Speaking to FlavourMag, following the release of his single ‘Heartless’ USG music artist GEKO sat down with us to discuss what life is like for the sixteen year old grime prodigy from Manchester and what fans can look forward to regarding his music. The youngest member of the notorious USG music crew, has already made an impression on some the grime scenes best MC’s most notably K.Koke who signed the MC when he was just 13, and has since got the underground music scene buzzin, his freestyle on Charlie Sloth’s ‘Fire in the Booth’ quickly brought him to people’s attention with the video getting nearly 340,000 views on YouTube. The teenage Manchester MC opened up and told me the story of when he first started rapping, how he got signed and where name the GEKO came from. ‘Well I started rapping at eight, the name GEKO was something people just started calling me as a nickname and it just stuck so there was no point in changing it.’
What’s the music scene like in Manchester?
Everyone’s a music fan, but the industry itself isn’t poppin off as much as it is in London, it’s harder in Manchester, I have to catch a train to London every week.
When did first come across K.Koke and USG? And what’s the vibe like working with them?
When he actually recruited me into USG, I didn’t meet him because he went prison before I could actually meet him, but about a month after he went prison I met USG… It’s a good vibe, it’s a dream come true from when I was younger, before then I wanted to work with them be a part of them; to be honest I never thought they would take me I just wanted someone to notice me and now I’m USG it’s crazy.
Who are some of your favourite MC’s, US and UK?
From the US, Jadakiss & Styles P and from the UK probably K.Koke and DVS.
You recently opened up for Tine Tempah and Big Sean in Manchester, what was that experience like for you?
It was exciting, went really good; before I’d done smaller shows that were good but this was the biggest show I’d done.
You’re signed to USG, there a lot of MC’s out there trying to make it but can’t get their foot through the door, what do you think makes you different from everyone else?
I think it’s my age and the ability I have at my age, I’m the type of person that’s just real on a tune, and the passion comes from real life.
Your single ‘Heartless’ is out now, what do you think people can expect from that single?
Hopefully something people can relate to, when someone can relate to a song that’s when they actually enjoy it.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years? I don’t know. The game’s unpredictable, some people blow up and then end up falling, hopefully you’ll see my name everywhere, blowing through the mainstream.
As you’ve seen, certain grime artists eventually end up turning to pop, what do you think?
I’ll keep it real 100%, maybe the beats might change, but words and the content will stay real and true.
You’ve been working on an EP; can you tell us what we can expect from that?
We’ve just wrapped it up, we got this ‘Heartless’ single and the next one, then we’re gonna release it early December, it’s called ‘Plan of the Future’, the mixtape was called ‘Voice of the Future…people can expect professionalism on this EP, it’s all my beats original and professionally done.
What would your advice be to anyone aspiring to be an MC but is struggling to make that push?
Just have a shot, you’re not gonna lose anything by trying, make sure you keep it real; don’t try and be anyone else but you and don’t sit on your ass talking about it you gotta go out there and do it.
Two of your USG crew members were in Topboy, Lefty and Ex, any plans for you to start acting?
I haven’t got plans right now, but you never know it could happen any time soon, one day you just might see me on your TV screen, if the right part comes my way.
Do you feel any pressure because people look to you as being the next big MC?
No, I don’t feel any pressure at all, I believe in myself more than anyone else, I have more expectation for me than anyone else.
How do you balance going to school and having a music career at the same time?
To be honest, when I finished year eleven, I thought I was done with education, I wasn’t going college; but then I had a second thought and said let me go college, get a business A-level in case anything happens at least I have something.
Interview by Tosin Salami