The British Are Coming – Danny Seth Interview

danny seth

Danny Seth, Boogie und Ty Dolla $ign auf einer Bühne. So What Events, Snipes und Streetlife International machen es möglich – aber eben nur in Berlin, München und Köln. Nun, für so etwas gibt es ja Züge. Ich sitze neben Danny Seth, dem britischen Rapper aus LA, im Backstage Bereich des Crux. Der gut gekleidete Londoner freut sich enorm über meine spontane Frage nach einem Interview. Er wartet sogar kurz auf mich, weil ich davor noch Boogie interviewe – das Interview kommt ebenfalls in Kürze – dann sitzen wir bei Bier und Aufnahmegerät und plaudern über seinen letzten Deutschlandbesuch. Damals spielte er vor 30 Menschen in einem Berliner Club. Beim heutigen Konzert waren zwar mehr Menschen, aber die Münchner sind nicht annähernd angemessen abgegangen – Dannys Shoutouts an Stormzy und die Boy Better Know Crew gingen ins Leere. Darauf meint er zu mir: „If you make it in Germany, you will make it in the whole world – but it’s not easy!“.

Zu Last Night In Paris, Danny’s Londoner Model-Art-Cloud-Rap-Boy-Band, gibt es hier ein ON TO THE NEXT ONE.

Fotos: Sebastian Knittel
Interview: Wanja Bierbaum (edHardygirl14)

British HopHop is getting big again – with artists like you, Stormzy, Skepta, Little Simz and Last Night In Paris. Why do you think British rap is popular again and why now?
I think artists like Yung Lean opened the ears of the people to European music. Also Iggy Azalea – whether you like her or not – she broke America and made it acceptable for European talent. Also the internet helped a lot – talent comes through. Grime will always remain the greatest in England. I personally didn’t grow up in a Grime environment, but I always listened to it and got influenced by it. In hophop it’s such a good time, because US is looking to us. When it comes to rock ‘n’ roll, electronic music or punk the crème de la crème is always from England – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones – and now finally they realized what is going on there in the hiphop scene. I see myself as a UK rapper and rap stands for rhythmic poetry.  It’s easy to blur the lines. I’ve been working on my album for three years and it’s called “Perception” because I am white, Jewish and from London – it don’t fit to any stereotype. I have my own sound and my own style. So people have to perceive that in their own way.

For “PreSpliffs 1 + 2” you often mentioned “Clipse” and “Lil Wayne” as big influences. Do you have any new artists who especially  influenced “Perception”?
The thing for “Perception” was to really not take any influences of anyone. I didn’t download music for a year – I didn’t listened to any new albums. I only use two producers MD$ and Zach Nahome and that’s made me realize that I make my own sound. I had a whole project before and I had to scratch it because it sounded like this or it sounded like that. The second when someone came up to me and said “That’s a Danny Seth sound”, then I know I am doing well. Finding that “me” was the hardest part. MD$ lives in Finland, Zach lives in London and I live in LA. I don’t rap over any beats – it has to be me and MD$ or Zach in one room. I am very involved in the progress. As far as influences it took a while to zone out and say to myself: Let me make my own sound and don’t worry about a single and a release date.

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Especially in the days of one hit wonders.
Yeah! You know, “I Arise Because” was not a single – it was a banger. There is so much stuff popping up, all my friends popping up around me and it feels like a symmetrical triangle that come up like this (he shows a spiky triangle with his hands), they come down like the same. I try to build a brand, I sold my car to do a free show in London, I spend every penny I have to release the tape for free, I did a lot to make that video happen.

You’re planning a fashion label and you also have the “Last Night In Paris” project as well as the “Pure EP” running. “Perception” is still not ready. How do you focus to not get lost between the projects?
It’s difficult because I am so heavily concentrated on the album that I didn’t really have time to think about anything else. Let me push myself first, before I push anyone else.

In your other interviews you mentioned that you still get a lot of criticism from England. Why is LA a better ground for you to gain recognition?
I think because I speak more about relatable stuff: I am middle-class, I am Jewish, I am white and from London – I talk about things some people can relate to. When you’re in London and don’t make Grime or UK hiphop it’s hard. I love the scene. But I lived in LA for 5 years, I grew up listening to sounds like Pharrell and The Neptunes. I try to build a bridge, so one day I can turn around and I can say: I did this. My tag is “The British Are Coming”, not Danny Seth is coming.

danny seth

It feels like you filled a gap in hiphop. But what do you personally miss in the scene?
I am just missing my project out there. Four Soundcloud songs and one video – you haven’t heard my story. I am giving interviews for a reason, because my album is getting delayed. So fuck, I can’t tell my story – so I need a way to tell the people about it. It’s a story: I talk about the loss of my stepmom, about my anger and it’s very personal. When I bare my soul I feel like people can relate. That’s why Drake is so successful, because he is talking about falling in love with a stripper when everybody speaks about bands and jewelry.

So it will be a very personal piece of work. You released the tracklist in May. How did you choose the features in the context of the personal touch the album has?
I tried to choose no big features. It wouldn’t make sense. There is one song called “Stay” with Su Bviley from Tribe Gvng – a rapper from New York. I think he is one of the best rappers I know – famous or not. And Jace of Two-9.

And Jimmy Johnson – he is also still very underground.
Yeah. I fucked with those people from early on. If I would feature someone really famous it would be a bit disrespectful because this is the music I make – if you like it or not. I try to prove the point that it don’t need to be a famous feature and you shouldn’t need a hit single to pop up. I really try to change the perception of how rap music should sell.

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