August and September are notoriously busy months what with summer parties and events galore. I have been working harder than I ever have in my life this past few months with projects from Channel 4, ITV, MOBO and the BBC so I decided that I deserved at least one night out to let my hair down and shake a leg. This was done at the BBC staff carnival party, which never fails to please. It was a full house by 9pm and people weren’t backward in coming forwards with their soca bottom action and beverages were flowing heavily, luckily not all into my throat. Genesis carnival band ladies were in full costume in the house and entertained us with their pre-carnival jubilation. DJ’s Seanie B and Simply Jus Music sound system had us all two stepping and doing the cameo dance with full screaming and step it up gusto.
The next morning my Godson and his mum popped over early in the morning just in time to polish off all the fresh pancakes I’d just made-much to the held back amused vexation of the boy friend who had assumed he was going to guzzle them all down all by himself. Hilariously the godson returned the following week unannounced after his early morning football game by which point the boy friend was one step ahead of him and had put his batch of pancakes aside in advance!
My girls and I hit the hip-hop karaoke to fuel our never going to be Mariah passions. Even though I’m tone deaf I couldn’t keep off the mic and at one point they all had to sit on me to stop me dominating the set. My bad behaviour didn’t last for long as I had to summon up my best manners for the UK’s number 1 Hip-hop photographer Paul H’s baby son’s christening which was attended by his nearest and dearest which also included the cream of our hip-hop community.
On Saturday night I dragged my West-London-for-life butt down to comedian Eddie Kadi’s one- man show at the 02 Arena and then it was time for the MOBO Nomination Launch Party where anyone who is anyone in the urban music scene was seen. (More on that next week).
Even with all that social butterfly action I still was most excited about Sunday morning when my brand new silver, ‘A Grade washing machine with maximum crease free spins ‘was delivered- a true sign I am getting old.
A young man that’s had the scene buzzing with his presence is Tayo Jarret AKA young MC Scorcher. I love hearing stories of how artists got their names and Scorchers is a cute one. He revealed that he was sitting in a room in the 1990s, playing a football video game, when he made a goal and the computer flashed up the words ‘’that was a scorcher!’’ and from there on in his crew called him a scorcher!.
24 year old scorcher has the industry excited this quarter by getting signed to major record label Geffen- which is a big deal as his stable mates include snoop, Keisha Cole and Nadine Coyle. (Scorcher was recently snoops only support act at his Shepherds Bush gig) Scorcher decided to sign with them as ‘’they were up on what was going on…they seemed to understand where I was going, when people want to sign you, you have your fears as an artist, but geffens colin Barlow says he likes ‘’’gangsta’’…I couldn’t believe that a man I hadn’t spoken to much before totally understood what I was trying to be. Geffen can get me from a to b. and with global plans for more than one territory’’.
In a year where P Diddy is acknowledging UK act Skepta and Jay Sean and Estelle are still working in the USA Scorcher understands that the UK sound is slowly but surely going global. ‘’I think the Americans are finally sitting up and listening. They realise there’s money to be made and I hope we can elevate it past the money and focus into music, I hope Jay Sean, Estelle and Tinchy end up being more about the music and their potential as opposed to the amount of cash they can make their American sponsors and I take off my hat to sway for pioneering that stuff.
If I were aligned with any American act I’d love my USA partner in music to be Dr Dre –just look what he did for Eminem, The Game, his many empires. I also respect Akon with his vision for Lady Gaga’’.
Bu don’t get it twisted, scorchers true hero’s are far closer to home with him admitting that his real life hero is his uncle André- cos he was born in St Vincent, was a poor man, came to uk, studied, hustled, became a solicitor, and now owns cars and goods that your average rap star owns and has shown me that hard work pays off. Uncle André would take me on holiday and talk to me, all young kids need adults to talk to them’’.
As a child scorcher reluctantly revealed he wanted to be a fireman and played piano at his grandmas house and even too real piano lessons at grade 5 and 6, but inevitably the bedroom sets, turntables, spitting lyrics, and peer pressure meant that he started taking street music more seriously until he got onto pirate radio. He never entered talent competitions at school as he thought they were sad. Scorcher was more eager to get onto local raves at Eros, Zenon and Castles,
Scorcher adds that he was in a group from his local area (Tottenham) , but the man who ran the local radio station didn’t like him so he wasn’t offered radio spots until a local gangsta noted his talent and ‘’sorted it out for us’’.
His youthful peers included wretch32 who was in the same boat as scorcher ‘’we came together, wretch was into writing songs, we took focus from what each other were doing then Logan got the first real grime show on radio, he started playing us then I got to know Ghetts. What I think made us different was we were the first set of people that did rap and grime, rappers respected us, back then rap and grime were separate, one day we would be doing a song with Bashy, then sincere, the lines between both were really blurred and we brought a different element to grime’’.
I had to try and embarrass scorcher by mentioning that he and Skepta were often referred to as the ‘’Heart throbs of the grime scene’’ he laughed and smoothly replied ‘’I’m grateful for the tag, Skepta and I were having a joke saying every time we put out a single we take more female followers back from each other!’’.
Scorchers look is very distinctive with his love of motorbikes and a bunch of tattoos gracing his body. As he shows me them all he reminds me that ‘’the pen is mightier than the sword’’. His tats include musical notes, ‘’scorcher’’ on his right hand ‘’Skywalker’’ on left on his hand, on one inner arm the script ‘’”I stand alone because I choose not to follow the path but create my own and leave a trail . . . . . . CONCRETE JUNGLE”. A star on one elbow, he’s thinking of getting the sun on his other arm and states that he ‘’needs to earn the tats’’. The 1 tat he wont talk about is his
Very prominent lighting bolt under his eye which he insists has personal meaning.
This act is not to be confused with your average UK urban act done good however as he see’s his extended empire not just as his clothing line Skywalker (which most average acts now have 1 of), but he also runs his own video production house called ‘’Staple House’’ which came about as
‘’the first video I made I paid the director to do the video, the director asked for my creative input, so I gave it to him, after the video was edited ,I had paid him all the money upfront, he sent back the cut but all the he scenes he used were my ideas, my lighting, my choreography, it made me realise that I had practically directed it all myself. I did some research, saved up some money, my friends have similar interests. one that’s good with cameras, an animator, and the label trusts me totally to do my videos after I directed ‘its my time’. They took a risk and I didn’t let them down so it’s a good place to be in’’.
Scorchers single- its my time-is out this week. its a very empowering, positive, feel good, inspiring track that reminds me of Nas’ ‘’I can’’ song. Scorcher revealed that he wrote it in protest after feeling down as a few broadcasters weren’t play listing him and he had been feeling down but ‘’despite all the badness, I knew I was getting love from the street and net , and it made me feel unstoppable. I wanted to relay that idea and make other people feel positive and empowered too.
Scorcher leaves me with more wisdom as he tells me ‘’ I always say ‘’Be all u can be instead of be all that you can see’’.
Wise words from one so young with a life of obstacles that he’s had to overcome.
To see him in action catch the MOBO TOUR where he says you can expect him to ‘’go crazy and shut it down, I’ve been looking at some of the locations, Glasgow in particular sounds exciting!’’. Good luck with the single Scorcher! Readers-Watch out- I feel there’s a global takeover coming!.