Wrap Up And Watch Out: C4
Who are you…
I am C4 and I like to talk righteous thoughts (laughs). I’m a recording artist from Birmingham with a passion for music and designing. My music journey started from a very young age. I used to sing at church in the choir, but I was uncomfortable and a bit shy to sing. I felt this way because you didn’t see many boys singing, so I didn’t take much pride in it. However, my singing ability took me to such places as the New Town Hall, Aston Villa and various churches across Birmingham. Around the same time, I loved rapping and making funny lyrics. In primary school, I'd always make up silly rhymes - which my class mates loved and knew because of the catchiness. It was a melodic rap style that I used and I picked it up from listening to reggae music a lot. I started MCing properly around 2003/2004, which was when I started secondary school. I was part of a music crew called Ruskin Network. We were neighbours who coincidently all had a passion for grime and MCing. A few years down the line, we teamed up with RTC - who were another music crew in the area - and this evolved into Dynamic Recordings. I made my first breakthrough in the scene with my debut music video, 'Detention'.
Brian, who is the CEO of Fit4Life, ran a competition involving four schools from Birmingham and they ran an open mic in all four schools and picked the best few from each, we then had to produce our own songs in the studio based on four positive topics. Dexplicit picked which he liked the best, which was mine, 'Detention'. This video was the first of its kind and got to number seven on the Channel AKA urban chart. From there, I released my mixtape, 'OoRITE! The Mix CD'. This is where my designing came in. I was trying to push my brand, OoRITE!, so I started making promotional T-shirts - which I sell online via Facebook and Twitter. I meet up with customers in town and then post the photo on my Facebook and Twitter. However, this has received a lot of interest across the UK, so it is definitely part of my future plans to expand this clothing range. I’m trying to set an example to the younger guys coming up, proving that you don’t have to be negative to make good music.
Wow! Good question. Well, growing up I had a lot of gospel music around me - which, of course, was planted in my heart. I also listened to garage and grime because I loved the rawness and sound. I loved Wiley's 'Eskimo' track and Roll Deep's sound. Growing up, though, my biggest inspiration was Kano, due to his understanding of music - which was demonstrated in his songs. Bashy was one of my favourites as well. More recently, Ghetts has been inspirational as well, because of his rapid rhymes and explosive flow. I don’t really listen to American music these days.
Everything, well, everything good! Grime firstly, though. Grime is what I love doing and I do it naturally. I’ve seen a lot of people making the switch to rap recently and a lot of MCs are singing now, which is very confusing to me. I started off doing both and got some stick for being 'differen' in my town. To see the same artists doing it now, well, it just confirms that I was ahead of my time.
It’s definitely hard living outside of London. I’m one of the main guys in the Birmingham grime scene, yet I can’t get on some of the main websites or radio stations. However, I am getting shown love from some people in London. I am here to remain focused and go in harder! I love the struggle. When I get UK recognition on radio stations, TV etc., I will appreciate it more. I understand it’s hard everywhere and I will keep on pushing and working hard, so eventually I will be a main player in the game. Its hard work being independent, but I know that hard work will pay off. It just has to!
Plans for 2011 and beyond?
The single, 'OoRITE!', is coming soon with a music video. This will showcase my clothing range to a wider audience and maybe open some new doors. My main project this year is my pre-album, 'C4 Theory'. It’s a very conscious CD and maybe not for everyone, but I just have to make this CD. I’ve released two songs from it so far, 'Off Track' and 'Running Out Of Time'. I want to look back at the end of year and think, 'Yeah, I worked my socks off!' (Laughs)
Stay up to date with C4 on Twitter – www.twitter.com/C4_OoRITE
Words and editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)