The UK Music Industry is a fast-paced machine that constantly evolves, where artists come and go every day, being consistent as an artist is not an easy feat and sometimes you have to take a break from being consumed inside it to be able to look from the outside in and figure out your place and effect a strategy to win. Lewisham Rapper Fekky has done just that, after completing his record deal with Island Records he took some time out analysed the game and has returned with a more authentic Musical version of his true self. ahead of the release of his first independent Mixtape ‘For Life’ we had a chat about his new music, plans of building a legacy and bringing it back to the streets.
Fekky you came back with a bang!
You know what its weird cos a lot of people have been hitting me up saying they like the feel of it, but I’ve got so much, I’m just anxious to get it all out man.
The question is why has it taken you so long to come with that type of content?
I just needed to get right, I got consumed in the game, do you know what I mean? It’s like if you look at how I came out, I was like non-stop for 5 years adapting to it all and I started making Music that I wasn’t really feeling, its like I was making music for the fact of making it and not really enjoying it, the last like year of it, I had to just chill out and get back to it man.
I hear you, what type of things do you think have aided you in getting back to you?
Living and just that feeling of being wanted and that you’ve been missed, It’s easy to be in the game and sometimes when you’re running around you forget your family, you forget your fans and what really put you in that place. I watch the game and I feel like when I first came into it I saw a hole in the market and I knocked into that hole and when I got into the game I forgot that I was that void and then when I’ve been watching the game from the outside during the last year and a half of being away I’ve kind of felt like “nah man we need that Fekky back” and that’s why I thought “I’m going to work man lets go!”
Yeah definitely, there’s a lot of Music in the game right now that doesn’t have that energy, that punch.
Yeah 100% and you’ve got to own that cos before I took my break I started feeling like I was just doing what everyone else was doing and I forgot to do Fekky, no-one can do Fekky like Fekky that’s me.
I have a little insight into your roots as a South London guy from Lewisham, living a certain lifestyle with a reputation and then I heard you on a lot of Grime related projects and being brought through with a lot of Grime artists and I was a bit confused. Do you ever get that from people that really know you, the questions as to why the contrast?
Yh I get it and that’s what I mean about being consumed, cos you come into the game and at the time you have certain people in certain positions that are showing you that type of love and its like you kind of feel like you have to fit into what they’re doing. Remember I come from something that is very authentic and sometimes it’s so authentic to a point where it can actually be like, not scary but people can be scared of where you’re from and what you’re about, so me being a natural businessman I just adapted to my surroundings. I don’t regret it but I look back at some of the stuff and I don’t like it, I had to do what I had to do bro and to be honest with you at the end of the day that is what built Fekky as a brand, me not being ignorant to change.
Like a lot of man that came into the game after me are still trying to hold onto their street status, like I could come out tomorrow and jump into Pop but it could never change who I am its impossible and I feel like a lot of man were too busy trying to prove to everyone that they’re hard, prove to everyone that they’re from the roads, where with me when I did Bubu Bang and all these type of things, people in jail, people everywhere were like what’s he doing? They didn’t understand it do you know what I’m saying but at the same time I was just free I was a free person.
The environment that you placed yourself in has allowed you to be more creative with it and to be more musical with it, without having to have a specific image because the people that you were around weren’t taking life seriously like that in that vein,
Yh, If you look at all the man that was around me at the time, no disrespect to them I’m seeing a lot of them coming back which is good cos the game has changed back into our favour, but I left them behind cos I clocked the game and I adapted into what it needed to be. Now its annoying cos the game’s gone back into a space of where you can be what you want and I’m like “oh if you told me I could of done that I would of given you the full authentic ting.
I fell out with a lot of man from my own area. I had to kinda step to the side of it you know what I’m saying? Cos I felt like that’s what I had to do to get through the door and you make promises like y’know what let me get through, I’ll bring everyone through, but when you’re from the hood, people aint trying to hear that cos everyone is whispering in each others ears and telling them that you’re leaving and what not, but I’m happy that even the man from my hood that started rapping they learnt the same mistakes.
It must have been a shock to see how the mainstream rap game has made a complete 360 back to gangster rap, cos now you’ve got rappers like Mitch coming out of Jail, he’s on BBC 1xtra doing up freestyles, Snap Capone is straight out doing freestyles with Kenny Allstar.
It’s annoying, like I said I don’t regret anything, because at the end of the day I did what I had to do and I really collected a lot of coins from this game, I really built a brand that is like a household name in the UK industry, but at the same time I would have loved to do it being 100 percent myself.
And is that what we can expect from you now?
One Million percent
Well that’s it cos everybody has to go on a journey to get to their destination right?
Exactly that’s just what I had to do, cos even in my hood I’ve always been like a clever person even though I’ve been in the hood I’ve always come out, flown out, visited different types of people from all walks of life, so I’ve always been an adaptable person. It’s just about taking the same techniques from the hood and applying it to the game.
Talk me through the new project ‘For Life”
It’s letting everybody know that this ting is for life, the project is bringing it back to the authentic stage like what you said before a lot of people see me on stage jumping up and down, it’s a lot of hype but less substance and I feel like now with this project you’re gonna get the substance that you’ve been wanting from me. If you listen to the second verse of the opening track ‘All the Smoke’ that I put out the other day ‘Man are talking about punching, who does that? A man hit me, said give him my number I told him my snap, all they wanna do is talk peoples business and who has got time for that?”. It’s more real talk now, less just saying what rhymes and going for energy
Do you think that the project will fully articulate that authentic message you speak so much about to your audience and do you think that with a half mainstream half hood audience they will fully accept that from you and stay with you as a following?
One million percent because as much as I’ve adapted to what it was before I have adapted to what it is now. I still understand that I have a certain fan-base and I still understand that I have a new fan-base that doesn’t know that side of me so I understand it to the point where I will still put out hype songs alongside the new music, however this time there will be a lot more consistency, with consistency I can put out song after song and build my story.
Before it would be like 1 or 2 songs a year and I’ll just piss off, but now it’s like Nah I’m gonna keep coming and keep coming, it’s nonstop, I made 84 songs bro, how can I put them out?
Coming back into the game, what are your new targets within Music?
You know what I’m getting older and I’ve always had a boss mentality, I feel like now its about bossing up and that’s why people might say to me oh do you like being compared to certain new rappers? “no” because at the end of the day I feel like I’ve had a longer journey and put it this way if you act like a yout you will be taken for a yout and with me now I feel like its time to boss up, give opportunities to the youts that are coming through, show them the things that we didn’t have when we was coming through when we was signing our deals, remember I’m independent now, so coming out of the deal I learnt a lot about where I’m giving away a lot of my stuff, so my main journey now is to build a brand that is not just about me it’s a bigger picture, so it could be a UK Young Money it could be a Bad Boy its about using myself to leap frog a whole next movement for the next 5-10 years.
Now you’re independent and back to your core, what Music have you been listening to during your time out of the game that is inspiring you today?
Just everything, I have been listening to everything, that’s the reason that I think what I’m coming with is going to be special because I’ve managed to adapt and if you don’t evolve you will be extinct innit? I’ve evolved into it now and I feel like whether it’s the Afrobeats, whether it’s the drill, whatever it is I feel like I listen to it all and I’ve got a son who is almost ten and he is a better A&R than any UK label has got, he sees everything before anyone and he’s always saying look at this one look at that one.
That’s important, very important you have to be in touch with the youth cos their ear and eye for talent is ten times better than ours.
So have you not got any key artists or sounds that inspire your new musical approaches, such as the upcoming Chicago scene with Polo G and Cal Boy or closer to home the Wavy rap that is pioneered by D Block Europe, Nafe Smallz etc?
No definitely not, that’s the mistake I made last time, as a musician and a passionate one you feel like you wanna show too much craft all the time, so I let too many people get in the way, where I’m thinking let me drop that song and rap or let me try this flow, no I just wanna be Fekky, that is the key to what is coming next, this is gonna be me and no-one can do me better than me, so I watch it all and I appreciate it and I see little things, like sounds or even melodies that I can add to my hooks and stuff but the main core is Fekky.
What is going be the roll-out order before the release of your mixtape ‘For Life?’ More tracks, visuals?
What I’m doing at the moment is I’m putting out music and its ready, I want to give them the music first I don’t wanna give it to them all at once, too quick, I wanna spread it out and give them different flavours so they can kinda see where I’m at with it now. This time around we are going for a legacy, its bigger than just going for a moment, it’s a legacy I feel like I deserve it now, I feel like when I came in the game whether it was performing, dressing whatever it was I just feel like I’ve always been a trendsetter and I feel like these things are overlooked due to inconsistency and if another rapper is moving consistent with their approach to Music they deserve their success, so now its time for me to put in that work to get what I deserve.
It’s the right attitude to have in the current climate
There’s a lot going on bro man and the worst thing you can do is hate or be negative towards what’s going on, you just gotta make sure you believe in yourself in order to make everyone else believe in you
Is there anything else that you want to add that you want your fans to know?
I just want them to get locked in, its gonna be a journey, I promised my fans this time that there’s gonna be a lot of consistency. I know that people think that cos they see me in Rolls Royce’s and all types of things and think that maybe he doesn’t care or that he’s just rich and running around living life or whatever, but Music means a lot to me, its done a lot for me in my life which I’m happy for and I think this time around I want everyone to just take it serious cos I’m gonna take it serious.