TAYO JARRETT REVEALS THAT PLEASING GRIME PURISTS WAS THE LAST THING ON HIS MIND WHEN CRAFTING THE LONG-AWAITED DEBUT ALBUM UNDER HIS SCORCHER ALIAS, AS RIP NICHOLSON DISCOVERS.
SCORCHER interviewed @ 08:30 AEST – Friday 13th August, 2010
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
London’s urban music is every bit as vibrant as its New York sister metropolis, drawing charge from its darkened concrete corners of city living. Yet the subgenres of dubstep and garage tangled around toasting-raps has distanced itself from its hip hop roots and stood alone as grime – the soundtrack emanating off the sidewalks of North London’s estates.
At home amidst this dampened, underground movement is the young MC Tayo Jarrett, aka Scorcher, who insists that despite harnessing the urban vibe of London, the juice of grime can be rung out from any dank and drizzled concrete jungle. “Grime music tends to draw inspiration from the darkness that surrounds us as people and wherever you go there’s darkness.”
As an international artist Jarrett’s music is clearly different to any style we are used to, and that includes The Streets and import-favourite Dizzee Rascal. You couldn’t mistake London grime for anything else. And the hype building around this subculture has afforded Jarrett a chance to delight the world with a renewed source of energy in dancehall-type hip hop. Jarrett only hopes it will pick up and fly financially as strongly as American-based hip hop. “With more territories being broken like Australia we’re well on our path to world recognition.”
However in trying to break through, a clear line can be breached, with fans and artists alike splitting the hairs of hip hop and grime. The hardcore factions have insisted that Scorcher crossed the line on his 2009 album Concrete Jungle, heading toward the bright lights of hip hop and the enticing sounds of electronica. Scorcher admits he does, all in the name of being a better artist rather than sticking to the G-code.
“The grime community is made up of a small percentage of grime purists who despise all other genres and a larger percentage of people who generally like good UK music,” Jarrett explains of the politics behind the grime movement and where he places himself. “Over the years many artists have been fooled into not allowing themselves to touch other genres and stay true, which is why so many don’t make it. There is no set formula for grime and it does hold influence from other genres which makes things very unclear.
“Concrete Jungle was a CD that elevated me past just having grime fans,” Jarrett boasts. “I’ve always made well balanced mixtapes so I don’t think my actual fans would have expected anything else. I think those who complained about a lack of grime aren’t actual Scorcher fans.”
Jarrett himself insists he is above the pettiness and would rather flap his wings than be couped up in one genre. “I just see myself as an artist, I don’t like to be pigeonholed into any genre,” Jarrett continues. “I try and make all my music seem so real you could touch it and bring listeners into my world as if its their own whatever the subject. I’d happily make any music that sounds good.”
After beefing his rep on seven previous mixtapes, Jarrett stepped up on the studio album to ensure that only the best of Scorcher is offered and as opposed to releasing a mixtape, “an album is when I pull out all the stops, no expense spared to bring my ideas to life. When I’m working on my album I try to make a timeless infallible body of music.”