MistaJam has told Music Week that he’d like to see more independence in the UK rap scene.
Speaking after Novelist earned a place on the Mercury Prize shortlist for his debut album, Novelist Guy, MistaJam said that “UK rap is in the best position it’s ever been in”.
The BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ dismissed the idea that UK MCs fared better last year, when Stormzy, Loyle Carner and J Hus all made the Mercury shortlist with debut albums.
“Novelist being one of the nominated albums is brilliant for him but he’s not carrying an entire scene on his back,” said MistaJam.
“He’s independent and that’s great. His mum is his manager! When you look at all of the genres represented, there’s something for everyone.”
One of the 12 judges who decide the Mercury Prize shortlist, MistaJam revealed that he’d like to see UK rappers follow in Novelist’s footsteps as independent artists.
“I’d love to see it be a bit more independent moving forward,” he said. “I love what the major labels are doing, but we always know that there becomes a homogenised sound when there’s a lot of money involved. Only time will tell.”
There becomes a homogenised sound when there’s a lot of money involved
MistaJam, BBC Radio 1Xtra
Croydon MC Hardy Caprio is signed to Virgin EMI, and has seen his hometown predecessor Stormzy align his #Merky operation with Atlantic.
In a new interview, Caprio told Music Week: “It wasn’t a destination of mine to sign to a major label. At the time I signed, labels had a bad stigma, but it’s not something to complain about. I feel like it’s a major milestone that I can’t overlook. I’m grateful to the label for changing my life, it’s a stepping stone to future success, hopefully.”
Subscribers can revisit Music Week’s Big Story on the majors’ changing relationship with British rappers here.
Click here to read an interview with Stormzy’s manager Tobe Onwuka about the future of #Merky under Atlantic.
Click here to read our MistaJam profile from December 2017.
Read more from Hardy Caprio in a forthcoming issue of Music Week.
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Photo: Louise Haywood-Schiefer