The Last Skeptik isn't your average music mogul. Coming from a more grassroots background, unlike big wigs he seems to spin plates on sticks as much as he spins vinyl. You see, he's something of a multi-tasker, covering everything from rapping, DJ-ing, producing and video editing. To tie in with the launch of his new album, Thanks for Trying, I caught up with him for a chat about his music, an industry that spins more shit than Edward Bernays, and his close links Reuben Dangoor who made that pop video, Being a Dickhead is Cool.
You seem to cover a lot of bases with what you do. How do you go about putting an album together?
It starts really slowly, with a ton of different ideas. A lot gets deleted and moved around and there is a ton of indecision and self doubt. Eventually you start to carve out a sound you're happy with and make it sound cohesive. An album project for me usually starts out with an overall story or journey that I want to convey then I run with that, or try and soundtrack what that feeling is.
When did you start out? Have you seen the music industry changing a lot in the last ten years? Is the internet helping or hindering?
I had my first release 12 years ago when I was 16 so I've seen the industry change in some natural and some bonkers ways but ultimately genre wise its gone in a cycle - hip hop wasn't popular for a while now people love it, and it's a great time for the music. Change is good though, keeps it interesting and keeps people hungry. The internet is a positive excellent thing for sharing music but not necessarily for the instant nature of its consumption but perhaps that just suggests people's impatience in general and constant hunger for new things to consume, not enjoying or appreciating stuff for extended periods of time. That's why I make my music only reward listeners half way through. If you don't spend time listening you don't reap the rewards.
With your music videos there seems to be an element of comedy involved? Is that personal or do you see it as the way writing is evolving?
I think its important to show the tongue in cheek nature of it all. The album's title 'Thanks For Trying' is an ode to self deprication and not giving a crap. All the videos reflect the sometimes inward looking nature of the album, but also its weirdness. Pathos and tragedy are all in there too - there's hints of that in a lot of the videos.
I've noticed a connection with Reuben Dangoor, the guy who directed that fantastic 'Being a Dickhead is Cool' video... is there a bit of a backlash going on with London scensters? Can you tell us a little about 'your scene'?
I think people don't care so much about what a hipster is and isn't. Its all a mess. We all look like idiots. I don't know if I have a scene anymore, or maybe I'm just too old to notice it!