Slowthai has taken fourth place in the BBC Music Sound of 2019 countdown. This follows the announcement that flamenco star Rosalía took fifth place. The 24-year-old, Northampton-born rapper, whose real name is Tyler Frampton, tore up 2018 and made it impossible to take your eyes off him.
Speaking to the BBC about making it in to the Sound of 2019 top five, Slowthai said: “The BBC has described his music as being “either a grime MC making punk music or a punk making rap music. Either way, slowthai – number four in the BBC’s Sound of 2019 – is unlike any artist to emerge from the past 12 months.”
Raised by a single mum, in a Northampton council estate known as ‘The Bush’, Slowthai got him name from his childhood habit of talking slowly (Slow-Ty). However his vocals are anything but, as he spits lyrics with the furious pace of a young man who has much to say, whether it’s about race or a tribute to the women in his life.
Among his other lyrics are issues of affecting a post-Brexit Britain such as class, unemployment, hopelessness and and feeling like a outsider, all loom large in slowthai’s work. Slowthai believes in his message so much that his lyrics can come across as aggressive. This energy is what drives his music, which is a mix of social realism personal reflection.
He has a faith that young, working class Britons will always succeed in spite of a toxic nation, where politics is crumbling around them, all the while screaming “fuck you” at the establishment. “It’s like life gives you lemons and what do you do? You either make lemonade or you sit there with a sour face. I just want people to make lemonade,” says Slowthai.
He broke on to the scene with his breakout hit ‘TN Biscuits’, in 2017, whose opening lines probably make it the most memorable musical entrance of the year. This was followed by an impressive run of singles in 2018, before he solidified his status as UK rap’s next great hop, with the release of his sophomore EP ‘RUNT’, in September.
“I want to connect with people that feel unseen. People feel like they have to hide their true colours to please the people around them. I think the majority of the world are pleasing other people, be it their family, or their friends, or the fucking powers that pushed them in. I just want to reach people and be like, ‘Fuck the shit place, let’s create our own universe,'” says Slowthai, speaking to Fader.
‘Doorman’, is the first track lifted from his upcoming debut album, which is due to arrive sometime in 2019, with the working title being ‘Nothing Great About Britain’. His latest song “Rainbow” will also feature on the album, the rapper has also been working with Mount Kimbie, Mura Masa, and punk duo Slaves on new material, alongside regular producer Kwes Darko. The forthcoming year looks set to be a busy one for Slowthai, with both an album and, European and UK, tour dates planned for 2019.
Upcoming 2019 Slowthai Tour Dates: