Wrap Up And Watch Out: Tha Deadeye
It's been a long road for one of Leicester's finest rappers, Tha Deadeye. However, having his song recently listed as Radio 1's underground track of the month has given fresh impetuous to the man repping the East Midlands hard. The Wrap Up's James Walsh spoke to the story-telling lyricist about his journey so far, some pretty outrageous collaborations and the music that he is now ready to unleash to the public....
The Wrap Up: Hi Deadeye. Taking things back to the beginning, who were your earliest musical influences growing up?
Tha Deadeye: I grew up listening to a lot of rave music. When I was seven my older brother was playing Micky Blackmarket and Ratpack - real old-school raving artists. Later on I started listening to 2Pac, Biggie, Onyx and Mobb Deep.
TWU: How did you first get into making music yourself?
Tha Deadeye: I started rapping at 14 and had a song called 'Dont Drink Too Much' which was a comical track. I started to perform it at local talent shows but I never really took it seriously at that time. Then when I was 18, grime started to take off. Heartless Crew and the Pay As U Go Crew were around, so I used to jump on stage with them and sometimes they'd let me! I started recording with a few artists, but nobody was doing UK hip-hop then, so the movement I had there never got going. Things changed last year when I had the unsigned track of the month on Radio 1 for a song called 'One Life' that I did with Nat Powers.
TWU: It's a great track. For those who haven't heard it how would you describe your sound as a whole?
Tha Deadeye: I'd definitely describe myself as a rapper and a hip-hop artist, but my music is versatile. The instrumentals are not always your typical sounding hip-hop beat. I use more soulful, deep instrumentals with strings and pianos. My music can be a lot more reflective.
TWU: What are you working on at the minute?
Tha Deadeye: I've been really knuckling down, looking for producers and singers to work with. I recently recorded four songs with Abbee Audio and I've finished a track with Cairo Romain. I've also been recording with Frank Benbini from the Fun Lovin Criminals, which has been incredible!
TWU: That's pretty huge! How did that come about?
Tha Deadeye: Word had been going round in my gym in Leicester that I was back on my music and he happened to go there. We got talking about the music I make and he told me he had a studio in Leicester that I can use. It took me about two months to build up the courage to text him, but I'd been writing tracks for a girl group called Excuse Me Miss and needed a studio to record in. We’ve done two songs together now!
TWU: What would you say is your career highlight so far?
Tha Deadeye: The unsigned artist track of the month on Radio 1 really gave me the belief that I can go on and do this. I originally recorded it under my stairs, but I've since re-recorded it and I'll be putting it out properly; probably as my third single.
TWU: Is that for an album you're working on?
Tha Deadeye: I've got 54 songs recorded and I wrote another six tracks in the last week. I'm building as much great material as possible, then I'll select the best 11 for the album. Even after that, I’ll still have a lot of material to use for mixtapes and EP's.
TWU: Finally, what do you have coming up over the next year and what do you hope to achieve?
Tha Deadeye: I've decided on the first single. It'll be a track called 'Fighting With My Weak Hand' and is produced by 17-year-old Wize. I'm pushing that to radio and doing a video concept for it at the moment. There's no official release date as yet for the first single, but my soundcloud profile had 3,000 listens in less than two weeks - that was pretty overwhelming to tell the truth. You can check out my site for all the latest!
Stay up to date with Tha Deadeye on Twitter.
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)