Wrap Up And Watch Out: Angel
Signing a publishing deal in 2009 with Universal, west London's best kept secret, Angel, has gone on to write hits for the likes of JLS, Pixie Lott, Jason Derulo, Devlin and Roll Deep. His 'Patience Is A Virtue' mixtape was released last year - featuring the smash, 'Julie' - preparing the world for the release of his '7 Minutes Before Time' mixtape. The mixtape has already seen two bangers drop – with features from Maxsta and Wiley on 'Gleamin', and last Friday's release of 'Popstar' featuring Giggs – confirming that this singer, rapper and producer is a triple-threat. The Wrap Up’s pretty sure that everyone will have to sit up and take notice of this guy in the coming months. James Walsh caught up with the rising star.
The Wrap Up: How did you get started in music?
Angel: It's in my blood line! My dad was always into music and he was always touring the world with some of the biggest reggae artists. I grew up around instruments and musical vibes; it's what I've always done.
TWU: Who were your other musical influences growing up?
Angel: Definitely Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. Both musically and melodically. Also, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Jodeci and Tevin Campbell. Tupac’s 'All Eyez On Me' inspired me a lot, from a melody and creative place – you can hear those elements in my music.
TWU: How would you best describe your sound?
Angel: Man, there are elements of many, many genres in my music, from hip-hop, R&B and grime, to jazz and classical! It all sounds good, though (laughs). Let’s go with pop-fusion.
TWU: You produce, you rap and you sing, but what comes first?
Angel: I see myself as an artist. I see myself as a creator. All three have their own lanes and their own vibes. More than singing, I love composing. I love to create and everything else comes on top.
TWU: Universal signed you to a publishing deal in 2009, right? How did that come about?
Angel: I was flying back and forth to Stockholm and Denmark, making beats and constantly grinding, whether at my house or in my dungeon – that's the studio, by the way (laughs). It got to the point where we had ten great tracks and my constant grinding lead me to a meeting with Universal. I played them the tracks and they loved them and the rest, as they say, is history!
TWU: You've since written for the likes of Devlin, Roll Deep, JLS, Pixie Lott and Jason Derulo, to name but a few. Has there ever been a song that you’ve written for an artist that you wish you had kept for yourself?
Angel: (Laughs) This literally just happened the other day. I wrote a track for Young Don, a hook called ‘Raining Girls’. I'd actually given him the track when everyone at Island heard how big it was and started saying that I should've kept it for myself. So, I had to get it back off him (laughs). He's done alright out of it, though. I promised that I'd give him another three tracks for giving me that one back (laughs).
TWU: How was it to have such a good reaction to your debut mixtape, ‘Patience Is A Virtue’, and the lead track, ‘Julie’?
Angel: It was good! It has got me known, to a certain extent. I wanted to get it out and then push harder. The next one is even more fire! I’ve gotta keep elevating and graduating to the next level.
TWU: What can we expect from the new mixtape?
Angel: ‘7 Minutes Before Time’ should be out in the next three or four weeks. ‘Gleamin’, with Maxsta and Wiley, has been out for a little while now, but that's just a taster, a hint of the mint (laughs). Literally shot that video for that track in 20 minutes, and ‘Popstar’with Giggs just dropped last week as well. There's a track called ‘Bottles’ with G FrSH and Scorcher and another called ‘Ladder’, featuring Mark from Encore. Wretch 32 is also on it. I have to show the love and affiliation to keep this movement progressing.
TWU: Why have you decided to name it ‘7 Minutes Before Time’?
Angel: Some spiritual reasons and you'll hear some more of why in the music itself. The album is going to be called, ‘About Time’. So this is the build-up, the anticipation to the album and what that holds.
TWU: And finally, what else can we expect from Angel over the next few months?
Angel: We've done about seven videos in the last few weeks from the mixtape, so be sure to check those out when they’re released. Things have been moving really quickly! I'll be choosing the official single from my album, ‘About Time’, soon after the ‘7 Minutes Before Time’ drops, as well as the other tracks for it. I've got songs for days!
Stay up to date with Angel on Twitter - www.twitter.com/ThisIsAngel
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)