A flawless project is hard to come by, especially if it’s off SoundCloud by an artist that has barely cracked 300 followers. UK emcee Casscade first drew our attention from his submission Favourite Girl which dropped this past February. We gave it a great review , and knew great things were on the horizon for the North West London emcee. Others have been taking taking notice as premieres have come from BBC 1xtra’s very own Charlie Sloth, Westside Radio’s Rebecca Judd, and Annie Nightingale, who hosts a show on 1xtra.
His newest offering, #LivingInTheMoment, is an exceptional project, and as previously mentioned, flawless. After repeated listens I began to appreciate it even more than before.
It was an honor to speak with Casscade. We spoke on everything from the music he grew up on, to the sudden popularity of UK hip hop in the US, and his best offering yet, #LivingInTheMoment.
Hey Casscade! It is an honor to talk with you. How are things?
Hey whats good! Its my pleasure man. Things are great right now… I’m in a positive place and feels really good seeing everything flourish around me. The past year I’ve been working like a slave to get everything right within the music and my mind state and it’s a blessing to see people taking towards the music.
First off – give us some background on you as an artist and person.
Yeah… So I grew up in a very musical household with both my parents being Dj’s, my dad a “Sounds-man” as they refer to it in the carribean. My dad was the forefront for the sound. It was called “Stixman sound” and basically they were like a group of Dj’s who had their own equipment who’d get bookings and the bigger the movement grew, the better/more bookings they’d get. I grew up on old school revival, old school soul, soca, reggae, and hip hop dancehall my older sister Carmy Love being a really dope singer too. But yeah… naturally being around all this music I became a DJ at 7 years old. I’d actually be at the parties wherever the sound was at, select all the vinyls by myself, spinning songs after songs that were before my time but I just knew they were hits and what to play next. People my dads age couldn’t believe it! but yeah, since then it’s been a wrap!
I’ve featured your music on the blog many times, and have always enjoyed your content. You are the only artist from the UK we have received a submission from. Just out of curiosity, how did you find my blog?
I’ll be totally honest… I’m sure thats a couple of years ago so I can’t even remember but I’m sure I’d seen someone retweet your twitter and I’d seen an email for submissions and I thought, why not? haha.
Have you submitted to other American blogs? Have they taken notice?
Yeah. I’m not going to lie I’ve gotten love from your side of the pond. I can’t remember every blog from states or Dj that hit me up but whenever I musically come in contact with people from your side it’s always positive. The ones I can remember off the top of my head; Hype Magazine, they been showing love for a couple years and post a lot of my music and the write up is always genuine and really positive. One blogger called “ItsBizkit” on instagram. I hit him up around like the morning of my birthday (31st dec) to see if he’d post the video to “Every Year” on instagram and he was down. I was just shooting my shot, the guys followed by Drake, fabulous and so many other Rap celebs with over 100k followers but he was messing with it. He posted it and it got maaaaaad love on his page, like 60 comments worth of fire emoji’s and since then we just kinda kept in contact. He’s doing well right now though, shoutout Biz! Lastly Broke2Dope, they been supporting too.
Where are you from specifically?
Country-wise both my parents are from Grenada in the Caribbean but I was born here, London UK. If we’re talking where in London, that would be North West London in the heart of an area called Stonebridge.
What is the hip hop scene like there? What can you tell us about UK hip hop?
The scene is really simular to the US if I’m honest. The only thing that would make the difference is Grime and the sonic influences in some of the beats. The Grime scene is different. The way the grime MC’s spit is different from the tempo, the heavy use of UK slang, the lingo and the way the beats are put together.
Here’s an example, not sure you know about Giggs who also featured on Drakes “More Life” project but I’d class Giggs as a UK rapper who in the past few years, has dabbled in some Grime songs like the one he did with Skepta’s brother JME titled “Man don’t care” but predominantly, he’s a UK rapper.
Wiley on the other hand is predominantly a Grime artist but he might jump on a UK rap track here and there.
The US has finally given it’s proper due to great UK rap starting with guys like Skepta and Wiley. What are your thoughts on this?
It’s amazing and great for the culture. For years there’s been a real barrier between the US understanding the UK musically when it came to MC’s. Singers had always been accepted but the Mc’ing side of things never really got a look in. Both of them have been legends in our scene for like over 10 years now so it’s right. Congrats to them both.
Skepta was even featured on Drake’s newest album, and was one of my favorites tracks. Were you aware of that, and if so, do you think it was a good look for him?
Are you talking about Skepta’s interlude? Nah I had no idea that was one of your favourites, me too! I remember when they’re premiering it on OVO sound and I was dancing around like a mad man in my house haha. That’s skepta in his element when you get him on those kind of songs. it’s definitely a good look! Sometimes artists get a big break and the song does represent them at their best but thats definitely one to be proud of. Gasses me everytime I hear the intro! *Block that account, it’s a cat-fish*
Who are some of your favorite UK rappers? Who should we pay attention to?
If we are talking currently… Skepta, Giggs, Stormzy, Kojo Funds, J Hus, AJ Tracey. There’s so many names I could pull out, from lyricism to big club songs. I mess with C biz and Nines musically although they got beef. Definitely hit me after this interview and I’ll give you a long list of songs to listen to haha!
You’ve been pursuing music for years now, and your grind is admirable. What made you decide to get into hip hop? Have you always had a passion for it?
Thank you and yeah for sure. As I said before Music’s just been around me my entire life so I always had that drive for it. Originally I wanted to become a DJ but at about 13 years old I was heavily inspired by 50 Cent, Jay-Z and a UK artist called Dizzee Rascal. By that time I decided to start rapping and the rest was history.
You’ve put out a slew of loosies and projects, but your newest #LivingInTheMoment is (in my opinion) your best. How do you feel about it?
Haha thank you! I feel proud of that project. I still have a day job and where I was before used to stress me out because I knew where I wanted and needed to be but I couldn’t devote the time to understand how I was going to go about it. I got made Redundant last year and it gave me the break I needed to really understand myself and my craft. I bought my own equipment and woke up everyday at like 6am to watch youtube tutorials and learn how to mix my own tracks. That entire summer I dedicated to working hard and living life to get inspiration and it came exactly how it needed to.
Tell us more about how it came together and how long it took to finish.
Yeah, like I said previously I got made redundant at my day job and I had some money so I bought my own equipment and learnt how to mix. I managed to catch on quick because in high school when I used to record, I did it in my room on a program called audacity so I kind of knew the basics and I also had seen my engineer mix vocals so many times. I recorded and mixed the entire project in my bedroom! I personally feel like that’s how I create best, when it’s in my own possession. “In The Moment” was actually the first track I had for the project. I recorded that in my engineers studio last year like February times. That song pretty much dictated the vibe and the direction I was going in and hence the titled of the project being in that songs hook. I Recorded so many tracks and possibly could have had the project finished a lot earlier, but because I’m such a perfectionist I wanted to make sure this project had all aspects of “Casscade” that everyone could enjoy so I’d say it took like 8 months.
I told you that Living In The Moment was one of the most significant UK releases this year. Have you gotten a similar response?
Thank you, and definitely. Everyone that’s heard the project hasn’t had anything bad to say about it and some people that haven’t taken in an entire project from me have been completely blown away. Even the people who check for me are proud themselves and really believe in the move. Like I said it’s a beautiful thing. I wasn’t anywhere near the space I’m in now these times last year and that’s all due to the hard and fine tuning all my channels as an artist, understanding myself and hard work. But yeah, the music is travelling further than it ever has and I’ve got the quality to thank for that!
What can we expect from you for the rest of the year?
Expect a number of videos from the project. “In The Moment” and “Ole’Ole” already in the pipe line for visuals. Bad 4 U, Favourite Girl & possibly Deep End with Deanna may also be in the works but once all those videos out, we’ll be getting into the next chapter. I always planned to do a sequel to this project titled “Living For Tomorrow” hence the hook on “In The Moment” and you could potentially see that by the end of the year!