empowerment music, more than anything else. I hope people that don’t even know what colonialism even is can learn from it. I grew up on listening to System Of A Down and I didn’t know anything about what happened in Armenia. Listening to their music put me onto the issue. I want to do the same and be able to help people take an interest in learning about these things for themselves. Also, this release will have a few brand songs but also remixes of songs from my last EP (“You’re Going To Hell If You Read The Sun”). Some good producers are on board. I can’t say much but some of them are already known. A certain producer from Astral Black has made a remix to one of my songs. Luke Warm, as well. Absolute legend. It’ll be an interesting release, I can’t wait to drop it!
When will you be dropping it?
Hopefully this side of the year. There’s been a few issues with booking a studio but ideally I’d like to release it before May.
Is there anything exciting coming your way in 2017?
I have a few upcoming shows in London and a few other places, but I can’t say too much at the moment. London will be hearing a lot of me, and a few other places will be getting me too. Just watch my Instagram; whenever you see a post from the anime show Yu Yu Hakusho that’s how I’ll be announcing shows furthermore. In fact, I’m going to be in Brighton with my friends JP and Falaf on Saturday March 18th for Cult Studies next event. I am also looking to get things popping in places outside of music, like writing. I’ve written a few articles already but I will be continuing that this year. I have three different articles to be in a few different zines and blogs, including one about the systematic demonization of grime music by the mainstream British media. I also have an album I want to release properly, that I’ve made. I did all the production. My last release [You’re Going To Hell If You Read The Sun] and this release [Revenge For Colonialism] feature production by Secundus. The album is solely my own production, but all the songs are on my computer that broke last year. I want to amass a really strong fanbase before I release it anyway, and polish it up some more. In the meantime, I want to keep the ball rolling. Keep amassing this (fanbase).
What’s it like being vegan as a Grime artist?
Often, I have conversations with people who listen to my music but have no idea that I am vegan. I don’t know how they miss it, I say it all the time. If you listen to what I’m saying, there’s a lyric on North Mid on You’re Going To Hell If You Read The Sun where I say, “I walk into Westfield Pret, Soya shake don’t want a mocha.” Soya shake doesn’t even exist, I made that up *laughs*. There’s loads of odd conversations that I have with people where they just don’t clock it. It’s more me explaining as well. People are usually cool with it these days, I think I’ve just established myself as someone you shouldn’t play with. Don’t run any of your dead jokes on me (about veganism). I think JME’s existence helps too, cos he’s [one of] the biggest in Grime and he’s vegan.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just keep eating your veggies, drinking water and not eating animals. If you just have one less animal based meal a week, that would be nice. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to my friends in NTN JP, Falaf, HEG, S’M, Luke Warm, and to Ob-Server, as well as my friends in the Blue Room Mafia.