Incisive is back showcasing his talent with new track ‘Winners’ featuring Julian Marley and Dionne Reid. ‘Winners’ is a reggae influenced, positive summer tune sure to get listeners feeling good. It also comes hot on the heels of his ‘Where Is He’ mixtape of which he released three videos within five months. The West London rapper is now ready to move onto his next project and take a step further into the lime-light. I sat down with 27-year old to discuss his new single, how he keeps the positive vibe going and what he has coming up next.
Your new single ‘Winners’ featuring Julian Marley & Dionne Reid is out August 19th. Where did the idea for ‘Winners’ come from?
It was more organic to be honest, TE1 made the record and I just wrote to it in my bedroom. I was looking out the window and saw kids in the street riding bikes and that is why the first verse is ‘look out the window squint my eyes on’. Then we sent the record over to Julian and Julian wrote the chorus and it just came together like that really. It wasn’t intentionally I want to make a positive song about not being on the streets.
How did you get Julian Marley on the song?
Julian grew up in Ladbroke Grove, West London and my manager grew up in Ladbroke Grove, West London so they knew each other. My manager one day said do you want to do a song with Julian Marley and I was like yeah! (laughs)..So we sent him the track with the first verse recorded already and he loved it. So when he came here, we recorded it. He didn’t send it over like most international artists, we went to the studio. I wrote the second verse then.
Are you a fan of the Marley family?
I don’t know anyone who isn’t a fan of the Marley family, of course! Their sort of message, the conscious verse and positivity is what I like to talk about. I have yet to meet someone who is not a fan of the Marley’s.
Do you hope that you will achieve the same success as ‘Where Is He’ ft. Shakka? Which went to number 1 on MTV Base’s official chart?
Yeah you can only hope, we were surprised as hell that it even got on MTV. ‘Where Is He’ is a real hip-hop sort of song, there is no excuses, no catchy chorus. We were like woah it’s on MTV and then for it to be number one. It was like oh my god, it was above Justin Timberlake and Jay Z. So it was like wow, then the next record we did ‘Everything Is Alright’ MTV took that and it was number one for quite a while as well too. So were just trying to stay consistent with everything we put out and we can only hope.
Shakka is your long-time friend, what was it like working with him?
Shakka is just fun. Literally it is just fun. It is never let’s make a song. Like I’ll go to his house, pick him up and we’ll go for a drive and listen to music. We’ll listen to our new stuff and he’ll tell me I don’t like this second verse. Then I’ll listen to it and be like I don’t know about how you did the intro. We bounce off each other a lot, all the time. I’m in the studio when he is in the studio and at some point we might just jump on a record together. We did ‘Where Is He’ two years ago now. It was very organic and fun, we just make music.
You’re known for your positivity, do you ever struggle to keep the positive message going?
I never sat down and thought I want to be a conscious artist; I just started looking at the music that was out there and started saying to myself I want to be proud of my music. I want to be able to play it and look my mum in the eyes.
You did say in a tweet ‘Make something you can be PROUD of. Are you proud? Like look in ur mums eyes? Like in your soul? #StandForSomething..’ So that seems very important to you?
Yeah definitely. To make an album about where you’re not saying anything except for how much money you make, eventually even if you make money you’re gonna sit at home and even when the lights go out and all he champagnes finished, you’re gonna think am I really proud? Like you’re saying stuff on the record but what are you saying? I was watching this game show ‘Nevermind The Buzzcocks’ and when they slowly start to read the rappers lyrics and the rappers are all embarrassed sitting there. You can’t be embarrassed at your own song. ‘I make so much money, I can’t count it’..It’s dumb! I want someone to be able to read my lyrics back to me and look them in the eye and me say to them that is what I said and that is what I meant.
So is it that your pet peeve about rap music?
No because there is a time and a place. Sometimes you just want to put on that Rick Ross and be in your car and be a boss. So I wouldn’t say it is a pet peeve because I embrace that as well but I think a line has to be drawn. It can’t just be saturated with everyone talking about their a boss. I have a song on my EP called ‘Role Models’. I say ‘with all these bosses who the hell gon’ work, all these killers who the hell you murk’. So at some point you have to switch it up and talk about normal stuff.
What are your thoughts on the UK rap scene?
I think it is at an all-time high in terms of consumers respecting UK Hip-Hop as a genre. Before you used to tell people you rapped, and they’d say ‘bruv you rap, bruv not grime, rap?’ (laughs).. But now because there is other artists out there that people like and listen to in clubs, it is much more respected. But I am in a separate box. To do features with a lot of artists it wouldn’t make sense because what I’m talking about is the complete opposite from what their talking about at the time. It is hard in that respect in terms of reaching out to other people because it is very few and far between and maintains that positive vibe.
Are you more American influenced in your rap style would you say?
I always say I’m more Jigga than Dilla. I’ve never listened to a Dilla album I’m still yet to listen to a Common album. I’ve heard a lot of tracks from it. People think your Dilla and you went in with that but I don’t really know. It’s by accident.
Who are you currently listening to?
On my IPod is J Cole’s album. I like ‘She Knows’ and that interlude. I like ‘Power Trip’ as well, the bounce on that record. It’s been on radio for a while but it’s one of those songs you can play one hundred times and wouldn’t get bored of.
Jai Paul as well he’s a UK R&B myth. He’s never really released something but an album leaked out and I think he is an amazing artist. It is R&B, electro, The Weeknd, Drake, everything.
I also listen to myself a lot. I have Incisive on my playlist (laughs)
What is your favourite song you’ve made?
I think it changes week by week. At the moment ‘Closer’ because in the second verse I talk about me and growing up. It’s so honest.
I get that Tribe Called Quest/Summer vibe from Closer?
People put that on me but yeah I’ve never listened to a Tribe Called Quest album.
Interestingly you have a law degree, why was it important for you to university?
It was important for my parents for me to go to university. But in retrospect I think it was important. You’re degree educated, it helps with jobs. They’ll give you more if you have a degree and it just a good foundation to have. I went to the University of Essex which is out of London so I learnt a lot about myself. You also get to meet different people and broaden your horizons.
Do you think you would have been a lawyer if you weren’t a musician?
No. My first year I realised I really didn’t like Law as a degree but I started it so I thought I’d finish it.
Law degree aside, what is one thing fans will be interested to know about Incisive?
I 9-5 at the moment in I.T, I’m good with computers but people properly know about that from the music, I talk about it in my raps. One thing is I don’t like football. I used to play and be really good but I stopped around college and started focusing on music. But if anyone is talking about music in the barbershop I will shut down that whole conversation.
So what is next for Incisive?
I am trying to stay consistent. I put out four videos at the top of the year and I’m working on my next EP to be put out before the years end. I’m doing shows up North, I’m doing iLuvLive Derby and iLuvLive Manchester. I’m trying to get that further step into music full-time. Not necessarily to have a chart record but to make that jump full-time is the goal. Anything more is a blessing.
Anything you would like to tell the Flavourmag readers?
‘Winners’ is out August 19th! So pick that up if you like the record and thank you for the support.
Follow Incisive on Twitter @Incisive1