BBC Introducing artist IKES featured on SuchATune with his release ‘The Game’s Back,’ featuring J. Warner through Port Mayfair. ‘The rapper joined forces with producer Maleek Berry, of Port Mayfair, to produce the EP, ‘The Intermission: Last Call, which was released in January. The EP’s releases have had great support from MTV, BET and Kiss as well as BBC 1Xtra and Choice FM.
For those who don’t know about Ikes, give us a brief insight into who you are and where you are today.
Well my name is Ikes, I’m a 26 year old rap artist and writer from North London, just tryna make waves on the scene.. Patiently waiting for my time..
If we had to put your sound in a box, how would you describe it?
I think I make “musical hiphop” or “musical rap” as there tends to a lot of sounds in my music, its very melodically layered and sounds great live.. Well I think it does haha..
Producers often sample or draw inspiration from unexpected angles. What influences inspire you that you don’t think many people would have guessed?
Wow, good question.. Many draw inspiration from others in their field, I tend to draw inspiration from anyone winning, in any field.. For example what London and “Team GB” did with the 2012 Olympics was inspiring for me.. Made me wanna win and push boundaries in my field.. so its that kinda energy, performing at the highest level, always gets my creative juices flowing..
Would it be fair to say that your raps are best complimented alongside a strong vocal? Almost like the ying to your yang?
Maybe, but for me I’m just a melody man.. As a writer I understand what makes a song stand out and become memorable, and that’s the melody.. I treat my raps like just another instrument on the song, in Logic or Pro Tools its just another channel.. So without other instruments there’s no music..
What was it like working with Scorcher and Jermaine Riley and experimenting with them?
Yeah that was a cool situation; I think that the elite need to work and experiment together, so I reached out to Scorcher who’s an old friend of mine from college days, and Jermaine Riley who’s done a lot of work with Maleek Berry the producer of the record, who’s part of my camp.. Always good when ego’s are thrown out the window and artists just create..
Describe the concept for the “Tailormade” song and video please?
Haha Tailormade was a real fun moment in my career thus far, had fun recording the record and more jokes shooting the video.. I guess its a record for the “hopeless romantic” lol.. I’m a man that believes in fate and destiny, and therefore I believe that everyone has someone out there, that’s a perfect fit for them.. Tailormade.. So we used the tailor metaphor for the video where I’m en route to meet this special someone for a date, but I just keep having incidents that hold me up and force me to return to the tailors for a change of suit haha
If you got stuck in an elevator for hours, but you could pick the elevator music to stay on repeat, what would it be?
You didn’t say how many CD’s so I’ll select a few lol! I think the “Watch The Throne” album as that really stretched the genre of hiphop to level many wouldn’t have even dared to go to.. Frank Ocean’s 1st project as it’s very raw and true and will never get boring.. And lastly I’d take my current project “The Intermission: Last Call” as I’d want to make life fans outta anyone that got stuck in the elevator with me haha
How would you describe your music in 3 words?
Ikes: Musical, Inventive and True
What direction do you see for the future of the UK music scene?
I think the scene’s come a long way in the last 5yrs than ever before in terms of urban music and street culture getting the support and sufficient push from the majors.. So I can only see this continuing which will lead to more homegrown talent breaking through as opposed to having a Top 40 full of artists from the states lol
What does the future hold for Ikes? Where do you see you and your music being in 5 years time?
I hope the future holds endless amounts of success and opportunities.. All I can do is stay focussed and consistent whilst maintaining the high level of quality and work ethic.. I’ve always looked at the bigger picture so in 5 yrs I wanna be respected on a worldwide scale when it comes to rap music or pop culture in general.. I wanna write a page in the history books.. Definitely wanna tour the world..
What’s the best piece of advice ever given to you?
To believe in yourself, and to never stop no matter who doubts you.. They told Jay Z “no” several times before he became one of the most powerful men in music, so why should I get discouraged at 1 barrier or setback?
Any final words?
Yeah I think everyone should get over to iTunes and support “The Intermission: Last Call” and definitely come see me live sometime, I hear its a real experience