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10Smiler’s new single Enza is out now and available from his website. This hip hop jam is taken from his mixtape Clarity and Flavour reckons that you are going to be hearing a lot more from this Woolwich, London native in the near future. Here we catch up with him for a quick chat.

What aspects of Hip Hop inspired you most to start rapping yourself?
Firstly flow; it was amazing to me how people could put words together so rhythmically. Secondly expression, when you spend your life encountering a range of struggle some problems, it’s healthy to have a vent and for a long time I never.

Which Hip Hop artists do you most admire and why?
I admire different artists for different reasons. Rappers like Talib Kweli and Pharaoh Monch I admire for their witty lyricism, Nas for his knowledge and flow, jay-z for his all-round consistency and for going from strength to strength business wise.

What special feeling made you write ‘Enza?’
I’m going through a time period in my life where there are a range of defining moments, processes of elimination and solid business ventures, and mentally its taken me to a new realm. Enza was written whilst I have been feeling this way, and the song mirrors the feeling!

What went through your mind when Marly Marl invited you to New York for shows alongside Styles P and Mobb Deep?
I was kinda blown back! A mixture of different feelings, excitement, nerves, eagerness, bearing in mind prior to this I’d had no radio experience but was ecstatic none the less. Massive big up to numbers for that one!

What was it like working in America?
It was heavy, I enjoyed it! I’m work orientated, and it makes work that bit more enjoyable when you’re working around enthusiasm. The Americans have a very larger-than-life personality and its encouraging when perfect strangers are going crazy about your work. On the flipside, hustling is a way of life for them out there, so when I was out and about trying to sell a few mixtapes in Times Square so was everybody else! Just showed me that if you make it out there, it’s not by accident!

What can be expected from your new mixtape and does its style differ from your previous work?
You can expect quality hip-hop music with a lot of replay value. Yeah it definitely differs from my previous work like ‘da musical omnibus’, which mirrors my lyrical style. The new LP ‘clarity’ still carries Smilers qualities however, the music is slightly brighter as opposed to my usual darker, gullier style. This was in aim of finding a working balance between rapping for the love and rapping to make a living.

What topics do you usually write about?
I write about my personal experiences, things I’ve seen and done. i.e. pain, struggle, hustling, ladies, foresight, balling, business, etc… The topics are endless. Also the experiences of people around me, whatever they happen to be.

Over the last eight years rapping how have you grown as an artist, and in what ways would you like to grow further?
I have grown lyrically, my songwriting experience and ability has heightened tenfold and most importantly, I have grown as a person. Naturally so, as your inspirations and lifestyle change, you change with them and so does your perspective and your personality.

What’s your number one priority in the music industry?
My number one priority in this music industry is to be recognised for my talent, to make a very comfortable living off of what I love to do, and to not compromise myself too much along the way.

What would you say is the most memorable moment in your life?
I have a few, my first bike, my first fight, and the purchases of my first property, my first convertible and my restaurant!

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?
Hmm.. Being told no! This is probably the reason I prefer to carve my own lane in whatever I do.

What is the best compliment someone has ever given to you?
“You’re my inspiration”! Haha

If you weren’t in the music industry, what do you think you would be doing instead?
Probably property development, and erm.. Some other things.

Words by Melissa Lewars

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