Interview: Joe Grind
We sat down with the hardest working member of the collective Joe Grind as he releases his brand new track ‘F**k Dem Youts’ produced by Heavytrackerz…
Independent recording artist Joe Grind resides from what could be referred to as the gully side of South London – Peckham. He is a part of the infamous collective SN1 which also includes members; Giggs, Kyze, Gunna Dee and Tiny Boost. With the ‘SN1 Folder’ generating over 100,000 downloads within its first week of release it’s evident that ‘rap’ is so much more than just a hobby for these guys.
We sat down with the hardest working member of the collective Joe Grind as he releases his brand new track ‘F**k Dem Youts’ produced by The Heavytrackerz…
Tell us a bit about how the name 'Joe Grind' came about?
Kyze kinda gave me the name. I used to call myself ‘Jokesta’ because I was a big fan of the Joker from Batman. I was always selling something from clothes to music to everything else under the sun, I was always ‘grinding’ aka ‘Joe Grind’.
Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
I used to listen to a lot of different types music growing up. From NWA to No Limit Soldiers, Beenie Man to Bounty Killer. Different forms of Rap, RnB and Bashment have influenced me to become the artist I am now.
Tell us a bit about your new track F**k Dem Youts' - How did the collaboration with Heavytrackerz come about?
I went to Heavytrackerz to practice (I call it 'training') and to get rid of the weaknesses that I felt I had within writing music.
They let me choose a beat and let me know if they felt like I had any weak lines within my verses. The song wasn’t even meant to sound the way it does, to be honest I wasn’t even trying to make a song that could be released but because I put my heart into it this song came out.
I feel the concept is aimed at people who don’t choose to understand the struggle you go through when you’re trying to grind hard and get somewhere so I just had to send them a message.
You opted for an animated video, any particular reason for this choice?
To be honest, that was all Leogami The Artist’s (animator and director) idea. With me doing my ‘training’, I wanted to stay focused on mastering my lyrical abilities so I put all my faith into him. He knows I love cartoons/anime so he showed me a few of his ideas. He knows I just want to have fun and express it in whatever I do so he told me I’d love the end result and he wasn’t wrong.
We like to think Grime and UK Rap share many similarities as well as many differences, if you had to pin point what it is you do, what would it be?
I’m a recording artist and that’s that. I mainly make rap music but I don’t like to limit my abilities to call myself a rap artist. If we labelled ourselves we may never have had bangers such as ‘Man Don’t Care’. I mean Giggs is a 'rap artist' rapping on a grime beat, yet he does his ting on it. I just don’t want to miss out on opportunities because of a genre label.
Bar yourself, who would you say was the most lyrical in SN1?
Kyze for definite. I could never beat him in a lyrical beef, he’s too deep. We all have our different qualities but no member is better than the other.
Could you see SN1 collaborating with fellow South London collective Section Boyz?
Anything is possible. I think Section Boyz work mad hard so I could definitely see it happening one day. I’ve been in talks with Swift to get in the studio soon so you might see something coming from us real soon.
What is next for Joe Grind?
I hope to release a project by the end of the year but there’s no rush. I do have plenty of songs and freestyles that I will be releasing all throughout 2016 so keep an eye on my Soundcloud. As for shows, I’ve been getting a few bookings this year and I hope to keep them coming.
Words by Fiona Frimpong
Online Edit: Ra'ed Khan