Photography & Interview: Adam Horton / Words: Tom Everest

Two weeks ago, Scorcher made his latest splash ahead of what is set to be a summer of big releases by jumping on his own HB Freestyle on Link Up TV. Before he even stepped to the mic he was introduced as ‘a legend.’ You’d be forgiven into thinking it was just a throw-away intro – just another over-inflated superlative to describe a UK artist who is set to show his best in an online freestyle. You’d be wrong, though. It’s a title that should sit a little more comfortable on Scorcher’s shoulders.


Because there’s not much that Scorcher can’t turn his hand to. A slew of underground grime hits matched by a sprinkling of mainstream appearances has seen the 33-year-old North London MC grow into one of the most appreciated and respected artists in the UK. Even as an actor, starring at the soon-to-be-retuning smash TV series, Top Boy, Scorcher excelled. He’s made it all look entirely natural. He does things at his own pace and his own time. Where so many peers fall short or fall out of favour completely, Scorcher knows the recipe to success and he’s ready to cook something up again.


Despite being in the game for over a decade now, Scorcher’s music and style is more relevant than ever. That’s because there is an awful lot more to Scorcher than meets the eye. Which is exactly what we found out when we sat down with one of the most versatile and multi-faceted minds in the game to talk new tracks, Top Boy and, most importantly, his one love – Tottenham Hotspur.

You’ve previously said you never wanted to play football professionally, but how big a part of your life has it played?


You know what yeah, when I think about it, I probably watch or play football every single day, talk about football, FIFA, or something everyday. So, when I really think about it, it’s probably the most important thing in the world.


What do you think Tottenham need to do next season to better the season just gone?


Same thing as always, it’s like ‘Pinky and the Brain’, same plan every single day, we need some signings, but we need the right signings that’s going to push us on to the next level and go a step further. Although we’ve got enough to get to the Champions League final again this season, we need that last little bit to get over the line.


You say on one of your latest tracks “I heard your new flow and thats a me one.” How much do you feel you’ve influenced the grime scene?


I don’t really know, I don’t really know how much I’ve influenced other people. But, sometimes I hear things and think ‘Rah, I would do that’, or I would say that and I wonder, it’s kinda me. Sometimes I think ‘rah thats sick, I would do that,’ but only they know if that’s been inspired by me.


Following from that – how do you measure your success & your influence?


For me, I don’t really measure success. It’s more like when things from my normal life, and things happen that impact them or they notice, or can be proud of, like my Mum can be proud or my Nan, stuff like that.


You’ve donned football shirts in music videos before, why do you think music and football go hand in hand? Especially with music genres that originate from the streets…


I used to wear football shirts in my videos because thats just what I wear, you get artists and their whole thing is that they want to sell you something, they wanna show you like rah look at this car, look at these jewells or sometimes its stuff that they don’t even have, but my thing is different. When I’m giving people visuals, I’m trying to bring them into my world. Football is a big part of my world, like I’ve got a Tottenham tattoo on my leg, so I always thought it was normal, and also, I’ll do stuff like wear my friends shirts and stuff. My friend Nathaniel Chalobah, he was at Napoli, and Ive always liked Napoli as a football club, and I thought it was a perfect time. Big up my bredrin and wear a shirt I thought was dope as well.


I think the two things, they just go hand in hand, in reality, sports people listen to music, musicians watch sport, it’s totally natural, the two things reflect each other, hence you see footballers walking on the pitch wearing headphones. Dancing to stuff on their social media, and vice versa, you see artists watching the Champions League Final etc. It’s pretty normal.


You’ve just got the call from Daniel Levy to over take Pochettino – what do you do on your first day?


First things first, I go to the big Daniel Levy, I go to his door, knock on his door, tell him listen, I need 200 M’s right now, thats the first thing I do, second thing I do, is probably pack my bags, get sacked and put on gardening leave.

You’ve had an extensive list of collaborators during your music career – what would be your Grime 5 a side team? No subs.


First of all, Logan Sama in goal, that is a fact, because he used to be a goalkeeper, he’s good as well, Logan in goal. Me at the back, definitely at the back. Kano, striker, this is where it gets shaky man. Erm, Dave, Dave’s alright you know, I’ll pick Dave in my team, I kick ball with Dave two weeks ago, I’ll put him in my team, maybe in the midfield. J2K is dope, I kick ball with J2K, he’s good, so thats the last one. 2 at the back, 1 free role and a striker.


You’ve released multiple tracks in just 2/3 months, what have you got planned for the immediate future?


I’m working on a new single, I just wanna put out music. The main thing, when I was away, I just realised, how much I missed just putting music out, not even like, an album, just releasing music you know what I’m saying? The privileges that it has, just having people that just wanna hear your music, when I came back, I just thought I’ll make a record and then boom, it just snowballed, one record, two records. I just didn’t come out the studio. I just wanna work towards putting out records and then releasing an album or some sort of body of work further on down in the year maybe.

With starring in Top Boy & the film The Intent – is there a natural correlation between being a musician and actor? Is there any possible roles in the pipeline?


I don’t really know, I used to think, ‘rah its all kinda the same, but then, I’ll be honest, you see other people that maybe do one thing and then do another thing, and it just doesn’t connect you feel the disconnection. There are artists that might be so sick as an artist, but when they are acting sometimes, it feels like they are actually acting and sometimes the other way round as well. So I don’t know if theres a straight connection. The only thing  is if you’re an artist that performs, in a sense you’re always someone that creates characters then, maybe. But that’s not really for me, because my music’s really personal to me. My music isn’t an act, its not a performance. It’s like I’m letting people in on my little world, my little window. So, I wouldn’t say it’s the same.


Residing in Tottenham, have you always been a Tottenham fan? Has there been another team?


You know what yeah, it’s actually so mad, my whole family are Tottenham supporters. When I say my whole family, I mean it. My grandad he just passed away, Tottenham fan. My dad, Tottenham fan. My mum, Tottenham fan. My mum’s mum and dad, Tottenham fan. Me, Tottenham fan. Sister, Tottenham fan. My son, Tottenham fan. It’s just everyone, it’s just all we know.


However, when I was proper proper young, the first team that I proper loved was AC Milan, I don’t know why, it was just something about them. Baresi, Maldini, it was just something about them. I just used to rate them so much, that was probably my first first love, but then Tottenham, you just can’t help but love them. Tottenham for me, it’s not even about winning, it’s just my local team. There’s nothing more to it than that. I go passed the stadium all the time, I grew up going past White Hart Lane whether its on the train, or on the bus, on foot. When I was young, my parents never used to go to games, I think my dad used to go to games before I was born, it was like the older I got, the more I was getting into it, I started going to games. I’ll go to games by myself and now it’s mad, because my son just turned 7, and he’s been to the Old White Hart Lane, Wembley, and the stadium. Which is mad. It’s mad to think that you could’ve been to 3 home stadiums for the same club in such a short space of time – he’s only 7.

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