Growing up in Stockwell, South London of Jamaican parents Rodney Smith made his recorded debut in 1994 as part of IQ Procedure through Suburban Base’s short-lived hip hop imprint Bluntly Speaking Vinyl. He debuted as Roots Manuva the same year on Blak Twang’s “Queen’s Head” single, before releasing his own single, “Next Type of Motion” the following year through the same label, the hugely influential Sound of Money. 1996 saw the release of his collaborations with Skitz (“Where My Mind Is At”/”Blessed Be the Manner”) on 23 Skidoo’s Ronin label. The release of “Feva” on Tony Vegas’s Wayward imprint followed in 1997. This was also the year that saw the first releases from Big Dada, a collaboration between Coldcut’s Ninja Tune label and hip hop journalist Will Ashon. In 1998 he joined the label and the following year released his debut, “Brand New Second Hand”.
From an initial 3000 records put into the shops “BNSH” has now sold over 60,000 copies in the UK, with The Times declaring that “his is the voice of urban Britain, encompassing dub, ragga, funk and hip hop as it sweeps from crumbling street corners to ganja-filled dancehalls, setting gritty narratives against all manner of warped beats.” Manuva was rewarded for his breakthrough with a MOBO as Best Hip Hop Act that year.
Big things were now expected of Smith and he delivered with 2001’s “Run Come Save Me,” the record which gained him a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize and which has sold well over 100,000 copies in the UK (certified gold). More importantly, it spawned the all-time classic “Witness” (voted the greatest UK hip hop tune of all time by the readers of Hip Hop Connection) on an album that ran from the broad, swaggering pop of “Dreamy Days” to the dark, odd meditation of “Evil Rabbit.” It is also the record which led the Guardian newspaper, in October 2003, to proclaim Manuva fifth in their “40 Best Bands In Britain” feature, proclaiming that “his influence is incalculable and he opened the doors for the Streets, Dizzee Rascal et al.” That influence also stretches to the Arctic Monkeys, who are on record as saying that “Run Come Save Me” was almost all they listened to whilst recording their debut album.
dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip
(Dan Stephens and David Meads respectively) are a band originally hailing from Stanford-le-Hope in Essex. The duo are signed to Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best Records in the UK/Europe and Sage Francis’s Strange Famous Recordings in the USA. Their debut album Angles was released on 12/05/08 in the UK and 02/09/08 in the US. The band is most well-known for the 2007 song "Thou Shalt Always Kill". The name "Scroobius Pip" is an intentional misspelling of the Edward Lear poem, The Scroobious Pip. Scroobius Pip attended St Thomas More High School for Boys in Westcliff, Essex and was brought up in and around Southend-on-Sea.
Since March 2007 they have undertaken multiple UK, US and European tours. The band have also appeared at the Glastonbury Festival, Reading and Leeds Festival 07 and 08, Bestival 07 and 08, Underage Xmas party 08 Lowlands, Fuji Rock Festival, Coachella, Monolith Festival and have also supported RJD2, EL-P, Mark Ronson, Basement Jaxx and Fujiya & Miyagi.
The duo undertook a three-date mini-tour in July 2008, performing in London, Manchester and Glasgow. The shows were presented as 'motivational seminars', using four forms of motivation—Love, Lessons, Storytelling and Religion—to link their songs throughout the show. The duo ended each gig with covers of the Sugababes' 2005 song Push The Button and Prince's 1991 track Cream.
In late 2008 they collaborated with De La Soul and re-recorded their debut single "Thou Shalt Always Kill", which was released on 26/01/09 on Sunday Best.
The King Blues
2009 has seen the King Blues score their biggest hit to date with “Save The World, Get The Girl” (which was on the Radio 1 “B” list), play a sold out London show with Rise Against at The Roundhouse, grace the cover of KERRANG magazine and get confirmed for the Give It A Name festival in London this April (appearing with Enter Shikari). They even got their own billboard in Shoreditch, London, spray-painting an open letter to Gordon Brown upon it which generated much interest. Their album Save The World, Get The Girl was critically lauded by Kerrang, Rock Sound and Big Cheese. Kerrang! called them ‘the most exciting live band in Britain’ and hailed the album as one of the year’s best.
But they’re just getting started in their plans for 2009, with three more singles to be released from Save The World and Get The Girl The next single will be “I Got Love” which will be available from 4th May 2009 on both download and CD single.
"Right now, very few bands sound more relevant, more vital or more alive"
Let there be no mistake, Master Shortie – rapper, entrepreneur, samplemeister, indie/rap pioneer and musical trail-blazer - is a man who always gets what he wants.
Shortie is a self-made 19-year-old artist who simply doesn’t play by anyone’s rules but his own. A man who has been recording raps off his own back and without any major label backing since he was 12 and is totally in charge of all of his own promotion, record releases, styling and marketing. As a result he’s become the poster boy of a DIY underground scene that represents everything that’s exciting and unique about UK music today, and all the while making the kind of vibrant, nail-you-to-the-groove 80s tinged electro-hop that puts him alongside Black Kids, Cool Kids and any other kind of kids that are redefining what 21st Century, post-industry music can be.
“My music is more of a crossover between electro and indie, with hip-hop.”
Shortie is creating his own personal empire. Hooking up with teenage production wunderkind Lab eighteen months ago he began recording around 20 tracks off his own back, an eclectic and adventurous bunch of tunes unified by Shortie’s electrified hyper speed raps and a desire to demolish all musical boundaries. They range from the cinematic hip-hop name checking of ‘Rope Chain’ to the soulful boy band balladry of ‘Under The Moon’, the Prince synths of ‘Groupie Love’ and ‘Prince Charming’ a perky slab of electronic pop pizzazz which samples Adam Ant’s 1980s swashbuckling anthem of the same name.
Master Shortie is the Real Deal, and he’s ready to unleash his molten mix of The Rapture, Outkast, DMX, Usher, Klaxons, Prince, Axel F and drum’n’bass on the world. The question is, is the world ready for such an unquantifiable boy genius as MS?
Right now Master Shortie demands your attention. And what Master Shortie wants…
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