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'The King of the North' and his impact on grime so far

DOING IT RIGHT: Bugzy Malone

IT’S 'GAME Of Thrones' season and Bugzy Malone is ready to embrace his moniker as 'King of the North' - which also doubles-up as the name for his new EP.

Released last month, the latest project represents the Manchester MC’s third multi-track offering in as many years, but there’s a method to the madness, and a reason for the prolific work rate.

“This is the third and final part of a trilogy,” Malone tells The Voice. He adds:

“We’ve done Walk With Me, which was eight tracks. Facing Time was eight tracks, and now King of the North, which is eight tracks – it’s a trilogy. There’s consistency. If you look at the artwork of all three there is a consistency through- out. That in itself is something which isn’t being done.”

Among all of the noise that can surround an artist on the come-up, what can often define whether they last the test of time is a clear and defined plan of action, coupled with a determination to stay on course. Malone has both – and in plentiful supply.

He says:

“This is my third consecutive year of bringing a project out, which in itself people are not really doing. What we’ve tried to do is deliver it in a similar kind of window to when I delivered the last project, which meant we had to be ready for this point in time.


IN DEMAND: Bugzy Malone in one of his designs for his Supply and Demand collection

“It wasn’t rushed or anything, but it was definitely a process that took a lot out of me – I would have liked to have chilled!”

He continues:

“The reason behind the trilogy is that Walk With Me was about me coming into the scene and telling fans, ‘Come with me – let’s do this thing’. Facing Time is me metaphorically saying ‘I am going into this famous world, and it feels like jail to me’. King of The North is me saying, ‘Look, we’ve done what we said we were going to do – I’m the first, and there has never from those days, and I thought season, and Bugzy been one of me before’.

“So this pulled a lot out of me, because energy than the other projects had been given, and I always have to improve on anything that I do. Those are just my standards – so it had to be better than the last ones.”

“I don’t have to sit within one style – I have the freedom to do what I want.”

Explaining where the inspiration for the EP title came from, Malone says:

The King of the North didn’t necessarily come from Game of Thrones – it’s something that fans started to say. I get called a lot of different things, but when I heard it I thought, ‘If they are going to keep saying that about me, that’s something I would be proud of’.”

BATMAN FOREVER

He adds:

“Prior to this project, in the track called Mad, you could hear the influence from the guy in the Game of Thrones, and I think that is something that my fans can notice in me. If I have watched something that has inspired me, I will take something from it.

“So I am looking up history from those days and, and I thought that, metaphorically, it fits my situation.

“I’m from the north of England and I am the first to do a lot of what I am doing, and I am not afraid to say that to anybody – so it just fits.”

Malone’s fans were quick to get behind Bruce Wayne, the first track released from the latest EP, but as well as the energy being ‘mad’ on that track, he also had other motivating factors for dropping it first.

“We’ve got the tracksuit coming,” he says, with an excited smile etched across his face.

“The tracksuit is blacked out, but the material makes it sleek. We’re doing a collaboration with Supply and Demand, but I designed it. This is a tracksuit that is built off of the tracksuits that I wear, and my signature is on the badge. It just makes sense because I have always been about fashion. A lot of people have taken to the things that I wear and they want to know where I get them from.

“I’m also the ambassador LSH Mercedes now, and I just got the C63. So the whole Batman thing is going on – my branding is built with the Batman thing sitting in there deep-rooted.”

Will King of The North be deep-rooted in people’s minds in years to come? How will this project – part of a unique grime trilogy, very much of its time – be received?

“I’d like them (fans) to take from this what will naturally be taken, which I think will be that grime is now being celebrated – it’s going over to the next level,” Malone says, excitedly.

“I’ve got certain tracks which you might class as ‘cross over’ tracks. My sound is naturally growing. I have tracks like Moving, which I did a while ago. It’s taking the sound of grime into a different place. I don’t have to sit within one style, within one topic or subject matter or within one sound – I’ve earned the creative freedom to make what I want. So I think this will be received as grime going on to the next level.

“140bpm is the tempo, and we’re experimenting with where it can actually go.”

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