One of our favourite new rappers, Elro, answers a few questions about being from The Valleys, talks about mixtapes and reveals his fave food. Plus, check out some top tracks he’s recommended at the bottom of the page.
How did you get into rapping growing up in Wales?
My cousin gave me a hip hop CD when I was like 10. I loved it and realised I was just as ghetto and gangster as all the people I was hearing, so I decided to start myself.
Have you always been into rap/MCs or do you like a few bands or musicians that we wouldn’t think you’d like?
To be honest I wouldn’t expect you to assume anything about my music taste! But I like Lene Marlin.
What did the MC/grime scene think of you, a nice unassuming Welsh boy, coming into the scene? Did you get a lot of prejudice or stick at first or was it the total opposite?
Well, the like-dislike ratio on Youtube was really good and that’s all you can go by, really. There’s always gonna be a few bellends that just want some hood rapper who uses 3 syllables per 8 bars, but most people were open to something new.
The mixtape’s become not only an important promotional tool but almost has carved out a new format in itself – especially in the genre you’re in. Why do you think that is? You’ve put out a couple of mixtapes already – why did you personally do that instead of just put a couple of tracks online?
I guess it’s kinda your proving ground, where you show people what you’re capable of. I mean, all they really are is just a group of tracks you give out for free online, but you call it a mixtape and it generates some hype. But it’s just nice to be able to make the exact music you want, and then demo it on your fans. I’m not bothered about making loads of money anyway so it’s a nice way to experiment.
UK Rappers who’ve gotten big recently like Pro Green and Plan B have gone into other ventures, working with sports brands, Pro Green’s made his own beer, Plan B has released his own film now, etc. Would you ever want to branch out into anything else apart from music?
There’s loads of things I’d like to do, maybe run my own porcelain plating practice, which covers people’s ornaments in a thin but reliable coat of the finest Ukrainian porcelain for an affordable price.
[Joking? Not joking? Who knows – Ed]
What are the last few things you put on your iTunes?
Roots Manuva – Witness the Fitness. I had it ages ago but lost it so just got it again
Also a couple of my girlfriend Coco’s new tracks. My tour DJ and producer, Marcus Jakes, produced them. Big tunes called ‘Never’ and ‘Problems’ by Coco Marie.
How’s the Welsh music scene looking at the moment? Apart from Cliff Richards, Katherine Jenkins and The Stereophonics, who from The Valleys are you digging at the moment?
Marina and the Diamonds, who is coincidentally on the same label as me, is from Wales. She’s cool. Tiny is also cool; or Fernquest – I’m not sure which alias he’s going by at the moment. Tufty Mcrieshg is also doing it big on the underground Welsh folk scene too. Coming hard with the new age whisp.
Chicken marinated in something with sautéed ceps.
Who’s your favourite member of Goldie Lookin Chain?
I’ve met Eggsy and he was sound, so Eggsy.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Make some music, perform some music and hopefully have a short holiday somewhere.
1.Frank Ocean – Swim Good
2. Roots Manuva and Chali 2na – Join The Dots
3. The Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa
4. Roots Manuva – Witness The Fitness
5. Eminem – Drug Ballad
6. Eminem and Dr Dre – Forgot About Dre
7. Big Boi ft Andre 3000 & Raekwon – Royal Flush
8. Dr Dre – The Message
9. D12 – Purple Pills
10. Sami Switch – Sami