Welcome back to the Wordplay 10 Questions. As ever we will be keeping it light, allowing our guests to expand on their answers as much as their time allowed. This week, we’re joined by the recently crowned UK Slam Poetry champion, Kate Tempest / 1xtra mentee, and front man for the awesome Sounds Of Harlowe….Solomon O.B.! Let’s do this…
1) Contestant, what’s your name, chosen craft and where are you based?
I’m Solomon O.B and my chosen craft is the art of lyricism. Currently based in Bristol.
2) How would you describe your sound?
I think my words are quite powerful and I try to put them together in an interesting way. I try to push my language and phrase things in a way that’s not so common. Musically I keep it varied. I don’t think I really try and craft a certain sound, just work with producers who sound I’m vibing with. If I like it enough, I’ll rap with it.
3) Who / what do you consider to be the biggest influence on your music?
When it comes to ‘who’ it would have to be Kendrick Lamar hands down. Rapping ability is one thing, but the whole approach he takes with his music and putting together a project has had a huge impact on me. In regards to ‘what’, it sounds cliché but life in general. There came a point where my writing began to reflect a lot more of me personally, rather than just rap bravado. That was crucial.
4) What’s the proudest moment to date for you as an artist?
It has to be right now to be honest. I’ve been chosen as one of the final 6 of a nationwide campaign led by BBC Radio 1Xtra and Roundhouse London called Words First, which promotes Spoken Word. Along with that i’ve recently been crowned Hammer and Tongue National Champion for Spoken Word and it’s really put me on an elevated platform. It’s shown me a small glimpse into what’s possible artistically when I really push myself.
5) Do you have any advice for our readers who maybe trying to play the mad game of music?
Just live your truth. Be honest with your music and represent who you are. Trying to fit an industry standard or emulating what’s popular will only make your music blend in and get lost in everything that’s out there. If you make good music, have faith that your unique perspective on life will attract like minded people to it.
6) Name 3 people you would love to work with and why?
That’s a tough one. A band called Hiatus Kaiyote from Australia would be so cool to work with. They make very unique music and I think we could make a dope concept album together.
Hmm maybe Makaya McCraven. A great jazz Musician with a great name. Often find myself rapping to his album In The Moment.
Collaborating with Kendrick Lamar one day will be a trip! It would be a bit intimidating, but I’d be ready.
7) What have you got planned for the not so distant future?
I have so many plans man. I want to make a lot happen this year. Firstly I’ll be releasing my debut Solo EP The Writing is Real with plenty of dope visuals to accompany it. After that I’ll be getting involved in some tours, one will be for Spoken Word and hopefully I’ll have a tour of the EP to go with it. Then in the summer I’ll be performing my first piece of spoken word theatre which I’m currently writing and will be directing too. That’ll be a big step for me artistically.
8) What’s the album you’ve played more than any other?
To Pimp a Butterfly. You’ll get the picture by now of how big a Kendrick fan I am. That album came at a time in my life where I was going through some shit and it really showed me just how powerful music can be. I have quite a connection to it.
9) What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? And where?
Another hard one. Bad Rabbits in the Big Top at Bestival was an immense show. They’re great live entertainers and the energy was so fun. I dont know if it’s the best but it sticks out in my mind.
10) Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Music, being silly and creating things.
Lastly, can you nominate another contestant and provide us with a question for them on your behalf?
I’m gonna nominate a producer I work with called Illy Ah. And i’ll ask him “what ideas do you have for progression of the art of production”.
Any last words/shoutouts?
Just keep an eye out for me this year. If you like what you see and hear then please do share my work. It makes all the difference. Thank you