English rapper Stratz released his debut single “Likkle More” on August 3rd.
Hailing from North London, the English rapper comes from a tough neighborhood where gangs and violence were constant. Despite everything, Stratz used music and songwriting to tell his personal stories by delivering hopeful and inspiring records.
“I’ve always had a different style and I think this is what allowed me to develop a unique sense of lyrical development and instead of adding to problems, I try to find the solution,” expresses Stratz.
Inspired by the likes of Popcaan, Vybz Kartel and Movado, the artist takes his influences from Jamaica and Nigeria, his origins. The rapper debuts “Likkle More”, featuring vocals from Portsmouth singer/songwriter Amba Tremain.
“I want to mix that unique touch from dancehall into dance music in the UK”, explains the British rapper.
“Likkle More” is now available on all major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself. Where are you from?
I go by the stage name Stratz and I was born and raised in north London. Parents backgrounds are Jamaican /Nigerian which does have an affect on my views and opinions about everything I see and do. I’m often working but when I don’t, I’m down in Portsmouth working on my next project or catching up with mates both in London and Portsmouth.
What’s your story?
Story starts typically with the normal London street culture involving drugs, weapons and crime, but luckily progresses into something more meaningful and constructive. I joined a three year apprenticeship and during the final year decided I would push my music out aswell, so my life has sorta spiralled around these two things and made me the person I am now.
When did you decide to become an artist? What did your family and friends think about it?
I decided to forward with music when I was going through bad lonely times last year. I always made music, just not as seriously therefore initial reactions would be ‘you’re not serious’ or 'if you don’t believe in your music then how you’re going to blow’ and this made me realise I should make music properly, at this point, reactions changed and support grew.
What did you grow up listening to?
I grew up predominantly listening to hip hop and dancehall music.
You’ve just released your debut single “Likkle More”. What’s the story behind this record? Who’s featured on this record? Who produced the track?
I take influence from Jamaica and Nigeria, being parents origins and within these places, it is simple nature to share with your brothers and your immediate family, so I used the term “likkle more”, as we carry these actions over from the homeland and into the current world we live in, which I’ll describe as a problem. So the initial track was recorded using an instrumental I found on YouTube and when I laid lyrics onto this backing track, it was really good, but to progress to a beat tailored to fit around me and the singer, was a wonderful feeling of achievement and going that extra mile to make authentic original music. The female singer is a phenomenal singer from Portsmouth called Amba Tremain (shout out to Amba) who I met via the studio and they thought she’d be a good voice to help push out my message, and it couldn’t have been a better choice, Jervace Ramsey was the producer behind the instrumental I used.
What made you want to release this particular record as a first single?
It was a nice message to display the type of artist I want to portray and become, this track is me in a nutshell and the vibe I want to express.
How does it feel to release your original music for the first time?
When you see the positive comments on your social media, and how many people support you, anyone would smile.
What does it mean for you to be an artist?
It means I have a responsibility to entertain haha, and in some ways educate.
What are the biggest struggles you’ve had to overcome as a person and as an artist?
Few years back, I was on court cases and nearly went to prison, the stress of it all had me drinking excessively and having little patience with anything which meant I couldn’t be constructive or productive. I think it was a very hard step to make breaking out of that mindset.
What lessons did you learn along the way?
I learnt to express how I feel better, ask for help when it’s due (Still working progress). Very cynical but like my clothing brand trust no 1 (TN1) and this means follow your thoughts, don’t allow others to manipulate you.
You are from North London. How would you describe this area of London?
Each area of London has its problems and it’s too easy to find it if you’re amongst certain groups or live within these areas. Where I grew up, looking back was clearly not the best environment but it made me and my people who we are and we learnt lessons hard or not, some of us didn’t make it and that’s just the reality of the streets.
What do you think of the music scene in London?
As big as it is, I think it’s a very closed circle and you have to mimic a certain way to break into it. But by all means it’s a huge scene and has many opportunities.
Any song or album that had a huge impact in your life?
Vybz Kartel, “Have A Little More”. This song means a lot to me and helped me see positivity in anything.
What defines you?
Hard question, the answer is within the eye of the beholder. In my eyes it’s Eccentric haha. I think I look at things in a different way from most whether one likes it or not.
What message do you want to deliver to the world?
Drop the violence, bring the peace, one soul lost is one too many.
What are you currently working on?
After “Likkle More” I have a dance type of song pending, and it delivers a different message more visually than verbally.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
More understanding, more individuality, better parenting.
What’s your purpose?
I think If my music makes people smile and dance, it’s like heat travelling through atoms, just passes the vibe to the next one.
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