The UK MC tells Time Out about depression, rebellion and new new album
So tell us about your new album, Jigsaw. The first album [2006’s Public Warning] was more aggressive and rap-orientated; there was more flow to it. But I guess as I’ve got older – yuck! – my musical tastes have broadened. As a result Jigsaw’s got a lot more variety on it. There’s nothing more boring than listening to an album where everything’s the same. I’ve also doing more singing on it, rather than just rapping.
Do you feel like you’re always pushing yourself? I just like to hear what I do in different ways. I’m not big-headed, but I like what I do. But as a person I’m really easygoing – to the point that I put a song on there that I’m not happy with: ‘Guitar’. I realised after it came out that it’s the worst song I’ve ever done in my entire life! I hate it! I don’t listen to it any more, I don’t perform it…
You’re critical of the new LP, then? Oh no, I love it all! Well, apart from ‘Guitar’. I don’t tend to get bored of my stuff. I have to perform it a lot, so I have to enjoy it.
Do you take your role as a performer seriously? It’d be a shame if I got onstage – which I have done, sometimes – and threw a tantrum or didn’t enjoy it. I keep in my head the fact that people are there to see me and they are there to have fun, so I have to be on top form, you know?
You suffered from depression a few years ago; has that lifted now? Yeah, but I still have my moments. Like the other day I was thinking about stuff and I got a bit upset, but yeah. I need to make another album to make myself feel better. Music is how I… I don’t know… how I deal with it.
Are you working on a third album now? Oh yeah, I’m already working on it. Hearing my own music gives me a feeling that’s not in the dictionary, you know? You’ll make an album and it’ll be all right for a bit, but then you’ll want to make something else. I’m thinking of acting to break it up a bit. I’ve already had some offers but they haven’t been the right ones. I don’t want to do a movie just because it’s there – I want it to be credible and worthwhile.
What kind of offers have you turned down? There was this UK movie – some futuristic set thing with gangs in it. It was a bit too ‘urban’. They wanted me to play the leader of this gang but there were a few bits that put me off – the girl wore a skirt and was a bit promiscuous and I was like, er? No.
So what would you like to do? I’d like to do an ’80s-based movie or a ’70s-based punk film. I’d really enjoy that one.
Yeah, you’ve covered Sex Pistols and Buzzcocks before. What’s the sound of youth rebellion now? I’d say it’s dubstep – it’s instrumental, but it’s aggressive and definitely rebellious. The bass says a lot. Jigsaw is available in stores.