A Quick Catch-Up With: Angel
We first spoke with 23-year-old Angel last year, and a lot has happened for the rising R&B star since then. Angel recently took some time out to catch up with The Wrap Up’s Lori Lane, where he discussed who he would like to collaborate with in the future, his career highlights so far and his recent experience on tour with Mindless Behavior and Nicole Scherzinger...
The Wrap Up: Nice to speak with you today, Angel. So, although you have been making music for a long time, it is only really now that the public are getting to see you. How would you explain your career to date?
Angel: These are very exciting times. I’ve been making music for the greater part of 15 years, as I was originally in a group with my brothers and sisters. We even did a documentary for Onelife. A lot happened that built me to be the Angel who I am now. Although the path with my brothers and sisters didn’t work out, I don’t count it as a loss because it has made me the artist I am today. It has made me stronger on stage and given me more experience. All of it has played a massive part, but right now it’s exciting to be on the stage because I’ve been busy for the last 10 years hiding all my music away, and now I have finally have the opportunity to expose it and it’s amazing.
TWU: What have been your personal highlights so far?
Angel: Being nominated for MTV’s ‘Brand New’ one to watch was a big deal. Things like that are overwhelming for me, because I remember over the years looking as an outsider and seeing who would be next to blow and I’m just grateful I have got that opportunity. It feels surreal sometimes, but in a good way. It’s mesmerizing but, as it is early stages, I just need to keep working hard to get to where I really want to be.
TWU: As well as writing and producing your own material, we know that you’ve also written some amazing tracks for other artists. Is it something that you still like to do?
Angel: Yes, I love writing for different people. It’s challenging. It’s easy for me to pick up a pen and paper and write about me or write what I think I want to portray to the world, but it becomes more of a challenge when you have to write for different artists because it makes you think outside of the box. It’s good to see how different artists do things differently. It’s a great feeling.
TWU: Do you write with a certain artist or group in mind when creating for other people or do you put it together first and then see who fits the track?
Angel: It all depends. If someone comes to me and say, ‘You know what? We need this kind of style, for so and so and we need it to be like this’, then I can work with that. But if they say, ‘You know what? We need a hit record. We need a slammer!’ I’ll just get in there and whatever comes to me comes to me. I just leave it to the man upstairs.
TWU: You’ve collaborated with quite a few UK artists already, but are there any artists from genres that people wouldn’t expect you to be into or any international artists that you would really love to work with?
Angel: Yeah, people like Daley, Ed Sheeran, Dappy and Miguel – these guys are all stars and I love what they do. You wouldn’t expect Angel, the guy with the edgy kind of urban/hip-hop vibe, to do his next record with Skepta, would you? I just like giving the people something to be surprised at, as opposed to just going and working with the next guy who does exactly the same thing as me. I like merging genres. That, for me, is exciting and creative.
TWU: Have you been or do you ever get star-struck?
Angel: I have felt a warm vibe when I am around big artists, but I don’t really get star-struck. I try to be a bit more stable around stars, especially around the ones I grew up listening to. I was at an event the other day with Dru Hill and SWV, and I was chilling backstage with them and I felt warm vibes from all of them, which was cool. SWV are still very strong and healthy.
TWU: Has anyone that you’ve met since you've got into the spotlight passed on any good advice that has stuck with you?
Angel: Yes, it was something Kojo said. He once told me, ‘Angel, you’re seeing life so make sure that your structure is right because it’s the little problems that turn into big problems.’ That has really stuck with me. He was so right!
TWU: You’ve recently been touring with the lovely Nicole Scherzinger. How has that been going?
Angel: Yeah, I’ve been supporting Nicole along with the group, Mindless Behavior. The response from the crowd was very good and that, for me, brings progress. You travel up North and you think to yourself, ‘I didn’t know they would know me up here.’ It’s overwhelming! A girl came backstage and she was like, ‘Oh my God! Angel’ I was like, ‘Really? Are you talking to me?’ We took some pictures and I loved it because it was love. The fans are very supportive. Once they’re happy, I’m happy because I know I’m giving them what they want.
Angel's new Wretch 32-featuring single, 'Go In, Go Hard', is out now.
Stay up to date with Angel on Twitter – www.twitter.com/ThisIsAngel
Words: Lori Lane (@Gleaming_Gem)
Photography: Paul Akinrinlola
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)